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The secondary school is a former school form in Germany , Austria and Switzerland , often as an alternative to the most as Latin schools designed schools arose. As a rule, it made it possible to study natural science subjects. The term is no longer used today.


The reform-oriented Pietist theologian Johann Julius Hecker (1707–1768) developed his concept of the “Economic-Mathematical Realschule” in Berlin in 1747. Wilhelm von Humboldt's educational reforms were directed against the Realschulen in practice (cf. Königsberger Schulplan ), but were In 1832 the qualifications of the Realschule in Prussia recognized as entitlement to middle careers. This meant that these were legally located between grammar school and elementary school. However, the few institutions could not meet the educational needs of the bourgeoisie, so that new community schools soon emerged. In 1859 they developed into the "Realschule 1st order" belonging to the higher education system. The educational goals of the upper secondary schools, nine-year-old schools approved in Prussia since 1882, go back to the ideas of the Prussian State Councilor Christian Peter Wilhelm Beuth . With their school-leaving certificate, you could study with basic Latin as with that of the Realgymnasium .

The graduates of the Prussian upper secondary schools were allowed to study mathematics and new languages ​​for the higher teaching post at secondary schools. In addition, the secondary school leaving certificate entitles them to study all natural sciences and technical subjects; after the June Conference in 1900, this subject restriction no longer applies (except for theology). The nine-class upper secondary school included four years of primary school and a total school time of 13 years up to the Abitur.

Before the start of the Second World War , Reich Education Minister Bernhard Rust shortened the schooling from 13 to 12 years by decree of November 30, 1936:

"The implementation of the four-year plan as well as the need for young people in the armed forces and academic professions make it necessary to shorten the school time for high school students from 13 to 12 years as early as Easter 1937."

The lower primans (12th grade) therefore passed their matriculation examination as early as March 1937, while the upper primans (13th grade) left high school without a written examination in 1937. From Easter 1940, the “ Notabitur ” was also introduced at girls' schools after the 12th grade.

From 1937 onwards, all upper secondary schools were uniformly designated as " high schools " throughout the empire .

After the end of the war in 1945, all secondary schools returned to the original Abitur regulations as soon as possible. (Note: The term "Notabitur", which was used colloquially for the time of the Second World War, means a written Abitur examination after the 12th grade with shortened learning content.)

Due to the Hamburg Agreement , all German secondary schools had to be renamed "Gymnasien" by 1965. While the original Oberrealschule concentrated on mathematics and science education, from 1965 onwards it also increasingly integrated modern-language training in the grammar school.

Historical examples and school chronicles

  • 1808 Realschule Ansbach with two grades
    • 1816 Ansbach high school
    • 1833 Ansbach Agricultural and Trade School
    • 1877 secondary school with six grades
    • 1926–29 conversion to the upper secondary school in Ansbach
    • 1965 Renaming of Platen-Gymnasium Ansbach
  • 1817 the so-called "Hauptschule" as a secondary school in Bremen
    • 1877 6-class Realschule (and / or 9-class Realgymnasium )
    • 1893 Beginning of the conversion to the "Oberrealschule in Dechanatstraße" (until 1905)
    • 1958 The grammar school on Parsevalstrasse is renamed
  • 1820 Higher Citizens School in Würzburg
    • 1833 Royal District Agriculture and Trade School in Würzburg
    • 1877 Königliche Kreis-Realschule (note: despite the fact that old certificate forms were still used in 1889)
    • 1907 Start of the expansion to the Königliche Kreis-Oberrealschule at Sanderring (until 1910)
    • 1965 Renaming of the X-ray high school in Würzburg
  • 1833 Royal Agricultural and Trade School in Fürth
    • 1877 Royal secondary school with commercial department
    • 1920 Oberrealschule after expansion of the six-class Realschule
    • 1965 Renaming of the Hardenberg-Gymnasium Fürth
  • 1849 Independent real class system at the Andreanum in Hildesheim
    • 1868 Extension of the 6-class secondary school to "secondary school 1st order"
    • 1883 Spin-off from Andreanum, now independent as Königliches Andreas-Realgymnasium (name since 1885)
    • 1886 Realschule with 9-class Realgymnasium
    • 1926 Start of the conversion to the “Staatl. Andreas-Oberrealschule "(until 1929)
    • 1965 Renaming of Scharnhorst-Gymnasium Hildesheim
  • 1937 Girls' Lyceum in Würzburg
    • 1940 8-class “Städt. High School for Girls ", from 1941" Mozart School "
    • 1951 "Girls high school with high school and high school"
    • 1966 Renaming of the Mozart-Gymnasium Würzburg , from 2001 merged with the Schönborn-Gymnasium

