European School of Luxembourg I

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European School of Luxembourg
Schola Europaea
ESL1- Luxembourg City,
Luxembourg Luxembourg
Type International
Established 1953
Founder European Coal and Steel Community
Sister school

European School of Luxembourg II

(all the European Schools are also considered sisters schools)
Director Panayota Vassilacou (Greece)
Number of students 3,802 (2003)
Student Union/Association The Pupils' Committee (PC)
Slogan "United in diversity"
Newspaper The Pupils' Voice

The European School of Luxembourg was the first of the European Schools. It was founded in October 1953 on the initiative of officials of the European Coal and Steel Community, with the support of the Community's institutions and the government of Luxembourg. In April 1957, it formally became the first of the European Schools. Today it is located on the Kirchberg-Plateau in Luxembourg City.[1] ESL is nowadays divided into two autonomous organisms: ESL1 & ESL2 (which is located in the small city of Mamer, about 11 km away from LUX1). Despite the separation, both entities still share a narrow cooperation in important subjects such as official trips (essentially travels for both schools ambassadors to Brussels), events or even the Pupils' committees budgets.

In October 2003, the student population of the European School was 3 802 — of which 440 were in the maternelle, 1 414 were in the primary school and 1 948 were in the secondary school. It is currently the largest school in Luxembourg and the largest of the 14 European Schools.[citation needed] As of 1995 20% of the total number of students were not children of EU workers.[2]

In September 2012, Luxembourg II opened. Despite this opening, both schools are still considered by many students and local residents as one. Kirchberg and Mamer are working hardly to preserve the connection and unity of both schools, mostly for the Secondary students.

It was previously recognized as a German school by the West German government, as the Europäische Schule.[3]


Primary School buildings on the far side of Kirchberg Lake

Boulevard de la Foire[edit]

Parents working for the European Coal and Steel Community established the school in 1953.[4] It became necessary to establish a new school when many European children from varying language backgrounds appeared.[5]

When the school was founded it was located on the premises of a former furniture shop in the Limpertsberg quarter of Luxembourg city. It initially had 70 students. The school later moved to Villa Lentz in Hollerich.[4] In 1956 construction began on a new building,[citation needed] located on Boulevard de la Foire, just outside the city centre. The building was opened in 1957,[4] on 11 December.[citation needed] This building today houses the language teaching centre of Luxembourg. The first students graduated in 1959; the graduating class was 23.[4]

At a later date, the school moved to a new site on the Kirchberg plateau, another quarter of Luxembourg city. During the late 80s, the school re-used the building at Boulevard de la Foire, as an overflow school for three age groups of the primary school. Since the end of the 1990s, the old building at Boulevard de la Foire has no longer been used by the European School.[citation needed]


The school progressively moved to Kirchberg in the 1990s.[4] At the end of the 1990s, the grounds on Kirchberg were completely redesigned. Old buildings were demolished and new ones (e.g. a new primary school building, an extension of the secondary school building and a new theatre building) were built, though three blocks of the old Secondary school (the current A, B and C blocks) were left standing. T and L blocks were added due to high number of students. 3 years after the separation, it was decided that only T block will be conserved, while L is due to be demolished.

In 2014 the Luxembourgish government signed an agreement for the European Schools to accept 100 more students in their English and French sections.[6]

Luxembourg II[edit]

A second European School was built on the border of the neighbouring communes of Bertrange and Mamer. Before the school opened in 2012, the primary department of Luxembourg II was located in temporary buildings next to Luxembourg I on the Kirchberg Plateau (in the "Village Pédagogique"). This school opened officially in September 2012 with around 2000 students and 250 teachers. It was designed for 3000 students.[7]


2015-2016 ESL Identity Card. School IDs are compulsory to all students

Academically, ESL maintains a reputation as one of the strongest schools in Luxembourg. Many of its students go on to study at leading European universities; most of the English section students and a significant minority of students from the other language sections apply to British institutions. Typically, two or three students in each year will acquire places at Oxbridge colleges, although recent figures suggest this is likely to increase.[8]

The school is known for high standards in languages; the European Baccalaureate requires students to study many subjects in their second or third languages. Students also benefit from the international environment provided by the school's segregation into English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish and Polish language sections. Participation in the Model European Parliament, the European Schools Science Symposium and the Eurosport Championship, as well as a number of other recreational projects, allows students to excel in other areas.

According to the 2006 OECD PISA academic study, ESL surpassed the score attained by the leading participant countries (i.e. Taiwan, South Korea, Finland).

Despite the very good academic results, the school (both LUX1 & LUX2) is considered, culturally speaking, as being very different of the rest of schools in Luxembourg-city and even in the entire country. There has been many criticism towards ESL students by different luxembourguish sectors, regarding the integration of those students in the everyday life of the country or even in the ability of speaking luxembourguish. The luxembourguish language is not being taught in European Schools due to the simple fact that it is not official in the European Union.

Historically, a big part of the luxembourgian society has viewed ESL pupils as "rich kids"[citation needed].

