Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


The Danish school system

My school days
Originally uploaded by viralbus

I blogged about the Scottish school system from a Danish perspective yesterday, so I thought I could reuse the same table with minor modifications to explain the Danish school system to Scots.

The Danish school system starts much later than the Scottish one. Before this, there are nurseries (vuggestue for wee kids and børnehave for bigger ones), but they’re not obligatory and there is no curriculum.

From “1. klasse” onwards, the kids have separate teachers for each subject, and the teachers will normally stay with the pupils for more than one year. In theory, a class might have the same maths teacher from they’re 7 till they’re 16.

The teachers for the first 9 (or 10) years have studied at a teaching college, not at a university, whereas they’re university-educated in secondary school.

There are several types of secondary school: The gymnasium prepares the pupils for university, but there are alternatives which focus more on commerce, construction and so on.

Oh, and there are no school uniforms in Danish schools, neither primary nor secondary ones.

Age of youngest in class at start of school year Age of oldest in class at start of school year Danish system Scottish system Comments
17½ 19½ 3. g./… Univ. Last year of secondary school, at the end of which they will sit an exam which will allow them to get into universities and other tertiary education.
16½ 18½ 2. g./… S6/univ.
15½ 17½ 1. g./… S5/S6 The first year of secondary school. There are several options here, see main text. Because of the non-obligatory “10. klasse”, the age spread is now two years instead of one.
15½ 16½ (10. kl.) S5 A non-obligatory year that pupils can take if they feel they’re not ready to move on to secondary school yet.
14½ 15½ 9. kl. S4 The last obligatory year of the Folkeskole (“popular school”). The kids are sitting exams at the end of it.
13½ 14½ 8. kl. S3
12½ 13½ 7. kl. S2
11½ 12½ 6. kl. S1
10½ 11½ 5. kl. P7
10½ 4. kl. P6
3. kl. P5
2. kl. P4
1. kl. P3 The first year of proper school.
0. kl. P2 First year of school. However, this year is considered an introduction, and the focus is still on play rather than formal learning. They might learn the shape of letters, but no real reading yet. Teaching is by nursery teachers rather than school teachers.

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