Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School

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Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School
Deák Ferenc Gimnázium
Deák Ferenc Bilingual School, Szeged, Hungary.png
118-120 József Attila sugárút


Coordinates46°16′11″N 20°9′23″E / 46.26972°N 20.15639°E / 46.26972; 20.15639Coordinates: 46°16′11″N 20°9′23″E / 46.26972°N 20.15639°E / 46.26972; 20.15639
School typesecondary grammar school (gimnázium)
HeadmasterFaragó Klára
Age14 to 18
Enrollment961 (2010)
LanguageHungarian, English
EndowmentFor Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Public Endowment
WebsiteDeák Ferenc Gimnázium (in Hungarian)

The Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School (Hungarian: Deák Ferenc Gimnázium) is a public, co-educational secondary school in Szeged, Hungary established in 1988. It is the youngest secondary educational institution in the city of Szeged. It is named after Ferenc Deák, a famous 19th-century Hungarian politician who is also known as the Sage of the Nation. From the beginning, language education served as the main focus of the school[1] in addition to its mission to provide a multifunctional place amidst its surroundings of panel housing estates, hence it leases out the Theater Hall—which can be opened together with the Atrium—for various cultural programs. The school has been participating in the debate forum called European Classes since 1997, it is the member of the initiative PUSCH (Schools: Partners of the Future), and that of the DSD program since 2008. The rate of acceptance to higher education is 89-90%.[2]

Students within the Hungarian-English bilingual program have a higher number of classes in English. Furthermore, for them, the language of education concerning mathematics, biology, geography and history (both Hungarian and world history) is English. Throughout their four years of learning, these courses are complemented by a special English conversation class with native speakers, and by the same token a so-called civilization class is offered from 11th grade. The school has a wide range of international connections, thus bilingual students (along with those of the special English program) and students of the special German program have the opportunity to participate in exchange programs with Brooks School in North Andover, United States,[1] and with Eleonorenschule in Darmstadt, Germany, respectively.


By the end of the 1980s, the leadership of Szeged had realized the altering tendencies that higher and higher percentages of students ought to be provided secondary education. In the spirit of the aforementioned situation, the Executive Committee of the Municipal Council of Szeged stipulated in 1985 that a new high school be built in the area marked by Anyagod Street and József Attila Boulevard (22,740 yd2),[2] of which István Novák, architect of Csomiterv Ltd. was appointed. He designed a multifunctional school with 24 class-rooms, with abilities to be used for various occasions, and with enrollment capacity of 800-1000 students.[3][4] On August 1, 1988, the general contractor announced the end of construction, and the faculty started to move in.

“…the person after whom the school should be named was chosen by the Board of Teachers from among three possibilities: Kunó Klebensberg, Mihály Károlyi and Ferenc Deák…”[5]

Three choices were given to the Board of Teachers to decide whom the school should be named after :

Count Kunó Klebensberg was soon declared out of the contest given the difficult pronunciation of his name[5] and it eventually ended in a draw between the two other alternatives. Dr. László Kovács, the first principal (1987–1992), avowed—with the intention to resolve the situation—that his vote counts as two, hence the name Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School came into being.[5] It was a decision that the Municipal Council did not want to accept, therefore the principal applied to Tibor Czibere, the then Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of Hungary for help. Not until this event did the name become official.

Given the institution’s focus on foreign languages, it was Mark Palmer, former United States Ambassador to Hungary (1986–1990) who was asked to inaugurate the school.[4] In the year of the opening, Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School and the Embassy of the United States Budapest cooperated on a weekly basis so that even Frank Press, President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences paid a visit in the school; what is more it was in the same year when the exchange program between Deák and Brooks School in Massachusetts was launched. The school continued to keep its connections to foreign affairs later on as well, hence upon the visit of the German Ambassador to Hungary, every student was provided free visas to the late West-Germany.

The first principal, Dr. László Kovács considered equipping the school and filling it with teachers and students to be his prime duty.[5] During his principalship, he procured 64 televisions, two class-rooms of computers, 42 sets of skiing equipment and installed a studio so as to enrich the school.[5] He employed several former teachers from Ságvári High School while the students were from Radnóti Miklós High School, Tömörkény István High School and Ságvári High School. Even though these students started in their old schools, they pursued their education in the new institution.[1] Accordingly, the first two Hungarian-English bilingual classes spent their freshman year in Radnóti; however, under the aegis of Deák’s new Board of Teachers. In those days, there were only three foreign languages besides English which could be learned—Italian, Spanish and German[5]—prior to the introduction of French in 1989.[3] In 1991 the school launched its "6-year high school" program[note 1] onto which Deák focused more and more attention; moreover, in the very same decade the palette of education was complemented with a new program in which students had a higher number of literature and history lessons and with special language programs.

