Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions & Admissions
German is the second most spoken language in Europe and the most sought-after foreign language in the Irish job market. By teaching our students bilingually from Pre School on, we nurture their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhance concentration, support their ability to multitask, and better listening skills.
We offer not only language classes, but our students have the opportunity to study STEAM subjects and History through German from 5th Class on, thus raising truly multilingual young adults. On top of that, we share a campus and classes in the Junior Cycle with the students of the Lycée Français d’Irlande (LFI), presenting them with a unique international environment that fosters intercultural competences. Of course, we also fully embrace the Irish culture. We do follow the Irish Curriculum in our Primary School and in Secondary, all our students sit the Junior and Leaving Certificate.
We are proud to offer our students a holistic education and support them to become individuals of integrity, to be independent in thought, open-minded, and confident.
Our aim is to foster personal responsibility and promote active citizenship in Europe and the world.
For Kindergarten and Primary School, parents are advised to apply as early as possible as there is always a strong demand for places. Offers will be made in the October before a child is due to start.
For Secondary School applications we are required to follow the regulations of the Schools Admissions Act 2018 which specifies when applications for 1st year places (7th class) can be accepted by the school. Offers are made as per the dates of the Admissions Notice.
More information is available on our Admissions page.
An Open Day is held in October of each year during which parents and their children can view the school and meet teachers and students. (Please note the due to Covid recent Open Days have been held virtually.)
Please refer to the selection criteria as set out in the Admissions policy for Primary and Secondary school.
We do not offer scholarships at the moment.
Our policy states that we cannot have more than 26 children in a class. We do however often have smaller groups, especially in the German Curriculum Stream with an average of 15 children per class.
As we do not have a defined catchment area, we do not have a school bus.
Yes, we have a school canteen which offers a wide range of varied, healthy foods which are cooked on the premises. Currently, due to Covid, the canteen is only used by Secondary School pupils but we are looking at options of making it available to Primary School pupils again in the future.
For Kindergarten and younger Primary pupils it is recommended that they bring their own packed lunches and snacks from home.
For the senior pupils in Secondary School, there are several microwaves placed around the break rooms, so our students can heat up food they brought in.
We have three astroturf tennis courts, a hockey and soccer astroturf pitch, a running track and long-jump pit. We also have basketball facilities and table tennis. Our gym is fully equipped, and we are proud to offer PE as a Leaving Cert subject. For swimming we use the nearby UCD facilities.
We are an inter-denominational school and teach Religion classes from 1st-6th Class.
In Secondary, we offer Ethics and Philosophy during the Senior Cycle. We also provide special First Communion and Confirmation classes in School in the afternoons in 2nd and 6th Class.
Yes, there are one-to-one Parent/Teacher meetings online in Primary and Secondary.
Kindergarten, Vorschule and Primary up to 2nd Class finish at 12.50pm every day.
3rd and 4th class finish at the following times:
- Monday 2.50 p.m.
- Tuesday 2.50 p.m.
- Wednesday 12.50 p.m.
- Thursday 2.50 p.m.
- Friday 12.50 p.m.
5th and 6th class finish at the following times:
- Mondays at 4.10pm
- Tuesdays at 2.50pm
- Wednesdays at 12.50pm
- Thursdays at 2.50pm and
- Fridays at 12.50pm.
Secondary School finishes at 4.10pm (Monday-Thursday) and 12.50pm on Fridays.
You can find an overview of the school holidays here.
In Junior and Senior Infants homework is sent via email once a week.
In Primary, homework is posted on Teams during the pandemic. Otherwise, homework will be noted down in the Schülerheft.
In Secondary, homework is not conveyed to parents. The students are expected to organise their workload themselves. They will all be issued a Schülerheft and have a Teams account.
Kindergarten and Primary: You can either use the Aladdin app or the “Notice of Absence” section on our homepage or you can email email@example.com.
Secondary: Please use the Compass App to register your child’s absence.
A parental note is required to be excused from Sport. If a student cannot participate for more than one lesson, a medical note will be required. Children not participating must go with their classmates to where Sport is taking place, be that inside or outside.
We have a system of who to contact for queries and complaints.
Secondary School ladder of referral:
- subject teacher
- class teacher
- Year Head
- Deputy principal or Principal.
- subject teacher
- class teacher
- Deputy Head of Primary or Head of Primary.
Parents are welcome to email the teachers and arrange a private meeting with them. All email addresses can be found on the Parent Portal of our website (accessible to current parents only).
Our St. Kilian’s German School and the Lycée Français d’Irlande (LFI) share an innovative educational project – the Eurocampus.
During Junior Cycle, St. Kilian’s students are taught in mixed classes with their peers from the LFI. The integration begins in 6th class where our pupils enjoy sports lessons and social events with the LFI students to allow them to get to know one another before they merge in the Secondary School.
