Booklet : Choice of subjects for years 6 and 7 (2020-2022)

Dear pupil,
Dear parent,

This booklet is intended to assist you in making the choice of subjects for years 6 and 7. You will find information about the subject choice process, the subjects offered and a summary of regulations concerning the European Baccalaureate examinations.

The subject coordinators have prepared the information about the subjects and every effort has been made to ensure that the details are correct. However, small changes may occur in programmes from one year to the next. Please check with the relevant subject teacher if you have any questions.

Please read this booklet before the information evening on Thursday, January 23, 2020. After a common meeting, section meetings will take place where the career advisers from each section and the class teachers will be present. Subject teachers will visit the section meetings and be available for a short time to answer your questions.

Together with this booklet you will receive the form for the choice of subjects, please return the form to your class teacher by Friday, January 31, 2020.

Mr Alcazar coordinates choices for years 6 and 7. You are very welcome to contact him if you have any questions:

Martin Wedel

Turn the mobile phone to landscape for a better view.


Thursday, January 23 (18:00) Information evening for parents and students
Friday, January 31

Deadline to return the form for the choice of subjects.

(Please note that the choice forms collected at this moment determine the number of students interested in the various subjects which is the basis for creating the course grid. Forms received after the deadline will not be considered when creating the grid.)

Deadline to return the language change request form.

Deadline to hand in the written request to take MA5 for those pupils taking MA4 in year 5.


Pupils confirm their choices. When the first choice is not possible, pupils are requested to do a second choice using the coursegrid this time.

(An information meeting will take place to explain the second choice process to pupils.)

Monday, March 23

Deadline to return the choice confirmation sheet.

Deadline to return the second choice form (if needed).

Tuesday, May 12 (14:00-16:30)

Language tests for pupils having requested a change.

Math test for pupils taking MA4 in year 5 and requesting to take MA5 in years 6 and 7.

Friday, September 11 Last date for requesting a change to the choice of subjects. If possible, only accepted in very exceptional cases. No positive reply is guaranteed.


Friday, June 25 Last date for requesting a change of subject level going into year 7. No request will be accepted unless the Class Council has recommended it.

The pupil’s timetable must comprise between 31 (minimum) and 35 (maximum) periods per week. Only in exceptional cases may pupils be allowed to take 36 periods. Experience has shown that a 35-period week already represents a heavy working load.



 Compulsory  Compulsory unless chosen as an option  Compulsory unless a science option is chosen
Language 1
Language 2
Physical education
3 or 5p
Biology 2p
(1p = 1 period = 45 minutes)

Biology 2 periods is compulsory only for those pupils who do not choose a science from the optional subjects. It is not available for those pupils choosing Biology as an option, but is a possibility for those pupils who choose Chemistry and/or Physics.

The 5 periods mathematics can be chosen by a pupil who has followed the 4 periods course in year 5 only if all the following requirements are met: (a) a written request is handed in with the choice form; (b) on the recommendation of the teacher of mathematics and (c) on condition that the pupil has been successful in a required level test, see “Important dates”.



Language 3
Economics or Latin
Language 4 or ONL
4p Advanced language 1 or
Advanced language 2 or
Advanced Mathematics
(ONL = Other National Language)

The Digest of Decisions states that “Pupils cannot continue to study a subject in the 6th year if their results show that they have not been following it satisfactorily in the 4th and 5th years” [1]. The importance of options must be emphasised, not only for promotion prospects from 6th to 7th year but also for the written and oral examinations in the Baccalaureate, see below.

When choosing subjects, pupils have to contact the teachers concerned to discuss their choice. When necessary, teachers might have to forward to the coordinator their opinions about the possible option choices of their pupils.

At the beginning of the 6th year, pupils cannot normally choose a subject which they have not taken in the 4th and 5th years. However, this rule may be waived by the Director and the teachers concerned if pupils can provide proof that their background in the subject is sufficient for them to follow it successfully in years 6 and 7. Pupils may have to pass a test on the syllabus of years 4 and 5 to proof that their background is sufficient.

Advanced subjects involve, as their name suggests, a deeper study of the subject in question and should be chosen only by those pupils who show a clear interest and a particular aptitude for the subject.

Advanced Language 1 becomes obligatory in both the written and oral examinations of the Baccalaureate. Advanced Language 2 becomes obligatory in the written examinations of the Baccalaureate, see below.

The Advanced Mathematics course can be taken only by those pupils who take the 5-period mathematics course. This subject cannot be taken as a written examination in the Baccalau­reate, but must be taken as the third oral examination if taken.



