Schools and day care for children in Norway

Kindergartens Schools and Preschools

Children starting preschool in August have to apply by March 1 of that year.

It is possible to apply for preschool/kindergarten before moving to Norway and without an ID number. Parents who need help with kindergarten or school applications because of language difficulties or lack of ID number can contact "Oppvekstkontoret" (school and kindergarten admissions service) in your municipal for help.

The Norwegian school system

Preschool/Kindergarten

Simply stated, the Norwegian school system begins with an offering of preschool/day-care (“barnehage” in Norwegian) to children aged 1 to 5.  There is no formal kindergarten per se. This is a play-based programme where the focus is on social skills and fun learning. There is a strong emphasis on outdoor play - rain, sleet, snow, sun or mid-winter dark, children play outside during preschool hours.

Primary school

At age 6, children start at a local primary school ("barneskole" in Norwegian) that is within walking distance of the child's residence. Primary school extends through Grade 7. All schools offer an afterschool programme for children from grades 1 to 4 ("SFO" or "skolefritidsordning" in Norwegian).

Middle school

Grades 8, 9 and 10 are instructed in a middle school ("ungdomsskole" in Norwegian) that typically draws its attendees from 2 or 3 different primary schools. Unless your student attends a private school, the middle school that your child attends is completely determined by the location of your residence.

High school

High schools ("videregående skole" in Norwegian) extend from grades 11-13. Students are not required to attend high school, but those who want to attend must apply to specific schools in their region.