The Eurocampus provides a unique European learning experience in which students not only study together, but they forge friendships and develop an in-depth understanding of each other’s language and culture.
More information here.
Yes, St. Kilian’s offers a summer camp for our Kindergarten and Primary pupils on the school grounds. Detailed information and prices will be sent to parents before the summer holidays.
Our tennis coach is also running tennis camps every summer.
Yes, the Board of Management is publishing all non-confidential Board Meeting Minutes on the Parent Portal. Once a year, the Board of Management informs the school community in-depth about school operations at the AGM.
The Board of Management governs school policies and makes decisions regarding fees based on the financial situation of the School. The BoM consists of the Principal and Head of Kindergarten and Primary, one elected teacher representative for each Primary and Secondary and German and English Panels consisting of elected parents.
Every parent who would like to dedicate their time and would like to actively work on policies, etc., can put themselves up for election at the AGM.
The parent members of the Board will be elected for a three-year-term, after which they can put themselves forward for re-election. After 6 years of serving as a Board member, they have to stand down for at least a year before seeking to be elected again. Legislative and pedagogical policies are communicated to the PA for the information of the parents’ body. For non-legislative policies (Healthy Eating policy etc.) they are communicated to the PA for comment or feedback. The BoM ratifies all school policies before they are published.
Language requirements & acquisition
There is no German language test to enter the German mother tongue class or the German Curriculum Stream. The German teachers and the German Curriculum Coordinator will decide which children are admitted to the different German groups based on their previous performance. Parents can always request a review if desired.
No, you do not have to speak German to start in St. Kilian’s. Our students will be divided in different German groups based on their German level and taught appropriately. Usually, German foreign speakers will be able to enter our German Curriculum Stream after a few years of German in Primary. Nevertheless, all students, whether they do the German Curriculum Stream or not, will sit the Sprachdiplom Exam in 12th Class that enables them to study in Germany.
(Please note, that if you would like to join St. Kilian’s during the Senior Cycle, you need proficient German language skills to take German as a Leaving Certificate subject. For more information, please contact the School Secretary.)
No, for students having moved to Ireland from abroad, we offer English classes until they are able to follow the normal curriculum.
The criteria for exemption are very limited and most children will have to study Irish and sit the Junior and Leaving Certificate in Irish. For more information on the exemption of Irish, you can visit www.citizeninformation.ie.
The school offers extra German/English lessons for newcomers until they are able to follow the normal curriculum. These students will be taken out of some classes and will be taught by a special subject teacher. This facility is determined by resources available to the school.
That depends on when they have joined the school. We have many children who started in Kindergarten with no German at all and have gone on to participate in the German Curriculum Stream, where they were able to study STEAM subjects through German and have done the Bilingual Leaving Cert. They leave the school fluent in German and have been able to start studying in Germany.
We are proud to truly immerse our students in the German culture and offer them many exchanges and work experience in Germany. They are taught by native German speakers and teachers working for the German Department of Education, thus offering them German classes on a much higher level than any other school in Ireland. They will also have many German native speakers as friends which allows them to converse in German on a daily basis with their peers. Even if your child has only joined St. Kilian’s for the last few years in Secondary, they will still sit the German Sprachdiplom, a German language certificate that certifies standards of German language skills required to study or work in Germany.
Through intensive and enhanced German lessons in small groups, our students achieve a level of German language proficiency that is above the level of the Leaving Certificate. All of our students sit the Sprachdiplom, a German language certificate that certifies standards of German language skills required to study or work in Germany. The Sprachdiplom is a passport for entry to German universities and thus provides unique opportunities. More information here.
Kindergarten & Primary School
Pupils entering Kindergarten (Junior Infants) must be at least 4 years old on or before 31st May of the year of entry. Pupils entering 1st class must be at least 6 years old on or before 31st May of the year of entry.
In our Kindergarten (ages 4-6) we combine elements of the German Kindergarten education with those of the Irish primary school curriculum. In structured classes we follow the Jolly Phonics programme with a native English-speaking teacher. All teachers in the Kindergarten are fluent German and English speakers.
Our One Teacher – One Language approach means that we have two teachers in each group, with one teacher communicating exclusively through German and one exclusively through English. The German teachers will cover a wide range of topics from the area of EVS such as seasons, festivities, etc.
All Vorschule teachers will jointly discuss the allocation. The objective is that genders, German-native and foreign speakers are evenly split into the new classes.
St. Kilian’s is an inter-denominational school. Similarly to German schools, our pupils do not wear a uniform.
