Secondary education - classic and general

Depending on the pupil’s knowledge of languages and his/her age on arrival in the Grand Duchy, there are a number of options.

Classical secondary education

In the Grand Duchy’s education system, access to classical secondary education is theoretically reserved for those pupils who have a very good level in maths, German and French. There are, however, a number of options available for pupils who have a very good academic level but not complete mastery of both languages.

“ALLET” classes (German as a foreign language) in the lower cycle (7e ESC to 5e ESC classes, i.e. 1st ESC to 3rd ESC year of secondary education

These classes are for pupils who have completed primary school with a very good level in French and maths but are relatively weak in German. They offer extra teaching in the German language, the aim being to enable pupils to join an ordinary 4e ESC class (4th year of secondary education).

“Français Plus” classes (7e ESC - 5e ESC classes, i.e. 1st ESC to 3rd ESC year of secondary education)

These classes are for pupils who have completed primary school with a very good level in German and maths but are relatively weak in French. They offer extra teaching in the French language, the aim being to enable pupils to join an ordinary 4e ESC class (4th year of secondary education).

Classes taught in French (7e ESC - 5e ESC)

Unlike normal classes, where in most cases the subjects are taught in German, all subjects are taught in French in LVF classes (classes à langue véhiculaire française). The level required in German is that of pupils having completed primary school (école fondamentale) in the Grand Duchy, and German is taught to the same standard as in normal classes.

The classes are intended for pupils who have completed primary school in the Grand Duchy but prefer to learn in French.

From the 4e ESC class onwards, pupils join an ordinary class, in which non-language subjects are in any case taught in French.

At the Lycée Aline Mayrisch, gradual integration for 12- to 16-year-olds

Since September 2015, the Lycée Aline Mayrisch has been offering gradual integration in ‘classic’ secondary education in the Grand Duchy for young people between the ages of 12 and 16 who have been in primary and/or secondary education in another country.

Priority is given to personalised accompaniment in acquiring or improving language skills in Luxembourgish, French, German and/or English, the languages used for teaching.

The aim is to enable these young people to follow a ‘normal’ school career in the Grand Duchy’s secondary education system and to take advantage of the system’s multilingualism.

Enrolment directly with the secondary school:

International Baccalaureate

The course leading to the International Baccalaureate certificate (IB) is a classic baccalaureate course available at 3,500 secondary schools in 143 countries throughout the world. The certificate awarded on successful completion of the course available at the Lycée technique du Centre and at the Athénée de Luxembourg is recognised under Luxembourg law as being equivalent to the diploma awarded on successful completion of secondary studies (diplôme de fin d’études secondaires). The course is intended for young people recently arrived in the Grand Duchy and to young people who have opted for secondary education taught in either French or English who are capable of success in secondary education at a high level. Most of the written examinations at the end of the course are marked externally, by a global network of 9,000 trained examiners.

Enrolment directly with the preferred secondary school:

Classes taught in English at the Lycée Michel Lucius

All teaching is in English, and pupils select French and/or German as their second and/or third language(s). These classes prepare students for the following diplomas and certificates:

  • International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) at about age 16;
  • Advanced Subsidiary level (AS-level);
  • Advanced level (A-level) at about age 18.

Courses leading to the International GCSE, which has its origin in the British school system, enables pupils to continue their secondary school studies and prepares them for the AS- and A-level examinations. The certificate indicates a level comparable to that of successful completion of a 3e ESC class (fifth year) in classical secondary education or a 3e ESG class (fifth year) in general secondary education in the normal Luxembourgish system.

Courses leading to A-levels are available in more than 125 countries worldwide. A-levels certify that the student has successfully completed his/her secondary or pre-university education.

École Internationale de Differdange (EIDE)

This school opened in September 2016, offering French-, English- and German-speaking sections from primary education (enseignement fondamental) right up to the European Baccalaureate. It will follow the European Schools syllabus but will be a public school, open to all. The EIDE will also be offering welcome classes for newly-arrived children (with a knowledge of French, English, German or Portuguese) and preparatory classes, according to the syllabus for general secondary education in the Grand Duchy’s education system.

