Aims and Principles

Learning in the Secondary school

The secondary section of the European Schools has the two objectives of providing formal, subject-based education and of encouraging pupils’ personal development in a wider social and cultural context. Formal education involves the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, concepts and skills within each subject area. Personal development takes place in a range of spiritual, moral, social and cultural contexts. It involves an awareness of appropriate behaviour, an understanding of the environment in which pupils work and live, and a development of their individual identity. These two objectives, which are in practice inseparable, are nurtured in the context of an enhanced awareness of the richness of European culture. Awareness and experience of a shared European life should lead pupils towards a greater respect for the traditions of each individual country and region in Europe, while developing and preserving their own national identities. The pupils of the European Schools are future citizens of Europe and the world. As such, they need a range of competences if they are to meet the challenges of a rapidly-changing world. In 2006 the European Council and European Parliament adopted a European Framework for Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. It identifies eight key competences which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, for active citizenship, for social inclusion and for employment:

Specific learning objectives and didactic principles are described in the syllabi for each subject.

The syllabuses of all the language sections are – with the exception of mother tongue – identical and the same standards are required to be met. All the syllabi followed in the different sections lead up to the same examination: the European Baccalaureate.

Apart from the subject-based organisation of learning with a focus on subject, various projects support a more cross curricula approach, which enables pupils to develop transversal competences like entrepreneurship and civics education. International surveys and research confirm the link between motivation, attitudes and self- confidence, on the one hand, and achievement and career choices, on the other. Therefore, attitude towards learning and motivation is not only important for performing well at school, but is also crucial for the future professional careers of the pupils.

Pupils are regularly assessed and reports are issued four times a year. Assessment is based on both course-work and examinations, although formal examinations do not form part of the observation cycle. Criteria established by the Board of Governors are used to decide whether a pupil may move up to the year above at the end of the school year.