Pre-Orientation Cycle

Secondary years 4 and 5


In this cycle, students have the opportunity to personalise their course of study based on their language and subject preferences. Next to their three languages, they must take Mathematics for 4 or 6 periods a week. Biology, Chemistry and Physics are studied in the language of the section for 2 periods each week each. History and Geography are studied for 2 periods each in the student’s second language, as is Ethics. Students add at least one elective subject such as Language 4, Economics, Latin, Art, Music or ICT.

Subjects and their tuition languages

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S4-S5 Curriculum

Social and emotional development

Each secondary class has a Mentor who is the first point of contact for students, parents and teachers. The Mentor lessons in each cycle focus on age-appropriate topics and themes in order to support our students socially, academically and emotionally.

Students in the Pre-Orientation Cycle are making a big step towards taking responsibility for their own learning and well-being. The mentor lessons build on what was studied in the Observation Cycle, but students also work on study skills and career orientation. In addition to this, S4 students participate in a volunteer project, Make a Difference, as part of their active citizenship development and they do two weeks of work experience in S5 as part of career and university orientation. Highly motivated students may apply to do a 6-8 week exchange with another European School during the first semester in S4, or a 4-month exchange during the first semester in S5.

Student Mentor Programme

When our S1 students arrive on their first day of Secondary school, they are welcomed and supported by a fun and friendly group of Student Mentors from S5, who look after them and introduced them to life at ESH Secondary. Throughout the year, the S5 Student Mentors are involved in several activities with our S1 students to support them through their first year of secondary school. Student Mentors help out with P5-S1 transition activities, S1 mentor lessons, and various events and assemblies. The Student Mentor programme complements the S4 Make a Difference programme and provides students with opportunities to complete acts of service and develop their leadership skills.

Make a Difference Project

ESH Make a difference project

The Make a Difference Project requires S4 students to participate in activities in which they make a positive contribution to their community. Students arrange their own activities such as volunteering with a community organisation, tutoring, coaching, organising charity events, helping a neighbor, etc. The aim of the project is to give students an opportunity to help others without expecting anything in return, while demonstrating the school values of positivity and respect. This project is an embodiment of the school’s vision to inspire students to be responsible, future focused and proactive citizens of Europe and the world.

Work Experience

S5 students are guided in CV writing and interview techniques during mentor lessons, and then spend two weeks in a workplace of their choice to gain insight into the day-to-day experiences of a particular career or field of work. The experience provides students with a realistic look into the daily tasks involved in a particular career, which may reinforce their desired career path, or inspire change.

Pre-Orientation Cycle Leader

Each class has a Mentor teacher who meets with students once a week, and is the first point of contact for students, parents and subject teachers.

Cycle Leaders are responsible for overseeing the activities in each Cycle. Any questions that cannot be answered by the student's Mentor teacher, should be directed to the Cycle Leader.

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