Primary School education generally starts at around 6 years old in Luxembourg. It follows the prior two compulsory years in education prescolaire (pre-school) and includes cycles 2, 3 and 4 (ages 6–12) in the Luxembourgish School system.
At this level the main language of learning to read and write is German, as well as Luxembourgish. Children begin to learn French in the second year of cycle 2 from around age 7. It is possible for children who arrive later in this system to receive extra support in Luxembourgish, German and French in special ‘welcome’ insertion classes. Towards the end of the Primary School cycles the decision will be made concerning the kind of school ‘Classique’ or ‘Technique’ your child will be able to attend at Secondary level in Luxembourg. This is called the ‘orientation procedure’ and you can find more detailed information about this on the Luxembourgish Schools Support Group website.
The Luxembourgish Schools Support Group
The Luxembourgish Schools Support Group (or “LSSG”) aims to provide information in English on the Luxembourgish education system as well as practical help for parents of any nationality with children in the state schools. The group is run by parents for parents, with the objective to educate parents and children about the Luxembourgish education system and to support families in getting the maximum benefit from their schooling in Luxembourg. LSSG organise and host annual information evenings, alternating between the Primary and Secondary (Lycée) School systems, where they invite local experts to speak. They also produce and maintain information packs on the Primary and Secondary School systems in Luxembourg. These are updated and can be found under ‘resources’ on their website. Their volunteers can also provide specific information, advice and support.
At present there are no Luxembourgish schools with English sections at Primary level. However, there is intention to open one in the future. There are various other choices for Primary School education in English at fee paying schools, or at the European School if you or your spouse is employed by the European Institutions. See English Education in Luxembourg for more details. You may also consider a fee paying school that offers a section in another language i.e. French.
Choosing Where to Send Your Child for Primary Education
We have compiled a list of questions that might help you in deciding where to send your Primary aged child to school in our Introduction to Education section. In particular at this age you might consider whether you want your child to develop their language skills outside the home. This may influence your choice of school including their curriculum and approach to education. It is worth noting that children find it easier to learn another language before the age of 10 years (find article) and your choices in the earlier years of their education may effect where they will be able to go to Secondary School.
Preparing Your Child For Primary School
The transition from Pre-school education to Primary education can feel like a big change for young children. Pre-school is generally about learning through play, is less structured and possibly not as demanding. Children may for the first time be expected to sit at desks or tables and not move around more freely in the classroom. At this level there is more emphasis on learning to read and write. If your child is experiencing some difficulties in communication (language), some delays in their development or are just simply not ready to engage in the curriculum it can lead to stress for the child and parents alike. If you feel that your child is struggling it is a good idea to arrange a meeting with their teacher. It can also be helpful to find out about what they are learning in school. You can encourage your child in their communication development at home by watching DVD’s or sharing books together in the school language. If you don’t already speak the language why not try and learn together, your child will appreciate your involvement and enjoy picking you up on your pronunciation!
What if problems or challenges don’t go away?
You or your school may suggest that your child may have some additional educational needs. For more information about where to get information and support in Luxembourg see our Special Needs Section.