  • Enrolment directly with the EIDE

General secondary education

Classes for newly arrived children aged 12 to 15 years

Children who arrive in the Grand Duchy with no knowledge of either French or German are enrolled in a welcome class (classe d’accueil), where they are taught French intensively and are introduced to Luxembourgish. The ‘class council’ (conseil de classe) assesses each pupil’s skills and decides on the best time for him/her to join the most appropriate class, depending on his/her language skills and general level. About twenty secondary schools have classes of this type.

An insertion class (classe d’insertion) is a class in the lower cycle (7e ESG, 6e ESG, 5e ESG classes – first three years) of general secondary education for those pupils who have achieved a very good academic level in their country of origin but have little or no knowledge of the languages taught in the Grand Duchy. They are taught French or German intensively (determined according to their shortcomings in language skills). They are also taught the other subjects of the syllabus of the lower cycle of technical secondary education.
To be admitted to an insertion class, a pupil must pass the admission test.

Classes taught in French (7e ESG, 6e ESG, 5e ESG)

Unlike normal classes, where most subjects are taught in German, in LVF classes (classes à langue véhiculaire française), all subjects are taught in French. The level required in German is the same as that of a pupil having completed primary school (école fondamentale) in the Grand Duchy, and German is taught to the same level as in normal classes.

This offer is intended for those children who have completed primary school in the Grand Duchy but prefer to learn in French.

From the 4e ESG class (fourth year) of general secondary education onwards, pupils join either a normal class or an RLS class (see below).

Transitional classes for young people and adults

Welcome classes for young adults for 16-year-olds (classes d’accueil pour jeunes adultes – CLIJA) and for 17- to 24-year-olds (CLIJA+) are classes for young adults recently arrived in the Grand Duchy. They provide basic training in French which opens up access to general secondary education or to social and economic independence. For the list of secondary schools offering CLIJA classes, see Offre scolaire 2017 - 2018 (detailed offer of school education).

9+ insertion classes are for people at least 18 years old (with no upper age limit) who have a basic knowledge of English. These classes are provided at various places, according to requirements. They are organised on the same lines as the ‘5e+’ classes; they are taught in French and are specifically geared to adult training (see Adult training > 2nd route to qualification)

  • Enrolment through the CASNA

Special language education classes for pupils aged 15 and over who are competent in French

In the middle and upper cycles (for pupils aged 15 and over), there are special language education classes (classes à régime linguistique spécifique – RLS classes) for those pupils whose language skills in German are insufficient or even non-existent. Subjects are taught in French, and German is taught as a foreign language in some classes. For all the other subjects the syllabus is identical to that of the other classes.

In the upper cycle of general education, vocational training courses in French are available at various levels:

  • school-leaving diploma – general secondary studies (diplôme de fin d’études secondaires générales)
  • technician’s diploma (diplôme de technicien - DT)
  • degree of professional ability (diplôme d’aptitude professionnelle - DAP)
  • certificate of professional capacity (certificat de capacité professionnelle - CCP)
  • A list of secondary schools and the training courses they offer is given in the leaflet entitled RLS classes (Classes RLS).
  • Enrolment directly with the school offering the preferred training course.

Pre-vocational training for 16- to 18-year-olds

The national vocational training centres (centres nationaux de formation professionnelle - CNFPC) in Ettelbruck and Esch-sur-Alzette organise vocational guidance and introductory courses (cours d’orientation et d’initiation professionnelles - COIP) and, in certain fields, a training course in a company acting as training body (formation patronale) which prepares students for the certificate of professional capacity (certificat de capacité professionnelle - CCP).

This route is intended for young people aged between 16 and 18 who already have a knowledge of the Roman alphabet and wish to undergo vocational training to achieve a CCP or DAP qualification.

  • Enrolment through the national training centres (CNFPC)
  • Mis à jour le 18-05-2018