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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teaching and learning in single-structure education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

5.2Teaching and learning in single-structure education

Last update: 8 April 2024


Curriculum, subjects, number of hours

The content of basic education is set by Framework Education Programme for Basic Education and school education programmes of individual schools. The FEP BE is binding for the basic schools (základní školy) and for the lower stage of the multi-year general secondary schools (víceletá gymnázia) from 2007. The FEP BE specifies the objectives of basic education, the level of key competences which pupils should achieve, areas and fields of education, the content of education in general, the expected outcomes in periods, and a framework curriculum. The annex included in the FEB BE are the Standards for the Basic Education, which specify more closely the expected outcomes.

Schools drawn up their school education programmes (SEP). SEPs set out the specific timetable and content of education – the teaching programmes. Among others they also determine the conditions for education of pupils with special educational needs and exceptionally gifted pupils.

From 2016/17, separate Framework Education Programme for Bilingual General Secondary School is binding for bilingual six-year general secondary schools (dvojjazyčná gymnázia).

In 2010, the Framework Education Programme for the Dance Field (eight-year conservatoire – konzervatoř) was approved, prepared with regard to the FEP BE. The schools had prepared their school education programmes based of FEP BE and started to teach according to them from the 2012/13 school year at the latest. A large part of the number of hours for the educational areas is devoted to the arts education. The total number of hours and the number of hours per week thus markedly exceeds the number of hours at the second stage of basic school.

The content of education in preparatory classes is guided by the Framework Education Programme for Pre-Primary Education (FEP PpE).

Framework Education Programme for Basic Education

The Framework Education Programme for Basic Education (FEP BE) defines the objectives of basic education and key competences a pupil should achieve at the end of education, and nine main educational areas (consisting of one or more educational fields), cross-curricular themes and complementary educational fields. The educational content is specified for every educational field, i.e. the recommended curriculum and expected outcomes. At the end of the 3rd year, the outcomes are only for reference, and at the end of the 5th and 9th year, they are binding. From this point of view, the first stage is divided into two periods: years 1–3 and 4–5.

The FEP BE was prepared by the Research Institute of Education in Prague, was approved by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 2005, and is binding from 2007 (for more information see Establishment of system of educational fields and curricular documents).

With effect from 1 September 2012, the Standards for basic education were included in the FEP BE specifying more closely the expected outcomes. The Standards require the minimum target education, which is set down in the FEP BE. They specify the content of expected outcomes of the FEP BE and set the minimum level managing, which all pupils must achieve. The Standards are made regardless of the ways and methods of verification.

A revision of content of the FEP BE was made in 2013. Mainly educational fields Foreign Language and Mathematics and its applications were adapted; financial literacy (on the basis of the National Strategy for Financial Education) and other current topics: traffic education, human protection during the common risks and exceptional events, homeland defence, corruption, sexual and family education were supplemented.

In 2016 the FEP BE was changed in line with the amendment to the Education Act from 2015 and the new Decree on Education of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and of Gifted Pupils, which legislatively anchors the so-called inclusive education and means the launching of a new way of supporting the education of children, pupils and students with special educational needs and gifted pupils. Revision of the FEP BE consists primarily in the removal of the Annex regulating the education of pupils with a mild mental disability and in the modifications of some chapters of the FEP BE in order to comply with the above-mentioned legislation.

In 2021, revised FEP BE has been published, the revision has covered mainly the instruction of informatics. The school may start teaching according to the school education programme adjusted to revised FEP BE from 1 September 2021. At the latest, they must start the teaching from 1 September 2023 in all years of the first stage (ISCED 1) and from 1 September 2024 in all years of the second stage (ISCED 2). For lower stage of multi-year general secondary school, the deadline 1 Spetmber 2025 was set. (Changes compared to the previous version are shown in italics below in the text and the table.)


Aims of basic education

Basic education is to help pupils to create and gradually develop key competences and provide them with a reliable foundation in general education focused especially on everyday life situations and practical behaviour. These aims should be achieved through:

  • enabling pupils to master learning strategies and motivate them for lifelong learning;
  • stimulating pupils to creative thinking, logical reasoning and problem solving;
  • leading pupils to versatile, effective and open communication;
  • developing pupils' ability to cooperate and to respect the work and successes of themselves and others;
  • preparing pupils to behave as independent, free and responsible personalities, asserting their rights and fulfilling their duties;
  • creating pupils' needs to express positive feelings in their manners, behaviour, and living through life situations; develop their responsiveness and sensitive relationships with people, environment and nature;
  • teaching pupils to develop and actively protect their physical, mental and social health and to be responsible for it;
  • leading pupils to tolerance and considerateness towards other people, their cultures and spiritual values, and teach them to live together with others;
  • helping pupils to recognize and develop their own capacities in accordance with real possibilities and to use these together with acquired knowledge and skills in decision making about their own life and vocational orientation;
  • help pupils navigate the digital environment and lead them to safe, confident, critical and creative use of digital technologies at work, in learning, in their free time and in their involvement in society and civic life.


