Subjects taught in lower secondary school
According to presidential decree 126/2016, there are 3 categories of subjects taught in gymnasia (lower secondary schools):
Group a subjects
- Modern Greek Language and Literature (Language Teaching and Modern Greek Literature)
- Ancient Greek Language and Literature (Ancient Greek Language and Ancient Greek Texts - translated)
Group b subjects
- Geology – Geography
- Social and Civic Education
- Religious Education
- 2nd Foreign Language (French/German/Italian)
- Technology and Information Technology
- Home Economics
Group c subjects
- Music – Art
- Physical Education
- Skill Development Workshops
The teaching unit entitled “Skill Development Workshops” is being introduced in the school curriculum and the weekly timetable of all types of compulsory education school units, nursery schools, primary schools and lower secondary schools with a view to reinforcing the development of students’ mild skills, life skills as well as technology and science skills A decision of the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, issued following a relevant proposal submitted by the Institute of Educational Policy, specifies the number, the duration and the content of the thematic cycles of each teaching unit as well as those of the thematic units each thematic cycle comprises, the number and the specializations of teachers who will be teaching the said thematic cycles and units , students’ assessment procedure and any other relevant issue, including the organization and implementation of relevant educational as well as supporting activities for the teachers involved. The timetable establishes which of the above subjects are included in each grade. Students are assessed for each subject separately. Teachers of the corresponding subjects are responsible for carrying out the assessment.
The teaching of subjects runs in two (2) teaching periods called school terms. The first term lasts from 11 September until 20 January. The second term lasts from 21 January until the end of lessons.
Assessment of student performance during school terms
Criteria for the assessment of students’ performance during school terms are as follows:
- Classroom participation (questions and answers, contribution, teamwork, homework diligence), which helps teachers identify and assess students’ knowledge level, understanding of concepts and phenomena, as well as problem-solving, communication, critical thinking and creative skills.
- Individual and group work assigned as part of the daily learning process, at school or as homework.
- Individual or group multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary tasks.
- One-hour classroom written tests with notice, when they follow-up a revision. Without notice, when assessing the last lesson topic. As regards Group a and Group b subjects it is compulsory that one test assessment per term be performed. As regards the Group c subjects no such test assessment is performed.
- Brief tests taking place with or without warning the students beforehand in the form of brief, various and suitable written questions. The number and frequency of the abovementioned tests are held each quarter at the teacher’s discretion.
At the end of each school term and after filing students’ reports, the guardians of students are called in for information purposes on the performance, diligence, studies and behaviour of their children. Finally, they receive their children’s individual performance report.After the end of both quarters signaling the end of teaching sessions and more specifically from June 1st to June 15th , written exams in the Group A subjects the result of which determines students ‘promotion or graduation are held.
Written progression and school-leaving examinations
Written progression (grades A and B) and school-leaving (grade C) examinations are administered in gymnasia (lower secondary schools). The school head and the school teachers’ board are responsible for the exams. The school teacher’s board specifies the examinations' schedule. The school head announces the schedule at least 3 days before the end of all lessons. Subject to assessment is two thirds (2/3) of the total syllabus. In any case, it is not possible to assess less than half of the syllabus. Teachers are responsible for selecting and properly defining the syllabus content that will be assessed. When a subject is taught by more than one teacher, these teachers must work together to produce the syllabus content for assessment. They submit it to the school head who gives his approval. The assessment syllabus is announced to students 5 working days before the final lesson. Teachers of the subjects assessed prepare the tests on the day of examination. All classes sit the same exams. In exceptional circumstances, it is possible to administer different tests in the same subject. At least one teacher/exam invigilator is present in the classroom during the assessment. Invigilators are responsible for:
- Submitting the students’ written answers/essays to the assessor teachers.
Grading school-year performance
School-year performance for Group A subjects is one third of the total sum of marks during the first school term, the second school term and the revision written test.
School-year performance on Group B and C subjects is the average score awarded during the first and second school terms.
The grading scale for calculating student performance on all subjects ranges from 0 to 20 and comes with the following qualitative comments:
|Good||12 ½ -151/2|
|Very Good||15 ½ -18 ½|
|Excellent||18 ½ -20|
Only whole numbers are used for pupils' assessment.
Progression of pupils/students
Students may be promoted to the next grade or graduate when two requirements, as listed below, are met at the same time:
- Minimum average score
- Sufficient attendance.
Minimum average score
Student progression to Grades A and B or school graduation at the end of grade C, take place:
- When school-year performance is at least 10 for each subject or
- When average score on school-year performance is 13.
