Starting primary school

Children in Iceland start compulsory primary school in the year they turn six. They will be placed in their district school, and the guardian will have to confirm the enrollment electronically.

You can also apply for a school placement in a school outside the school district.

Primary school enrollment is open from the first Wednesday of March to September 1 each year.

Useful information for starting primary school

Fjóla is starting first grade in the fall, have you read her story? Fjóla’s parents were overwhelmed when she was starting school. But don't despair, let's do this together.

Here is a link to the book about Fjóla in Icelandic, English, and Polish

Before school starts

If your child turns six during the year, you will receive an email from the City of Reykjavík asking you to confirm your child's enrollment in your district school. You can also apply outside of your school district.

What is a district school (I. “hverfisskóli”)?

Reykjavík is divided into school districts. Each address belongs to a specific school. Children are entitled to attend the school in their district but you can also apply outside of your school district if you wish. It is not guaranteed that all primary schools will be able to accept children outside of their school districts.

School calendar

You can see the primary school calendars on the schools’ websites.

– The public school calendar for Reykjavík City

– School calendar for the 2024-2025 school year

What do you need to bring with you?

Your child will need to bring a school bag, snacks, and swimwear (when needed) to school. It is good to have extra clothes in the school bag and to be dressed according to the weather. The school supplies all books and stationery children use at school.

Interviews with the homeroom teacher

At the beginning of the school year, students in grades 2-10 go to a school opening ceremony. Children starting in grade 1 do not attend the school opening ceremony. They meet their class teachers in an interview with their parents/guardians during the first days of the school year. The school does not follow its regular schedule during the days when the interviews are held. After the interviews are finished, students in grade 1 attend school according to the timetable. The after-school programs are not open during the interviews at the beginning of the school year.

School meals—where do I register and how much does it cost?

All children can have hot lunch at their school’s cafeteria. Most children take part in the lunch program. When you confirm the school enrollment, you can sign your child up for the lunch program at the same time. This menu can be viewed on the school's website. The lunch program costs the same in all schools, 12,836 kr. per month.


Your child goes outside for recess according to the schedule, usually twice a day. It is therefore important to come dressed according to the weather, and the child’s name should be marked on all clothing. The children's playgrounds are monitored by school staff.

After-school programs (frístundaheimili)—what are they?

When school is done during the day, your child can go to an after-school program. They offer a wide range of recreation, with a mix of organized activities and free play. They have exciting activities that give your child an outlet for play and creativity. Many after-school programs collaborate with their district sports teams. The after-school programs email information on their daily schedules and more.

After-school programs—when are they open?

The after-school programs are open during school interviews and during teachers’ professional development days—unless other information is given—but they are closed during primary schools’ winter break. The after-school programs are open during primary schools’ Christmas and Easter breaks. When the primary schools are closed, each after-school program requires registration for each day of attendance.

After-school programs—how do I apply and how much do they charge?

Children must be enrolled separately in an after-school program. You can register your child after confirming enrollment in the district school, or after applying to a school outside of the district. The after-school programs offer placement to children on the waitlist after staff has been hired following the summer break.

Winter Breaks

All the City’s primary schools have winter breaks for three days in October and two days in February. At that time, the after-school programs are closed. More information about the dates of the winter breaks can be found on the primary schools’ websites.

Ready... Steady... Primary School!

Ready... steady... primary school!

Gotowy... przygotowany... szkola podstawowa!

Bókarkápan - mynd