The German school system
Each federal state in Germany has a slightly different school system. The school system in Hamburg is quiet crude. When you become six years old, your school life gets started. You begin in primary school, which continues for four years. In your fifth year you have the possibility to choose in which school you want to continue. Your choice also depends on your school grades: either a comprehensive school (in Hamburg called Stadtteilschule) or a grammar school (Gymnasium). The differences between comprehensive school and grammar school is while you pass your A-level exam in the grammar school in year 12, you do it in year 13 in the comprehensive school. In Germany you can acquire three different degrees: the Certificate of Secondary Education (in Germany it is called Erster Allgemeinbildener Schulabschluß), the General Certificate of Secondary School Education (Zweiter Allgemeinbildener Schulabschluß) and the A-Level examination (in Germany called Abitur and which allows you to study at University). It is really important to pass one of these examinations, so you get a good further education and later a good job. A German school day usually starts at 8 o’clock and ends around 4 pm. I know it sounds too much, but you have so much lessons and lots of different subjects. These are the subjects you are taught at: German, English, Maths, Society, History, Religion, Philosophy, Sport, Art, Music, Biology, Physics , Chemistry, Geography, French, Spanish, Latin, Media and more. .. The secondary schools are full-time schools, therefore the schools offers afternoon courses like football, art, music or cooking. Lessons/ timetables in the sixth form are more individual. In fact you got a “Profil“, which you choose. As every student has the„Profil“he/she prefers, you will see your classmate once in a blue moon. You have to learn a lot at home and do a lot of homework. Basically the last two years of both schools (comprehensive school and grammar school) are the hardest.
Our school is called “Stadtteilschule Horn“ and is one of the well-known schools in Hamburg. In this school you have the possibility to start from the primary school and finish your A-level exam. We have got four positions in our school. The first location is named “Grundschule Horn“, thence the students start the primary school, which lasts four years. At the age of six, the pupils are learning how to read and to write. The newest rule is that pupils in the first year are starting with the English lesson. The second position is Rhiemsweg and is called “Gesamtschule Horn“. This is the location for the years five to seven. In this year you will learn new subjects, like French, Spanish, Music Life, Art. You got the opportunity to choose one of these named subjects. In the last year of Rhiemsweg, it becomes more difficult, because the pupils get new grades. (E and G marks) After year seven the pupils move to Horner Weg. It is also a secondary school and is also called “Gesamtschule Horn“. In this location there are students form year eight to ten. And the last position is in Snittgereihe, it is called “Stadtteilschule Horn”. In this school there are students from year 9 to 13. The last three years are the hardest. In these years you are passing your A-level exam.