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Sankt Augustin Menden Realschule, Germany

The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germanymarker, Austriamarker, Switzerlandmarker, and Liechtensteinmarker. It has also existed in Croatiamarker (realna gimnazija), Denmarkmarker (realskole), Swedenmarker (realskola), Hungarymarker (reáliskola) and Russian Empiremarker (Реальное училище).


In the German secondary school system, the Realschule is ranked between Hauptschule (lowest) and Gymnasium (highest). After graduating from Realschule, good students are allowed to attend a professional Gymnasium or a general-education Gymnasium. They can also attend a Berufskolleg or do an apprenticeship.

In most states of Germany, pupils start at a Realschule at the age of ten or eleven and typically finish school at the age of 16–17. In some states, Realschulen have recently been replaced by Oberschulen or Sekundarschulen.In 2006 1.32 million German students attended the Realschule.

At a Realschule, one gets an extended education.One learns a minimum of one foreign language, usually English. In the state of Baden-Württembergmarker one has to choose between technology, domestic economics or French (as the second foreign language) after the 6th grade. The new subject is the fifth main subject, after German, maths, science and English. It is possible to learn other foreign languages in free workshops.Other subjects are geography, social studies, economics, history, religious education and physical education. After 8th grade one has to choose between arts and music.


The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. While efforts were made to introduce more science into the classical schools generally, the Realschule offered a more scientific emphasis than the Gymnasium, with its emphasis on classics and humanities. In 1747, Hecker established at Berlinmarker an ökonomisch-mathematische Realschule, which may be regarded as the prototype of the Realschule of the twentieth century. The Realschule was a six-year course. The Oberrealschule had a nine-year course.

High school diplomas obtained in Canadamarker or the United Statesmarker are usually acknowledged as a Realschulabschluss (graduation of Realschule) and generally do not qualify the bearer for attending a German university.

Gymnasia and Realgymnasia are the classical higher or secondary schools of Germanymarker.


  • F. E. Bolton, Secondary School System of Germany, (New York, 1900)
  • J. E. Russell, German Higher Schools, (New York, 1907)

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