German and English are taught from Junior Infants onwards. We have a very effective “One teacher – one language” approach in Junior and Senior Infant Classes where one teacher exclusively speaks German, and another exclusively English in each group. We also follow the Jolly Phonics curriculum, but otherwise do not have a fully structured timetable in JI and SI, so that our students have plenty of time to learn through play.
In Primary, our classes are taught by a mix of Primary school teachers and specialist teachers for subjects such as German, Music and PE, thus allowing our pupils to benefit from the teachers’ varied and specialist experience.
From 5th class, our students have the unique opportunity to join the German Curriculum Stream in addition to the Irish curriculum. Irish as a language is introduced in 3rd class.
We are also very proud to offer daily PE lessons for 1st to 4th class and three weekly periods of PE for 5th and 6th class.
Our classes start earlier than other schools at 8.25 am. This is partly based on the German timetable where Primary schools would start around 7.45 am and end around 12.30 pm.
As we are already teaching bilingually through German and English from Junior Infants onwards, we have found that starting Irish later in Primary works best. Experience has shown that our students are not disadvantaged by this approach. They quickly catch up and are fully able to sit the Junior Cert on a Higher Irish level.
Officially, the children will have graded tests or Klassenarbeiten from 3rd class on. They do have assessments before that, of course.
In 6th Class, we organise a very popular week-long stay at an Irish College on the West Coast of Ireland.
Yes, in 4th Class, we take our students swimming at the UCD facilities during PE lessons.
Secondary School & Eurocampus
Yes. We believe that the Transition Year helps our students to mature and our Career guidance and work experience – highlight is a three-week work placement in Hamburg, Germany – will help them make more informed decisions which subjects to take during the Senior Cycle and ultimately which course they would like to study after graduating.
St. Kilian’s is proud to be one of very few schools to offer our students the opportunity to take all three Science subjects (Biology, Physics and Chemistry) at the same time as Leaving Cert subjects.
As they move into the senior cycle, our students have a further opportunity to increase their language competence and the chance to set themselves apart from their peers: They can choose to be prepared for a Bilingual Leaving Certificate which requires them to study two subjects, German and History, through a mixture of German and English and they are also assessed through both languages in a written paper. This subject is fully approved by the Department of Education and is unique to our school. The Bilingual LC has supported our students into undergraduate programmes at Irish, German and international universities, including Cambridge, Oxford and Georgetown University in the US.
(Please note: All students can do the Bilingual Leaving Certificate, whether they have attended the German Curriculum Stream or not.)
Our average class size in 5th and 6th year is 16-18 students. These small groups are very conducive to learning and have enabled our students to consistently perform above average in State examinations.
Yes, through intensive and enhanced German lessons in small groups, our students achieve a level of German language proficiency that is above the level of the Leaving Certificate. All of our students are given the option to sit the Sprachdiplom, a German language certificate that certifies standards of German language skills required to study or work in Germany.
St. Kilian’s also has partnerships with German universities such as the TU Munich and is happy to help our students apply for scholarships at German universities.
In Secondary, St. Kilian’s offers his students several opportunities to participate in a student exchange. This is not dependent on how long you have studied German in our school. Everyone gets a chance to participate in an exchange if they so wish.
In 7th Class we offer an exchange with Würzbug in Bavaria, Germany.
In 8th Class we offer an exchange with The Hague, Netherlands.
In 9th Class we offer an exchange with Cologne, Germany.
In 10th Class we offer a three-week work experience in Hamburg, Germany.
In the Senior Cycle, we offer a Sport exchange with Brussels, Belgium.
In addition to that we also organise international trips with Jugend musiziert and Jugend filmt and our school also participates in other European programmes, such as Erasmus Plus, an exchange programme together with schools in Germany, Estonia and Spain.
More information here.
Aftercare and Afterschool Activities (Kindergarten & Primary School)
Children in Afternoon Care are encouraged to do their homework and are allowed to play indoors and outdoors. We provide further afterschool activities, such as drama, sports, etc. that can be booked individually. You can find an overview of all extracurricular activities here. (Please note: Only a limited number of the listed activities are available during Covid).
The cost of Afternoon Care depends on how many days a week you book and if your child will stay until 2, 4 or 5pm. You can download the current price list here. (Please note: Due to the Covid pandemic, our Afternoon Care is only open until 4pm at the moment.)
Time is given for homework as a matter of routine. However, children with extracurricular activities such as hockey may not have time to complete their homework. In addition, reading practice and the learning of spellings and vocabulary is not done in Aftercare.
Every class has their own Aftercare telephone number that you need to call. The teachers will then bring the children to the main entrance next to the office.
That varies from year to year and age group. Click here for a list of extracurricular activities that are usually offered in Primary School (limited offer during Covid).
An enrolment form with the activities on offer will be published at the beginning of each half year.
Please send an email to the teacher supervising the activity or call the office and let them know.
