German School System

German School System

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The German school system is divided into four parts: From grades 1 to 4, respectively from the age of 6 to 10, children attend primary school, followed by a secondary level that starts in grade 5 and is divided into three different school types, depending on the academic abilities of the children: a less academic school to grade 10, taking CSEs and leading to vocational education; an intermediate school (also to grade 10), taking GCSEs and leading to a technical or business school, and the academically-oriented grammar school or Senior High School that awards a university entry diploma and a university education when successfully completing the final exams. Teachers from primary school recommend one of these types to the parents of their pupils, based on factors such as academic achievement, self-confidence and the ability to work independently. School is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 to 15 after which students may choose to continue their secondary study or start a vocational training along with attending a vocational school.

For further information please read the official document of the Ministry of Education in NRW: 

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