The mission of the European Schools is to provide a multilingual and multicultural education for nursery, primary and secondary level pupils.
The words which express the essential aims of the European Schools have been sealed, in parchment, into the foundation stones of all the schools:
“Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.”
- to give pupils confidence in their own cultural identity – the bedrock for their development as European citizens;
- to provide a broad education of high quality, from nursery level to university-entrance;
- to develop high standards in the mother tongue and in foreign languages;
- to develop mathematical and scientific skills throughout the whole period of schooling;
- to encourage a European and global perspective overall and particularly in the study of the human sciences;
- to encourage creativity in music and the plastic arts and an appreciation of all that is best in a common European artistic heritage;
- to develop physical skills and instil in pupils an appreciation of the need for healthy living through participation in sporting and recreational activities;
- to offer pupils professional guidance on their choice of subjects and on career/university decisions in the later years of the secondary school;
- to foster tolerance, co-operation, communication and concern for others throughout the school community and beyond;
- to cultivate pupils’ personal, social and academic development and to prepare them for the next stage of education.
In the light of the above objectives, education in the schools is organised on the basis of the following principles :
Basic instruction is given in the official languages of the European Union. This principle allows the primacy of the pupil’s mother tongue (L1) to be safeguarded.
Consequently, each school can comprise of several language sections. At Es Culham there are three language sections: German, English and French. The curricula and syllabuses (except in the case of mother tongue) are the same in all sections.
In the schools where the creation of a separate language section is not justified, Category 1 and Category 2 pupils have entitlement to tuition in their mother tongue or dominant language.
To foster the unity of the school and encourage genuine multi-cultural education, there is a strong emphasis on the learning, understanding and use of foreign languages. This is developed in a variety of ways.