Definition of the target group
Supportive measures for pupils in the elementary and regular school sector are aimed at children and young people from immigrant families, from families which are disadvantaged socio-economically, and also at children and young people who have missed schooling for an extended period, for example due to ill health.
In addition, there are general supportive measures (promotion of individual talents and interests) and specific supportive measures (for exceptionally gifted persons) for both children and young persons.
Specific support measures
The following supportive measures are offered for the target group referred to above (cf. Concept of Support measures in the Liechtenstein Education System, p. 6)
German as a second language (DaZ)
German as a second language refers to special lessons for children whose mother-tongue is not German. DaZ lessons are based on the DaZ curriculum which is part of the Liechtenstein curriculum. There are two kinds of support:
The intensive course is aimed at migrant children and young persons of eight years and older whose level of German is not yet of a sufficient standard for them to attend regular school classes. The emphasis is on learning German, but attention is also given to their general educational potential. The aim of the intensive course is to integrate pupils into normal lessons. The course lasts a maximum of one year.
The aim of the supplementary lessons for children and young people whose mother tongue is not German is to improve their knowledge of the German language so that they are able to follow the lessons without significant difficulties.
Special support is a special educational measure for children and young persons who, because of special circumstances such as extended illness, unfavourable family background, a change of school etc., have fallen behind with their education.
Support and remedial courses, assisted learning and homework assistance
Support and remedial courses, and also assisted learning are offered in the secondary schools and in the Optional10th School Year. Assisted learning and help with homework are offered in the primary schools.
As of the beginning of the 2013/2014 school year, the day schools in Vaduz and Schaan have been included in the regular system on a trial basis. The day schools operate a system of mixed-age learning groups.
Mixed-age learning groups
Developments in the kindergarten-primary education sector led the Schaanwald and Schellenberg school sites to introduce the 4/3 model with mixed-age learning groups from the 2012/2013 school year. This involves treating the two kindergarten years and the first two primary school years as one unit (4) and the subsequent middle stage of classes 3 to 5 as a second unit (3). As this model provides for remedial teaching to be offered at all levels, it dispenses with the pre-school (infant school) as a special introductory grade. There is a team teaching approach.
Special support for talented children
In the sense of supporting and promoting individual talents of all students, support for talented children is part of the basic task of the school and a component of such support at all school grades. Special support frequently occurs in the context of project-style lessons and partly also as project days or weeks.
Support for exceptionally gifted children (Kindergarten and primary education)
It may be appropriate for individual children who are exceptionally gifted or who have a particular talent to be supported in their education by a teacher with special expertise in remedial education. The primary schools have developed local plans for supporting exceptionally gifted children. Such support is now also offered at the kindergarten level. This adds a new element to the operational plans of the municipal schools. Practically all the municipal schools have set up so-called resource rooms equipped with a range of materials available for the support of specially gifted children.
The Liechtenstein ‘Time-Out School’ is a social-educational measure for pupils who, because of their behaviour (excessive disruption of lessons, personal emergency situation etc.), have to be taken out of regular schooling for a certain period of time. It has established itself as a resource for helping and taking the burden off secondary schools in difficult educational situations. Pupils are normally allocated to the school as a result of an agreement between the school and parents. Including the parents in the family-related work of the Time-Out School makes them responsible for playing their part in the child’s education. The aim is to successfully reintegrate children into their old classes or work out alternative solutions for getting pupils back into mainstream education.