What is primary education

What is the primary level?

The first day at primary school is a highlight in every child's life: the new school bag, the large school bag and the many new faces. At this point, the motivation is usually even higher than in the further course of the school career.

In Germany, education at the primary level is taught in primary schools. This type of school is thus a child's entry into the school system and is basically the only "[intlink id =" 1953 "type =" post "] comprehensive school [/ intlink]" in Germany, since all children of one age group are taught together here . After attending the primary school, which usually lasts 4 years - in Berlin and Brandenburg 6 years - the students are transferred to the various types of secondary school such as [intlink id = “1765 ″ type =“ post ”] grammar schools according to their performance [/ intlink], [intlink id = “1786 ″ type =“ post “] Realschulen [/ intlink] or [intlink id =“ 1924 ″ type = “post“] Hauptschulen [/ intlink] distributed.

Learning in elementary school

The 6- to 10-year-olds are taught in groups of around 20 children in primary school. Each class consists of a fixed group to which a class teacher is assigned as a permanent reference person. This class teacher takes on a large part of the subject teaching, especially in the first 2 years. As a rule, a school day in primary school comprises 5 school hours of 45 minutes each, which are interrupted by breaks of up to 30 minutes. In some federal states there are only 4 hours on the timetable in the first school year.

Subjects and teaching content in primary school

The primary school should impart basic knowledge of German, mathematics and the natural sciences and humanities and form the basis for teaching in secondary schools. The three cultural techniques reading, writing and arithmetic are primarily taught. The use of the computer should also be taught in the future. In addition, the children learn to read the clock in these first 4 years, receive a first [intlink id = “1271 ″ type =“ post “] political education [/ intlink] and historical and geographical basics about the region in their immediate vicinity. In many federal states, traffic education is also part of the curriculum, as part of which children can, for example, acquire a “bicycle driving license”.

The main features of the primary school curriculum are:

  • German - Reading & Writing (basics in spelling and grammar)
  • Mathematics - The four basic arithmetic operations in the number range 1 to 1,000,000 as well as the first basic features of geometry
  • Expertise - first insights into chemical and physical relationships, as well as first approaches to political education
  • Local history - historical and geographical knowledge of the home region
  • Religion / ethics
  • Sport and music
  • Coming soon: independent and responsible use of the PC and the [intlink id = “1422 ″ type =“ post “] new media [/ intlink]

In addition, social skills are promoted through learning in the class community. English lessons are also part of the curriculum in more and more elementary schools.

German primary schools in international comparison

In an international comparison, the German elementary schools always cut a pretty good figure. In the last TIMSS school test (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), which tests the knowledge of 10-year-olds in the fields of mathematics and natural sciences, Germany achieved a respectable 12th place. The top performers of the 40 nations were the Asian countries Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.

The second international comparative test that primary school students have to face on a regular basis is the IGLU study (International Primary School Reading Study), in which the reading ability of children is assessed. In the last survey in 2006, Germany ranked 11th among 45 participating nations and regions. At the time, Russia was at the top, ahead of Hong Kong and the Canadian region of Alberta. In absolute terms, Germany could not improve on the previous survey from 2001 - at that time the 11th place was also achieved - but only 37 nations took part.

Author: Sarah Dreyer
Published on January 12, 2011

Tags: educational pathways, elementary school, primary level