The European School Munich (ESM) provides multilingual and multicultural teaching from the nursery to the baccalaureate. It is the only school in Munich which teaches the national languages of all 28 Member States of the European Union. From early childhood on, pupils from different nations learn together and from each other. They benefit from the fact that the teaching staff consists of highly qualified and motivated pedagogical experts from all over Europe who contribute their experience.
The top priority in everyday school life is respectful and tolerant interaction. The lessons strengthen the different cultural identities and promote the talents of all pupils. The European motto "United in diversity" is not only part of the curriculum, but is also lived out through numerous projects and extracurricular activities. An advisory and support team helps parents and pupils with social, psychological and health issues.
The governments of the EU Member States have recognised the European Schools as official educational establishments and jointly monitor the high quality of education. The aim is to provide children with a school education equivalent to a comparable national education system. At the end of their schooling, children take the European baccalaureate, which is the entrance qualification to university and higher education, equivalent to the highest school-leaving qualifications in the EU countries, and is highly regarded internationally.
General information on the European Schools system can be found on the website of the Secretary-General's office.
The European School Munich is divided into three sections: Kindergarten, Primary School and Secondary School. These in turn have different language sections. The school has two locations: the Kindergarten and Primary School are located at Fasangarten, while the Secondary School is located in Neuperlach.
Admission to the Kindergarten takes place at the beginning of the school year of the calendar year in which the child turns four years old. During the two-year Kindergarten period, the foundations are laid for the development of a European consciousness.
The Kindergarten consolidates the children's dominant language as the basis for a successful further school career. In addition, the children form friendships with children from different language departments, nationalities and age groups during joint supervised activities and free play. This unprejudiced early contact with other languages and cultures is a special stroke of luck from a pedagogical point of view, which has a positive impact on the whole of later life. After all, if you hear different languages every day at nursery age, you will learn them much more easily later on.
Plurilingual pedagogical specialists teach the children in small groups the competence basis they need for lifelong learning: they teach them to concentrate and to work independently and under instruction in a team, they practise fine motor skills and, in addition to basic literacy and numeracy skills, they teach the children a healthy sense of self-worth, to name but a few of the objectives. The development of each individual child is closely monitored in order to identify possible deficits at an early stage and, if necessary, to initiate special support measures.
Another special feature of the ESM nursery is that it is located on the same premises as the Primary School. This allows the nursery children to familiarise themselves with the school at an early stage. This is the best prerequisite for successfully and positively shaping the difficult phase of transition.
The children are admitted to the first class of Primary School at the beginning of the school year in the year in which they turn six years old. Primary School lasts five years.
Most of the tuition is held in the children’s dominant language. They also learn a first foreign language. Teaching the basics of mathematics is a further focus. Music, art and sport are also important for development at this age. Parents can choose whether their child takes part in religious studies or moral education. The subject "Discovery of the World" corresponds to science and social studies (German “Sachkundeunterricht”). It promotes knowledge in the fields of biology, geography, technology, history and culture in a child-oriented, practical and active manner.
A special feature of the ESM Primary School are the so-called "European hours", which take place weekly in classes P3 to P5. They offer both school children and teachers the opportunity to gain intercultural experience. Here they experience different teaching methods while learning facts about Europe and developing a European awareness.
An essential part of the pedagogical concept of the Primary School are support services. The SMiLe-Team (Sozial-Miteinander-Leben-Team, literally Living-together-socially-team) is the central contact point for children and parents. Here they receive advice and help in case of conflicts or problems. The school attaches great importance to ensuring that every child can feel safe at school. That is why the anti-bullying programme KiVa is firmly integrated into the school curriculum. This is a learning programme developed by the Finnish University of Turku, which aims to prevent bullying before a problem arises.
In general, pupils enter Secondary School at the age of eleven after they have successfully completed Primary School. The Secondary School offers a school education comparable to that of the German Gymnasium (grammar school), the aim of which is the general qualification for university entrance, i.e. the basis of an academic career. A total of seven grades must be successfully completed in order to be admitted to the European Baccalaureate. The school is divided into three cycles: the Orientation Level (grades S1 to S3), the Middle Level (grades S4 to S5) and the Upper Level (grades S6 to S7).
Most subjects are taught by native-speaking teachers in the dominant language of the pupils. In addition, the Secondary School attaches great importance to education in other languages: In the higher classes, more and more subjects are then gradually taught in the second language. From level S1 onwards, pupils also learn a third language. At levels S4 and S6 they have the choice of adding other languages.
The European School Munich not only promotes multilingual skills. For the teaching of the sciences there are modernly equipped laboratories available. Mathematics lessons of up to eight hours a week provide the tools for the application of many scientific methods. In the subject Information and Communication Technology, pupils learn how to use computers and later also the basics of computer programming. In addition to languages, the subjects of humanities and social sciences in particular focus on the European dimension.
Especially from grade S6 onwards, pupils can put together their own individually tailored teaching programme in addition to a certain number of compulsory subjects. This enables them to specialise for their further university career. A team of careers advisors supports them in choosing their subjects. In addition, educational counsellors support the pupils' positive personal development.
The ESM Secondary School is a very active school. Complementary subjects additionally enrich the varied teaching programme. These range from economics and athletics to chess and knitting. The school also carries out many smaller and larger projects every year, such as the European Schools' Science Symposium, the Model United Nations and many more. In practical terms, regular excursions and study trips broaden the horizon.