School examination: This is what you and your child can expect

Shortly before your child starts school, the school examination is usually due. Find out who conducts the school examination, what happens there, and why there’s no need to worry before the school examination. We have put together 10 frequently asked questions about school examinations and answered them for you.

School examination: what is it?

The Pre-School Screening , sometimes called the “School Entry Screening (SEU)” or “S1”, is conducted to assess whether your child is physically, mentally, and socially ready for school. However, you should always bear in mind that the school examination cannot provide any general statements about the developmental status of your child. The school examination is only a snapshot, because if your child is tired or reacts anxiously to the unfamiliar situation, this will affect the test result. By the way: The results also provide valuable data on the health of a vintage. The test results are evaluated anonymously in order to obtain statistical values.

Is the school examination compulsory?

As a rule, the school examination is prescribed in all federal states in the school law, which is why it is compulsory for all future first graders. How exactly the school examination is carried out is regulated differently in each federal state, for example how long it lasts, when it takes place or what exactly is tested.

Who conducts the school examination?

The school examination is carried out by the municipal health authorities. A special and experienced school doctor who works on behalf of the health department will examine your child. The 30 to 45-minute examination takes place either on the premises of the health department, in the kindergarten or in your child’s future primary school.

When does your child have to go to school?

Normally you will receive an invitation from the responsible health authority for the school examination. Depending on where you live, this will be sent by post or distributed by the kindergarten or when registering for school. So if you have questions about the exact date for the school examination, you can contact your city’s health department, kindergarten or elementary school.

What should you bring to the school examination?

If you take your child to the school examination, it is best to take your child’s invitation, vaccination card and yellow health record book with you. This makes the doctor’s work easier and he doesn’t have to ask you so many questions about your child’s development, illnesses or vaccinations.

What is tested during the school examination?

During the school examination, the school doctor would like to determine whether your child has developed according to their age and is up to the demands of school. The doctor will ask you some questions about your child’s development and he wants to know if your child has had serious illnesses or accidents. He will also give your child a brief physical exam, do a vision and hearing test, determine their weight and height, and carry out some tests on their mental and motor development .

Does your child have to prepare for the school examination?

Usually no special preparation is necessary. The school examination is by no means an examination, but merely a medical examination during which your child should feel comfortable. That’s why you shouldn’t build up any pressure in advance or give your child the feeling that they have to do something special.

What should your child be able to do at the school examination?

The doctor will playfully test whether your child is ready for school, i.e. has reached certain age-typical developmental stages. Can your child…

  • write your own name?
  • Name colors and shapes?
  • stand on one leg and hop?
  • walk forwards and backwards in a line?
  • count to ten?
  • Recognize image differences?
  • paint a picture based on a template?
  • pronounce all linguistic sounds correctly?
  • follow multi-part prompts?

If you would like to find out more about what your child should be able to do when they start school, you can find out more in our article “School ability checklist: Is your child ready for school?” .

What happens to the results of the school examination?

The doctor will discuss the results of the school examination with you in detail and, if necessary, tell you whether further examinations or supportive measures are necessary. Your child’s school will receive a school doctor’s report, which will make a general note as to whether your child has increased support needs in certain areas. However, the exact results of the school examination will be treated confidentially, which means that your child’s teacher will not find out anything about it without your consent.

What to do if something is wrong with the school examination?

As a rule, the results of the school examination will not come as a big surprise to you. Normal values ​​are found in most children on examination. If there is really still a need for support in an area, you will certainly have noticed this in kindergarten or during a U-examination , or you have already noticed it yourself. The school examination is therefore only an additional control. If the school doctor finds serious delays in development, the parents can, in rare cases, apply for a later school enrollment. In the meantime, however, this is more of an exception, because as many children of a year as possible should be enrolled in school in good time.

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