Primary schools are attended by children aged six to ten or twelve in Germany. This age group corresponds to grades one to four or six. Primary school is compulsory schooling. The children are taught basic mathematics, linguistics and general science and are instructed in social standards and basic rules of social behaviour to lay a foundation for continuing education at secondary schools, or vocational schools.
In Germany, secondary school education directly follows primary school. Different formats that are offered include comprehensive schools, separate lower and higher ability tiers, as well as vocational schools. In most federal states in Germany pupils have the opportunity to choose between these different kinds of schools. The comprehensive school, which can be visited until the 9th or 10th grade is thought to counteract a social development in which children and youth of different social groups in society are alienated from each other due to separate socialisation. In contrast to the lowest ties, which usually precludes students of educationally deprived backgrounds from higher education at an early stage, changes between the middle and higher tier are more usual. The regular qualification gained in the highest tier is the Abitur, which entitles to entry into higher education (at university level).
The mandatory dual vocational training system set out in the German educational system is unique in its form in Europe. It encompasses parallel training in companies and vocational schools. The vocational school system of the IB works as a partner to businesses and companies within the dual system of education on the one hand. On the other hand, it provides young people with a broad spectrum of offers that prepare for a vocational training in the dual system or directly provides vocational qualifications in combination with state-recognised certificates. With their permeable product portfolio that serves all types of schooling vocational schools provide varied and future oriented offers that are geared specifically to the career aspirations of the young people and their individual skills and talents. The vocational choice is an important step in every young person’s life and a completed vocational training is a solid base for professional success.