The school interview in Luxembourg is an important way of assessing a student's knowledge and skills. These auditions help to determine a student's admission to a suitable level of education and orient kids who recently moved to the country and just getting to know the education system.
At any age, expat children will go through an interview in a new school, so it is important to evaluate this step if you are planning to move to the Grand Duchy with family and kids. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of school interviews for knowledge testing in Luxembourg and provide valuable insights on how to excel in this important process.
How the school interview is handled
The first thing that any newcomer does in Luxembourg is a declaration of arrival and registration at the commune. In case you have children, the municipality will arrange their education as they come to live with you. When applying documents to the commune of your residence for the first time, you will need to provide a number of documents for your kids as well.
You can find a detailed list of documents that are essential when moving with your kids in our special article — Which documents you need if you move with children. Besides the usual child's identification papers, you will need some specific papers: medical records and documents from the previous school in your country of origin.
After you submitted the documents, they are transferred to the local Department of Education, which takes care of the education in the commune or district. As soon as they will receive all the needed documents, they will initiate the admission process for your child and contact you with the invitation to take a school interview.
The purpose of the interview is to assess a pupil's knowledge — not to give a mark, not at all. The interview helps to better place children from other countries in the Luxembourg education system and its levels, thus making the transition to the new school in the new country smoother.
Usually, an attempt is made to place children in the same class as in their home country. However, as children in Luxembourg learn all three national languages from kindergarten, there can be a language barrier for children from other countries. The school interview is therefore an important step for the correct placement.
The interview will take place in the local Department of Education, but sometimes it can also be held at the communal center.
The interview will consist of a few essential parts and will be typically held by a psychologist, especially for younger kids.
General introduction and evaluation of child's emotional and social development
Basically, this is just a talk to get to know the kid and try to establish communication before the actual testing part. It also helps to make children feel less stressed and gives the psychologist information on the basic social development of a school candidate. The language of the conversation depends on the situation.
Knowledge and subject skills assessment
This part can vary depending on the age of the student and their level. Essentially, the skills of logic, mathematics and languages are tested. For primary education students, the department representative will adjust the assessment to be more game-shaped.
For older children, tests of the knowledge will be made in a questionnaire format, providing familiar equations and testing their problem-solving skills, for example.
What you need to take with you
When attending a school interview in Luxembourg, it is important to come prepared with the right documents to support your educational background. Various transcripts and language certificates play an important role in demonstrating your academic achievements, progress and language skills.
Although passports and other identification documents are not specifically requested, it is a good idea to bring them along.
Previous years' exercise books from the former school can be useful, especially when it comes to assessing knowledge in the sciences and languages. Textbooks in physics, maths, German and other subjects can show how far your child has progressed in his or her studies. Sometimes this can even spare kids the trouble of doing some of the tests during the interview.
Bring the following to the school interview:
Personal identification documents
Report card for the last 2 years of study
Previous year's exercise workbooks for sciences and languages
Certificates and diplomas
Language tests certificates
Child's portfolio, if your child has one.
What knowledge corresponds to which education level
The school interview will help determine the right level for your child. If, for example, you are doing well in science but have problems with the languages needed for studies in Luxembourg, you will be offered the most suitable option to catch up: perhaps an extra summer course or a language program before starting school.
Overall, there are clear requirements when it comes to the program and knowledge to demonstrate on each cycle of the studies in the Luxembourgish schools.
Basic education in Luxembourg refers to the first stage of formal education for children, typically between the ages of 4 and 12. It is a fundamental and mandatory part of the Luxembourg education system and it forms a solid foundation for further learning.
1 cycle (3-5 years old)
In the first cycle of primary education in Luxembourg, the emphasis is placed on meaningful social interactions. Children engage in a variety of situations, interacting with peers and adults while working with different objects and materials. The skills developed in this cycle include
Logical and mathematical thinking;
Linguistic development, which includes Luxembourgish and an introduction to French;
A sensory exploration of the world;
Physical skills, body language and health;
Creative expression, introduction to aesthetics and culture;
Developing an understanding of community life and values.
2-4 cycles (6-11 years old)
During the next cycles, each lasting for 2 years, children receive all the basic knowledge about the world and sciences little by little. The skills to be acquired include:
Reading and writing,
Languages are German, French and Luxembourgish;
Mathematics and calculus;
Natural sciences and humanities;
Body language, psychomotorics, sport and health;
Introduction to aesthetics, creation and culture, art and music;
Community life and values
Children will spend the next seven years of their life in classical secondary education or general secondary education, the two main branches of secondary education in Luxembourg:
Lower classes include 7, 6, and 5 grades,
Higher classes include 4, 3, 2, and 1 grades.
Assessment to this level is more complicated due to the variety of classes and subjects, and the personalization of the process according to the needs of the student.
If you want to take a look at the secondary education programs and curriculum, that are available for children in different educational programs, you can do that using the online platform of the Education Department.
Lower classes (12-14 years old)
Students in the lower classes of the classical secondary school study the following subjects:
French, Luxembourgish, German languages,
English, Latin and Chinese languages (focused study since 6th grade),
Mathematics and Computer Science,
Biology, Chemistry, Physics,
Natural Sciences, Geography, History,
Art and Music,
Practical Training and Social Education.
The lower classes are taught mainly in German, except for French language and mathematics, which are taught in French from 4th grade.
Higher classes (15-18 years old)
This section of education is intended to help students consolidate their knowledge and choose a specialization. The curriculum is the same for all students, except for Latin.
There are eight sections available, with each section having specific subjects that play an important role in the curriculum:
Plastic and Graphic Arts,
Humanities and Social Sciences,
Computer Science-Communication. Each section has specific subjects that play an important role in the curriculum.
How children are allocated to classes after an interview
In Luxembourg, the allocation process to a particular cycle and school begins with the interview. Once enrolled, students may be given individual tuition to overcome language barriers and improve their language skills.
Language plays a crucial role in Luxembourg's education system due to its multilingual environment.
In order to support students with language difficulties, schools offer individual tutoring sessions.
Pre-vocational education is available for students who need additional support after the 4th cycle of basic education. It includes modules in German, French, mathematics, general culture, electives, workshops and sports. Depending on their results, students can then move on to orientation or vocational training.
If there is no need for additional practice, your child will be just allocated to a fitting class and provided with all the needed books and resources to make their stay and future life in Luxembourg interesting and full of knowledge.
The next step, that you and your child will take after the school interview will be a welcome meeting at the new school with your new teachers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of a school interview in Luxembourg
What documents should I bring to a school interview in Luxembourg
We took photos from these sources: Elementary school system in Luxembourg Secondary education in Luxembourg