Belgian Schools: Levels

Figure 1.--Here we see a Brussels maternelle in 1951. They appear to be visiting a park. The children look to be older boys, abiut 4-5 years old. It apparently was French speaking school as the writing on the back is in French. The boys wear a wide variety of outfits. Many wear suspender shorts or H-bar shorts. One boy has romper pants. The styles look French, although we don't think H-bar shorts were very common in France. Suspender shorts were. Notice that the children do not wear knee socks. 

Belgium has a full range of state schools covering children ll the way from toddlers to teenagers. Nurseries which are more daycare facilities are available for todlers beginning about 2 1/2 years of age. Toilet training largely detrmines when the children are rady to begin. Nursery school (kleuteronderwijs/enseignement maternel) are based on French maternelles. Priority is given to mothers in full-time work. More formal schooling begins with Kindergartens which children begin at about 5 years of age. Kindergartens are usually attched to local primary schools. Both nursey schools and Kindergrtens are optional, although many children attend them, especially Kindergarten. Formal coupulsory school begins with primary school at about age 6 years. Some children begin earlier if they are more advanced. There are 6 years of primary school (lager onderwijs/enseignement primaire). Primary encompasses a wide range of subjects. Belgium is a multi-lengual country and as a result, the schools give considerable attention to languages beginning at the primary level. The primary program is basically the same for all chilkdren with few options abnd individual choice. Homework is set from the first year and parents are expected to play a role in the child's education. Secondary education (secundair onderwijs/enseignement secondaire) is a further 6 year program. The students begin secondary school at about 12 years of age after they complete the primary program. The secondary system includes three cycles (graden/degrés). The students choose a course that they want to pursue based on the student's skill level, goals, and interests.


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Created: 7:41 AM 10/12/2011
Last updated: 7:41 AM 10/12/2011