In Sweden all children go to school together for nine years. So there is no division after elementary school, the Grundskola. In the year before starting school, most children attend pre-school. This is often located in the primary school building. The primary school is divided into lower, middle and upper grades. Compulsory schooling ends after the nine school years.
Those who want to do the Abitur then go to a grammar school for another three years. This is called Gymnasieskola in Swedish. In Sweden, by the way, most students go to school: nine out of ten students go to high school. Check toppharmacyschools to see schooling information in other European countries.
Notes and more
Swedish students only get grades from the 6th grade onwards. A is the best grade, with an F you fail. At lunchtime the students get a free meal. Transport to school as well as school books and exercise books also cost nothing. The school day ends in the early afternoon. The school year starts in mid to late August and ends next June. In June there is the graduation party. There is singing and music being made. And summer is welcomed! After all, it means sun and ice, bathing and strawberries. The summer vacation lasts for almost ten weeks! There are two school semesters like ours.
Swedish students should learn to work independently at an early age. So at the beginning of the week they draw up a plan together with the teacher for what they want to do during the week. It also states when the student works alone and when he learns with a group.
The graduation, which is called the student exam, is celebrated in a big way. The day is also called the day of the white hats, because all students wear white hats that look like sailors’ hats. You can see that in the photo. The festival always takes place on April 30th. Everyone is then left out.
What are the names of Swedish children?
The most popular Swedish girl names are Alice, Maja, Elsa, Ella, Julia, Ebba, Alicia, Olivia, Alva and Wilma. Boys are particularly often named Lucas, William, Oscar, Oliver, Hugo, Charlie, Liam, Alexander, Axel and Elias. In the entire population of Sweden, Maria and Erik are the most common given names.
And the last names? Many surnames end in -son. That used to be the name for “son of” – so Larsson was Lars’ son. Until 1901 it was customary to assign names like this. Anders Gustavsson’s son was called Andersson by his last name.
The surnames Andersson, Johannsson, Karlsson, Nilsson and Eriksson are particularly common today. The endings -ström, -lund and -quist are also typical for Sweden. The most common names that do not end in -son are Lindberg, Lindström, and Lindgren. Many components of the name come from nature: Lind means linden tree, Holm is a small island, Ström a body of water, Gren a branch. Astrid Lindgren would be Astrid Lindenzweig in German!
How do Swedish children live?
Ten weeks of summer vacation – how would you like that? Since the summers are usually warm, you can also swim wonderfully in one of the many lakes or in the sea. Many families have a holiday home where a lot of time is spent in summer. The winters are cold and long, but when there is snow, you can also go sledding or skiing.
Sport is popular at all. Many children have a sporting hobby such as ice hockey, soccer or dancing. Others play a musical instrument. Swedish children of course also enjoy reading, watching TV and playing computer games.
For shopping, most families go into one of the major supermarkets. They are also open on weekends. You pay with Swedish kronor, that’s the name of the currency here. There are often self-scanners: you scan your goods yourself and then pay with a credit card.
If you are invited to Sweden, you always take off your shoes – even the adults! It is also common to cut off a piece of a cake yourself. In many cafés, you get what you want at the counter and pay straight away. Waiting at the table can strain your patience…
Midsummer in Sweden
Along with Christmas, midsummer is the most important festival in Sweden. It is celebrated on Saturday between June 20th and 26th. It doesn’t get dark in Sweden at this time of year. The midsummer tree is set up on Friday, a pole decorated with leaves and flowers. You dance in a circle around this midsummer tree. There are different play dances. Women mostly wear light-colored dresses, girls get a wreath in their hair.