Berlin Schools
Diverse, International
And Causing Insights

Berlin schools will surprise not only parents but kids also. People start to be interested and may be concerned about Berlin schools issue when they need to find the best school for their kids. All want to have a good school to have their kids happy and still learning a lot and being able to continue their education in a good Free university of Berlin or Humboldt University or any other higher education institution of Berlin or may be another city in Europe or even in other countries world wide. We all idealize our little sweet kids and absolutely believe that our kids are genius. Of course, they are all genius and each in a very special sphere-very narrow and specific. Parents all over the world are similar.

Talking about Berlin schools we should start with the school system in Berlin. Believe it or not but in Germany there is a very unique peculiarity- each land (which is actually a separate unit or entity which has its own legislation and authorities and very different sometime school systems. Another very special thing about Germany's school system is that due to differences in the system and approaches, children moving from one land to another inside Germany will always have problems due to the differences in teaching plans and methods and subjects and other related to schools issues. And also teachers have troubles to move from one land of Germany to another. They can not just start to work at a new school. First they have to get approval of authorities and confirm the diplomas. In other words teacher from Berlin can not just easily come and start to work in Hamburg.

Berlin schools are proud to have diverse character and international orientation. Diverse means that there are several types of schools in Berlin. From the first class until sixth class school is called elementary. Usually they even have a separate building. But there is a tendency to change it. Children start to attend school at the age of six. All children have to attend a school and it is checked by the authorities. There is a special preschool examination which all kids have to take. Physical and intellectual development of kids is checked. Sometimes parents think that their kid can not start to go to school at the age of six and to get the allowance to start later is very difficult. The same happens when parents want their kids to start earlier.

Saying diverse also means that there are public and private schools in Berlin. Public schools are the majority in Berlin and they are free. Parents pay only for lunch and for books and some regular expenses. As well as a special service rendered usually by the school which is called Hort or Day care for kids. It usually starts from 6 o'clock in the morning and lasts until school works usually until 16 o'clock. Some schools, but usually private, work until 18 o'clock. New trend in Berlin schools is that kids study together from the first grade until the second and sometimes the third. You can imagine that in the class there are kids of the age 6, 7, and 8 learning all together. Normal reaction of parents is that they are concerned how it works. The school claims that it works great. But later on people start to find out that kids develop not equally and do not achieve

goals of the age. The best thing about public schools is that they are free. Nowadays Berlin schools experience difficulties with lack of experienced and high level teachers. More teachers retire and less come to schools. Deficit is evident. In the future the difficulties are expected to grow.

Private schools appeared as an answer for the issue of problematic public schools. But Berliners are not used to pay for education and they demand a lot from private schools. To be able to survive and continue in a right manner private schools have to offer something special. And here they try their best.

According to statistics there are 30 private elementary schools including but not limited to Catholic and Protestant schools, as well as one Jewish and one Islamic school.

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International orientation means that in Berlin schools kids start to learn foreign languages relatively early-from the third grade normally but sometimes even from the first grade. The main foreign language is English but also French. Spanish can also be taught. There are special schools for instances with Russian and Turkish languages. So, ideally all kids in Berlin should be polyglots but the reality is different. Sometimes they can not even write and read properly their own mother tongue which is actually should be German but in reality for some kids German continues to be foreign and they can not speak it when they come to school and that also causes a lot of problems. That is why according to new regulations in Berlin kids should attend kindergarten and learn German to be able to study later at school.

After six years of a relative paradise of elementary school starts the time of vital decisions and competition. The main decision is what to do after the elementary school. Before the reform of 2010 there were four options-Hauptschule (secondary school ending with 9th grade). Realschule similar school ending with the 10th grade. Gymnasium is a highway to university and similar level higher education. The fourth option was a Gesamtschule being a combination of the first three school types.

The previous approach was not fair as children were selected according to special sorting system and produced people without dream and future.

As only Gymnasium could give that opportunity to have better education and development. The rest of pupils were potential outsiders from the beginning of life. Only hard work and tenacity could make pupils out of the system and be able to have a better education and better prospects and hopes. How many kids do you know having such traits of character from early childhood? Nowadays situation has changed in Berlin. Only two types of secondary schools exist and they look fair and give an opportunity for those who can change their mind and start to be good at studies not from the first grade but later. Let's say from the seventh. In other words if Hans will start to be better at his studies from the seventh grade because he realized that it is better for him or his development changed to be better, he can have such an opportunity and become a student of one of universities in Berlin.

Surprising about Berlin schools is that they can be extraordinary. Look yourself- children from the first until the eighth grade study all together in one class. Interesting? Ada has to learn how to count because she is the first grade and Hans has already to deal with Algebra. And they study together. May be the main idea is that Hans will help Ada? And if has another opinion?

Another extraordinary feature is that there are schools where parents decide how and what the children will learn. It is not difficult to imagine how it is discussed. On the other hand people say: thought thrives on conflict. If you have time and a lot of ideas you will definetly enjoy school time of your kid.

If one day you will come across of Berlin schools you will have fun. There are so many different approaches and types. To be overwhelmed and lost will be the first thing. But when you exactly know what you want it will not be a problem to find a good school for your kids. Or you can also borrow a lot o ideas from Berlin schools.

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