Introduction to Economics
Informatics (ICT)
Laboratory Biology or
Laboratory Chemistry or
Laboratory Physics
Language 5 – Luxemburgish or
Language 5 – Dutch or
Language 5 – Chinese
Political science

Complementary subjects must be taken by those pupils whose timetable has reached less than 31 periods after choosing their Compulsory and Optional subjects. Otherwise, pupils are not obliged to take any Complementary subject.

Laboratory courses in Biology; Physics or Chemistry can be taken only by those pupils who have already chosen the corresponding science option. Pupils may take only one of them.

Complementary courses are given in one or more of the working languages. They cannot be requested in the pupil’s language 1. If a course exists in a pupil’s working language, he/she must take it in that language unless technical constraints make it impossible.

Complementary courses are not involved in the written or oral examinations of the Baccalaureate.

Art and Music complementary courses cannot be chosen by those pupils who have already chosen these subjects as optional courses.

The Language 5 (L5) courses are specifically designed for beginners.

Pupils who have chosen Economics as an option or who have followed Economics in years 4 and 5 cannot take Introduction to Economics.

For ICT a contribution of 25€ is charged per pupil, per year.


Requesting a language change

According to the general rules of the European Schools language changes are in general only foreseen for S5 students entering S6: “Normally no changes are envisaged in language choices, except on entry to year 6 (…). When a change of L2 is approved on entry to year 6, the old L2 remains the medium of teaching for history, geography and economics.” [2]

When a change of language is desired, a special request form must be handed in together with the choice of subjects form.[3] For passing to a higher language level, the pupil will sit a language level test if the request is accepted. A change to a lower language level is usually rejected unless the arguments are compelling.


What if your first choice does not work?

The Administration will do its best to organise the courses chosen by the pupils. However, it may not be possible to offer all options and advanced courses in all sections, for financial and/or organisational reasons.

If a pupil’s choice is not possible, he/she will be asked to make a second choice based on the course grid. [4] Experience shows that approximately 20 % of all pupils must do a second choice.

When pupils need to do a second choice, their form teacher will inform them of the problems affecting their first choice and at the same time give them the course grid and the second choice form.  An information session will take place for those pupils having to do a second choice, see “Important dates”.


Changes to the initial choice of subjects

Pupils and parents are expected to make a carefully considered choice, having consulted teachers and careers advisers,[5] having informed themselves of the regulations as outlined in this booklet and consulted the subject information sheets, see below.

If you are in doubt as to what subjects to choose please consult your form teacher, your career adviser, or maybe a guidance centre.

Your particular attention is drawn to the fact that the choices selected, when possible, are binding for years 6 and 7. However, if the Class Council disapproves of a certain choice, a change should take place.

If at all possible, the school will try to accommodate requests for changes to the initial choice when made before the end of the 5th year, or even, in very exceptional cases, up until the beginning of year 6 to allow for unforeseen year 5 results, see “Important dates”.[6] No more requests will be allowed until the end of the 6th year, when the regulations permit a very limited number of changes, see below.


Creation of courses

Option courses are created with a minimum of 5 pupils,

Complementary courses are created with a minimum of 7 pupils.

In creating courses, priority will always be given to optional courses rather than to complementary courses.

An optional course can be created only if at least 5 qualified pupils have chosen it and then only within the limits of the school plan. If the group does not consist of at least 5 pupils at the start of the school year, there is no guarantee that the course will be created, and the pupils might have to make a new choice.

The options already begun in the 4th year (Latin, Economics and Language 4) can be continued only if sufficient numbers of pupils choose them.

If an optional course that is normally taught in mother tongue cannot be created in a particular language section, it will, if possible, be offered in one of the working languages. If the option courses in History or Geography cannot be created in the working language of the pupil, he/she can follow it in another working language, on the condition that it is not the pupil’s mother tongue and that a group is created.

Other National Language groups shall be created even with fewer than five pupils in accordance with the ONL rules.

  • ONL Irish is only available to category I and II Irish pupils in the Anglophone section.
  • ONL Swedish is only available to category I and II Finnish-speakers in the Finnish section.
  • ONL Finnish is only available to category I and II Finnish pupils in the Swedish section.


Exceeding the maximum 35 periods

Even though the 6th and 7th year timetables are organised on the basis of a maximum of 35 periods per week, pupils can, with the approval of the Management, exceed this limit provided that the organisation of such timetable is possible.

A timetable of 35 periods already represents a heavy load, and the Management does not want to encourage pupils to choose more, except in very exceptional cases.

Such request must be addressed to the Director of the school in writing, with a justification, together with the choice form. The requests will be considered during the summer holiday in the light of the written request, the academic profile of the pupil and technical timetable possibilities.


Why are some combinations of courses not possible?

A timetable of around 100 periods per week would be necessary to accommodate every possible choice.

By combining beforehand in the same time slot Economics and Latin, L4 and ONL, allowing only one advanced course and only one lab course we reduce the weekly number of periods to around 90. However, we only have 40 periods per week.

