Compulsory education from the age of 6
Starting primary school is an important event for children and parents, and is often celebrated. Many parents give their child a “Schultüte”, a paper cone filled with little presents. Public school attendance is free of charge. During the four years of primary school, children learn reading, writing and arithmetic, in addition to basic knowledge in many different subject areas.
General compulsory education starts in the September following a child’s 6th birthday. Parents of children who are ready for school but do not turn six until between 1 September and 31 December may request early admission to school. In case of doubt, the school management decides whether the child is ready for school.
Schoolchildren are given homework to take home and practise each day, which they should be able to complete by themselves. They do not need to do the homework perfectly, since mistakes allow the teacher to recognise where children are still unsure. Many children initially require the support of their parents when it comes to time management, the workspace and concentration. And even later on, it is important that parents help when difficulties arise and speak to the teachers if necessary. For this purpose, consultation hours and days as well as parents’ evenings are set up.