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Curriculum

LEARNING TO LEARN – A PROGRAMME FOR YEAR 1

During the first months of the school year teachers and particularly class teachers of the first class help pupils find their ways in their new environment, among other information, with the following:

  • Give a detailed explanation, right at the beginning of the school year, of the pupils’ personal timetables, the school timetable, the holiday plan and the school regulations;
  • Help the pupils to organize themselves, for example, by only bringing the necessary books and workbooks for a certain day;
  • Teach the pupils to note down systematically any homework in the school diary and teach them to plan and organise their homework;
  • Teach the pupils to take notes and underline important words and concepts in a text. They should be able to grasp the most important concepts dealt with in a the lesson;
  • Make clear terms such as “test” or “written exam” and train them to tackle effectively the different assessment activities;
  • Help them to keep track of their marks and to be aware of their performance.
  • Introduce them, with the librarian’s help, to the use of the library;
  • Make sure that pupils understand class rules and subject requirements. Check that they remember them from time to time.
  • In order to help and smoothen this process the educational advisors organise a learning to learn programme at the beginning of the school year, too. During a number of study periods they and the librarian of the secondary school help the pupils to get more organized, giving them good advice for the use of their agenda, schoolbag, locker, etc. In the next stage they focus on various skills like developing language skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking), memory training, association skills, etc.

    CAREERS ADVICE

    The orientation of studies is part of the official syllabus of the European Schools, and is organised for all pupils in the secondary school by a team of careers advice teachers, one for each section/nationality.

    Purpose

    To inform and advise pupils (and their parents) about the different choices and options offered in the secondary school.

    To inform pupils about further education and working life. To help them develop a plan for their educational and professional future.

    Method

    A. By the careers advice teachers

    General advice:

    To inform, explain and advise about the choices to be made in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of the secondary school. This is done both on an individual and a group basis.

    In some sections (France, UK), help with the preparation of applications for further education.

    Advice and help with finding alternatives if a pupil needs to leave the school.

    Advice in the 5th year

    16 periods devoted to preparing the choice of subjects and options, taking into account the consequences for future studies and careers.

    An information meeting for parents of pupils in the 5th year.

    Individual meetings with pupils and their parents.

    Advice in the 6th and 7th years

    The syllabus allows for 16 periods during the two years, to prepare, give information and develop awareness of pupils in the 6th and 7th years. (Bacc., further education, methods of study…)

    At present we offer 3 group sessions in each of the two years, while the other periods are used to work with individual pupils.

    Individual meetings with pupils and their parents.

    B. By External Advisers

    The regulations prescribe that member states should send specialist external advisers to the schools in order to complement the work of the careers advice teachers. As a result of this, we receive regular visits from advisers from Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom, amongst others.

    THE ORGANISATION OF STUDIES

    The secondary studies are arranged in three cycles.

    Cycle

    years covered

    observation cycle

    1-3

    pre-orientation cycle

    4-5

    orientation cycle

    6-7

    The observation cycle covers years 1-3 where the structure of subjects is fairly set with just a few changes over the years. All pupils study three languages in this cycle: language 1 (their mother tongue or the language of the section) and two foreign languages (language 2 and 3). Language 2 is either English or French or German. Language 3 may be any official language of the European Union on request of at least 7 pupils. They can also start studying Latin as an optional subject in year 2. Irish, Maltese, Finnish and Swedish native speaker children can also study their mother tongue as ‘other national language’.

    There are two integrated subjects in this cycle: Integrated Science combines areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics while Human Sciences covers different topics of History and Geography. The latter, as well as Religion or Ethics, is instructed in the second language in year 3. Art, Music and Physical Education are taught in English.

                                 

    Year 1

    Year 2

    Year 3

     

    periods per week

    Language 1

    5

    5

    4

    Language 2

    5

    4

    4

    Language 3

    2

    3

    3

    Latin (optional)

    -

    2

    2

    Mathematics

    4

    4

    4

    Integrated Science

    4

    4

    4

    Human Sciences

    3

    3

    3

    Art

    2

    2

    2

    Music

    2

    2

    2

    Physical Education

    3

    3

    3

    Religion or Ethics

    2

    2

    2

    ICT (optional in year 3)

    1

    1

    2

    Other National Language/Ancient Greek (optional) 

    2

    2

    2

    Total number of periods

    33 or 35

    33 or 35

    31 or 33

    In the pre-orientation cycle (years 4 and 5) pupils will take a minimum of 31 and a maximum of 35 periods per week. 27 (or 29) periods constitute core (compulsory) subjects. Four to eight periods will be dedicated to optional subjects. Pupils can choose from six different options including a third foreign language (Language 4), which may be any official language of the European Union on request of at least 7 pupils.

    In this cycle Integrated Science is split into Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Human Sciences into History and Geography still instructed in the second language. Pupils have a choice between standard and higher level Maths. The structure of studies remains unchanged throughout this cycle.

                                  

    Year 4 and 5

    Compulsory subjects

    periods per week

    Language 1

    4

    Language 2

    3

    Language 3

    3

    Mathematics

    4 or 6

    Biology

    2

    Chemistry

    2

    Physics

    2

    History

    2

    Geography

    2

    Physical Education

    2

    Religion or Ethics

    1

    Optional subjects

     

    Language 4

    4

    Latin

    4

    Economics

    4

    Art

    2

    Music

    2

    ICT

    2

    Other National Language/ Ancient Greek

    2

    Total number of periods

    31 or 35

    The orientation cycle (year 6 and 7) focuses on the preparation for the school leaving examination, the European Baccalaureate. The number of compulsory subjects is restricted to nine (column 1 and 2 below) leaving more time for the options. Subjects in column 2 may also be studied at a higher level (column 3). Students have to pick at least two optional subjects and they can choose other options or complementary courses on condition of not exceeding 35 periods per week. The minimum number of compulsory subjects and options is 31.

    It is obvious that all the schools cannot offer all the options in all the language sections. If an optional course cannot be created in the mother tongue of the pupil, it can be offered in one of the other languages studied by the pupil or in the language of the host country.

    Compulsory subjects

    Optional subjects

    Complementary subjects

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    Language 1

    4

    Biology

    2

    Latin

    4

    Advanced Langue 1

    3

    Lab Physics

    2

    Language 2

    3

    History

    2

    Geography

    4

    Advanced Langue 2

    3

    Lab Chemistry

    2

    Mathematics

    3

    Geography

    2

    Philosophy

    4

    Advanced Maths

    3

    Lab Biology

    2

              or

     

    Philosophy

    2

    Language III

    4

     

     

    ICT

    2

    Mathematics

    5

     

     

    Language IV

    4

     

     

    Elementary economics

    2

    Religion / Ethics

    1

     

     

    History

    4

     

     

    Sociology

    2

    Physical education

    2

     

     

    Economics

    4

     

     

    Art

    2

     

     

     

     

    Physics

    4

     

     

    Music

    2

     

     

     

     

    Chemistry

    4

     

     

    Language V

    2

     

     

     

     

    Biology

    4

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Art

    4

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Music

    4