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Advice on schools in Berlin for move in 1 to 2 months time

(15 Posts)
wantingmore Tue 26-Jun-12 19:17:00

hi we are relocating to Berlin in the next couple of months as dp has got a job there.
we have two dds 5 and 11 and we need to find schools for them. i know its past admissions dates but i would really appreciate it if anyone has any advice on what schools to apply for or if anyone has been in this situation.
we dont know where we will be living yet as we need to get schools before we can look for somewhere to live.
thanks for any help.

ZZZenAgain Wed 27-Jun-12 10:17:09

depends what type of school you are sending them to. It is a bad time to organise anything since the schools are closed for the summer holidays till the beginning of August. You would have to google "Berlin Schulferien 2012 "to see what the exact dates are this year.

When you have done your police registration on arrival, you will be sent a letter informing you which schools your dc have been allocated by the Schulamt. If you don't want those schools, you need to find something yourself and then inform the allocated school and complete a form to be handed in to that school. You don't need to do anything if you want the local school.

If you don't want a local German school, google "Berlin Europaschule" for a list of the state bilinguals English/German. You can get the phone number/email from the website and try contacting them but you may not reach anyone till just before the schools go back. It is usually not to difficult to get a place for an English speaking dc in primary since they tend to have more German speakers and need a balance.

If you are looking at private English, German or bilingual education google "Berlin Privatschulen" and see what there is. For instance, the Berlin British, Villa Amalienhof, Phorms and several others I can't remember them all. There are a few and scattered all over the place Berlin British (Neuwestend Charlottenburg, Villa Amalienhof (Spandau), Phorms East Berlin (Mitte) and Zehlendorf etc. You might have more luck organising a place at a private school before you leave.

Your 11 year old could be either at primary or secondary, according to the system whereby some secondary schools (Gymnasium- which lead to the A-Level equivalent exam "Abitur") take them in Year 5, others Year 7 so I don't know where he would be placed. If he goes to a state bilingual (Charles Dickens, Nelson Mandela and another the name of which I have forgotten), they move up to secondary in Year 7 which is either the bilingual Nelson Mandela Oberschule or the bilingual Schiller-Gymnasium. If he is not fluent in German, he could not move up to the bilingual secondary which could be a problem for you. For the younger dc it is no problem to enter a bilingual primary with no German. They are geared towards this, the secondary is not.

wantingmore Thu 28-Jun-12 12:44:25

Hi ZZZenAgain thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
I know its not a good time with the schools being closed but we dont really have a choice as dp has just got a job.
I really appreciate your help

DarrowbyEightFive Thu 28-Jun-12 13:07:07

Hi Wanting, I live in Berlin (although am in the UK right now - going back to Germany tomorrow) and have researched the education debate in some detail. I have one DC at bilingual junior level (the Europe school that Zzz has forgotten the name of!) and one in a Gymnasium (grammar school). Zzz has given a load of useful info, but there's a lot more stuff you could do with knowing, most of which I don't want to talk about on a public site (yes, it's that bad).

One thing I can tell you straight away is that schools go back on 6 August this year.

Why don't you PM me and we can discuss it over the weekend. If you send me their DOB (privately, of course) I can tell you which years they will be going into.

wantingmore Thu 28-Jun-12 13:24:25

Hi DarrowbyEightFive thank you i have sent you a PM

ZZZenAgain Thu 28-Jun-12 14:19:23

hope you end up with schools you are happy with and that you will like living there wantingmore. If you want some information on particular areas, get back to us. Berlin is very spread out and it makes a bit difference to your lifestyle where you live.

wantingmore Thu 28-Jun-12 22:27:02

Thank you ZZZenAgain

BritishBerliner Wed 11-Jul-12 08:57:48

Hi There

We moved to Berlin (Zehlendorf) nearly a year ago with two kids who are now 10 (dd) and 13 (ds). Our kids spoke no German so we opted to send them to International School of which there are several in Berlin. We looked at two that had space but opted for the Berlin International School in Dahlem. The fees have been a struggle (we paid no fees in the UK) but they kids have settled well and the school is great. We saw getting the kids settled as the key to making the move a success. If you want to talk things over any more or give us a shout when you move and meet up for a chat then just send me a PM. It is a busy stressful time when you are moving overseas - we were a bit shell shocked for the first few months whilst we found our feet but Berlin is a wonderful city and people are very helpful.

Good luck

Owen148 Fri 21-Sep-12 01:06:24

We are moving to Berlin in two weeks!!! Yikes.... Will be living in the dahlem area, I have two kids, my 6 year old has got a

Owen148 Fri 21-Sep-12 01:08:56

We are moving to Berlin in two weeks!!! Yikes.... Will be living in the dahlem area, I have two kids, my 6 year old has got a Place at Jfks in 1st grade and now looking for my youngest who is 4 1/2, thinking maybe the Berlin international school?? Any comments or advice on schools and finding a place to live would be greatly apprecIated, thank you

AggieP Thu 18-Oct-12 21:46:12

Best of luck finding a spot for a child under six. Berlin is great in that the government offers "free" kita (kindy) places to kids between 3-6 years, but finding a place is ridiculously hard. My son was three when we moved to Berlin and it took about six months before he was able to start--and that was in an all German kita. Some children apparently do quite well in immersion environments, but for us it was a disaster.

Dahlem is lovely, though a little bit far out. The Berlin Metropolitan School is income based, but cheaper than a number of the international schools. It's near Friedrichstrasse and seems fairly decent. There weren't any places for my son, but he's now a bit older than your son and perhaps there's a place in their kindy group for him. These types of schools often keep places open for people who have newly moved to Berlin, by the way, so it's easier to get in when you've just arrive than when you've been here a while. smile Their kindergarten is bilingual, with two teachers in each class: one has to be a German native speaker and one has to be an English native speaker. They seem quite nice.

If you're getting a car, the Berlin British School has a very popular kita. It's quite a trek out from Dahlem if you're catching the train, but they have a good reputation. Warning: the Berlin British School has fees significantly higher than a lot of other kindergartens.

Somebody recommended the Schele Schule to me. They're also private and bilingual. I didn't really look into them, but it might be an option.

Aufgepasst ( is another bilingual kindergarten. They didn't have a place for us so I've never been there, but a lot of people recommended it to me. I don't believe Aufgepasst is private as such.

Sara Kita ( opened fairly recently and have been advertising that they actually have places! Another bilingual kita with two teachers--one English and one German--in each class, it's again a little far from you but if you have a car it might be an option. This one isn't exactly private, but there's a small fee every month on top of the kita-gutschein (what the government pays).

I'm sure there are others, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Best of luck!

CS03609 Fri 19-Oct-12 21:25:07

I´m afraid I´ve written this on another thread recently, but the "Montessori Preschool" is an English speaking Kita in Dahlem where my son goes and my daughter went. It is private at present but it is really really good! - I was so pleased to find it after having bad experiences elsewhere.

PeriPathetic Sun 28-Oct-12 10:12:45

BIS is lovely. Especially if you're in Dahlem.
Wouldn't recommend trying BBS as the drive will be horrific during those hours. Actually wouldn't recommend BBS at all...

Chinabow Wed 09-Jan-13 12:08:18

Can anyone tell me anything about the Berlin Metropolitan School? I have places there for my two children next month and have visited there and had a fairly positive impression of it, but can't find any more info on it. Does anyone have experience of the school?

Sarahogilvies Sat 27-Jun-15 08:36:55

Could anyone tell my how they find the Berlin metropolitan school? We are moving to Berlin from London in September and thinking of enrolling our son for the early learning there he has just turned 3.

Many thanks


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