Starting school is a big step for any child, however, it is also a real challenge for the parents – especially when you are sending your child to a different school system than the one you grew up in. It can be difficult to know where to get information and how to start.
Thankfully, we have a local parent, Louisa Bihi, here to give us a bit more information on what to expect and how you can prepare for your child’s first day at school! 🤗
In Germany, when children start school, it is a big deal.
The Schultüte is fit to burst with goodies, children turn up to the “Einschulung” (first day of school enrollment) ceremony in their Sunday best with parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles in tow. Cake is eaten afterwards, or perhaps they eat out somewhere, and some families just have a party.
What to expect for your child’s first day of school
Generally, there is a ceremony of some sort in the school gym hall, expect it to be bursting at the seams, so get there early if you want a seat. Generally, the schools advise only parents attend as there is limited space but don’t be surprised if many other family members turn up for it.
The older children already in school might sing some songs or put on a play to welcome the new 1st class kids (also referred to as i-Dötzchen – watch out for this term in the local paper to catch the photos). The kids are called out by name and class and are marched off to have their first lesson.
Good to note: Our school recommended that the school books etc. only be taken on the 2nd day of school as the lesson only lasts an hour and that bag will be heavy.
We hung around, ate cake, and drank tea whilst waiting for them to appear back. They then proceeded to the church ceremony in their classes and we followed the procession and took our pew in church. After the church service is over you have the rest of the day to celebrate.
Furthermore, many schools ask for the Schultüte to only be given to the children after the church service, but it is used as a photo prop by the majority of parents around the school. I followed the school’s advice and my daughter was one of the very very few who didn’t have her Schultüte. So my advice is to pack it light and keep any heavy goodies at home.
So at this point, if you are asking yourself – what on earth is a Schultüte? Let me help you out!
What is a Schultüte and what do I put inside?!
It is a cone-shaped goody bag which is given to children on their first day of school.
Where do you buy a Schultüte?
There are a couple of options: Most stationary shops sell them covered in Disney motives and popular fictional characters; you also have the possibility of making one – either from scratch or a kit. Check out craft shops – where you can buy just the cone itself or an assembly kit – be advised though that putting together a kit can consume a large amount of time so do make sure you are not cutting it too close.
Here is a list of a few shops that can help get you started:
- Euro Shop
- Creativ Discount
- Galeria Kaufhof
- Der Werkladen
Looking for more shops? Life in Düsseldorf has a list of 5 of the best art supply shops in Düsseldorf you can check out!
What goes in a Schultüte?
It’s up to you, but here is a list of popular items to get you started:
- Colored Pens
- School Stationery Items
Do you have more questions about living #LifeInDüsseldorf? Feel free to send us an email with your question at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have tips you’d like to share with others, we’re also accepting guest posts which include the author’s name, bio and photo.