When Does the School Year Start in Germany?

Hey there, if you’re wondering “when does the school year start in Germany?”, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll be guiding you through everything you need to know about the start of the school year in Germany.

We’ll cover important dates, back-to-school shopping tips, preparation for the first day of school, age requirements, curriculum and requirements, types of schools, extracurricular activities, and international school options. So, let’s get started!

Overview of School Year Start in Germany

The school year in Germany typically begins in August or September, depending on the state and the type of school. However, the exact dates can vary from year to year, so it’s important to check with your local school or education authority to confirm the start date.

In general, the school year is divided into two terms: the winter term and the summer term. The winter term usually runs from August or September to January or February, with a break for the Christmas holidays in December. The summer term runs from February or March to July or August, with a break for Easter in April or May.

It’s worth noting that different types of schools may have slightly different schedules, and some schools may also have additional breaks or holidays throughout the year. Additionally, some schools may start the school year earlier or later than usual due to special circumstances, such as construction work or the hosting of major events.

Overall, if you’re planning to attend school in Germany or have children who will be starting school soon, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest information regarding the school year start dates and schedules.

Important Dates to Remember

If you’re planning to enroll your child in school in Germany, it’s important to be aware of the key dates to remember. The school year typically starts in late summer, with the exact date varying by state. For example, in Bavaria, the school year usually begins in early September, while in Berlin, it starts in mid-August.

It’s also important to note that schools in Germany have several breaks throughout the year, including a two-week break in the fall, a two-week break around Christmas and New Year’s, and a one- to two-week break in the spring. Additionally, there is a six-week break in the summer. By keeping these dates in mind, you can help ensure that your child is prepared and ready to go when the new school year starts.

Back-to-School Shopping Tips

Getting ready for the start of a new school year can be exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially when it comes to shopping for school supplies. Here are some helpful tips to make your back-to-school shopping experience a little easier:

  • Start early to avoid the crowds and ensure that you get everything you need
  • Create a list of the essentials, such as backpacks, notebooks, pens, and pencils, and prioritize the items that you need most
  • Shop around for the best deals and compare prices at different stores
  • Consider buying in bulk or online to save money
  • Don’t forget to buy extra supplies, such as tissues and hand sanitizer, for your child’s classroom
  • Involve your child in the shopping process to make it more fun and enjoyable

By following these tips, you can make back-to-school shopping less stressful and more enjoyable for both you and your child.

Preparing for the First Day of School

Starting a new school year can be exciting, but it can also be a little nerve-wracking, especially for students who are entering a new school or grade level. To help make the transition as smooth as possible, here are some tips to help you prepare for the first day of school:

  • Get organized: Make sure you have all the supplies you need, such as notebooks, pens, pencils, and textbooks. If you’re not sure what you need, check with your teacher or the school’s website.
  • Set goals: Think about what you want to achieve this year and set some goals for yourself. This will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the year.
  • Establish a routine: Start getting into a routine a few weeks before school starts. This will help you adjust to the new schedule and make it easier to get up and get ready in the morning.
  • Practice your commute: If you’re going to a new school, make sure you know how to get there and how long it will take. Practice your route a few times before the first day of school so you’re not late.
  • Get enough sleep: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep in the weeks leading up to the first day of school. This will help you feel rested and alert on the first day.
  • Connect with friends: If you’re feeling anxious about the first day of school, reach out to friends who are also starting a new school year. Talking to someone who understands can help you feel more comfortable.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful start to the new school year!

Types of Schools in Germany

Germany has a diverse range of schools, catering to different needs and abilities of students. Here are the most common types of schools in Germany:


Gesamtschule is a comprehensive school that offers all types of secondary education under one roof, from Hauptschule to Gymnasium. Students can attend Gesamtschule from grades 5 to 12.


Hauptschule is the lowest level of secondary education in Germany, and students attend it from grades 5 to 9. The main focus of Hauptschule is on practical skills and vocational training, preparing students for apprenticeships or vocational schools.


Realschule is a type of secondary education that prepares students for vocational schools or upper-secondary education. Students attend Realschule from grades 5 to 10 and are offered a more practical education than Gymnasium.


Gymnasium is a type of secondary education that prepares students for university studies. Students attend Gymnasium from grades 5 to 12 and are offered a more theoretical education than Hauptschule or Realschule. Students who attend Gymnasium have the opportunity to take the Abitur exam, which is required for admission to university.

Integrierte Gesamtschule (IGS)

IGS is a comprehensive school that combines all types of secondary education under one roof. Students attend IGS from grades 5 to 12 and can switch between Hauptschule, Realschule, and Gymnasium tracks based on their individual abilities and needs.


