Starting school

We want all children to feel safe and welcome at school. School staff and parents will work together to ensure that the children get off to a good start and enjoy school.

Before the first day of school

Before the first day of school we recommend that you:

  • read to your child frequently
  • play around with language sounds
  • talk about what the words mean
  • play games with your child, count and wait your turn
  • teach your child how to get dressed

First day of school

The first day of school is August 21st 2023. On the first day the children’s names will be called out, and they will get to meet their teacher. It is common for parents/carers to be present. Many schools begin the day in the playground or in the classroom with the parents/carers present. They then leave the children to have their first couple of lessons alone. You will get more information about the first day from your school.

Which class will my child be in and when will we get to know?

You will normally be told which class your child will be in around a week before the start of term. Some schools split the children into groups for the first few weeks before determining the classes.

Before and after-school programme (AKS)

The children will often enrol in AKS before the start of term. AKS is a programme for children before and after school hours. AKS opens on August 1. All Year 1 pupils are offered a part-time place on the AKS programme free of charge. Remember that you still have to apply for AKS even though it is free.

What and how will the children learn?

In the first few years of school your child will learn how to read, write and do maths. He or she will also learn how to work together, listen to others, express his or her feelings and opinions and be a good classmate.

Subjects in Years 1 and 2

  • Norwegian
  • Mathematics
  • Natural science
  • English
  • Social studies
  • Arts and crafts
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Christianity, religion, philosophies of life and ethics (KRLE)

Minority language children

If your child’s mother tongue is not Norwegian or Sami, he or she may be given adapted language education in Norwegian or in their mother tongue. There are three types of adapted language education.

If you have a Sami background

If you or your child has a Sami background, he/she will be entitled to receive tuition on and in the Sami language. Read more and apply for Sami tuition (in Norwegian).

If your child has special educational needs

Children learn in different ways, and schools must accommodate all children with differentiated and adapted tuition. Some children need more adaptation and support than the school is able to provide in a mainstream setting. This is known as special needs support.

A good and safe school environment

All pupils have the right to feel safe and content at school. This means that your child should feel that they belong and are part of the school community.

Every adult at the school has a duty to ensure that the children are doing well. If your child does not feel safe and content at school, it is important that you tell the school.

You can talk to a teacher, AKS staff, public health nurse, the school management or another member of staff. The head teacher must ensure that your child receives help. If the situation does not improve, or you feel that the school is not taking sufficient action, you may make a complaint to the county governor.

The school has adopted an action plan to ensure a good school environment and has created a school environment committee comprising staff, parents/carers and pupils. See what your school says about the school environment on its website.

Oslo also has an ombudsman for bullying. The ombudsman represents the pupils’ interests and must observe confidentiality.

School health service

A school health service is provided in all schools. Everyone working for the school health service must observe confidentiality. The school health service is free and available to all pupils at the school. Parents may also contact the school health service. The school health service offers an examination by a doctor and a public health nurse to all Year 1 pupils. You can read more about the school health service on your school’s website.

Communication with the school

  • Once your child has started school you can download a mobile app called “Skolemelding”. You can use the app to exchange messages with your child’s teacher and notify the school if your child is going to be absent from school.
  • On the school’s website you can log into the “Skoleplattform Oslo” portal. The portal contains the same messages as the “Skolemelding” app. You can also view information about absences, subjects and assessments.
  • Each school has its own website with news and information about the school.


Swimming is one of the skills the children will learn in PE lessons. To enable all children to learn to swim, it is important that they practise how to become comfortable and confident in the water from an early age, both at school and at home.

Brochure about starting school – in several languages