Primary Education (Dimotiko)

The early years in the Greek education system...

A child's primary education consists of six years of primary school (dimotiko). Children who will have reached the age of five years and six months on 1 October may enrol in primary school for the upcoming year.

The primary school year starts in mid-September and ends in mid-June. Classes are held five days a week, for five to six hours daily, depending on the grade. The school week can be from 25 to 30 hours, depending on the grade and whether a foreign language or music is taught. The school day lasts from approximately 08:15 to 13:30. In the rare case of different schools in large urban centres sharing the same premises, there is also an afternoon shift from 14:00 to 19:00.

Subjects taught in primary school include Modern Greek language, mathematics, environmental studies, history, physical education and art. In the fourth grade, courses in a foreign language, culture, and music are included. In the fifth and sixth grade, social studies, civics, and physics are added.

At the end of the school year, pupils move on to the next grade if their teacher believes they have acquired the necessary knowledge; holding a pupil back is not common. At the end of the school year, pupils in the first to fifth grades are given a certificate confirming their promotion to the next grade. For pupils in the sixth grade, a primary school leaving certificate is issued, which can be used to register for secondary school (gymnasio).

The Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs website has more on Primary School Education