Principal Dr. József Kovács preeminently aimed at maintaining the "6-year high school" program.[6] During his principalship the institute was a nationally noted high school reaching number 13 on the list of best high schools in Hungary and later on as well it was in the best 40.[6] With the financial support of Soros Foundation, Deák was able to furnish its first computer laboratory and in 1995 it established another classroom with an up-to-date network of computers.[3] As a result of Vice-Principal Dr. József Müller’s activities, a connection between Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School and Darmstadt came into existence, due to which the leadership of the German city presented him the annual Freundschaft in Frieden und Freiheit (Friendship in Peace and Freedom) plaque.

Dr. Mihály Révész had been elected principal in 1996, following which he acted for external management, the enhancement of inner artistic freedom and for strengthening the pedagogical program until the end of his tenure in 2001.[7] It was during his principalship that the English Language summer camp was started by the American teacher Arden Campbell. The American pedagogue arrived at Deák in 1991 through Educational Services International;[8] and gave her services for the school throughout the years, former Vice-Principal Dr. József Müller even called her one of the “founders of the school”.[1] In the same year, the list of overseas partner schools was complemented with Covenant School, Virginia.

In the academic term of 1998/1999, the new Computing and Informatics Program became available along with the Special German one, which were followed by the Special Spanish Program in 2001 and the Special English program in 2004. Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008, commemorating which a week-long set of events was organized in Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School.[3]


István Novák—in order to create a multifunctional institution—designed a spacious school with well-illuminated areas, thus developing an environment where students could spend their extracurricular time.[4] The gymnasium (which can have up to three sections with the help of divider curtains), the library (standing at 20000 volumes), the spacious buffet, the modern studio and the Atrium were all born corresponding to this conception; opened together with the Theater Hall, the former one is able to host the whole school. Dr. László Kovács, the future first principal, modified the original plans: he had the wall separating the Atrium and the Theater Hall changed to a movable one; he made the gymnasium suitable for installing tennis or volleyball nets; what is more, he arrangement of lockers was also developed by him.[5] Besides these facilities, the original plans featured a short course swimming pool as well where the school wished to have swimming lessons and competitions alike, but it was never built.[4] The interior of the building is the work of Designer Mihály Szekeres, the winner of 1985 Mihály Munkácsy Award, while Miklós Borsos’ work can be examined above the main entrance. The school itself is a reinforced concrete structure using 4-5 different panel elements for the exterior, since the then Leadership of Szeged had the elements ordered from a concrete panel factory.

Courses of study[edit]

Hungarian-English Bilingual program[edit]

Distinguishing code 01
Length of study 4 years

In the Hungarian-English Bilingual program—present since the opening of the school—has started among the first such programs in Hungary.[1] Students in this program learn English on an advanced level throughout their four years of high school, and have special English Conversation classes with either American or British native speakers so as to practice the language orally and to improve conversation skills. Five subjects are thought in English:

  • Mathematics, History (9th-12th grade)
  • Geography (9th-10th grade)
  • Biology (10th-12th grade)
  • Civilization (11th-12th grade)[note 2]

Admissions to the bilingual program generally happens on a regional scale and requires the central entrance examination to be complemented with an oral examination in English.[9] Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary visited Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School in November 12, 2010, and expressed encomiums on the remarkable fluency the program provides for students.[10]

Pupils in the Hungarian-English Bilingual program and those of the Special English program have the opportunity to apply for exchange with Brooks School which started in 1989 and in the frames of which approximately four students are given scholarship to this private school of North Andover, Massachusetts. Following this near three month exchange, the participants have to host the American students coming to Hungary.