If the teacher is not at the gate, then the child will have been brought to their aftercare class. Ring the aftercare mobile number and the aftercare teacher will bring your child to the balcony entrance of the school (overlooking the car park).
No, there is no need to book Aftercare for half an hour. The children will be supervised from 12.50pm-1.30pm and will be brought to the after-school activity.
We follow the TUSLA recommendation for the teacher/pupil ratio.
We usually have one teacher for each class during afternoon care. Only if the number of enrolled students is very low (e.g.: one or two children in a class), children might be supervised together with another class.
You can book Supervised Studies for Secondary School students from 4.10pm until 6pm, Monday to Thursday. The fees will be published here at the beginning of each school year.
We would very much like to offer Aftercare longer than 4pm again. But this will be subject to review in due course.
The German Curriculum Stream starts in 5th Class and ends after 10th Class. Some subjects are additionally taught in German and through the German curriculum. At the moment, St. Kilian’s offers History, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics as subjects taught through German. Students who attend the German Curriculum Stream will sit an exam issued by the German authorities in 10th Class and will receive a certificate upon success.
The German Curriculum Stream runs on top of the Junior Certificate, thus being quite a challenging programme.
More information here.
Sek-I is short for the German term “Sekundarstufe I” that describes the first Cycle in a German Secondary school from Years 5-9. Sek-II (Sekundarstufe II) can be compared to the Irish Senior Cycle that prepares the students for the final exam, the German Abitur. Our School offers a Sek-I Programme from 5-9th Class and the first Year of the Sek-II Programme in 10th Class. Together they are called the German Curriculum Stream in our School.
More info here.
The Irish curriculum is often focused on reproduction of subject matter content, especially for the Junior and the Leaving Certificate.
In a very different approach, the German system puts heavy emphasis on the independent development of thoughts and concepts as well as the interpretation of learning content. The students are encouraged and challenged to think critically and to represent their own point of view in a clear and structured manner.
Through many different types of presentations, the students are optimally prepared not only for the Secondary school, but also for the Irish Leaving Certificate as well as for studying after graduation. The German curriculum in 10th Class stretches beyond the Junior Cycle content as it covers some content from the 11th and 12th Classes of the Irish Senior Cycle.
If your child’s German teacher makes a recommendation for the German Curriculum Stream, we would definitely advise it. The pupils not only learn more intensively in German and are then able to communicate on a native speaker level, but the programme prepares the students for the Senior Cycle in a special way, as many topics taught in 10th Class are also relevant for their Senior Cycle subject choices.
Most of the subjects in St. Kilian’s are taught in English. Even in the Transition Year (10th grade) all modules, RSE, Career Guidance and Sport take place in English, which makes up about half of the weekly lessons. So you do not have to worry about your child not speaking enough English. Our German courses can even be beneficial, as they are often ahead of the Irish curriculum and Irish learning content is easier to understand because it has already been completed in German.
Yes, students who participate in the German Curriculum Stream have more classes and thus might have to stay longer on a Friday afternoon.
A change to the Irish system is possible up to the end of 7th Class. From 8th Class CBAs (Classroom-based Assessments) in the Irish subject Science must be completed in preparation for the Junior Cert exam.
The entry into the German Curriculum Stream is generally in 5th Class. A lateral entry at a later point in time is only possible for students with very good knowledge of German. In addition, the student needs to have consistently taken a second foreign language at least from the 7th Class and can continue this with us.
An individual assessment must be carried out by the German Curriculum coordinator and with the consent of the school management in order to be able to enter the German Curriculum Stream. Otherwise, the student will be taught in the Irish system.
If a child does not participate in the German Curriculum Stream, they will still be able to go to a German university after graduating in 12th Class.
At the moment, our German Curriculum Stream runs from 5th-10th Class. After that, our students will be entitled to do the German Abitur in a school in Germany. The Sek-I Certificate alone does not enable students to go to a German university. All children, whether they attended the German Curriculum Stream or not, will sit the Leaving Cert (LC) and do the Sprachdiplom II in 12th Class. The combination of the LC with the Sprachdiplom and/or the Bilingual Leaving Certificate will entitle them to study at a German university.
For the purposes of study in another EU country the LC is fully recognised and the Sprachdiplom satisfies the language proficiency requirement to study at a university in Germany.
It is correct that students who do the German Curriculum Stream will not have Science classes taught through the Irish curriculum and thus will not sit the Junior Cert in Science.
As the German curriculum is more advanced and will cover not only the Junior Cert content, but also some of the Senior Cycle content of the Science subjects, all students will be more than sufficiently prepared and will even have an advantage. To catch up on the English terminology, all the students will have extra lessons during 10th Class learning the proper English vocabulary, so that they are fully prepared if they would like to choose one or more Science subjects in 11th Class.