Schooling is the next stage of education after preschool. It includes elementary and secondary schools in Luxembourg. All children who turn 6 years old are admitted to the education system.
Similar to compulsory preschool education, you can choose either a free public school in Luxembourg or a paid private institution to attend.
Information about the municipality schools (there are about 150 in Luxembourg) can be given by your commune center. Private education centres charge a fee for education.
Some of them offer a full cycle of education, for example, Vauban, a private school in Luxembourg, authorized by the French Ministry of Education. Children can begin daycare here, then move on to elementary and secondary school, and eventually receive a French diploma of education.
In any case, regardless of the type of facility — public or private, — the child will definitely attend an elementary school after préscolaire.
Elementary school education in Luxembourg, École primaire
This stage lasts six years: from ages 6 to 12. These six years are divided into 3 cycles — two years each. In elementary school, full-fledged learning begins, which means that, unlike the preschool stage, children will begin to explore formal education subjects.
Elementary school subjects and grading system in Luxembourg
languages: German, French, and Luxembourgish;
Social studies (social life and values);
Art and music (creative, aesthetic, artistic, and musical education);
Grades are based on the letters A, B, C, or D, where A is the best result, excellent, and D is inadequate, poor. The grades are written in a student's diary: it is necessary to check them every day and sign the diary.
However, the key performance indicator in elementary school in Luxembourg is still the individual characteristics (bilans intermédiaires) which the teacher provides face-to-face to parents.
At the elementary school bilans intermédiaires are compiled annually at the end of terms 1, 2, and 3. In addition, every two years a bilan de fin de cycle is assigned — a bilan de fin de cycle. Since the elementary level of education has 3 cycles, parents will receive 3 dossiers.
Luxembourg's public schools use German for teaching, with French being introduced in the following years. But a pilot project is being launched where, on the contrary, the elementary school will first teach in French, and the following year German will be added.
In private institutions, the language of education depends on the facility.
The required attendance and vacation schedule are the same as the Préscolaire (the compulsory preschool stage).
During the sixth year of study in all schools in Luxembourg, students take an exam. Children who study at a municipal school, are allocated to the secondary level of education according to the results of the final tests. It can be a lyceum with a technical focus or a classic high school. Private education works differently: children can choose the format of their further education – either in regular or specialized schools.
Compulsory placement based on exam results is one of the reasons why parents often do not want to send their children to a public school and prefer to choose a private one.
At the end of elementary school comes the end of a mandatory stage called fundamental education — enseignement fondamental.
Enseignement fondamental takes place from age 4 to 12 and consists of:
Mandatory education – ages 4-6,
Elementary school – ages 6-12, cycle 2-4:
ages 6-8 — cycle 2,
ages 8-10 — cycle 3,
ages 10-12 — cycle 4.
Basic education (Enseignement fondamental) lasts a total of nine years. It is followed by the enseignement secondaire, or secondary education, which takes place in secondary schools. In Luxembourg, they are all called lyceums — Lycée.
Luxembourg secondary schools, Lycée Secondaire
This schooling stage takes seven years. Secondary education in Luxembourg is split into:
Junior years — 12–15 years old;
Senior years — 15–19 years old.
The nature of the education depends on the education facility, whether it is more classical or technical. Each secondary school in Luxembourg can (within the limits) offer a special educational approach that suits the needs and expectations of its students.
Classic secondary school in Luxembourg, Lycée classique
It is oriented to university preparation and provides a comprehensive general education. In the fourth year, at the ripe age of 15, the student picks one of eight areas of study:
C: natural sciences-mathematics;
E: plastic arts;
F: music arts;
G: humanities and social sciences;
I: computer science and telecommunications.
Classical secondary education can be obtained in the oldest institution in the Classical secondary education can be acquired in the country's oldest institution, the Lycée Athénée de Luxembourg, as well as in the Lycée Robert Schuman, the Lycée Michel Rodange, the classical Lycee Classique of Echternach, the high school for boys in Esch-sur-Alzette and many others.
