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In Berlin, parents can choose from different school models (half-day or full-day), allowing them to be flexible both in terms of time and in the type of school. The general educational path leads to Secondary level 1/‘Sekundarstufe 1’ (grammar school/‘Gymnasium’ or integrated secondary school/‘integrierte Sekundarschule’) after completing primary school/‘Grundschule’ (reliable half-day primary school/‘verlässliche Halbtagsgrundschule’, open or compulsory all-day primary school/‘gebundene Ganztagsgrund­schule’).  This can be supplemented by the upper secondary school/‘gymnasiale Oberstufe’ (grammar school, integrated secondary school or vocational grammar school/‘Berufliches Gymnasium’).

Alternatively, your child can also attend a community school/‘Gemeinschaftsschule’ from their 1st to 13th school year

In order to ensure the right entry into the Berlin school system, every Berlin child takes a pre-school language test. Berlin’s schools are diverse, open, multicultural and adapted to the requirements of our modern knowledge and information-based society.

How do I find the right school for my child in Berlin?

  1. Search for a school for your child. The online school directory provides information about schools near you, foreign languages and special educational offers.
  2. Get in contact with the school. Whenever possible, book an appointment for a personal meeting.
  3. Collect all the important documents for the personal meeting. These include:
  • Information about age
  • Your child’s school year
  • Certificates from the past four years
  • Previous qualifications
  • Information about foreign languages and special abilities
  • Your child’s interests 
  • Details of special needs requirements, if necessary (disabilities or German as a foreign language)
  1. Have you found the right school? The education authority is responsible for the allocation of school places. Enrol your child with all of the documents for changing school or admission.
OUR TIP

The Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family has the PDF ‘Information sheet for new citizens in Berlin who can’t speak German’ available to download on their website. Here you will find everything you need to know about school enrollment or changing schools, and the respective points of contact with the local district education authorities, as well as school authorities.

International schools in Berlin

A total of 170 nationalities live and work in Berlin. That’s why Berlin also offers bilingual and foreign-language education alongside the German-language school system. For example, in the State Europe Schools Berlin (SESB), children are taught strictly in two languages. 

OUR TIP

Are you new to Germany? Then browse through the brochure ‘New to Germany? Info and tips about school in Berlin’ from the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family! This provides information about the duties and rights of parents and pupils, admission to a welcome class, offers of educational packages and also full-time schools in the capital. The brochure is available in nine languages.

The following language combinations can be taught at an SESB:

Primary school and Secondary Level 1 (integrated secondary school or grammar school)

  • German-French
  • German-English
  • German-Greek
  • German-Italian
  • German-Polish
  • German-Portuguese
  • German-Russian
  • German-Spanish
  • German-Turkish

Primary school, Secondary Level 1 (integrated secondary school or grammar school) and upper secondary school

  • German-English
  • German-Greek
  • German-Italian
  • German-Portuguese
Selection of bilingual and foreign-language schools in Berlin
SchoolSchool systemInternet
John-F.-Kennedy-School BerlinGerman-American comprehensive school (grades 1 – 13)www.jfks.de
Berlin CosmopolitanGerman-British elementary school and gymnasiumwww.cosmopolitanschool.de
Berlin International SchoolGerman-British elementary school and gymnasiumwww.private-kant-schule.de
Berlin Kids International SchoolGerman-British elementary schoolwww.berlin-kids-international.de
Berlin Metropolitan SchoolGerman-British elementary schoolwww.berlinmetropolitanschool.com
PHORMS Berlin MitteGerman-British kindergarten, elementary school, gymnasiumwww.berlin.phorms.de
PHORMS Berlin SüdGerman-British elementary schoolwww.berlin-sued.phorms.de
Lomonossow SchoolGerman-Russian elementary schoolwww.lomonossow-grundschule.de
Berlin British SchoolBritish preschool, elementary school and gymnasiumwww.berlinbritishschool.de
Collège Voltaire de BerlinFrench preschool, elementary school and gymnasiumwww.collegevoltaire.de
International School Villa AmalienhofBritish elementary school and gymnasiumwww.is-va.com
Japanese International SchoolJapanese elementary school and gymnasiumwww.jap-schule-berlin.de
Swedish School in Berlin (SSB)    Swedish elementary schoolwww.svenskaskolan-berlin.de
Address of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family:

Address of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family
Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6
10178 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 90227-5050
www.berlin.de/sen/bjf

OUR TIP

If you are a mother or father and have questions about the school system, nursery registration or other matters, then you will find the right person to contact in the infoPunkt am Alexanderplatz. You will receive advice in German, English, French or Spanish.