The same groups of students can apply for European Classes, an English language debate forum in which the institution has been participating since 1994.[3] Participants—imitating the European Parliament —discuss topics concerning the continent’s economical and political hardships while connecting to other institutions’ regularly attending students from Romania, Denmark and Germany thus becoming acquainted with their cultures.[11]

Special German program[edit]

Distinguishing code 05
Length of study 4 years

The Special German program is in accordance with the German DSD program (Deutsches Sprachdiplom) meaning after the end of their secondary education, students receive their language certificates from the German Federal Republic herself, which enables them not to have to be required to take a special German entrance exam when applying to a German university. The objective of the aforementioned program is to ensure a solid background in the knowledge of the German language and culture for students of non-German school, which later on could help them to acquire job and to pursue their education in Germanophone countries. Pupils learn German on an advanced level; and furthermore, they are aided by a native teacher to practice orally and to develop high fluency.[9][12]

Soccer Academy program[edit]

Distinguishing code 10
Length of study 4 years

The special class of Soccer Academy is consistent with the general curriculum of sport schools and was born to provide a sufficient basis for its players who wish not to solely concentrate on their sport achievements but on their advanced education as well.[9] The conception of the program arose in the spring of 2007[9]—nevertheless, such initiatives were considered in the past as well—[6] thus in September 2008 the school enrolled its first class in this program. The team received the titles “Best Association Football Team of The City of Szeged” and “Best Association Football Team of Csongrád County”; moreover, they came second in the semi final of the National Student Olympics within the same year. Admission to this program generally happens on a regional scale during which applicant have to take the central entrance examination along with a sport aptitude test.[13] In order to guarantee the level of professional training, Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School called for tighter cooperation with Tisza Volán SC Youth Division and KÉSZ Soccer Academy Endowment.[2]

Motion Picture Culture and Media program[edit]

Distinguishing code 09
Length of study 4 years

It is the declared aim of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School to provide a qualification for students enrolled in this program with the help of which they can examine the stream of information of the contemporary era through a critical perspective.[9] Apart from the national entrance examination, applicants to this program are required to go through an oral examination for which they have to prepare from five classical films—chosen from the list stipulated by the school—and from two arbitrary ones. They are expected to examine these from both a narrative point-of-view and from film technological point-of-view as well; moreover, the application procedure includes a discussion concerning media history and contemporary media events.[14] Concerning the National Secondary School Academic Competition, students of the Motion Picture Culture and Media program have always reached the Top 9 with their project works between the academic years of 2004/2005 and 2009/2010.[15]

Other programs[edit]

Distinguishing code[9]
International studies program 02
International studies, economy program 03
Special English program 04
Ordinary program[note 3] 07
Special Spanish program 08


Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School features among the Best 60 or Best 70 in the nation with the rate of acceptance to higher education of 89-90 %. 90-95 % of students of the Hungarian-English Bilingual program take their complex advanced language examinations by the end of their senior year; what is more, 67% of all students do so as well. Concerning other foreign languages, 70-80 % of the whole enrollment takes language exams from one or two languages by the end of 12th grade.[2]

Results of the school leaving examination (2009)[16]
Subjects Percent Average (Standard Level) Grade Average (Standard Level) Percent Average (Advanced Level) Grade Average (Advanced Level)
Mathematics 65,90 3,88 82,00 5,00
Hungarian Literature and Grammar 75,63 4,39 52,87 3,94
History 66,91 3,97 60,12 4,12
English language 84,37 4,74 81,67 4,90
German language 76,03 4,17 80,00 5,00
Biology 74,00 4,33 61,60 4,60
Physics 59,22 3,56 - -
Chemistry 78,40 4,40 82,33 5,00
Informatics 67,93 4,04 - -
Geography 77,79 4,64 65,00 5,00
Results of the school leaving examination (2010)[16]
Subjects Percent Average (Standard Level) Grade Average (Standard Level) Percent Average (Advanced Level) Grade Average (Advanced Level)
Mathematics 63,55 3,71 71,00 5,00
Hungarian Literature and Grammar 74,45 4,31 57,17 3,83
History 72,88 4,26 63,14 4,57
English language 81,86 4,64 77,28 4,97
German language 88,56 4,92 93,33 5,00
Biology 70,12 4,03 60,36 4,18
Physics 73,33 4,33 77,00 5,00
Chemistry 71,86 4,00 73,00 5,00
Informatics 73,00 4,21 - -
Geography 82,50 4,83 - -
The number of students leaving the school (A) and the number of failures (B) between 2008 and 2010[17]
Year A B
2008/2009. 28 3
2009/2010. 22 3


List of schools with which Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School has had continuing exchanges or where the institution pays regular visits so as to enhance its international connection:

Exchange programs[edit]