Previously common grades

  • Upper level (today secondary level II )
    • Obersekunda corresponds to the 11th grade
    • Unterprima corresponds to the 12th grade
    • Oberprima corresponds to the 13th grade


The Oberrealschule (also written Ober-Realschule) was a nine-year school without Latin (previously a trade school ) approved in Austria by ordinance of March 2, 1851 , with whose school leaving certificate one could study as well as that of the Realgymnasium with basic Latin. The upper secondary schools in Austria had the original purpose of preparing their students directly for technical universities without using the classical languages .

With the "Middle Schools Act" of 1927, the secondary schools were reorganized as an eight-class school form, the lower secondary school with one living foreign language, the upper secondary school with two living foreign languages. The 1962 School Act, implemented under Federal Minister Heinrich Drimmel, transformed the Realschule with the Realgymnasien into Realgymnasien with scientific and mathematical branches.


In 1928 the cantonal industrial school in the canton of Zurich was renamed Oberrealschule after recognition by the Federal Matura Commission. This term was adopted from Germany or Austria.

A Latin-free mathematical and natural science grammar school in Switzerland was made possible by the revision of the Matura recognition regulations in 1925, in which the existing Matura types A and B were supplemented by this third type C. The upper secondary school graduates were able to attend the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) without examinations , but had to take an additional examination in Latin for most faculties in order to transfer to the university.

The Oberrealschule did not run a Progymnasium and therefore only lasted 4.5 years. She joined either the secondary school or the Progymnasium.

In 1968 the compulsory Latin for medical studies fell. In the 1974/75 school year, the upper secondary school was renamed Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliches Gymnasium.


  • Manfred Fuhrmann : Latin and Europe. The alien foundations of our education. The history of scholarly instruction in Germany from Charlemagne to Wilhelm II. 2nd edition, Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-8321-7948-8 .
  • Walter Kronbichler: The Zurich Canton Schools 1833–1983. Festschrift for the 150th anniversary of the state secondary schools in the Canton of Zurich. Zurich, 1983.

Web links

Wiktionary: Oberrealschule  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hugo Bloth: Johann Julius Hecker (1707–1768). His “universal school” and his position on pietism and absolutism. In: Yearbook of the Association for Westphalian Church History 61/1968, pp. 63–129.
  2. Documentarchiv.de: Reichsgrundschulgesetz of April 28, 1920
  3. Christa Berg and Dieter Langewiesche, Handbuch der deutschen Bildungsgeschichte, Volume 5, CH Beck-Verlag, 1989, p. 189
  4. ↑ For a definition of the grammar school, see Section 4 (2) Hamburg Agreement ( Memento from October 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ Building history of the Platen grammar school . Website of the friends and former students of the Platen-Gymnasium and Oberrealschule Ansbach, accessed on April 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Gymnasium on Parsevalstrasse ( Memento from August 25, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  7. ^ X-ray high school in Würzburg
  8. ^ Absolvia school association from 1887
  9. ^ Certificate of departure from 1889
  10. Oberrealschule Aschaffenburg ( Memento of the original from March 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.fdg.ab.by.schule.de
  11. Hardenberg-Gymnasium Fürth
  12. Scharnhorst-Gymnasium Hildesheim  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / 66023.nibis.de  
  13. ^ Mozart High School in Würzburg
  14. Kronbichler, Die Zürcherische Kantonsschulen, pp. 20–22.