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Secondary level I

Secondary level I Zug
Calculating student
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Secondary level I is divided into 4 types of school:

• Baccalaureate school lower level (Gymnasium Unterstufe)
• Secondary school (Sekundarschule)
• Intermediate secondary school (Realschule)
• Class with additional support needs (Werkschule)

For the lower level baccalaureate school, secondary level I lasts two years; for the other three school types, it lasts three years. All three school types follow the same instructional goals in most cases. However, the educational demands on the students are different, and their dispositions and abilities are taken into consideration.

Baccalaureate school lower level (Gymnasium Unterstufe)
The lower level of a baccalaureate school comprises the first two years of the 6-year, long-term baccalaureate school. Based on a wide general education, the lower level baccalaureate school fulfils the requirements for the baccalaureate course. It is aimed at high-achieving students who fulfil all the above-average educational requirements in terms of talent and ability.

Secondary school (Sekundarschule)
The secondary school (link leads to German site) prepares students to attend either upper-level baccalaureate schools or schools of vocational education and training. It demands lateral thinking, independent work and the ability to think in abstract terms.

Intermediate secondary school (Realschule)
The intermediate secondary school (link leads to German site) consolidates the subject matter of the primary school and broadens it by drawing on the experiences of the students. Theoretical and scientific topics are studied in a less abstract way, with more connections made to daily life.

Class with additional support needs (Werkschule)
The class with additional support needs  (link leads to German site) is a small class which provides specific support at secondary level I. It consolidates and broadens basic education and encourages practical talents. It helps students to overcome personal and educational difficulties in a targeted manner.

The classes with additional support needs may be integrated into the intermediate secondary school.

Comprehensive secondary level I (Kooperative Oberstufe)
Secondary and intermediate secondary schools work together in a comprehensive secondary level I system (link leads to German site). Set level courses (link leads to German site) with differing educational demands are run across the schools in the subjects of Mathematics and English. The municipalities may also hold German and/or French as a set level course. Pupils with additional support needs may be integrated into the comprehensive secondary level I system.

Transfers from secondary school to cantonal or vocational baccalaureate schools or other upper secondary schools
A transfer from secondary school to a cantonal baccalaureate school (link leads to German site), e.g. the cantonal baccalaureate school Menzingen (Kantonsschule Menzingen), or to an upper secondary specialised school (Fachmittelschule), an upper secondary business school (Wirtschaftsmittelschule) or a vocational baccalaureate school in combination with an apprenticeship (lehrbegleitende Berufsmaturitätsschule) does not require an entrance test. The referral decision is made by the teacher, parents and student together in a discussion.

The brochure "Transfers" (link leads to German site) contains information on the procedural steps and the assessment criteria. It can be obtained from secondary school teachers.

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