The different school forms in Munich and Bavaria

Schools in Munich: Information about the educational system and school forms

In Germany each federal state is responsible for their education system. It is mandatory for every child between the age of 6 and 15 to attend school. The following describes the school system in Bavaria and thus in Munich.

Schüler melden sich auf Frage der Lehrerin
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Primary School (Grundschule): The first four years

In the first four years, all children learn together in primary school, or Grundschule in German. After the fourth grade, there are basically three types of secondary schools: Mittelschule, Realschule and Gymnasium. The child's performance at primary school determines which type of school they attend afterwards. There are no important exams at the end of year 4, but rather continuous assessment by means of regular little tests.

Secondary schools: Mittelschule, Realschule, Gymnasium

Mittelschule (formerly Hauptschule)
A Mittelschule is a secondary school which prepares students for an apprenticeship. Basic skills, including a foreign language, are taught. The programme ends after the 9th or 10th year of schooling with the “Hauptschule” certificate ("Mittlerer Schulabschluss").

Approximately a quarter of the children in Germany attend a Realschule. The education is less academic than in a Gymnasium. Students leave Realschule after the 10th grade with the so called "Mittlere Reife", equivalent to GCSE in Britain. After that they have several options, e.g. start an apprenticeship, attend vocational school or obtain the qualification to attend a polytechnic/university of applied sciences.

A Gymnasium offers the most academic secondary education in Germany and is comparable to grammar schools in the U.K. or Junior High Schools and High Schools in the USA. Children are supposed to attend Gymnasium until completing their "Abitur", formerly after year 13, since 2011 in Bavaria (School reform) after year 12. The "Abitur" is a prerequisite to enter a German university. Students have to study at least two foreign languages, maths, science, history, geography, social sciences, economics and a few other subjects. The broad and wide-ranging education enables students to obtain general knowledge in various fields.

International schools in Munich

In International Schools teaching is often done in English, French or Spanish. They are open to German and international students. The International Schools in Munich are mostly all-day and require fees. The following is a selection of English-language International schools located in Munich:

When are school holidays in Bavaria?

Bavarian school holidays change from year to year, so the following dates are only a guideline and subject to change:

  • Allerheiligenferien (All Saints): the week around 1 November or prior to it
  • Weihnachtsferien (Christmas): around 23 December - 6 January
  • Faschingsferien (Carnival): the week around Ash Wednesday
  • Osterferien (Easter): the week before and the week after Easter Sunday
  • Pfingstferien (Pentecost): the two weeks after Pentecost Sunday
  • Sommerferien (Summer): 6 weeks between late July and early/mid-September