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The Mentor System​

  • The digital platform Mentor is used in primary schools to manage attendance and absences, assignment delivery and student performance. ​
  • Parents have access to the Mentor system. There they can report illness and monitor their children's progress at school. ​
  • In Mentor it's also possible to see the names of everyone in the class and the phone number and/or email of their parents. ​
  • Mentor is also available as a smartphone app. ​
  • A digital certificate is the best way to sign into the system. ​

Communication at School

  • No teacher or school staff member can subject students to corporal punishment under any circumstances. ​
  • Discipline in school-related activities is based on the protocol and rules of conduct at each school. Teachers and children should show each other respect in communication.​
  • If behavioural or disciplinary problems are severe, remedial action is sought with school administrators, parents and professionals, if necessary. ​
  • Bullying at school is seen as a very serious issue and primary schools have a response plan to address it. ​

Children With Icelandic as a Second Language: Active Bilingualism

  • The mother tongue of each child is important and the key to communication with the child's closest caretakers. ​
  • A good foundation in a mother tongue has various effects on children's development. ​
  • The Association on Bilingualism offers language classes for children in many languages.

Children With Icelandic as a Second Language: Icelandic

  • Proficiency in Icelandic is important for schooling to be successful at all levels. ​
    • Parents need to be wholeheartedly involved in their children's school and homework and make time for it. Routine, realistic goals, positive encouragement and praise are important. ​
    • Home reading 5x a week where children read aloud to a parent/older sibling is very important. ​
  • It is also necessary to use the time outside school to promote and stimulate Icelandic by: ​
    • Having children watch TV and digital content in Icelandic and with Icelandic subtitles.​
    • Using apps and games that train Icelandic, reading comprehension and other subjects, for example on and
    • Encouraging children to read books in Icelandic and go to the library. ​
    • Taking part in games and leisure and sports activities with schoolmates and friends. ​
  • You have to work hard in new situations in order to be successful - this also applies to children. Interest and support from the parents is an important factor. ​

Services and Costs

  • The primary schools have school nurses. They educate children on health-related issues and children can go to them if they get injured. ​
  • Psychologists, educational counsellors and student counsellors also work at and for primary schools. ​
  • Primary school is free of charge. Children borrow all textbooks, as well as workbooks and stationery. The state and municipalities pay all costs of operating the schools. ​
  • Parents pay a meal fee for the hot lunch the children receive at school. Children are allowed to bring their own packed lunch instead. ​
  • Parent-teacher meetings are held twice a year, with an interpreter if necessary. ​

Equality in Education

  • The Act on Compulsory Schools states that all children, regardless of ability or learning difficulties, have the right to appropriate education at their local school. ​
  • The Act states that children with a native language other than Icelandic have the right to appropriate Icelandic language education. ​
  • Special education schools are also operated for children with delayed development, and in some cases, they can be more suitable than a general school. ​
  • Primary schools must follow the Ministry's curriculum guide. That means that children should receive education of equal standard wherever they live. Schools may have different focus areas, however. ​

Good to know​

  • The school year is from the end of August until mid-June. ​
  • Remember each school's calendar - don't send children to school on holidays!
  • There is a 2-3 day winter break in schools both in the fall and spring semesters. There's also a Christmas holiday and an Easter holiday. ​
  • There are several teacher preparation days in each school year, when there is no school but the teachers are organising the school activities. ​
  • It is possible to pay for childcare in leisure centers when there are teacher preparation days and Christmas and Easter holidays outside the public holidays. ​
  • Attendance is mandatory in primary school. Holidays outside of public holidays must be applied for. ​
  • It is also obligatory to report a child's illness through Mentor or at the school's office. ​
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