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1.3.3 Preparation for the working career

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How does school prepare their students for the working career? Here is the concept of the Realschule Uetze in Germany.

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1.3.3 Preparation for the working career

  1. 1. ____________________________________________ Concept of the Realschule Uetze Preparation for the working career I. General information The German educational system is not organized nationwide but is subject to the responsibility of the 16 federal states. While there are common standards for school curricula which have to be fulfilled by all the states, each federal state can choose the organization of their schooling system freely. Thus, there are considerable differences between the structures in education. In Lower-Saxony, 4 years of Primary School are followed by Secondary School Level I, which culminates in the school leaving certificate after grade 10. After that, there is Secondary School Level II, leading up to the ‘Abitur’. In Secondary School Level I, there are two parallel but different systems. On the one hand, there is the tripartite school system (Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium), in which three different proficiency levels are taught separately. On the other hand, there is the Integrated School (Integrierte Gesamtschule), which unites students of all proficiency levels. Right now, many communities are deciding for an integrated school and thus also the Realschule Uetze is in conversion at the moment. When achieving good to very good results, students of Haupt- and Realschule may go on to the Secondary Level II and thus attain an Abitur. In addition to the Gymnasium, which enables the students to study any field, there are a large number of professional schools that enable students to attain an Abitur that is restricted to a certain area of studies. The Realschule Uetze is following the goal of preparing the students for both options after grade 10: The continuation in Secondary Level II as well as a vocational apprenticeship. Deriving from this goal are the following measures in addition to the learning content.
  2. 2. II. Special programs and activities Grade 8: 1. Obligatory participation in „Future Day“ All the students from grade 8 visit a company of their choice to get to know a typical workday in this field. This day is followed up by presentations of the students in the subject ‘Economy’. They inform their classmates in a kind of presentation about their experience, give explanations on the profession and describe the typical work sequences. Thus, all the students get to know a multitude of companies, professions and operational procedures. 2. Plant visits en.wikipedia.org en.wikepedia.org flickr.com Realschule Uetze cooperates with different local companies, such as “Avista Oil”, a company that recycles used oil. All students of grade 8 take part in a plant visit at the companies’ place of business. It is followed up by a discussion with the personnel office. Students are told important information about the procedures of an application. Selected students also get to take part in a simulated job interview. 3. Application for an internship In German lessons, students are taught to write an application and a curriculum vitae for an internship that will take place in grade 9. flickr.com
  3. 3. II. Special programs and activities Grade 8: 1. Obligatory participation in „Future Day“ All the students from grade 8 visit a company of their choice to get to know a typical workday in this field. This day is followed up by presentations of the students in the subject ‘Economy’. They inform their classmates in a kind of presentation about their experience, give explanations on the profession and describe the typical work sequences. Thus, all the students get to know a multitude of companies, professions and operational procedures. 2. Plant visits en.wikipedia.org en.wikepedia.org flickr.com Realschule Uetze cooperates with different local companies, such as “Avista Oil”, a company that recycles used oil. All students of grade 8 take part in a plant visit at the companies’ place of business. It is followed up by a discussion with the personnel office. Students are told important information about the procedures of an application. Selected students also get to take part in a simulated job interview. 3. Application for an internship In German lessons, students are taught to write an application and a curriculum vitae for an internship that will take place in grade 9. flickr.com
  4. 4. Grade 9: 1. Preparation of application documents In German lessons, students prepare an application with application letter, curriculum vitae and enclosure containing school reports and additional certificates. 2. Application training The students get to know different kinds of tests applied by companies. On the one hand, a written test to assess their competencies in the areas of mathematics, verbal and writing skills and common knowledge. On the other hand, students learn about the determination of competencies of the capacity of teamwork and presentations in Assessments. Skilled personnel from different companies conduct simulated job interviews. en.wikipedia.org 3. Internships The students pass two 14-day-long internships in a company of their choice. The internships are prepared and followed up in the subject ‘Economy’ and are accompanied by the class teachers, who visit the students at their places of work. Each student makes a portfolio about both internships, that includes information on the company, day and week reports, as well as a detailed description of the occupational process. This portfolio is graded and part of the mark in the subject “Economy”. 4. Visit to an apprenticeship fair Together with their class teachers, the students visit ‘Vocatium’ in Hanover, a fair for apprenticeships, where companies present themselves to the students. Here, students can get in touch with certain companies and inform themselves about the possibilities and chances of an apprenticeship of their choice. flickr.com
  5. 5. 5. Help for applications In the subject ‘Economy’, students are shown the different options to find a place for an apprenticeship and they are offered help for the application procedure. 6. Career advisor Regularly, the students have the possibility of seeking the advice of a career advisor of the employment agency at school. commons.wikimedia.org Grade 10: 1. Informative meetings Together with their parents, students take part in an informative meeting about the career possibilities after finishing Realschule. 2. Social Security in professional life Part of the “Economy” curriculum is a unit about Social Security that includes information about income taxes and the obligatory insurances on health, nursing, pension and accident. flickr.com pixabay.com

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