As students enter Secondary School, they move away from their earlier interest in collecting facts to developing their skills in abstract thinking. Students follow the advance of civilization from ancient to modern times, tracing the development of humanity from relatively simple civilizations to the increasingly complicated intricacies of the modern world; their own development as thinkers progresses in much the same way.
They learn how to organize information and make links and connections that will provide them with a comprehensive view of a world where everything is but a fraction of the whole. In grade VII, the theme is the ancient Mediterranean civilizations; in grade VIII it is the mediaeval history; Latin and North American literature is seen in grade IX; and Asia in grade X. Once again, literature, history, geography and art are taught through the perspective of these themes.
Through reflection and discussion, students learn to express complex ideas with confidence, untangling the mysteries of their environment, maturing in independence and becoming capable of responsible decisions.
In grade VII and VIII we ease the academic demands by offering longer periods of physical activities as well as mindfulness weekly classes to help these restless adolescent minds find a more peaceful harbor.
Math and science skills are strengthened at this stage following the European approach, where each year the same topics are addressed, but in increasing complexity and depth. At the school, science is very much a pragmatic, not theoretical experience that focuses on the life sciences, including human, plant and animal biology, and chemistry as they relate to the life sciences. Processes are studied, rather than the results of processes, to reveal the interconnectedness of components. As of seventh grade, students work regularly in the biology lab.
The European School places a high value on the fine arts, encouraging students to express their artistic talents. It has a sculpture workshop, a painting room, a multimedia room for audio-visual presentations. Piano, voice, cello and violin lessons are also made available through the school.
This integrated curriculum prepares students for the even greater challenge of the International Baccalaureate program, a two-year course of advanced study that readies them for entrance into university.