Primary school

Drei Schüler in der Grundschule

The continuous improvement of the teaching and learning culture is a focus of Berlin’s primary schools. All-day school offerings create time to change educational offerings in terms of content and method and to support all students individually.

Welcome to school!

Mädchen mit Ranzen bei Einschulung

Registration of school beginners

Here you can find all information about the registration or the erlier or later enrollment of school beginners. More information

When your child starts school, a new and exciting phase of life begins for you as parents and you can look forward to it. You can read here about what your child will learn at primary school, how you as parents can get involved and what special offers are available at the schools.

When your child starts school in August 2023, their school will send them the brochure “Start in school life. Things to know about starting school in 2023”. It contains all the important topics and questions about primary school. You can find out about everyday school life, after-school care or the school report without grades.

  • Starting school – Useful information for starting school in 2023


    PDF-Document (1.6 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

  • Rozpoczęcie nauki w szkole – co warto wiedzieć o rozpoczęciu szkoły w 2023 roku


    PDF-Document (1.6 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

  • Начало на живота в училище - Какво трябва да знаем в началото на учебната година 2023


    PDF-Document (1.6 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

  • Începerea școlii - lucruri de știut despre începerea școlii în 2023


    PDF-Document (1.6 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

  • Початок шкільного життя: що варто знати про початок школи у 2023 році


    PDF-Document (1.6 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

  • Поступление в школу – важная информация о начальном образовании в 2023 году


    PDF-Document (1.6 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

  • Okul hayatına başlama - 2023 yılında okul başlangıcı konusunda faydalı bilgiler


    PDF-Document (1.6 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

  • بدء الحياة المدرسية - معلومات مفيدة عن بدء المدرسة لعام 2023


    PDF-Document (1.5 MB) - As of: Januar 2024

All Berlin primary schools are all-day schools

The continuous improvement of the teaching and learning culture is a focus of Berlin’s primary schools. All-day school offerings create time to change educational offerings in terms of content and methodology and to support all students individually.

Lessons and extracurricular offerings are geared to the learning and life needs of the students and relate to each other in terms of content and organization.

With the reliable half-day primary school and the open or bound all-day primary school, parents have access to school offerings with different conceptual and time-based offerings: parents can choose the all-day model they want for their child.

Gruppe fröhlicher Kinder

All-day school

All-day schools are places of living and learning where children and young people should feel comfortable and which enable diverse educational processes. In Berlin, these include all elementary schools and the majority of secondary schools. More information

The flexible initial phase of school education

When younger children go to school, the school has to change too, of course. The 1st and 2nd school year are considered as a unit, which is reflected in the flexible initial phase of school education.

School beginners are not just beginning to learn, but what the children can already do is very different. Every child has strengths and weaknesses, but when they start school, children can learn from each other. It’s not just about knowledge but also about personal and social strengths.

The aim of the Berlin schools is to support each student individually and to take their different requirements and needs into account. That is why teachers make the following assumptions during the initial phase of school education:
  • Every child has already successfully learned a lot before starting school.
  • Every child wants to learn.
  • Children are active designers of their knowledge and skills.
  • Every child goes their own way when learning.
  • Every child needs their own time and suitable offerings for their learning.

In the initial phase of school education, all children learn together. For pupils who need special support, lessons are available for special educational support. These can be used for specific support offerings in the class as well as in small temporary groups or for individual children.

Even after the initial phase of school education, parents whose children have special educational needs are free to choose a school. Because integration has priority in the Berlin schools.

  • The flexible initial phase of school education

    Support through individual, joint and multi-age learning

    PDF-Document (1.6 MB)

  • Weekly schedule for primary schools

    PDF-Document - As of: 2019

Mixed-age learning

According to the motto: “Show me how you do it!” the 1st and 2nd school years are age-mixed and the standard form at a Berlin primary school.

This means that most children will stay in the initial phase of school education for two years in order to learn the content according to the framework curriculum and to achieve the goals of the instruction.

More time to study

Any child who needs more time can also stay in the initial phase for a third school year. The third year does not count towards the general compulsory school attendance. The children thereby do not have any disadvantages and are not considered to be repeaters.

Faster learners

Children who may learn faster because of their special talents move up to the 3rd grade after just one year. The advantage of this flexibility works two ways: each child learns at their own pace and does not have to change their entire learning group.

Regardless of whether they study for two or three years during the initial phase of school education, your child will always stay with a few friends and trusted resource persons.

Learning to read and write

It is important for your child to write freely when they start school. So your child can
  • Understand the alphabetical structure of writing
  • Learn writing on an individual level,
  • Experience the communicative function of writing,
  • Become motivated to read and write.

Your child learns to write according to rules and thus acquires confidence in spelling (e.g., when working with class and basic vocabulary). In class your child learns with motivational support from the teacher to increasingly orient their own writing to the correct spelling.

As your child progresses in learning to read, alphabetical spelling will be complemented with orthographic strategies. Through targeted, individual learning opportunities, your child will acquire solid spelling skills.

After the beginning school phase, the process of learning spelling continues for your child with expanded vocabulary and with reference to more differentiated orthographic knowledge.

  • Fundamentals of Literacy Acquisition. The nuts and bolts of learning to read and write (german)

    Information about the teaching of reading and writing in the early school years.

    PDF-Document - As of: 2018

cover grundwortschatz 1,2

The basic vocabulary

Since 2012 primary school students have received the basic vocabulary booklet to determine what vocabulary each of them is already proficient in.

