The German primary school, called Grundschule, runs from grades 1 to 4 and in Rhineland-Palatinate is obligatory for children from the age six to ten. It is designed as a half-day school with lessons from 8:00 in the morning to 12:00 or 1:00 in the afternoon. Primary school students receive education in the subjects German, Mathematics, “Sachunterricht” (local history, geography and biology), religion or ethics, music, art, and sports. Since 2005/2006 all primary school students in Rhineland-Palatinate also learn their first foreign language starting from grade 1. In most cases it is either English or French, but this depends on the respective school. The children all have one class teacher (except for the subjects of sports, art, and music) and so the teacher can thoroughly follow their academic and personal development. This is especially important because the class teacher will assess each student at the end of grade 4, which then usually determines the future course of the student’s education. In the state of Rhineland-Palatinate the accessment only functions as a recommendation and the final decision is given to the parents.
In Kaiserslautern, parents can profit from 28 Grundschulen that offer after-school day care. Elementary school students from age six to ten can stay at school Monday through Thursday from 1:30 to 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon (with or without a lunch included). In general, after-school day care is free, only lunch has to be paid for. A list of all primary (and secondary) schools with after-school day care service can be found here.
After primary school, students go on to visit a secondary school.