Fundamental education covers the first 8 to 9 years of school years (4 to 12 years old) divided into 4 learning cycles. It is compulsory from the age of 4. In Luxembourg, education focuses on personal skills assessed on a skill bases, and on teachers' teamwork.
Public educational facilities
There are 156 public fundamental schools in Luxembourg. Fundamental schools are organised by the country's municipalities and the state. School management is set up in fifteen regions according to a distribution based on the number of pupils, teachers and schools. As a result of our society's diversity, the school population is also multilingual and multicultural. Public schools take this diversity into account.
Three public fundamental schools (Eis Schoul; Jean-Jaurès and Villa Mirabella) offer alternative teaching methods. We also have four public international schools operating according to the European school system, which make access to school easier for the children of expats and foreigners.
Cycle 1 (3 years) means preschool education for children from 3 to 5 years of age. While the first year (early childhood education) is optional, it is compulsory for every child to go to school from the age of 4. This cycle mainly focuses on children's social experience, but emphasis is also placed on discovering new languages and cultures.
Cycles 2 to 4 are each composed of 2 years. At the end of each cycle, pupils must acquire defined learning objectives known as skill bases. In primary school, the spheres of competence to be acquired are as follows:
- Literacy and languages (German, French and Luxembourgish);
- Introduction to science as well as human and natural sciences;
- Body language and sports;
- Introduction to culture, arts and music;
- Living together and the values of society.
Forms of assessment
The assessment of pupils is no longer handled with overall marks for each subject, but with detailed descriptions of acquired competences and skill bases reached. A formative assessment as part of the cycle provides guidance to pupils during the learning process, while a certificate-based assessment at the end of each cycle is used to determine whether the pupil has reached the required skills to move on to the next cycle.
For the transition to secondary school, an orientation procedure is in place at the beginning of cycle 4 to determine the most appropriate choice for individual pupils regarding their entry to secondary education. At the end of cycle 4, parents and the holder express a common decision on orientation.
Private educational facilities
Apart from public educational facilities, there are also 9 private fee-paying schools across the country that apply a different official programme (except Notre-Dame school) and receive State subsidies.