Dear pupil,

Dear parent,

This booklet is intended to help you in making the choice of subjects for years 4 and 5. You will find information about the subject choice process and courses offered.

Please read this booklet before the information evening on Tuesday, 12 December 2023. Detailed information regarding the organisation of the meeting is communicated in due time.

The subject coordinators and relevant teachers have prepared the subject descriptions and every effort has been made to ensure that the details are correct. Please check with the reference teacher(s) if you have any 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 12, 2024.

Mr ALCAZAR coordinates the choices for years 4 and 5. You are very welcome to contact him if you have any questions:

Martin WEDEL


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During the week of Monday 27/12/2023 Parents receive an email with the invitation to the information evening
Tuesday 12/12/2023 Information evening (17:30 – 19:50)
Friday 12/01/2024

Deadline to return the subject choice form to the class teacher

Deadline for submitting the language change form, which can be downloaded from the school website

mid-May 2024

Language level tests (detailed information on the date and organisation of the test will be communicated in due time)

Monday 01/07/2024 – Friday 12/07/2024

Window for requesting a change to the initial choice of subjects. No positive reply is guaranteed, please read below for further details on requesting changes to the initial choice.

September 2024 Confirmation of subjects choice

In the 4th and 5th years, pupils will study the following compulsory subjects: [1]

Compulsory subjects Periods
Language 1 (L1) (dominant language)
Language 2 (L2) (second language)
Language 3 (L3) (third language)
Physical Education
Religion or Ethics
Mathematics 4 or 6
27 or 29
(1 period = 45 minutes)

In addition to the compulsory subjects, pupils must make a selection from the following optional subjects, in such a way that the total number of weekly periods lies between a minimum of 31 and a maximum of 35 for those who have chosen 4-period Mathematics and a minimum of 33 and maximum of 35 periods for those who have opted for the 6-period Mathematics course.

Optional subjects Periods
Ancient Greek
Language 4 (L4) (fourth language)
Other National Languages (ONL)

The curriculum allows a maximum of 35 periods to enable some pupils to take two 4-period options. However, 35 periods should be the exception rather than the rule, experience has shown the risks of an overloaded timetable.

With the exception of ONL, the creation of optional courses requires a minimum of 7 pupils. [2] If the group does not have the minimum number of pupils at the start of the school year, there is no guarantee that the course will be created, and pupils may have to make a new choice.

Only category I and category II pupils are entitled to the teaching of ONL, which can take place from nursery up to S7. Category III pupils may join existing courses, but courses cannot run exclusively for category III pupils.

The creation of ONL courses is subject to teacher availability. In principle, the school offers the following ONL courses:

  • For pupils of Finnish origin, Swedish/ Finnish can be requested as Other National Language regardless of the language section the pupil is enrolled in.
  • For pupils of Irish origin, Irish as Other National Language can be requested regardless of the language section the pupil is enrolled in.
  • For pupils of Maltese origin, Maltese can be requested, regardless of the language section the pupil is enrolled in.

When the number of pupils are very small, they can be taught in joined groups of consecutive years. Please be aware that these are not beginners’ courses and follow on from the ONL courses in years 1, 2 and 3. Pupils choosing Other National Language (ONL) cannot choose Language 4. [3]

As some of the options may have to be timetabled concurrently, it might not be possible to provide all possible combinations of optional subjects, timetabling constraints may for instance make it impossible for a pupil to choose both Latin and Economics. When this happens, parents will be contacted to review the choice. In any case, it is desirable that the choice of options helps to form a coherent group of subjects for study. Within the limitations of the timetable, the school will try its best to satisfy the greatest possible number of demands.

Please see the section Subject descriptions for a brief overview of the Mathematics and optional courses.


[1] The European School Curriculum: Structure and Organisation of studies and courses in the European Schools (2019-04-D-13)

[2] The European School Curriculum: Structure and Organisation of studies and courses in the European Schools (2019-04-D-13)

[3] Language Policy of the European Schools (2019-01-D-35)

At the end of S3, there will be a window of two weeks for requesting a change to the initial choice, please see Important dates. Parents will be informed in due time when requests can be introduced. The school will try its best to accommodate your request, but no positive reply is guaranteed.

The subject choice is binding for years 4 and 5 and results in all subjects will be taken into account when considering promotion.

The choice of subjects is binding  for S4 and S5: pupils cannot change, add or drop a subject as from the start of the 4th year. However, a pupil can change from 6-period Mathematics to 4-period Mathematics

  • at the end of the 1st semester in the 4th year and
  • at the end of the 4th

The reverse change (from 4 to 6-period Mathematics) is also possible, subject to a level test. In any case, the change is subject to approval by the Class Council.

Towards the first and second Semester end in S4, parents will be given the possibility to submit a request to change the Mathematics level. Parents will be informed in due time when requests can be introduced.

