Middle school programme


• Native English (5 periods / week)

Bilingual students (approximate level B1.2 at the beginning of Middle School) are in both French and native English language programmes. The English programme is similar to the French programme: reading the classics as well as demanding modern texts (a dozen per year), essay writing and text analysis. The programme also has a strong emphasis on developing a broad vocabulary, strong spelling and sound grammar.


• English as a Second Language (5 periods / week)

English immersion classes are enhanced with classical learning of the language’s structure, with a strong emphasis on practicing the language through interaction and activities. The first goal is oral and written comprehension, with oral and written expression coming second. Students who are able to do so, join the native speaking class.

• Native French level (5 periods / week)

The French literature programme provides for an in-depth study of the classics, which are read at the rate of a dozen per year. The class includes improving spelling, mastering text analysis and argumentative writing, as well as creative writing.

A novelty is being introduced: the development of lexicology programmes. This currently abandoned field of teaching (we are updating textbooks from the beginning of the twentieth century) consists of an in-depth study of vocabulary from an etymological point of view. This subject is studied in connection with Latin.

We are also updating the teaching of stylistics (“Legrand’s manual” completely redesigned), which allows the student to develop a rich, varied and mastered writing style.


• French as a Second Language (5 periods / week)

French immersion classes are enhanced with classical learning of the language’s structure, with a strong emphasis on practicing the language through interaction and activities. The first goal is oral and written comprehension, with oral and written expression being the second. Students who are able to do so, join the native speaking class.

• German as a Second Language (3 hours / week)

German courses are currently aimed at a level similar to that of official programmes (objective B1.2), but with a greater emphasis on oral ability and grammar (taught simultaneously with Latin).


• Native German (3 hours / week)

The Native German class is designed for partially or completely German-speaking students who want to acquire native-type skills in grammar, expression and classical and contemporary German literature.

• Math (in English or French) (5 periods / week)

The standard mathematics programme combines the Swiss (Harmos) and French programmes of the highest level with those of the anglophone and International Baccalaureate programmes, which place more emphasis on practice (statistics, graphs). It effectively prepares students for both science and the mastery of math in everyday life. It is adapted to the students’ abilities and future plans, and offers a Standard Level and a Scientific Level (differentiation in the class). The Scientific Level is compulsory for the Math / Physics option. Exceptionally gifted students can be prepared for the entrance exam for the Euler Course

• Latin (3 periods / week) (6th and 7th year)

The Latin class focuses on understanding grammar and basic vocabulary. It serves as a bridge between the French and English classes. It is enhanced with a study of the Latin and Greek etymology of English and French (lexicography in the French context). Latin is compulsory for all in 6th and 7th; In 8th and 9th, the linguistic students opt for the continuation of Latin or go towards Italian. The scientists will turn to the Math / Physics option.

• Specific Options (3 periods / week) (8th and 9th)

Specific Options are organized as early as the 8th grade in order to prepare to go to the local Gymnase (high school) or continue in Maturité Suisse / Bac Français / IB.

Students choose one of the following specific options:

– Math / Physics

– Latin

– Italian.

NB: The programme is that of the entrance exam to the Gymnase. The BSSR does not prepare students for the “Economics and Law” option.

• Personal project (3 periods / week)

This novelty of the year 2016-17 is a complete success and will be continued. The 6th graders (1st year of middle school, = 8P Harmos) are introduced to film shooting with a video camera and the new Macs. They begin with a simple narration and continue with a more ambitious project. The 7th graders develop a complete artistic work of their choice (e.g. poems and photos, texts and artwork, sculpture, multi-media art, etc). The 8th and 9th graders complete a Pre-Certificate or Certificate work on an artistic, literary or scientific subject of their choice – but it must include an analytical and scientific part. This work is presented to the other students.

• Sports (3 periods / week)

The goal of the sports programme is to give every student the opportunity to excel and discover new abilities. Students play unihockey, go swimming, climb in the gym, run in the forest, participate in athletics on the lakeside, etc. In autumn, sports tournaments are organized, in March it there is a ski camp in the Bernese Alps, and in June the year ends with a sailing camp on dinghies and catamarans for the big kids!

