People from different language sections meet together to create unity in the school and to encourage closer ties and mutual understanding between the various language sections, all pupils in the primary cycle meet three times a week for “European hours” to pursue cultural or artistic activities. In the secondary cycle, art, music, sport and computing classes bring together pupils from different language sections. History and geography are taught in the first foreign language — sometimes called the “working” language — from year 3 of the secondary cycle, as is the optional subject economics from year 4. Lessons are held in these subjects in groups comprising pupils from various language sections. Social contact in the recreational rooms and joint activities in the afternoons all help pupils to acquire foreign language skills.
“Instilling the European ideal in our children in such
a way that it comes alive in their everyday experience
is without doubt the finest and surest way
to ensure lasting peace which alone can bring the
Europe that so many before us have dreamed of and
that we now have the opportunity to build.”
Jacques Delors (President of the European Commission, 1985-95)
Comprehensive general education
Although the focus is clearly on language training, the European Schools also consider it very important for pupils to have a thorough grounding in mathematics and natural sciences. Mathematics is a compulsory subject in all years and is examined in the Baccalaureate. Biology, chemistry and physics are compulsory up to the end of year 5 of the secondary cycle. In years 6 and 7, pupils must choose at least one natural science subject.
To promote an all-round education, the schools also aim to encourage creativity through music and art, to develop sporting prowess and to instil a healthy lifestyle. With this goal in mind, and to encourage tolerance and an interest in those who think differently, the different philosophies and beliefs of each individual pupil are particularly respected in lessons and teaching methods. Religion/ethics (one of which must be chosen by each pupil) is an integral part of the syllabus.
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