Key competences

Key competences represent a summary of the knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and values important for the personal development and usefulness of every member of the society. Their choice and concept originate from values generally accepted in the society and from generally shared views as to which competences contribute to an individual's education, happy and successful life, and to strengthening civil society. The aim of education is to equip all pupils with a set of key competences on a level which is accessible for them, and to prepare them for further education and a useful life in the society.

In basic education, the following competences are considered to be the key ones:

  • learning
  • problem solving
  • communication
  • social and personal competence
  • citizenship
  • work
  • digital

Framework timetable

The FEP BE also includes the framework timetable (see below). For particular educational areas (fields) the minimum total week number of hours is defined (in 45 min lessons), which is a summation of number of hours (weekly devoted to some educational area/field) of all years of a given stage. The FEP BE sets also number of disposable hours. The total compulsory time in a week is a summation of total week number of hours of all educational areas and disposable hours, it must be 118 hours for the first stage and 122 hours for the second stage of the basic school (základní škola). For the minimum and maximum number of lessons in a week for particular years – see Organisation of the school day and week.

Educational areas Educational fields Minimum number of hours
1st stage 2nd stage
years 1-5 years 6-9
Language and language communication Czech language and literature 35 15
Foreign language 9 12
Second foreign language - 6
Mathematics and its applications 20 15
Information and communication technology (Informatics) (2) (4)
People and their world 12 (11) -
People and society History - 11 (10)
Citizenship education
People and nature Physics - 21 (20)
Art and culture Music 12 10 (9)
Fine art
People and health Health education - 10
Physical education 10
People and the world of work 5 3
Cross-curricular themes P P
Disposable hours 16 18
Total compulsory number of hours 118 122

P = must be included at the given stage and disposable hours can be used

Information provided for the 2nd stage is valid also for lower years of multi-year general secondary schools (víceletá gymnázia).

Educational areas

  • The educational area Language and language communication is composed of three educational fields: Czech language and literature, Foreign language and Second foreign language. Czech language and literature must be taught in every year. It may be taught from year 1. Special legal regulations apply where the language of instruction is other language than Czech, in case of pupils-foreigners and pupils with other mother tongue than Czech. A foreign language is compulsory from year 3, for at least 3 hours a week in every year (21 hours in total). It may be taught from year 1. English should preferably be offered to pupils (this is not required in the revised FEP BE of 2021). The second foreign language integrate schools according to their possibilities at least 6 hours of the Second foreign language from year 8 at the latest. It is possible by pupils with recognised support measures from the third degree to replace the educational content of the educational fields Foreign language and Second Foreign Language with other educational content within the individual educational plan, if this is in the best interest of these pupils.
  • Mathematics and its applications is taught in every year (at minimum 35 hours in total).
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) is taught at the first stage as well as at the second stage (at minimum 2 hours in total). (The educational content of the educational field Informatics is implemented in 4th and 5th year at the latest and in all years of the 2nd stage of basic education.)
  • The educational content of the educational area (field) 'People and their world' is implemented at first stage only, in every year (minimally 12 hours in total).
  • The educational area 'People and society' is composed of History and Citizenship education and the educational content is implemented at the second stage only, in every year, for a total of at least 11 hours.
  • The educational area 'People and nature' is composed of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Geography and the educational content is implemented at the second stage only, in every year, for a total of at least 21 hours.
  • Art and culture includes Music and Art and the educational content is implemented in every year (at least 22 hours in total).
  • The educational area 'People and health' includes Health education and Physical education. Health education is taught only at the second stage, at the first stage, the educational content of Health education is a component part of the educational area of People and their world. Physical education is taught at all years of basic education; the time allotment must not drop below 2 hours per week. The minimum number of hours for 'People and health' area is 10 hours at the first stage, 10 hours at the second stage, i.e. at least 20 hours in total. At first stage, a total of at least 40 teaching hours is provided for basic swimming lessons; the expected outcomes can be met already in the first period of the first stage; the school head decides on the inclusion of swimming lessons in particular years.
  • The educational content of the educational area 'People and the world of work' is implemented at the first stage (in every year) as well as at the second stage, for a total of 8 hours.
  • The following cross-curricular themes must be taught at both first and second stage, although they need not be included in every year: Personal and social education, Education for democratic citizenship, Education towards thinking in the European and global context, Multicultural education, Environmental education, and Media studies.


