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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures in primary education

Belgium - French Community

5.Primary education

5.4Organisational variations and alternative structures in primary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Different pedagogies

Several schools have adopted particular pedagogic methods inspired by the educational principles of pedagogues such as Decroly, Freinet or Steiner, … These institutions are very often named after these pedagogues.

Content-Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

Some schools have undertaken the early learning of a foreign language (from the third year of pre-primary education), while others practice linguistic immersion in German, English or Dutch starting at the same point.

Linguistic immersion offers a pedagogical procedure aimed at ensuring the mastery of the expected competences by providing part of the courses and pedagogical activities of the timetable in a modern language other than French with a view to the progressive acquisition of this other language (Decree 11-05-2007).

In Primary education, if part of the weekly timetable is dedicated to immersion learning, it consists of between 8 and 21 periods, according to the year in which the immersion education started. Immersion learning seeks to achieve the following :

•    in terms of the lessons and educational activities provided in the immersion language, the attainment of the competencies defined in the Core Skills ;

•    in terms of the immersion language, the attainment of the oral and written communication competencies in that language defined in the Core Skills.

If a school or site organises immersion learning, this is mentioned in the school plan. Enrolment in immersion learning may not be subject to any prior selection.