Waldorfschule, also known as Steiner schools, are alternative schools that follow the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. The focus of Waldorfschule is on holistic education, artistic expression, and individual development. Students attend Waldorfschule from grades 1 to 12.

These are just some of the types of schools available in Germany. Each school has its own admission requirements, curriculum, and teaching methods, so it’s important to research and choose the best fit for your child’s needs and abilities.

Age Requirements for School Enrollment

If you’re considering enrolling your child in school in Germany, it’s important to know the age requirements for each level of education. In general, children in Germany start school at the age of six, although there are some exceptions to this rule.

For primary school, children must have turned six by the end of June of the current school year. For secondary school, the age requirements vary depending on the type of school. For Gymnasium, which is the most academic track, students must have completed four years of primary school and be at least ten years old. For Realschule, a less academic track, students must have completed four years of primary school and be at least ten years old. For Hauptschule, the least academic track, students must have completed four years of primary school and be at least ten years old.

It’s important to note that these age requirements are just guidelines, and individual schools may have their own requirements. Additionally, if your child has not attended school in Germany before, they may need to take placement exams to determine which level of school they should be placed in.

Overall, understanding the age requirements for school enrollment in Germany is an important step in preparing your child for a successful academic career.

Curriculum and Requirements

The curriculum and requirements for schools in Germany are set by the federal states, which means they can vary depending on where you live. However, there are certain basic requirements that are consistent across the country.

Firstly, all schools in Germany are required to provide education in a number of core subjects, which include:

  • German
  • Mathematics
  • Natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)
  • Foreign languages (usually English and another language)
  • History, social studies, and geography
  • Arts and music
  • Physical education

In addition to these core subjects, there are also a number of elective courses that students can choose from, depending on their interests and abilities.

The requirements for graduation from a German school also vary depending on the state, but generally include passing exams in the core subjects, as well as completing a certain number of elective courses.

It is worth noting that the requirements for higher education in Germany are generally quite rigorous, and students are expected to have a strong academic background in order to be admitted to university. However, there are also a number of vocational training programs available for students who may not wish to pursue a university degree.

If you are considering moving to Germany with school-aged children, it is important to research the specific curriculum and requirements for the state you will be living in, in order to ensure that your children are adequately prepared for their education.

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities play an important role in the education system of Germany. They provide students with an opportunity to develop new skills, explore their interests, and make new friends outside of the classroom. There are many different types of extracurricular activities available to students in Germany, including sports, music, drama, art, and more.

One of the most popular extracurricular activities in Germany is sports. Students can participate in a wide variety of sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field. In addition to school teams, there are also many local sports clubs where students can participate in organized sports outside of school hours.

Music is also an important part of the extracurricular activities offered in Germany. Many schools have their own choirs and orchestras, and students can also take private music lessons in a variety of instruments. Drama and theater are also popular, with many schools putting on their own plays and musicals throughout the year.

Art is another popular extracurricular activity in Germany. Students can explore a variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and more. Many schools also offer photography and graphic design classes for students interested in digital art.

Overall, extracurricular activities are an important part of the education system in Germany. They allow students to develop new skills, explore their interests, and make new friends outside of the classroom. Whether it’s through sports, music, drama, or art, there’s something for everyone when it comes to extracurricular activities in Germany.

International School Options

If you’re moving to Germany with school-aged children, you may be wondering about the options for international schools. There are several international schools in Germany that offer education in English or other languages. These schools follow a curriculum similar to that of schools in other countries, and may also offer international baccalaureate programs.

International schools can be a good option if you’re looking for continuity in your child’s education, as they may follow a similar curriculum to the one they were studying in their home country. They may also offer additional language classes, which can be helpful if your child is still learning German.

However, international schools can be expensive, and may not be located in every city or town in Germany. Additionally, some families prefer to enroll their children in German schools so they can fully integrate into the local community and culture. It’s important to carefully consider your options and do your research before making a decision.

If you decide to pursue an international school, make sure to research the school’s accreditation and reputation, as well as the admissions process and any fees or tuition costs. Some international schools may have long waiting lists, so it’s important to plan ahead and apply early.

Overall, there are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a school in Germany, whether you’re looking at international schools or German schools. Take the time to research your options and make an informed decision that best suits your family’s needs and priorities.


In conclusion, the school year in Germany starts in late summer or early fall, depending on the state. It is important to remember the specific dates for enrollment and to be prepared for the first day of school, including back-to-school shopping and familiarizing yourself with the curriculum and requirements. There are various types of schools in Germany, including international school options for those who do not speak German fluently. Extracurricular activities are also available and can enhance the overall school experience. By understanding the age requirements for school enrollment, curriculum, and requirements, as well as the various school options available, students and parents can be better prepared for a successful school year in Germany.

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