Schools (starting at the age of 6)

School attendance is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 15 living in Germany. There are a large variety of schools in Germany – public schools, private schools, church-run schools and boys or girl's schools. Attendance at state schools is free of charge. Normally, six-year-olds start with primary school, which includes first through fourth grades.

After primary school your child's teachers will give a recommendation for a school where your child will enter fifth grade. The most common types of secondary schools are:

  • Hauptschulen (non-academic secondary school for grades five through nine or ten)
  • Realschulen (mid-level secondary school for grades five through ten)
  • Gymnasien (academic secondary school for grades five through twelve/thirteen)
  • Gesamtschulen (comprehensive schools, which combine various types of schools under one roof) 

Further information about the German School System can be found here.

The choice of the school is made after a personal visit at the school and after a consultation with the school directory board. The academic year starts after the summer holidays in August or September. Most classes are held during the morning hours, but especially primary schools are offering child-care (Offene Ganztagesschule) until the afternoon. Here kids will get lunch, can make their home work and just play with each other.

An overview of all schools in Düsseldorf can be found at the undefinedSchool Administration Office.

Information about international and bilingual schools in the Düsseldorf area can be found here:

International schools
Bilingual schools

International Researcher Center (JUNO)

Universitätsstr. 1
Building 16.11, Level 00, Room 42


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