Please see the section Mathematics level test below for further information about the topics covered and test modalities.

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The following table shows the use of languages in years 4 and 5.

Compulsory subjects Language of instruction Other possibilities

Language 1


Language 2

L3 Language 3
History Language 2
Geography Language 2
Biology Language 1
Chemistry Language 1
Physics Language 1
Physical Education Course taught in any language in the pupil’s curriculum
Religion or Ethics Language 2 Language 3, Host Country Language
Mathematics 4 or 6 Language 1
Optional subjects    
Ancient Greek Language 1 Language 2, Language 3, Host Country Language
Economics Language 2 Host Country Language, Language 1
Latin Language 1 Language 2, Language 3, Host Country Language
Language 4 (L4) Language 4  
ONL Other National Language  
Art Courses taught in any language in the pupil’s curriculum

From secondary year 4 onwards, History, Geography and Economics courses must be taught in Language 2 (English, French or German) and may not be taught in Language 1. Special rules are established regarding the Language of tuition for Economics in the European Schools system. [4]

Art, Music, ICT and physical education are taught to mixed language groups in any language of the pupil’s curriculum. The Art and Music courses will normally be given in the language(s) of the teachers available. For some pupils this may therefore be in their mother tongue, for others in one of the working languages (not necessarily that of the pupil).

L4 in year 4 is a beginners’ course. Any of the official languages of the European Union may in principle be chosen as L4 subject to having sufficient pupils to create the course and within the organisational possibilities of the school. [5]


[4] Languages of tuition for Economics in the European Schools system (2012-05-D-23)

[5] Language Policy of the European Schools (2019-01-D-35)

If the threshold of seven pupils required for creating a group cannot be met, even after combining different groups vertically and horizontally, and the consequence would be that courses cannot be offered, it is within the autonomy of the school to find alternative solutions to facilitate the organisation of these courses.

At the Board of Governors’ meeting held in April 2007 it was decided that, whilst schools should continue organising 4th and 5th year timetables on the basis of a maximum of 35 periods per week, pupils could, with the agreement of the Class Council and the approval of the Director, exceed this limit provided that the course(s) is/are compatible with their timetables. Please consider that a 35-period timetable already represents a heavy workload and the school management does not want to encourage pupils to choose more, except in very exceptional cases.

Requests to exceed the 35-period maximum must be made in writing, with a letter signed by the parents stating the reason for granting this exception. The letter must be handed in 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 timetable possibilities. A reply will be given at the start of the year during the subjects choice confirmation.

It is highly recommended to have a global view of the curriculum leading to the Baccalaureate in order to understand the possibilities and constraints on choices for S6-S7 due to the choices for S4-S5 made in year 3.

Before making their choices, parents and pupils wishing to inform themselves about the possibilities open to them in the 6th and 7th years are invited to consult the relevant information available on the school website:

Information on career guidance and the contact details of our guidance teachers according to nationality can be found on the school website:

The 5-period Mathematics course in years 6 and 7 can be chosen by pupils who have followed the 4-period course in year 5 only on the recommendation of the teacher of Mathematics and on condition that the pupil has been successful in a level test. The test includes topics from the 6-period Mathematics curriculum in S4 and S5.

In some language sections, it is considered that the choice of Physics and Chemistry options in years 6 and 7 should only be taken in conjunction with the 5-period Mathematics course. This point will be explained in detail at the parents’ information evening during the section meetings concerned.

In S6, pupils cannot choose an optional subject which they have not taken in S5. However, this rule may be waived by the Director and the teachers concerned if pupils can proof that their level is sufficient to follow the subject successfully in years 6 and 7. Pupils will have to pass an assessment to proof that their level is sufficient. This assessment normally involves a formal test on materials covered in S4 and S5.

With the exception of ONL, an optional course taken in S5 can be continued in S6 only if the number of pupils is sufficient to create the course; a minimum of 5 pupils under the current regulations, and in some cases this may be in groups of mixed language.

With the approval of the Class Council, a student can change from 4 to 6-period Mathematics (1) at the end of the 1st semester in S4 and (2) at the end of S4, on the condition of passing a level test.

For changes requested by the end of the first semester, the placement test usually takes place in the second half of January. For changes requested by the end of S4, the placement test takes place in September, at the beginning of the school year in S5, usually on the first day.

Preparation for the exam is the sole responsibility of parents and pupils. Teachers may give general guidance, but are, in any case, under no obligation to assist the student.

The test lasts 1h30: 45 min with calculator and 45 min without calculator.

End of the 1st semester in S4

The test covers the following topics:

  • Basic calculations
  • Radicals and surds
  • Real numbers
  • Power and algebraic expressions
  • Proportionality
  • Linear models
  • Simultaneous equations
  • Polynomials

End of S4

The test covers all the programme of 6-period Mathematics in year 4.

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

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 (

Coordinator S4-S7