Secondary Curriculum

The syllabuses in all the language sections of the European Schools, including the European School The Hague, are – with the exception of mother tongue – identical and the same standards are insisted on. All programmes of study in the different sections lead to the same examination: the European Baccalaureate.

To ensure that the European Baccalaureate is recognised, syllabuses are designed to meet at least the minimum requirements of all the member states. Since these vary, the contents have been established by negotiation between national experts – more particularly by the members of the Boards of Inspectors – on the basis of careful scrutiny and comparison of national curricula.

The syllabuses are then approved by the Joint Teaching Committee of the European Schools, which is the pedagogical supervisory authority. The following text is taken from the document “New structure for all syllabuses in the system of the European Schools” 2011-09-D-47-en-3

General Structure for all syllabuses in the system of the European Schools

The underlying concept of this structure expresses a change from the contents-oriented syllabus to a competence-based syllabus. The structure of the syllabus is intentionally brief and precise.

  1. General Objectives of the European Schools

    The European Schools have the two objectives of providing formal education and of encouraging pupils’ personal development in a wider social and cultural context. Formal education involves the acquisition of competences – knowledge, skills and attitudes across a range of domains. Personal development takes place in a variety of spiritual, moral, social and cultural contexts. It involves an awareness of appropriate behaviour, an understanding of the environment in which pupils live, and a development of their individual identity.

    These two objectives 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:
    1. communication in the mother tongue
    2. communication in foreign languages
    3. mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology
    4. digital competence
    5. learning to learn
    6. social and civic competences
    7. sense of initiative and entrepreneurship
    8. cultural awareness and expression

      The European Schools’ syllabuses seek to develop all of these key competences in the pupils.
  2. Didactic Principles

    Learning and teaching of the subject are based on following didactic principles:
    • - approach: the different areas of the pupil´s learning are integrated
    • - active learning: pupils become responsible for their own learning process

      These principles are worked out in variety of teaching and learning approaches, including learning strategies, use of differentiated teaching methods, and use of a range of learning resources including ICT etc.

      Didactic principles are provided as a guide to the learning and teaching of the subject.
  3. Learning Objectives

    This section describes the main learning objectives and competences for each year/cycle. The basic knowledge, skills and attitudes to be attained in each year/cycle are clearly defined and show progression from one level to the next.
  4. Contents

    The relevant contents of the subject necessary to meet the learning objectives are outlined.
  5. Assessment

    The basis of assessment are the learning objectives of each year/cycle.

    Specific assessment criteria for the pupil’s achievements are set for the subject concerned. Assessments meet criteria of validity, reliability and transparency.
    Ref: 2011-01-D-61-en-3 Assessment Policy in the European Schools
    Syllabuses for secondary education are provided with a model of the BAC exams.
  6. Annex
    Commentaries on some parts of the syllabuses provide explanations where clarification is necessary.
    An overview of syllabuses by subject can be found on the European Schools website

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