An aerial view shows the primary school in Reuler where the English and French streams will be based starting September 2020
Photo: École internationale Edward Steichen
A Clervaux primary and secondary school are to offer English language streams to cater to the growing number of international residents being outpriced in the south and centre of the country.
Starting in September Lycée Edward Steichen will add an English stream to the existing French and German streams within the European section of its school. This stream will be available for years 7-9 (L1-3) starting September 2020. The primary school in Reuler will also offer English and French sections following the European School curriculum for all years, from kindergarten up to final year of primary.
“We have a huge diversity even here in the north of Luxembourg,” secondary European coordinator Rolf Wiesemes told Delano on Thursday. He said the phenomenon was a result of the trend for people and businesses to move farther from the city, presumably in search of lower cost real estate.
Wiesemes said students in the secondary school's European section currently represent a vast mix of nationalities, spanning continents. According to the latest figures for Clervaux, of a population of 5,429 inhabitants, 35% are non-Luxembourgers. The school offer expansion comes after the education ministry opened four public European School-accredited schools in the country: in Mondorf-les-Bains, Junglinster, Clervaux and Differdange/Esch.
Luxembourg’s reliance on an international workforce means that today foreign nationals make up 47.5% of the country’s population. The new schools were introduced to cater for this increasingly diverse population. Until now, Clervaux was the only public international school not to offer an anglophone stream.
Wiesemes said that the focus will be to build the system up from primary. “We already have an English primary school teacher […] who has quite a bit of experience working internationally in the English school system,” he said.
The primary school in Reuler will be extended with purpose-built classrooms to accommodate the new sections. Both schools will teach Luxembourgish as a language of integration. Headteacher Max Wolff explained that there will be capacity for 280 pupils for both sections combined, with 7 classes in each language stream.
Registration is now open. There is no entry test but parents wishing to register their children at the schools must attend an interview with their child. They must also be resident in the country or plan to move there.
Wolff said that thusfar the strongest interest was in the French stream. However, that could change. He said: “We are increasingly being contacted by families from abroad who are relocating to Luxemburg for professional reasons and who are looking for an anglophone school for their children.”
The school is recruiting teaching staff who are native English speakers and who have taught for five or more years and can speak one of the three official languages of the country to level B2.