Recently, it was "get-to-know day" at Amy's school: where the children who would start school next year would get divided up into classes, so they would get to know who would be their teacher next year and who would be in their class with them.
Amy will be in class 1a with Mrs Wimmer. Each preschool student was allowed to list three children they would like to have in a class with them, and all three of Amy's picks could be considered: her best friends Erik and Vivien and her friend Levin (the latter two from her preschool class, the former from our neighbourhood).
When we had sent Amy to preschool there, we had hoped that she would stay together with that group of children for several years, so we were a bit disappointed when we heard that the two preschool classes would be chopped up and divided among the three first grade classes. But in practice, Amy's group was divided up among only two classes and most of the other group seemed to end up in the third class (with all three classes being "topped up" with children who had not attended preschool there), so Amy knows eight of the twenty-three children in her class already, which is better than nothing.
The day started with the principal's greeting the children in the aula. Then they were divided up into classes and they went up to their future classrooms for about twenty minutes. Then they came back outside to the playground, where the parents would wait for them. They each got a little envelope with the time and day of their first day of school (since Amy is in 1a, her class has the first-day-of-school ceremony first on that day).
What I found interesting was that the envelope also contained an invitation to a going-to-school service in the local church. I wonder whether this was an official communication of the school (and if so, what happened to church and state?) or whether this was something the church came up with independently and got permission to distribute invitations via the school to children (and if so, whether other religious or non-religious groups than the majority Lutheran one would be able to get such permission, too, e.g. what would happen if a local mosque invited children to a service).
A couple of days later was the first parent-teacher conference, which I attended. The teacher introduced herself to the parents, and we introduced ourselves and our children briefly. There were lots of forms to fill out. The teacher also went over the class schedule - or rather, the subjects and the hours per week, since there is no fixed timetable. They'll have English right from grade one, though at one hour a week, it won't be more than a basic introduction, I imagine. Religion also gets one hour a week. Arithmetic and German get the most time, with subjects such as P.E. and drama in between.
There were several pairs of children with the same name in the first grade; I think I counted two Leas and two Eriks (and there was one Selina and another one who had that name as her middle name). For the most part, they are in separate classes, but Amy's class will have two Florians. We'll see how that works out. (Also in Amy's class are an Angelina sometimes called "Gina" and another child just called Gina. I expect that Angelina will go by her full name, then.)