Fundamental education: creating equal opportunities An introduction du Luxembourg's fundamental education and its priorities

Basic education in Luxembourg covers the first 9 years of schooling (3 to 11 years) divided into 4 learning cycles. Schooling is compulsory from the age of 4. In Luxembourg, the pedagogical approach is centred on individual competences, assessment in pedagogical units and teamwork.

A diverse and welcoming public school offer

There are 156 public fundamental schools in Luxembourg. Basic schools are organised by the 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.

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.

Free access to childcare facilities and school meals

Luxembourg education aims to offer equal opportunities to all pupils so that they can live up to their potential. In this spirit, reception in non-formal education structures was thus made free of charge during school weeks. It is free of charge for "maisons relais", educational daycare ("foyers scolaires") and parental assistants.

In addition, quality school meals are free for all students during the same periods, regardless of parental income.

Learning cycles

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);
  • Mathematics;
  • 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.

Did you know?

SUPER SENIOR a successful intergenerational service and networking In almost 23 municipalities in Luxembourg, 29 senior citizens accompany children in primary schools and help them to do their homework, according to their own rhythm, and to regain their self-confidence. The project was developed by the non-for-profit Mouvement pour l'égalité des chances pour tous(MEC), with the financial support of the local action group LEADER Regioun Mëllerdall.

This exceptional tutoring service has also been selected as a finalist in the "social inclusion" category of the prestigious "Rural Inspiration Awards 2021".

© Nadine Scholtes / Mouvement pour l’égalité des chances pour tous (MEC) ASBL

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 education, an orientation procedureis 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

In addition to public school provision, there are also 11 private and fee-paying schools in the country that apply a different curriculum to the official one (with the exception of l'École Notre-Dame Sainte-Sophie) and receive subsidies from the state