Curriculum

Languages: our greatest asset

Our secondary school provides a multilingual and multicultural education and offers four language sections:

  • Dutch language section
  • English language section
  • French language section
  • German language section

From Year 1 onwards, all Secondary School students study 3 languages:

  • Language 1 or Mother tongue: Dutch, English, French or German (main language of the student’s language section or mother tongue; conditions apply)
  • Language 2 (first foreign language): English, French or German
  • Language 3 (second foreign language): Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian or any other European language

Languages 1 and 2 are taught by native speakers (or equivalent).

Students can study a 4th language as of Year 4 and a 5th language as of Year 6.

Most of the courses are instructed in the language of the language section. Arts, music and physical education are instructed in English.

To develop the students’ second language skills to its maximum potential, a part of the curriculum is instructed in the second language of the student.

More information about the Basic proficiency levels

Cycles & subjects

The Secondary School offers a 7-year curriculum for students aged 11 to 18, which is composed of 3 cycles:

  • Observation cycle (Years 1, 2 and 3)
  • Pre-orientation cycle (Years 4 and 5)
  • Orientation cycle (Years 6 and 7)

Observation cycle (Years 1, 2 & 3)

Subjects

Year 1 (periods/week)

Year 2 (periods/week)

Year 3 (periods/week)

Language I 5 5 4
Language II 5 4 4
Language III 2 3 3
Mathematics 4 4 4
Integrated Sciences 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
Latin - 2 2
ICT 1 1 2
Other national language 2 2 2
Total periods 35 35 or 37 33 or 35

The structure of subjects is fairly set, with just a few changes over the years. Students can start studying Latin as an optional subject in Year 2.

Integrated Science combines the areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Human Sciences covers History and Geography and is instructed in the students’ second language from Year 3 onwards, as are Religion and Ethics.

Students Without A Language Section (SWALS), follow a specific curriculum: More info on SWALS

Pre-orientation cycle (Years 4 & 5)

Subjects Year 4 (periods/week) Year 5 (periods/week)
Compulsory subjects
Language I 4 4
Language II 3 3
Language III 3 3
Mathematics 4 or 6 4 or 6
Biology 2 2
Chemistry 2 2
Physics 2 2
Geography 2 2
History 2 2
Physical Education 2 2
Religion or Ethics 1 1
Optional subjects
Language IV 4 4
Latin 4 4
Art 2 2
Music 2 2
ICT 2 2

Students take a minimum of 31 and a maximum of 35 periods per week and have a choice between standard and higher-level Maths. 27 (or 29) periods constitute compulsory subjects, while 4 to 8 periods are dedicated to optional subjects.

Integrated Science is split into Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Human Sciences into History and Geography, which are instructed in the second language, as is Economics and Religion and Ethics.

Orientation cycle (Years 6 and 7)

Compulsary subjects Optional subjects Additional subjects
1 2 3 4 5
Language I (4) Biology (2) Latin (4) Adv. Language I (3) Lab Physics (2)
Language II (3) History (2) Geography (4) Adv. Language II (3) Lab Chemistry (2)
Mathematics (3 or 5) Geography (2) Philosophy (4) Adv. Mathematics (3) Lab Biology (2)
Religion or Ethics (1) Philosophy (2) Language III (4)   ICT (2)
Physical Education (2)   Language IV (4)   Economics (2)
    History (4)   Sociology (2)
    Economics (4)    
    Physics (4)    
    Chemistry (4)    
    Biology (4)    
    Art (4)    
    Music (4)    

The focus lies on the preparation for the European Baccalaureate. Students take a minimum of 31 and a maximum of 35 periods per week, consisting of 15 to 23 periods of compulsory subjects and 8 to 12 periods of optional subjects. An additional course of 2 periods can be added.

Assessment

Pupils are regularly assessed, and reports are issued four times a year. Assessment is based equally on coursework and on tests and examinations, although formal examinations are not arranged in the observation cycle or in year 4. Criteria established by the Board of Governors are used to decide whether a pupil may progress to the next class at the end of each school year. Pupils who do not meet these criteria may have to repeat the year.

Read more about the curriculum

European Baccalaureate

The European Baccalaureate certifies the completion of secondary studies at the European School or of European schooling provided by a school accredited by the Board of Governors. This diploma is officially recognised as an entry qualification for higher education in all the countries of the European Union.

European Baccalaureate diploma holders enjoy the same rights and benefits as other holders of Secondary School-leaving certificates in their countries, including the same right as nationals with equivalent qualifications to seek admission to any university or institution of tertiary education in the European Union.

Read more about the European Baccalaureate

School hours and holidays

School hours
Monday 8:30-16:15
Tuesday 8:30-16:15
Wednesday 8:25-12:35
Thursday 8:30-16:15
Friday 8:30-16:15
School day
  Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri Wed
1 08:30-9:15 08:25-9:10
2 9:20-10:05 9:15-10:00
3 10:10-10:55 10:05-10:50
  Break Break
4 11:15-12:00 11:00-11:45
5 12:05-12:50 11:50-12:35
6 Lunch break  
7 13:50-14:35  
8 14:40-15:25  
9 15:30-16:15  

View the school holiday calendar