Nursery and Primary : First Language L1

A fundamental principle of the European Schools is the teaching of mother tongue as first language (L1). 

This principle implies the pupil’s enrolment in the section of his/her mother tongue where such a section exists. 

In schools where the section corresponding to a pupil’s mother tongue does not exist, he/she will generally be enrolled in one of the vehicular language sections. He/she will attend the classes in his/her mother tongue organised for so-called SWALS (Students Without A Language Section) as L1. 

The syllabi are elaborated by national inspectors of the member states concerned and are are then approved by the Board of Governors of the European Schools, which is the supervisory authority. They take into account the national curricula of the respective member state and reflect the achievements that pupils would be expected to reach in their national systems, although it is not an exact match. 

The syllabi for L1 cover the five years of primary cycle. L1 is taught: 

  • 480 minutes in P1/P2
  • 405 minutes in P3/P4/P5

SWALS L1 is taught: 

  • 150 minutes in P1/P2
  • 225 minutes in P3/P4/P5

For more information concerning the L1 syllabus of your child, please consult the respective syllabus which can be found on the website of the Office of the Secretary-General.