Disposable hours

Both in the first and in second stage a fixed number of disposable hours is specified (14 in the first stage, 24 in the second stage); use of these hours is fully at the discretion and responsibility of the school head, the use of all disposable hours in the SEP's curriculum timetable is binding. Disposable hours can be used:

  • to propose and implement optional educational content, which must follow the objectives of basic education and develop the key competences of the pupils;
  • to implement cross-curricular themes;
  • to increase time for particular educational areas and fields beyond the minimum time allotment;
  • to create time allotment to introduce other areas of compulsory education which help to complete the orientation of the school;
  • to introduce complementary educational fields (e.g. Drama, Ethics, Film/Audio-visual Education, Dance and motor learning), if they are included in the school education programme as a compulsory or optional content;
  • to increase the time for physical education usually in two successive years of the first stage, where swimming lessons are offered;
  • to introduce teaching to support the education of pupils with special educational needs (e.g. within the subjects of special pedagogical care).


Teaching religion

Teaching religion is not included in FEP BE. However according to the Education Act, religion can be taught in compliance with the principles and objectives of education. In that case, religion is included in the school education programme as a compulsory, optional or non-compulsory subject. At schools established by a municipality or a union of municipalities it is taught, if at least seven pupils of the school request religion lessons. Pupils from several years of one school or more schools may be combined in one class, as long as the number of pupils in one class does not exceed thirty.

School education programmes in basic education

The school education programme (SEP) divides the curriculum into particular years (or other compact parts e.g. modules) and into subjects and specifies syllabus. Whereas from one education field, it is possible to form one or more subjects or the educational content of different fields can be integrated in an "integrated subject".


Fundamentals for preparing the school education programme

The SEP:

  • is prepared in accordance with the Framework Education Programme for Basic Education for the whole or part of the basic education period, i.e. for those years for which the school provides basic education;
  • ensures equal access to basic education for all pupils in compulsory school attendance and takes into account their educational needs and abilities;
  • enables a differentiated and individualized approach to instruction for pupils with special educational needs and for exceptionally gifted pupils if education of those pupils requires so;
  • creates the preconditions for realizing educational content with a view towards pupils' age-specific characteristics, thus helping to form and develop their key competencies;
  • helps to fulfil the objectives of basic education as established by the school 's educational strategies, as well as the objectives of the educational area established by educational strategies at the level of subjects of instruction;
  • is prepared in such a manner as to allow teachers to develop a creative working style and not to limit them in applying different methods or different time schedules based on the teachers' experience with effective instructional methods and their pupils' specific needs;
  • is a relatively stable document and any eventual changes in its curriculum timetables and syllabi should not negatively affect pupils' education in a cycle already in progress;
  • follows the prescribed structure.


Structure of the school education programme

The prescribed structure is divided into six parts:

  • Identifying information
  • Characteristics of the school
  • Characteristics of the SEP
  • Curriculum timetable
  • Syllabus
  • Assessment of pupils


As a methodological support, the Manual for the Development of School Education Programme of Basic Education was issued.


Foreign language learning in basic education

The Framework Education Programme for Basic Education stipulates that the required level A2 attained in education in the first foreign language, and level A1 attained in another foreign language according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is expected.

Some six-year general secondary school provide the field of study Bilingual General Secondary Schools (dvojjazyčné gymnázium). During the initial two years (corresponding to the basic education), the intensive foreign language training takes place; in the next four years, at least a half of the subjects is taught in a foreign language.

A basic school (základní škola) may be granted a consent of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to teach some subjects in a foreign language.

Some basic schools provide the teaching in national minority language (in Polish).

Every year the Ministry of Education announces programmes to support national minorities and minority languages.

The Ministry of Education financed the translations of the Council of Europe materials supporting the education in Romani to Czech and two Roma languages.

Under specified conditions, foreign pupils are entitled to free Czech language tuition in the form of language training groups.

Every year, the Ministry of Education allocates funds for the projects honoured by the European Language Label (The Label).


Teaching methods and materials

Teachers can choose their teaching methods according to their own strategy and the general policy of the school, in agreement with the Framework Education Programme for Basic Education (FEP BE).

Information and communication technology (ICT) is in common use within instruction.

There are no specific requirements as to teaching aids, which must however be adequate to the needs of pupils. A school head decides on the use of textbooks and teaching texts. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports publishes in its Bulletin as well as at the website the List of textbooks and teaching texts approved by an approval clause on the basis of an assessment as to whether these comply with educational objectives stipulated in the Education Act, in the Framework Education Programmes and legal regulations, (according to the Directive to Procedures and Conditions Set for Awarding Withdrawing of Approvals of Textbooks and Study Texts). Schools may also use other textbooks and teaching texts unless these are contrary to these educational objectives. Pupils are provided with free textbooks and teaching texts contained in the list of textbooks, and pupils of the first year of basic education and children included in preparatory classes are not required to return them. Pupils in the first year and children placed in preparatory classes are provided with free basic teaching aids to the value of CZK 200 (EUR 7; EUR/CZK 27.407 – 26 May 2015).

The minimum material equipment for a school is set by the FEP BE, while the hygienic requirements for school rooms are regulated by the Decree on Sanitary Standards in Institutions and Facilities for Education of Children and Youth.

There are no regulations relating to pupils' homework.