Curriculum, subjects, number of hours
The Education Act of 2004 introduced a new concept of curricular documents, which are developed on two levels – national (framework education programmes – FEPs) and school (school education programmes – SEPs). The FEPs for courses of conservatoires were published by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 2010. The schools prepared the SEPs and started teaching according to them from 1 September 2012 at the latest. The structure of the FEPs is similar to that of vocational courses of upper secondary schools.
Study in six-year programmes of conservatoires (konzervatoře) includes general as well as vocational training, the vocational component prevails. The instruction of Czech language and foreign language is organised in the SEP in such a way that the pupil should be able to take the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška) in these subjects. General education also includes ICT education. Vocational training consists of a common vocational core, vocational training depending on the specialisation, and arts teaching training. At minimum two weeks of the vocational practice and at minimum 30 lessons of vocational teaching practice must be included in the SEP. Cross-curricular topics are integrated into the general as well as the vocational component of education. The number of lessons per week is 15 minimum and 40 maximum. The total number of lessons depends on the specialisation.
An example of a framework curriculum timetable of Music is included below.
Eight-year dance course
The FEP for the Dance course was prepared with regard to the Framework Education Programme for Basic Education as the first four years are equivalent to the second stage of the basic school (základní škola). However, the content of education and the number of lessons for the educational areas are different in some aspects. Namely a large part of the taught time is devoted to the arts education.
In upper four years, the vocational component usually prevails. Several general subjects are also taught to allow pupils to complete their upper secondary education (Czech language, foreign language, education in information and communication technologies etc.), on the other hand, science education, mathematics and fine art are taught only or mainly at the lower secondary level. Art teaching practice is taught in upper grades. Cross-curricular topics are integrated in the general as well as the vocational component of education.
The number of lessons per week is 39 at minimum and 40 at maximum and considerably exceeds the number of lessons at the second stage of the basic school (28-32 lessons) and also in the majority of the four-year programmes of the upper secondary schools (střední školy) (usually 35 lessons at maximum). The total number of teaching hours per week for the whole study ranges from 318 to 320.
The instruction of one foreign language is compulsory in the fields of Music and Music and Drama. Two foreign languages are compulsory in the fields of Singing and Dance. The level of acquired language competences should be, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, on the level B1 for the first language at the end of studies. It is considered as minimal language acquisition for completion of the common part of the Maturita examination. In order to obtain the graduate examination certificate, education in the first foreign language should lead to the level B2. For another foreign language, the minimal level is set on A2. More information about the instruction of foreign languages can be found in the section Foreign language learning in vocational education.
Example framework curriculum timetable of a course
Example framework curriculum timetable of a course n. 82–44–M/01 Music according to FEP
Duration and form of education: 6 years, on-site courses
|Educational Areas and Contents||Minimum number of teaching hours during the study|
Language education and communication
- Czech language
- Foreign language
|Humanity and social education||5||160|
|Education for health||8||256|
|Education in information and communication technologies||4||128|
|Specialization||Playing a musical instrument||Others||Playing a musical instrument||Others|
|Common professional basics||30||35||960||1 120|
|Professional training according to specialisation||20-30||35||640-960||1 120|
|Disposable teaching hours||33-44||54||1 056-1 408||1 728|
|Total||130-151||171||4 160-4 832||5 472|
The minimum number of teaching hours in each of the six individual grades is 15.
The framework curriculum timetable of the educational content is the basis for the development of the SEP. The subjects created on the basis of the educational areas and contents set by the FEP are included into the SEP timetable. Set educational areas and contents and the minimum number of teaching hours are binding; the observance of these in the SEP must be demonstrable.
The need for individual preparation of pupils, taking place outside the school according to the teacher's directions, is taken into account in the timetable.
Disposable teaching hours are intended for creation of the specialisation of the SEP, for implementation of the cross-curricular themes, strengthening of the time allocation to individual educational areas and contents, for support of the interest orientation of pupils and implementation of another foreign language teaching.
The minimum number of weekly teaching hours for the specialisation of playing a musical instrument is 130-151 for the whole period of education. For other specialisations (conducting, composition, etc.), it is 171 teaching hours. The maximum number of weekly teaching hours is 240 for the whole period of education.
As for the range of the minimum weekly teaching hours in the specialisation of playing a musical instrument, specific needs of playing a concrete musical instrument during the whole period of education are taken into account and included in the SEP. These specifics result especially from the extent of necessary individual preparation of pupils outside the school according to the teacher's directions. For the subjects taught and included in the timetable, a fixed number of weekly teaching hours in all the grades of education must be stated according to set range.
To make the education successful, it is necessary to set up conditions for the acquisition of required practical skills and activities in the form of practical professional training and artistic practice. For the purpose of practical professional training, artistic practice and art teaching practice, the pupils may be divided into groups according to valid legal regulations. Individual teaching of pupils is organised in accordance with the needs of the subject specialisation. The content of practical activities is based on the educational areas and contents of the FEP.
The minimum time of artistic practice is two weeks for the whole period of education; it must be included in the SEP. The artistic practice is organised in accordance with valid legal regulations.
The minimum time of art teaching practice is 30 teaching hours for the whole period of education; it must be included in the SEP.
It is advisable for the school to provide conditions for improving the quality of language skills of pupils and for the teaching of other foreign languages according to the interest and skills of pupils.
Teaching methods and materials
The school education programme can be formed as a standard one (classic) i.e. created on the basis of on the teaching subjects and their curriculum or as a modular one.
Framework education programmes set out basic methods and teaching requirements; however, the choice of actual educational methods is the responsibility of the school and individual teachers. Schools have to describe the total educational concept and educational strategy of individual subjects/modules in their school education programmes. According to the Education Act one of the principles of education is the wide use of effective modern teaching methods and approaches.
In the conservatoires (konzervatoř), individual or small group teaching is preferred in the case of professional training.
The Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoires specifies the forms of the practical education:
Exercises are part of the subjects which enhance vocational education and training of pupils. The exercises take place in special classrooms. Exercise can also be included in some theoretical subjects.
Art practice takes place at school or at other type of school facility or at the workplaces of individuals or companies. Art practice is usually carried out in weekly blocks. Pupils also take part in art teaching practice.
The requirements on teaching texts and documents are the same as on teaching materials in upper secondary education.
There are no regulations relating to pupils' homework.