• History (2 periods / week)

History is taught as of 2017-18 in the annual classes at the rate of two periods per week. The class deals with classical historical subjects, but places particular emphasis on political and social analysis. The aim is to enable students to become aware of the great diversity of ways societies can be organized. 6th grade: Antiquity – 7th grade: Middle Ages, Renaissance – 8th grade: Enlightenment and Revolutions – 9th grade: 19th- 20th Century.

• Philosophy and Psychology (1 period / week)

Philosophy and psychology (new as of 2017-18) are approached from an Anglo-Saxon, not European angle. They are, therefore, not very dogmatic or national, and are essentially concerned with really understanding the difficult problems of human thought, whether it be the way we view the world, self, or society. The classes are bilingual and translated from English into French.

The Philosophy / Psychology class offers the following programme (1 period / week): 6th grade: History of Epistemology and Metaphysics (from the pre-Socratics to the 19th century); 7th grade: Introduction to Psychology; 8th grade: Psychology II; 9th grade: Philosophy, contemporary problems (programme à la carte).

• “News of the World ” (1 period / week)

On the basis of a selection of newspaper articles or English or French-language texts (The Economist, Courrier International, Dessous des Cartes, etc), the class tackles the current major problems of international politics. It is based on economics classes and is a continuation of primary geography. (1 period / week).

• Art (1 period / week)

The purpose of the art programme is to enable students to acquire sound techniques to achieve truly satisfying projects. During Middle School, they can specialize in an artistic medium or deepen a particular study.



These are five 12-week classes (2 parallel classes with 3 periods per week) that follow one another throughout the year and focus on one aspect of a branch. Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics and Humanities are taught each year in this way.

These classes are, depending on the case, oriented towards practicing (science TPs, experiment reports) or towards writing articles or analyses. Students often work independently or in groups. The goal is to prepare them to be comfortable in the continuation of their studies and to master all the tools and knowledge necessary for students: analysis, summaries, note taking, writing, etc.

• Physics (12 x 3 hours / year)

This general programme is not that of the specific option for the 8th and 9th (see above), but aims to provide the student with a solid general knowledge in the physics of the universe.

6th grade : Mechanics, heat, electricity, properties of matter; 7th grade : Structure of Matter (review), Mechanics, Newton’s laws, Fluid Mechanics, electricity; 8th grade: Optics, heat, sound waves, electricity and magnetism; 9th grade: Atomic Quantum Model, radioactivity, fission and fusion, restricted and general relativity.

• Biology (12 x 3 hours / year)

The Biology Programme is designed to provide all students with a solid, basic understanding of everyday life and basic biological phenomena.

6th grade: World of Microscopy – 7th grade: Plants and Ecosystems – 8th grade: Anatomy and Physiology – 9th grade: Diseases, Viruses and Medicine.

• Chemistry and Geology (12 x 3 hours / year)

The chemistry programme is designed to provide all students with a solid basis for understanding the fundamentally “chemical” reality of the universe, which students should recognise and appreciate. In addition, the 7th grade Geology class obviously exploits the exceptional mineral environment of Switzerland.

6th grade: History of Chemistry, Elements and Molecules – 7th grade: Geology, Climatology – 8th grade: Chemistry, Stoichiometry – 9th grade: Organic Chemistry

• Humanities (12 x 3 hours / year)

These classes aim to equip students with basic concepts that will enable them to better understand the world around them and to clearly grasp the issues. The classes are largely organized around debates and discussions and avoid any indoctrination.

6th grade: Politics and Swiss History – 7th grade: Art History – 8th grade: History of Religions – 9th grade: Rights and Law

• Economics (12 x 3 hours / year)

The economics programme allows students to understand the basics of economy in order to keep up with national and international economic and political news. It is also an opportunity to review global geography. It does not prepare for the Economics and Law specific option.

6th grade: Introduction to Economics – 7th grade: Microeconomics – 8th grade: Macroeconomics – 9th grade: Economic Ideas and Theories

• Exams (1 week at the end of the year)

End of the year: end-of-year exams, oral and written, in the basic branches, the OS and 2 classes/seminars are selected at random. In 9th grade, preparation for the Gymnase (high school) entrance exams is available if desired, and AVDEP exams are taken by everyone.

· 33 weeks of teaching + 2 weeks of camps: sailing/skiing

· 38 teaching periods of 50 minutes per week (compared to 32 in standard Swiss programmes)

· Homework: in view of the teaching load, assignments are subject to limits per subject and are given sufficiently in advance.