If students do not meet the progression or school graduation requirements, they must repeat examination. These exams take place in the first ten days of September, before the start of the next school year; the students should repeat examination in the subjects on which they had got an average score lower than 10, provided that these school subjects are no more than four. When the total average score the students had got on their annual grade is lower than 10 on more than 4 subjects, they do not repeat examination in any school subject. In this case they cannot progress or graduate and have to re-attend the same grade,. Grade A and grade B students failing on the repeat examinations, do not progress to the next grade and have to re-attend the same grade. Grade C students who fail to progress cannot graduate and have to re-attend the same grade. The average score required for the progression (grades A and B) or graduation (grade C) of students with disabilities and special educational needs is less than the ordinary score: at least 12.
Another necessary prerequisite for the progression or the graduation of pupils in all grades of gymnasio (lower secondary school) is their adequate attendance during the relevant school year (ministerial decision 79942/ΓΔ4/21-5-2019). Attendance is characterized as adequate or inadequate, based on the total number of absences. Absences are enumerated one per teaching hour and must not exceed 114 per school year (with some exceptions). In the case of music, arts and evening gymnasio, it is plus 16 absences. If a pupil exceeds the threshold, the pupil is required to repeat the grade, as attendance is deemed insufficient. Progression, graduation and reference to the special exam period of June/September or repeat of the grade depend on the applicable legislation. Parents are not involved in taking such a decision.
Lower secondary school graduates are awarded the lower secondary education school leaving certificate (apolytirio gymnasiou). The graduation certificate includes the photograph and the personal details of the pupil and it indicates both in words and figures:
- The detailed grades per course during the school year
- The general graduation degree, which may also include a fraction.
The lower secondary education school leaving certificate is issued by the school unit the pupil graduated from. It is an official state document of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. It bears the signature of the school head, as the responsible person, as well as the signatures of the school leaving certificate editor and members of the school teachers’ board, who collectively constitute the governing bodies of the relevant school unit. The leaving certificate is issued after the results of the exams. The relevant provisions valid for and applicable to all lower secondary education schools apply. Holders of a lower secondary school leaving certificate have the following options:
- Enrol in genikia lykeia (general upper secondary schools)
- Enrol in epangelmatika lykeia (vocational upper secondary Schools)
- Enrol in Vocational Training Schools
- Enrol in the Vocational Apprenticeship Schools of Manpower Employment Organisation.
- Join the labour market without specialisation.
The evaluation of teachers aims to improve their individual performance and the quality of public education and in general the pedagogical, didactic and support work offered by educational and support structures. This evaluation is carried out in accordance with the principles of impartiality, service, educational and support capacity and efficiency of executives, teachers and members of the special educational and auxiliary staff, taking into account the specificity of the offered educational, pedagogical and support work.
Secondary education teachers are evaluated by the Education advisor of scientific responsibility (specialty), in terms of the general and special didactics of the cognitive subject and by the Director of the school unit, in terms of the pedagogical climate and classroom management, as well as by its Director school unit and the Education advisor of pedagogical responsibility, in terms of their service consistency and adequacy. While the teachers of special education school units, as well as the integration and parallel support departments of general education, are evaluated, in terms of their service consistency and adequacy, by the Director of the school unit and the Special Education and Integration education advisor.
Fields and evaluation criteria of teachers' work
Teacher’s workis evaluated on a four-point descriptive scale, in which their work is graded from excellent, to very good, to satisfactory or to unsatisfactory, in terms of two (2) fields:
- the teaching and pedagogical work of the teacher, which is specialized in A1) general and special didactics of the cognitive subject and A2) pedagogical climate and classroom management and
- service consistency and competence of the teacher.
The evaluator discusses his evaluative judgment with the teacher, documenting his assessment in writing, which is communicated in any appropriate way upon proof to the evaluated. The teacher may, within five (5) days, submit a report with his observations, in case there is a disagreement, regarding the assessment. Each teacher may register in an electronic file, in the special digital application which is accessible through the Unified digital portal of the public administration, documents related to his training experience as a trainer and trainee, his pedagogic and didactic writing work, his teaching work, his participation in European and research programs, as well as all kinds of actions that contribute to the qualitative upgrading of his role in the educational and teaching process.
In the event that the work of a teacher is definitively evaluated as "unsatisfactory", the specific teacher attends a mandatory training program, which is prepared by the Institute of educational policy (IEP). The subject of the training and its duration are determined by the decision of the Education quality supervisor, following a recommendation by the Education advisors (Law 4823/2021).