Technical secondary school in Luxembourg, Lycée technique
It is oriented to professional training, i.e. vocational education. Courses at a technical high school in Luxembourg offer 4 modes of education:
Similar to classical high school and focused on preparation for university.
Includes 50% theoretical training and 50% practice, and allows access to higher technical specialties.
25% theoretical and 75% practical training. The result will be the CATP - Certificate of Technical and Vocational Skills.
Intended for students who have fulfilled the requirements of basic education only mediocrely.
There are 37 public and 5 private lycées in the Grand Duchy.
However, all these institutions are not the only places where you can get a decent level of education.
Luxembourg international schools
There are education centers providing an international curriculum and an international high school diploma that is recognized outside of Luxembourg. One of the main purposes of these international schooling facilities is to prepare children for life in modern multicultural and multilingual societies. For many expats, this is the most convenient way to bring their children into an English-speaking environment during the relocation.
European education in international schools in Luxembourg
Multiple international schools in the Grand Duchy work in accordance with the curriculum and schedule of the European education system:
Several international schools in Luxembourg offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The 7-year course is designed so that the last 2 years of study match Year 1 and Year 2 of the International Baccalaureate. This is the classical bachelor's degree recognized by Luxembourg as the equivalent of a high school diploma. It is possible to obtain the IB in lycées:
Technic du Centre, study language — French;
Athénée de Luxembourg, study language — English;
Lycée de Garçons in Esch-sur-Alzette, study language — English.
English schools in Luxembourg
There is a wide range of choices:
The Lycée Michel Lucius
Is an English school in Luxembourg that is working with the British qualifications system as a reference. In 2011, Lycée Michel Lucius created an English-speaking course, which has grown into a multidisciplinary international education in Luxembourg. It offers an international English-speaking program. The education includes elementary level and secondary education, from 4 to 18 years old.
ISL international school in Luxembourg
It offers courses to prepare students for university and the International Bachelor (IB). ISL accepts children from 3 to 18 years old. Applications are submitted a year in advance.
Saint George's international school
Teaches children from 3 to 18 years old, with the British Qualifications Framework: GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education and A-level.
The European School of Luxembourg
It accepts children from 4 to 18 years. This education facility has two campuses, one in Kirchberg and one in Mamer.
The European School I in Kirchberg welcomes native speakers of Bulgarian, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish languages and nationalities.
The European School II in Mamer takes Czech, Danish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Maltese, Romanian, Slovenian, Slovak, and Croatian native speakers.
However, if children do not speak any of these languages, they will be allocated to one of the German, English, or French groups.
And yet, it is hard to get into this international school in Luxembourg. The reason is that priority is given to the children of European officials. Applications are normally submitted between April and May to start the education in September.
German-Luxembourg education in Luxembourg's international schools
The program integrates the elements of the two systems. At graduation, the student obtains two documents: the German school diploma (allgemeine Hochschulreife) and the Luxembourg secondary school diploma. The German-Luxembourg Lyceum in Schengen provides this type of education.
If you find it challenging to decide which international school to attend in Luxembourg, you can contact the orientation center. Its sole mission is to help young people to understand themselves and to choose an educational institution.
The more advanced a school becomes in Luxembourg, the more clubs and extracurricular activities it offers to its students. It can be golf, swimming pool, cooking classes, woodworking courses, etc.
Extracurricular activities are usually offered free of charge, but they have a mandatory attendance policy. If you miss more than two classes without a valid reason, you will be expelled.
Regarding the after-school program, during the secondary level of education in Luxembourg, a child can no longer leave home for lunch. There is a canteen service for that matter. The break for lunch lasts about one to one and a half hours.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is IB, and which schools offer courses for it
When applying for international school online, besides the student's ID papers, a medical card and a student's attendance and grades report for the last 3 years are required. Where can I get these documents
- What documents to prepare at home country,
- What documents does the spouse need to take
- and How can you relocate to Luxembourg with your child.