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Curriculum Navigator - Guidelines and curricula for elementary school


December 2020: Association participation for the new primary school curriculum is ongoing

NEW! Association participation in accordance with Section 77 (2) No. 2 SchulG for the curricula listed below has been initiated. The participation procedure ends on January 28th, 2021. Please send your opinion to the Ministry of Schools and Education, State Secretary Mathias Richter [email protected]

The corresponding drafts can be found here:

August 2020: Handout published on the link between face-to-face and distance teaching that is conducive to learning

NEW! The "Handout for the linkage of face-to-face and distance teaching that is conducive to learning" and supplementary materials are now available. The first concrete teaching projects for different years and subjects in different teaching scenarios are also available. The offer will be continuously expanded over the course of the school year.

October 2018: Final version of the religious instruction according to the principles of the Mennonite Brethren in the primary school

NEW! The final version for religious instruction according to the principles of the Mennonite Brethren in North Rhine-Westphalia in the primary school is available. It comes into effect retrospectively on August 1st, 2018 for all students in ascending order.

July 2018: Final versions of the curricula for religious education in primary schools

NEW! The final versions of the curricula for Jewish, Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox religious teaching in primary schools are available. They come into force on August 1st, 2018 for all students in ascending order.



The 2008 Primary School Guidelines and Curriculum

The guidelines and curricula for the primary school 2008 are an essential element of a modern comprehensive overall concept for the development and assurance of the quality of school work. In the subjects of mathematics and German, the curricula correspond to the agreements of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs on uniform educational standards (2004). All countries are obliged to implement the educational standards in their curricula and to implement them in schools.

Chapter 3 is the core of the curriculum for primary school. Instead of binding subjects, binding competency expectations for the pupils are described here, which are to be achieved by the end of the school entry phase and grade 4. In the sense of stable foundations, these represent the binding requirements. The formulation of the competency expectations follows a competency-oriented approach that aims at independent, individual learning. The school is responsible for the individual structuring of the lessons with a focus on the child's independent learning. The results of school work and thus the standards and their compliance are checked and further developed on the basis of validated tests, taking into account developments in the specialist sciences, specialist didactics and school practice.

The full Printed versions of the guidelines and curricula in the subjects of German, Protestant religious studies, Catholic religious studies, mathematics, English, general instruction, art, music and sport were sent to the schools in an anthology.

The Circular (Introductory decree) of July 16, 2008 is published in "Schule NRW / Official Journal of the Ministry for Schools and Further Education", edition 8/08.


The interdisciplinary framework "Consumer education in school"has been in force since August 1st, 2017 for all types of schools in primary and lower secondary level.


As part of the introduction of the new guidelines and curricula, the Ministry of Schools and Continuing Education has a Handout"Competence Orientation - A Changed View of Teaching and Learning in Primary School" submitted. This handout explains the structural changes made in the curricula. It also contains learning tasks for the individual subjects that illustrate how to work on acquiring the skills in the classroom.

The handout is divided into three parts:

  • In the first part, the relationship between educational standards, core curricula and skills acquisition are explained and terminology is clarified.
  • The second part presents the effects on the new curricula for North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • In the third part, tips are given for implementation in the classroom using examples of competence-oriented learning tasks for some subjects.

The handout is also available from specialist dealers (Ritterbach Verlag GmbH) in the series "Schule in NRW" (No. 9043).


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About this offer

In this offer you will find the texts of the guidelines and curricula for primary schools in a version prepared for the Internet ("curriculum navigator"), which in particular supports targeted research. In connection with this, additional and supporting information and materials as well as examples for the teaching implementation are offered. (see Left menu)

Please note: The legally binding version of the curricula is the official print version (anthology Ritterbach Verlag GmbH), which you can obtain from specialist retailers. It was made available to schools.


Notes on working with this offer (curriculum navigator)