Students bodies: PC & Bac Com[edit]

Official logo of the Pupils' Committee of ESL (PC)

As of 2013 the secondary school had 2,715 students.[4] Both schools share the same students organisations.

There are 2 student bodies in ESL: the Pupils' Committee (PC) and the Baccalaureate Committee (Bac Com).

The Pupils' Committee (PC) seeks to represent the interests of the students of their European School whilst operating in accordance with the aims of the European Schools as expressed in the words of Jean Monnet and since the separation of both schools, it aims to keep the best relation possible between students of ESL1 and ESL2 (for example, like describing Kirchberg and Mamer as "1 School, 1 interest" despite the distance between them).

A non-profit organisation, democratically elected, independent and recognized by the school community, the Luxembourguish government and the different official bodies of the European Schools.

The candidates for integrating the PC are elected by the secondary school representative pupils who will represent all the different classes and the pupils interests throughout the year. Each Pupils' Committee has at least 20 members. The PC is working as a school government, providing help and information to the students. The Pupils' committee of both schools have a very good reputation making events, such as the "16+ Parties", well known among teenagers in Luxembourg-City. The PC is formed by the following sections (commonly called "Departments" by the students) :

  • President - 2016-2017 positions held by Leonardo Gazzola (S7ESA, Spanish Section) in LUX1 and Emilia Bonniot (S7FRA, French Section) in LUX2
  • Vice-President
  • CoSup ("Conseil supérieur des élèves", school ambassadors)
  • Head of Leisure
  • Leisure
  • Treasure
  • Internal
  • Head of Internal
  • Internal Posters
  • Conseil d'Éducation (responsible of fixing exams schedules with the cooperation of the School administration)
  • Conseil Consultatif (responsible of the communication between the direction and the PC)
  • Secretary
  • IT
  • Library
  • Canteen

It has its own website, apart from the official ESL1 internet page:

The Baccalaureate Committee, most commonly known as Bac Com or Bac Committee is the second student representation body in ESL. The Bac Com seeks to represent the interest and the will of the 7th years (senior year) only; in contrast with the PC, which seeks to represent all the students, regardless of their grades. Both bodies are completely autonomous from each other, despite many common aspects between the Pupils' Committee and the baccalaureate committee. As for the PC, the Bac Com is also a non-profit organisation, democratically elected by only the 7th year classes representatives, independent and recognized by the school community. Except for the "Bal du Bac" "Bac party" and "Senior Camping", all events are shared and done with the cooperation of the ESL2 Bac Com.

Even if both committees are completely separated from each other, it is very common for them to work together, mainly in the creation of events in both schools (e.g. with the ESL talent show "Lux-factor" where both entities work closely in its organisation).

The Bac Committee is responsible for the creation of many ceremonies and events, exclusively reserved for 7th years such as: the Prebac Party, the Bac party, the senior camping and the famous Bal du Bac (held in the afternoon after the Proclamation ceremony).

Elections are held every year. This student body is formed by 4 sectors and has, depending on the year, between 9 and 10 members :

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasure
  • Members

Current headmistress[edit]

The current head of the European School of Luxembourg is Panayota Vassilacou, previously head of the European School, Brussels III.[1]

Notable former students[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Schola Europaea". EURSC. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  2. ^ "'Strong' Forms of Bilingual Education 6: European Schools." In: Baker, Colin and Sylvia Prys-Jones. Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. Multilingual Matters, 1998. ISBN 1853593621, 9781853593628. p. 527.
  3. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag 4. Wahlperiode Drucksache IV/3672" (Archived 2016-03-12 at WebCite). Bundestag (West Germany). 23 June 1965. Retrieved on 12 March 2016. p. 12/51.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "European school thanks Luxembourg for 60 great years". Luxemburger Wort. 2013-04-08. Archived from the original on 2016-05-30. Retrieved 2016-05-31.  ()
  5. ^ Heusch, Albert (Luxembourg). "Die Europäische Schule in Luxemburg." Archiv des Völkerrechts, Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, 8. Bd., No. 1 (July 1959), pp. 71-86. CITED: p. 71. "Nach dem Inkrafttreten des Vertrages über die Gründung der Europäischen Gemeinschaft für Kohle und Stahl (23. Juli 1952) nahmen die Bediensteten der neuen Institution mit ihren Familien Wohnsitz in Luxemburg. Bald zeigte sich das Schulproblem in seiner ganzen Dringlichkeit. Schon aus sprachlichen Gründen kam eine allgemeine Integration aller Schüler aus fünf Nationen mit verschiedenen Muttersprachen in die luxemburgischen Unter- richtsinstitute nicht in Betracht."
  6. ^ "European Schools to accept more French and English students" (Archived 2016-05-29 at WebCite). Luxemburger Wort. Monday 19 May 2014. Retrieved on 30 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Schola Europaea". EURSC. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  8. ^ "Report on the European Baccalaureate" (PDF). University of Cambridge. 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°37′39″N 6°9′19″E / 49.62750°N 6.15528°E / 49.62750; 6.15528