When we plan the timetable several subjects take place within a section: L1, Mathematics, Philosophy 2 periods, and Biology 2 periods. Every pupil takes L2 and a big majority of pupils must take History 2 periods and Geography 2 periods so nothing else can be timetabled in parallel. Taking these subjects away and 3 periods for the Advanced courses, we are left with 16 periods per week where we have to place 11 options of 4 periods. That is, we have 4 slots of 4 periods where 11 options must take place. It is obvious that clashes are inevitable. Furthermore, we have to place the complementary courses too in these 4 slots, increasing the number of clashes 


Why do we have different clashes in different sections?

We must place Physics, Chemistry, and 4 periods Biology in the three working languages on top of each other to allow pupils from sections without these options in their mother tongue to follow them in their working language. Moreover, we place those science groups in three different slots to offer the possibility of following all three sciences.

Experience shows that around two thirds of all pupils choose L3. It means that it is almost impossible to place other options against L3 and so the remaining options will have to be placed against the sciences, but different from section to section.


[1] Digest of Decisions of the Board of Governors of the European Schools (Ref.: 2014-02-D-14-en-3)

[2] Revision of the Decisions of the Board of Governors concerning the organisation of studies and courses in the European Schools (Ref.: 2019-04-D-13-en-1)

[3] The language change request form is available on the school website:

Secondary : Choice of subjects

[4] The course grid comprises all the courses that will run in years 6 and 7. The grid is created in such a way to give the maximum number of students their first choice. The grid determines which combinations of courses are possible and which not.

[5] Information on orientation and career advice is available on the school website:

Secondary : Careers guidance

[6] Please contact Mr Alcazar in such case.

Starting a new subject in S7 is strictly forbidden.

Changes of language level in S7 are not allowed.

When entering S7, a course can be given up only if all the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The pupil’s timetable must still have at least 31 periods.
  • There must be at least 2 optional courses from column 3.
  • There must still be 29 periods of compulsory and optional courses.
  • There must be at least one science (2 or 4 periods Biology, Chemistry or Physics).
  • The course does not fall under the minimum number of pupils required to be organised.

Between S6 and S7, only the following changes of level are possible:

  • Mathematics 5 ↔ Mathematics 3
  • 4-period option ↔ Compulsory 2-period course (same subject)

A written request with an explanation of the requested drop of a course or change of level must be addressed to the Director of the school and handed in to the secretariat of secondary school before the deadline, see “Important dates”.

No request will be accepted unless the class council has recommended it. Any change needs to be approved by the Director of the school on a recommendation of the class council.

A change to a more advanced course (5 periods Mathematics or 4 periods option) is conditional upon the passing of an attainment test demonstrating the pupil’s ability to keep up successfully with the requirements of the course requested.

Turn the mobile phone to landscape for a better view.

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5
Language 1
Language 2
Maths 3 or
Maths 5
Physical Education
2p Art
Economics or Latin
Language 3
Language 4 or ONL
4p Advanced L1 or Advanced L2 or Advanced Mathematics 3p Art
Introduction to Economics
Informatics (ICT)
Laboratory Biology or Laboratory Chemistry or Laboratory Physics
L5 – Luxemburgish or L5 – Dutch or L5 – Chinese
Political science
* These courses are compulsory unless they are chosen in column 3.
# Biology 2p is compulsory unless Biology, Chemistry or Physics is chosen in column 3.
Minimum 2, maximum 4 options in column 3. Advanced maths only if maths 5 is chosen in column 1. Art, Music and Introduction to Economics are excluded if chosen in column 3.Labo. course only if corresponding science option is chosen in column 3.

It is highly recommended to have a global view of the regulations governing the European Baccalaureate before doing the choice.[7] In particular, on those provisions regarding the calculation of the final mark and organisation of examinations.[8]

The final European Baccalaureate mark is calculated as follows:

  • 50% for the average preliminary mark
  • 35% for the average written examinations mark (7% per exam)
  • 15% for the average oral examinations mark (5% per exam)

The 50% corresponding to the average preliminary mark is made up of the class marks (A marks, formative assessment) and part examination (pre-Baccalaureate) marks (B marks, summative assessment) as follows:

  • 10% A1 marks (Semester 1)
  • 10% A2 marks (Semester 2)
  • 30% B marks



Part examinations are organised as a set of short and a set of long written examinations.


Short written examinations

In Philosophy (2 periods) and in Advanced Mathematics: 1 harmonised short written examination is organised as part of the normal school week at the end of each semester. The time allowed is 2 consecutive teaching periods.

In Biology, History and Geography (all with 2 periods a week) either the same as above or 2 harmonised short written examinations lasting 1 teaching period are organised as part of the normal timetable in the course of each semester.

