School for me/for my child

At what time does school start?

That is determined by every school itself. At most schools, teaching starts at 8 o’ clock; at some schools, slightly earlier or slightly later. Teaching always starts on time! It is expec­ted that children are already sitting in the classroom a few minutes before the lesson starts and have already unpacked their school things. Ideally, children come to school 10 to 15 minutes before the start of lessons.

Do I have to know my children’s teachers?

Yes, you should. Go to the parents’ evening (it is held approximately once a semester) or visit one or more teachers in their parent-teacher meeting hours. Each teacher has a parent-teacher meeting hour once a week. Parents who talk to their children’s teachers are seen to be interested and also help their children.

Is my child allowed to miss lessons every now and then?

Only if he or she is ill. School is mandatory in Austria. It is very important for your child to attend school.

Does my child have to learn for school at home?

Schoolchildren are given homework. It is expected that the homework is done and handed in on time. Children often have a booklet for notifications that contains the deadlines for schoolwork and other messages from the school that you have to read and sign. Or they bring a parent’s letter home from school that contains important information. In it, you will also learn on what days there are no lessons (discretionary school days). Please take note of this!

Do all children have to attend a pre-school establish­ment?

Yes; attendance of a pre-school establishment is mandatory at least in the year before they go to school. If you would like your child to learn German quickly, he or she should attend pre-school as often as possible and for as many years as possible.

Can I send my child to an Islamic school?

The state and religion are separated in Austria. Your child should attend a state school so that he or she learns German and participates in social life. There is Christian and Islamic religious education at state schools. Additional religious teaching can only take place at the weekends.

Does my child have to participate in physical education lessons at school?

Yes, that is a mandatory lesson which all girls and boys have to participate in. Girls and boys also have to learn to swim. At primary school, physical education lessons and swimming lessons are held jointly for girls and boys. Nobody is allowed to refuse to participate.

Can my child learn to play an instrument?

Music is an important cultural asset in Austria. Many children learn to play an instrument. This is seen as a valuable experience and is not seen as 'haram' in Austria.

Should my child attend a dance course?

Dancing is normal and popular in Austria. In most cases, men and women dance together. Dance courses are a good opportunity to make new contacts.

How can I learn German?

Ask about language courses for asylum seekers; perhaps there is one offered near you. Television can also help you to get used to the German language. If you have the opportunity to be active in a club or in the neighbourhood, you will also be able to speak German in the process and get support in learning German.

How do my children learn German most quickly?

At school and when talking to and playing with children who are native speakers of the language! The more your child is with native speakers of German, the quicker he or she will learn German himself. If you yourself do not yet speak German that well, it is better for you to speak to your child in your native language so that he or she does not forget this language either. Learning German is the most important thing but the more languages you speak, the better!