School Location
Brooks School North Andover, United States
Eleonorenschule Darmstadt Darmstadt, Germany
Tamási Áron High School Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania
Covenant School Charlotteville, United States
Gummersbach Germany

Other connections[edit]

Organization Location
Fulbright Association United States
Educational Services International California, United States
British Council Kingdom of England
Goethe Institution Federal Republic of Germany
U.S. Embassy in Budapest United States, Republic of Hungary

Student life[edit]


Deák Olympics[edit]

Deák Olympics is an annual academic competition among all the different grades from all subjects taught in the school; however, an artistic competition and an essay writing are also part of the events as well.[18] Sport competitions are likewise organized—in the frame of this event—in concordance with the students’ wishes. Following semi-finals and finals, the result announcement ceremony is due to a day without teaching in the spring.[19] On the day of Deák Olympics itself, presentations, film screenings, tea house, minor competitions (such as the student-teacher chess or poker tournaments[20]) or exhibitions are held in the school before the result announcement ceremony.[21] The event is organised in order to improve the school community and the cohesion within it.[2]

Szalagtűző and szalagavató[edit]

The szalagtűző (literally ribbon pinning ceremony) and szalagavató (literally ribbon inauguration ceremony) are traditions in an abundant number of Hungarian high schools during which senior students are given a ribbon symbolizing the end of their secondary education. In Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School the two traditions are not commemorated on the same day but form two distinctive ceremonies. During the szalagtűző, students of the penultimate class pin a ribbon onto each 12th-grader which is then followed by the speech of the principal, speech of the representatives of the students left behind and that of seniors uttered by a member of them accompanied by musical performances.[22]

Following the szalagtűző, the szalagavató ball is organized in the Atrium of the school for which seniors perform English and Viennese waltzes in addition to their respective class dances of choice and the teacher-student dance (dance couples are formed by student requesting a member of the faculty to dance) which is an English waltz too as a rule.[22] As result of a new, peculiar initiative, dances are not accompanied recorded music, but by live music provided by the Deák Big Band. As soon as all the dances end, students form into lines and the principal proposes a toast from atop the stairs of the Atrium following which the students clink glasses with each other and with their teachers. The dinner afterwards is organized in the building of the school as well; student and their family sit around tables placed in different class-rooms while the Theater Hall functions as a disco. The ball is concluded by leaving the institution for a remote after-party.

Deák Inner-County Translation Competition[edit]

Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School has been staging its inner-county translation competition since 1997 which is due to the idea of the then leader of the English Department, Ms. Ildikó Sóti.[3] It consists of Germanic-language translating competitions, from Hungarian to English and German, besides those of Romance-languages like French and Italian language\Italian. During the contest, texts of various styles and topics (such as literary or publicistic works) are to be interpreted.[22]

Freshman Week and Freshman Ball[edit]

The Freshman Ball (called Stork Ball in Hungarian[note 4]) occurs in November each year following the Fall Term Break. During this ceremony, new graders are officially inaugurated as students of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School. Proceeding this event, is the Freshman Week (called Stork Week in Hungarian) challenging the freshmen with creative and humorous tasks each day.[23][24][25] Enhancing the evolution of cohesion among new students, each first grader class have to perform a class dance of arbitrary style and choreography.[23][25] The ball commences with the greeting of new students and with the introduction of the jury which decides over the best class dance. Following the dances comes the stork oath;[22] meanwhile, the jury totalizes the points. The class which wins is granted a trophy and the right to organize the event in the subsequent year.[23] The ball is ended with a disco held in the Theater Hall and with the concert of different school bands in the dining hall.[23]

Goodbye Ceremony[edit]

The Goodbye Ceremony is not held on the same day as the graduation but it does represent a momentous event in the life of the school which consists of the solo and joint performances of teachers and form masters’ of senior classes including both musical and spoken word performances.[22][26][27][28]

Christmas Soiree[edit]

Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School has been organizing its annual Christmas Soiree since 1992. During the event—held in the Theater Hall—representatives of the Student Body along with those of the faculty present their respective and joint performances as well. This event, which has been organized since the opening of the institution,[2] is among the most gratifying ones in the life of the school.

Wreath laying at the statue of Deák[edit]

Commemorating the statesman after whom the school has been named, the ninth graders lay a wreath at the statue of Ferenc Deák on Széchenyi Square each year on the day of his birth, October 17. Apart from this event, students also pay tribute to him—on the day of his death—in the National Pantheon which is found on Dóm Square in front of the Votive Church of Szeged.

