Ampelmännchen

In the eastern parts of Germany the symbol that tells you when to cross the road is called an Ampelmann.

He is very beloved!

Here are some we saw in Leipzig.

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There are now even some Ampelmädchen in some of the cities.  Here are some we saw in Dresden.

 

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School in Germany

It is HOT! in Europe in the moment.  It’s probably hard for you to believe while it is cold in Sydney just now.  But even their hot weather isn’t as unpleasant as our really hot Sydney summer days.

I met some Year 5 students here who wanted to know if we have “Hitzefrei” (heat-free) when it gets too hot.  At their school, if the temperature goes above 30 degrees celsius, school is canceled.  Can you imagine that?  We would hardly go to school! They can’t believe that we don’t have Hitzefrei, or how hot it gets for us.  But they were glad to hear that we have air conditioning at our school (they don’t).

The students had many questions about school, and as I showed them photos, they couldn’t believe our uniforms!

Everywhere we go, people are astounded that we have been able to pull our children out of school, as German regulations around this are very strict – the maximum extra time you can take your child out of school is 2 days, and they cannot adjoin holidays. You have to seek permission and have a very good reason!  Police go to the airports on the last day of school, and if parents can’t produce the child’s report (issued on the last day), they receive massive fines for breaking these laws.

Austria’s rules are not quite as strict as Germany’s.  They are allowed to have a maximum of 1 week out of school, and permission is sought from the Government to do this.

German children have so much more independence and much more is expected of them.  School starts by 8, and is usually finished by 11.30.  There are no casual teachers, so teachers are not replaced if a teacher is absent (at least in upper primary and high school).  Many schools put their timetable online, and students can check in the morning to see what their lessons are, and if any are canceled.  They are expected to do some work on their own, or go home and come back again. High school starts from Year 5 onwards.

In Year 5, students learn German and English and 1 other language!!!, the level of proficiency is impressive, because they have at least 5 lessons a week of their other languages, so everyone has the opportunity to become fluent.

Students pass a “walk to school test” at around Year 2 age.  They receive their “Walk to School Licence” – then they are expected to walk to school on their own, and many will be allowed to walk home alone (even if their parents are not at home yet).

There is an after-school program for younger students whose parents work.

Schools also conduct bike riding lessons, and when the students are ready, the police assess whether they pass and receive their Licence.

In the towns and cities, there are so many aspects of life like this, that mean it’s easy to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.

 

What do you think about all the things that are different?  Which things do you prefer? The German way or the Australian way?

Which language would you like with that?

We have arrived in the UK, and already I love the way I can see how people are aware of some other languages that are spoken.

We popped into McDonald’s for some familiar food yesterday…  The kids love to use the screens to order their own meals.  Look what we saw!

 

Have you ever seen this before?

maccas languages 1

We had a look at the French screen:

 

maccas languages 3

And the German screen:

 

maccas languages 2

Are there any words you can work out?

 

Can you find out what the other languages are?

 

Can’t wait to tell you more!

 

Frau Holmes!

 

 

 

 

Alles Gute zum Schulanfang!

Herzlich Wilkommen!

Some new Kindergarten classes started their German learning journey this term!  In celebration, I have given them all a small Schultüte, (school bag) which is something children in Germany receive on their first day of school!

Starting school in Germany is a significant milestone, just as it is here, but it’s possibly even more important.  The family will celebrate together, and the new student will receive a Schultüte packed with treats and things they need, including a backpack.

If you’d like to read more about it, we read together from herealles gute zum schulanfang.jpg.

I hope you check back in regularly to see what we are learning!

 

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Es ist Winter!

Es ist Winter!

 

It’s not long until our WinterFest!  I hope you can join us for some European Wintry Fun! Keep an eye out for information in the Newsletter!

Have you seen the German Tree in the Library?

It looks like a true Winterbaum!  It is covered in glitzende Schneeflocken that Year 2 made for me.

 

Winter = Winter

Baum = tree

Glitzende = glittering

Schneeflocke = snowflake

 

Funkel Funkel Kleiner Stern

This is the name of a song you know quite well:  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

We are learning this in German in Kindergarten.

We heard a German story called “Sterntaler” – it is a fairy tale about a girl who gives away everything she has, but then stars fall from the sky to give her new clothes and coins.

Here is a shadow puppet show of the story (in German).  We listened to an English explanation in class.

 

Here is a link to a lovely sing-along video of the song.

Viel Spaß!

Hallo!

Herzlich Wilkommen!

Welcome to German!

In Kindergarten this year we will have a fabulous time learning German together through games, songs and other activities.

Whenever we watch a video or learn a song at school, I will share it with you on this blog so you can join in at home.

Starting school in Germany is a very exciting and important adventure.  Families celebrate with a special party, cake, and a very special gift called a Schultüte.