Framework for the primary school

The framework for the primary school is laid down in the Primary School Act

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The purpose of the primary school is – in cooperation with the parents – to give the pupils skills that:

  • prepare them for further education and make them enthusiastic to learn more
  • familiarise them with Danish culture and history
  • give them an understanding of other countries and cultures
  • contribute to their understanding of human interaction with nature and promote the overall development of the individual pupils.

The primary school is to develop working methods and create frameworks for experience, exploration and enterprise, so the pupils develop recognition and imagination and gain confidence in their possibilities and the basis to judge and to act.

The primary school is to prepare the pupils for participation, shared responsibility, rights and duties in a society with freedom and democratic government. The work of the school must therefore be characterised by freedom of thought, equal worth and democracy.

The mandatory subjects in the primary school are divided into 3 subject areas: The humanities, the practical/musical subjects and science. The subjects, divided by year stages, are:


  • Danish in all years
  • English in years 2 to 10 (classes 1 to 9)
  • 2nd foreign language from year 6 (class 5) and the possibility of a 3rd foreign language as an optional subject from year 8 (class 7)
  • Christian knowledge at all years apart from the year when confirmation is prepared
  • History in years 4 to 10 (classes 3 to 9)
  • Social sciences in years 9 and 10 (classes 8 and 9).


  • Sport in all years
  • Music in years 2 to 7 (classes 1 to 6)
  • Art in years 2 to 6 (classes 1 to 5)
  • Craft and design (previously sewing and handicrafts) and cooking (previously domestic science) in one or more years within the range of years 5 to 8 (classes 4 to 7).


  • Mathematics in all years
  • Science/technology (previously science/techniques) in years 2 to 7 (classes 1 to 6)
  • Geography in years 8 to 10 (classes 7 to 9)
  • Biology in years 8 to 10 (classes 7 to 9)
  • Physics/chemistry in years 8 to 10 (classes 7 to 9).

The schools must offer either German or French as alternative subjects from years 8 to 10 (classes 7 to 9).

In addition, there are a number of optional subjects that the schools can offer the pupils from years 8 to 11 (classes 7 to 10). These are, for example, drama, music, film and media.

The pupils in years 8, 9 and 10 (classes 7, 8 and 9) must choose at least one optional or alternative subject. 

The average length of a school week is:

  • 27.8 hours for the youngest children from kindergarten to year 4 (class 3)
  • 33 hours for the middle children in years 5 to 7 (classes 4 to 6)
  • 35 hours for the oldest children in years 8 to 10 (classes 7 to 9).

Assistance in studies

The introduction of the mandatory study cafés entered into force on 1 August 2015.

The number of pupils in each class may normally not exceed 28 at the start of the school year. In special cases, the municipality can allow a larger number of pupils, though not more than 30.

Several pupils with special needs shall be included in the general primary school. The objective is that the share of pupils in general education is increased from 94.4 per cent to 96 per cent of the total number of pupils in primary school in 2015.

This means that pupils who need less than 9 hours of support each week must have the support within the framework of general education and thus not as special education.

Support for included pupils

In the Act on inclusion of pupils with special needs, it is stated that support for pupils who need support without the need for special educational assistance can for example be given in the form of differential education and setting.

Children needing support who cannot be solely supported by differentiation and setting must be offered supplementary teaching or other educational assistance. 2-teacher arrangements and teaching assistants can also be used to support both the individual child and the class as a whole.

There are 202 school days in the school year and 163 vacation days and public holidays, and a school year lasts from summer holiday to summer holiday.

An example of vacations and public holidays in a primary school could therefore be:

  • Summer vacation: 30 June – 14 August
  • Autumn vacation: 13 October –  21 October
  • Christmas vacation: 22 December – 1 January
  • Winter vacation: 9 February – 17 February
  • Easter vacation: 15 March – 24 March
  • St. Bededag (Great Prayer Day): 18 April
  • Ascension Day: 1 May
  • Public holiday: May 2
  • Whitsun vacation: 10 May – 12 May
  • Constitution Day: 5 June
  • Summer vacation: 28 June – Sunday 10 August.

If you wish to complain about conditions in the primary school, you should normally approach the school Head. They have the overall educational and administrative responsibility for the school. This includes, for example, teaching and grades.

Read more about complaint options in the primary school on the website of the Ministry of Children and Education under the heading 'Ansvarsforhold og klagemuligheder' (Responsibility and possibilities of complaint).
Last updated: 30 April 2024