Freshmen Day[edit]

In its Pedagogical Program, Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School emphasizes the education of community life to be a most accentuated issue[2] due to which the institution organizes an annual Freshman Day in the Ópusztaszer National Heritage Park so as to enhance the formation of class communities. During this day, freshmen have to participate in various team sports and other team competitions.[22]

Sources, notes[edit]

Sources are in Hungarian

  1. ^ a b c d e "Dr. József Müller: Thus did it begin". Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Yearbook 2008/2009 (in Hungarian). Szeged. 2009. pp. 281–282.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Pedagogical Program of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School" (PDF) (in Hungarian). The Official Website of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School. Retrieved 22 February 2011.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e f "History of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School". The Official Homepage of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School. 2007-09-22. Retrieved 2011-02-21.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d "István Novák, Ybl Award winning lead architect". Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Yearbook 2008/2009. 2009. pp. 276–278.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Dr. László Kovacs /principal 1987-1992/". Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Yearbook 2008/2009 (in Hungarian). 2009. pp. 279–280.
  6. ^ a b c "Dr. József Kovács / principal: 1993-1996/". Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Yearbook 2008/2009. Szeged. 2009. pp. 284–285.
  7. ^ "Dr. Mihály Révész / principal 1996-2001/". Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Yearbook 2008/2009. Szeged. 2009. pp. 286–287.
  8. ^ "Arden Campbell". Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Yearbook 2008/2009. Szeged. 2009. pp. 160–161.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Admission 2011/2012". Official site of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Webradio (2010-11-12). "U.S. Ambassador Budapest visits Szeged". Szegedi hírek. Webradio. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  11. ^ "Oberwesel 2008". Deák Ferenc Gimnázium évkönyve 2007/2008. Szeged. 2008. p. 240.
  12. ^ "What is DSD…!?". Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School Yearbook 2007/2008. Szeged. 2008. p. 245.
  13. ^ "DFG Soccer Academy". Deák Ferenc Gimnazium Yearbook 2008/2009. Szeged. 2009. p. 242.
  14. ^ "Topics for the Motion Picture Culture and Media program" (PDF). Official Homepage of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School. Retrieved 2011-02-19.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "OKTV Previous competition periods". Educational Authority. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  16. ^ a b "The result of school leaving examination (2009)". The Official Homepage of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School. Retrieved 2011-02-19.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "The number of students leaving the school and the number of failures between 2008 and 2010". The Official Homepage of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School. Retrieved 2011-02-21.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Winners of Deák Olympics 2009". 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-19.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Organizational and operational regulation 2009". 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  20. ^ "Deák Olympics 2010 - DFG Interactive Quize Show". Student Council of Deák Ferenc High. 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  21. ^ "Programs and room assignment on the day of Deák Olympics" (PDF). iDeák. Szeged. April 2010. p. 8.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Traditions of the school". The Official Homepage of Deák Ferenc Bilingual High School. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  23. ^ a b c d Edit, Edit (April 2010). "Stork Ball 2010" (PDF). Szeged: iDeák: 3–4. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Anett, Kiss (April 2010). "Help! Stork Week!" (PDF). Szeged: iDeák: 2. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ a b Bacsó, Anett (April 2010). "Memories of the Stork Week" (PDF). Szeged: iDeák: 2–3. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Pappné Török Edit (2010). We will rock you ( Szeged. {{cite AV media}}: External link in |medium= (help)
  27. ^ Zsuzsa László (2010). Love will tear us apart ( Szeged. {{cite AV media}}: External link in |medium= (help)
  28. ^ Istvan Balogh (2010). The saddest song ( Szeged. {{cite AV media}}: External link in |medium= (help)


  1. ^ In the 1990s numerous Hungarian secondary educational institutions started to offer a„6-year high school” program according to which parents were allowed to send their children to high school in 6th grade. For more informations see: Education in Hungary
  2. ^ During Civilization classes students learn about the history, literature, geography, administration, political and every-day life of Anglophone countries around the globe.
  3. ^ Student enrolled in the Ordinary Program learn both of their foreign languages on an advanced level during their four years of secondary education.
  4. ^ First graders in Hungarian secondary and tertiary educational institutions are referred to as storks in Hungarian slang, hence the expression Stork Ball to denote the Freshman Ball.

External links[edit]