The booklets “Abend bis zwölf“ (“Evening to twelve”) for grades 1 and 2 and “Arzt bis Zukunft“ (“Doctor to future”) for grades 3 and 4 give students, parents and teachers an orientation on what language learning should be mastered in the various development phases.

In addition to the booklets for the students, there is also a handout for teachers on using the basic vocabulary.

  • Basic vocabulary for grades 1 and 2


    Document: SenBJF

  • Basic vocabulary for grades 3 and 4


    PDF-Document (632.6 kB)
    Document: SenBJF

  • Basic vocabulary - handout for teachers


    PDF-Document (2.1 MB)
    Document: SenBJW

What is rhythmization?

The open design of the day, the so-called rhythmization, has become established in many primary schools. Every school can structure its everyday school life according to its needs. This means that there are various ways to organise the daily routine in the all-day primary school:

  • Sliding start
  • Teaching blocks instead of 45-minute lessons
  • Open final phases
  • Active breaks
  • Beginning and end of the week
Grundschülerin schneidet mit Schere Papier

Rhythmization in the elementary school

Many elementary schools no longer organize their lessons in rigid 45-minute units. A flexible approach to the 45-minute cycle and a child-friendly design of the weekly schedule while adhering to the annual number of hours have long been possible for Berlin elementary schools. More information

Learning the first foreign language

Speaking several languages is an important element in school education and also increases future professional opportunities.

That is why foreign language instruction is started in the 3rd grade in Berlin. Pupils can choose between English or French as their 1st foreign language. Instruction takes place for two hours per week, in some schools even as a voluntary working group in the initial phase of school education. In the 4th – 6th grades there is one hour more of instruction per week.

Special language offerings in primary school

Learning tasks

Learning tasks (homework) should support and consolidate the learning processes begun during instruction. But they can also serve as preparation for instruction. In general, the exercises for consolidating and applying what has been learned have already been worked on in school.

The schools decide on the scope of the learning tasks in their school conference (committee made up of teachers and parents’ representatives). The learning tasks should help the students to independently practice and consolidate what they have learned and should be able to be solved independently by the students.

Of course parents can help their children, but the children should solve the tasks independently, because if you don’t make mistakes, you don’t learn. The tasks are not educationally justifiable nor permitted as a punishment or disciplinary measure.

  • Self-assessment questionnaire


    PDF-Document (1.0 MB) - As of: The ability-focused questions are designed to encourage 4th and 5th grade students to self-assess their interests, competencies, and learning performance. The teacher can gain information about how well the students can observe their own learning development.

Performance assessment: the indicator-oriented certificate

At the end of the school year in the initial phase of school education, all students receive a certificate with an assessment of their learning, performance and competence development. This assessment can be in the form of a free text or an indicator-oriented certificate.

1st and 2nd grade

The list in table form for all subjects in grades 1 and 2 supplements or replaces the conventional text of a verbal assessment. The performance assessment follows a competence-oriented approach and maps essential learning and development goals. The assessment is made with regard to the framework curriculum, the study of the starting point of learning (LauBe) of the initial phase of school education and the learning documentation for mathematics and language.

3rd to 6th grades

In grades 3 to 6, certificates are issued at the end of each school term. In grades 3 and 4, the majority of the class parents’ assembly can decide that a verbal assessment should continue to be given instead of grades. In grades 5 and 6, only grade certificates are issued.

Mixed-aged classes

In mixed-aged classes, in which children from the initial phase of school education (1st and 2nd grade) study together with children from 3rd grade, all children receive the same type of certificate: a verbal assessment, which can also be given in the form of an indicator-based certificate.

Comparative assessments
In all Berlin primary schools – as in all federal states – at the end of the 3rd grade, comparative assessments are taken in German and mathematics.

These comparative assessments show the performance development of the individual students. But the performance of the entire class is also compared within the school and also with the schools in the catchment area. The comparative work is based on the binding nationwide educational standards for the primary school sector.

  • Certificate model for mathematics

    PDF-Document (574.6 kB)

Kinder auf dem Schulhof

Supplementary support and after-school care

Students at Berlin elementary schools and schools with special educational needs can take advantage of a variety of extracurricular and supplementary support and care services from first through sixth grade.

Open all-day schools offer reliable care from 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In addition, care can be requested from 6:00 a.m. and until 6:00 p.m. and during vacations. Full-day elementary schools provide reliable care from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition, care can be requested from 6:00 a.m. and until 6:00 p.m. and during vacations.

For 1st and 2nd grade students, supplemental support and care is free of charge. Starting in the 2023/2024 school year, this will also apply to children in 3rd grade.

The supplementary support and care is applied for when registering for school attendance. Parents and guardians can obtain the forms at school, at the Youth Welfare Office or online.

School lunch

A healthy, high-quality lunch is an important building block for a successful school day. At the same time, shared meals provide a hands-on opportunity to teach school children about the connections between nutrition, health and environmental protection.

Here you can download the Information letter on free lunches at elementary schools

Free of charge

As of August 1, 2019, all elementary school students (1st through 6th grade) are eligible for lunch without cost-sharing. In order for your child to take advantage of this offer, you must sign a contract with the school’s caterer for the delivery of a free lunch. This is necessary, despite the fact that it is free of charge, so that the school or the caterer can plan well.

Food with quality

Caterers are required to implement the quality standards of the German Nutrition Society and are tested and evaluated by lunch committees – consisting of students, parents and teachers – before you can be selected as a provider.