For complementary subjects, either 1 short examination of 1 period per semester or through other assessment methods prescribed in the syllabus of the subject.


Long written examinations

The set of harmonised long examinations is organised over at least 2 weeks after the Christmas holidays. All the subjects in which a written examination may be taken in the European Baccalaureate are examined, i.e.:

  • Language 1
  • Language 2
  • Mathematics (3 and 5 periods)
  • All options (4 periods)
  • Language 1 Advanced
  • Language 2 Advanced

Every pupil is examined in each of the subjects listed above which he/she takes. For Physical Education the following arrangements apply:

  • The B mark shows the results of the assessment held at the end of each unit of instruction.
  • Assessment will be purely practical, involving no written work of any kind.



Please note that S7 pupils are asked for their choice of options for the written examinations already in October. Candidates will sit 5 written examinations: [9]

  1. Language 1 (L1 Advanced compulsory if taken)
  2. Language 2 (L2 Advanced compulsory if taken)
  3. Mathematics 3 or 5 periods
  4. Option (4 periods)
  5. Option (4 periods)



Candidates will take 3 oral examinations:

  1. Language 1 (L1 Advanced compulsory if taken)
  2. One choice possible between:
    • Language 2 (L2 Advanced if taken)
    • History (2 or 4 periods)
    • Geography (2 or 4 periods)
  3. Advanced Mathematics, compulsory if taken, otherwise, choice possible between:
    • Philosophy (2 or 4 periods)
    • Language 3
    • Language 4
    • ONL
    • Biology (2 or 4 periods)
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

Constraint: Subjects which are taken as the 4th or 5th written examination cannot be taken as orals.


  • Pupils and parents will be informed in due time about the Regulations and the Arrangements for implementing the Regulations for the 2022 Baccalaureate.
  • It is very important to check that with the combination of subjects chosen the pupil can take all the required Baccalaureate examinations.


[7] Information on the European Baccalaureate on the school website:

Secondary : European Baccalaureate

[8] The current detailed rules for calculation of the European Baccalaureate mark and organization of examinations can be found in the “Arrangements for implementing the Regulations for the European Baccalaureate (applicable for the year 2020 Baccalaureate session)” (Ref. 2015-05-D-12-en-18). This may be subject to change before the 2022 Baccalaureate session.

[9] Additional written examination, see Article 13 in the “ Arrangements for implementing the Regulations for the European Baccalaureate (applicable for the year 2020 Baccalaureate session)” (Ref. 2015-05-D-12-en-18). This may be subject to change before the 2022 Baccalaureate session.

  1. Personal data. The pupil’s data are indicated at the top of the form: name, class and class teacher.
  2. Courses in S5. This part shows the pupil’s subjects in year 5. This part is not to be changed.
  3. Choice of subjects. This part should be filled in in the following way:
    • Tick the box in front of the subjects chosen while respecting the rules explained in this booklet.
    • Mathematics: Fill in the box with 3p or 5p according to the Maths course chosen (3 or 5 periods/week).
    • In case of a request for a change of Religion/Ethics course, indicate the new course in the corresponding box. It is not enough to indicate « Religion » in case of a change. It is important to specify the course using the abbreviations below. If no change is requested, leave the box empty.
      • RCA         Catholic Religion
      • RPR          Protestant Religion
      • ROR         Orthodox Religion
      • RJU          Jewish religion
      • MOR        Ethics
    • Calculate the total of periods for each column and check that the total corresponds to the figures indicated: at least 29 periods for the total of columns 1 to 4 and between 31 and 35 for all columns.
    • The form needs to be dated and signed by both the pupil and the parents.
    • Please return the form to your form teacher.

In order to give information about the subjects offered, the subject coordinators have drawn up succinct descriptions of the subjects for which they are responsible.

Subject information sheets

The information on each subject sheet is necessarily limited and will need further explanation from the teachers. Each sheet is a summary of the full syllabus, which is available on the European schools’ website.

Link to the Office of the Secretary-General of the European Schools (

  • The course grid comprises all the courses that will be offered in years 6 and 7.
  • The grid determines which combinations of courses are possible and which not.
  • When completing the form, it is not possible to choose two subjects that are on the same column on the grid because they will be scheduled at the same time. For example, this year timetable constraints do not allow to take 4-period History in French (hi4fr) and Sports (spo–), both in column 8.
  • Please note that some subjects appear in several columns. For example, 5-period Mathematics are in columns 4 and 5, 4-period Art is in columns 13 and 14, and so on. When selecting such a subject, you are selecting both columns.
  • Also note that some subjects can have several groups, for instance there are two groups of Economy in English (ecoenA and ecoenB), ecoenA is in columns 11 and 12, and ecoenB in columns 9 and 10.