Secondary school: Grades 7-9

Secondary school follows elementary and middle school (primary school) and lasts three years. Secondary school at the Riedenhalden school is divided into two sections (Sek A and Sek B) and consists of 2 Sek A and 3 Sek B classes at the moment. There is no Sek C at the Riedenhalden school. As per usual, you will get an official letter from the school in June. The teachers, classmates and the timetable are now set. A list of things your child needs to start school and a personal letter of the main teacher will also be included to guarantee a smooth start. 

An important goal of secondary school is to optimally prepare the students for their next phase of life. That is why all students in 2nd and 3rd secondary class receive support so that they can transition into apprenticeship or apply to one of many different schools as smooth as possible.

In order to take into account the different learning abilities of children in individual subject areas, secondary schools can establish requirement levels I, II and III in mathematics, German, French and English. Level I is the most demanding. The requirement level your child is assigned to by the teacher in the relevant subject area depends on their overall performance in the relevant subject.

A change of departments (Sek A and Sek B) and requirement levels is possible. The decision is made jointly by teachers and parents. A change (either from Sek A to Sek B or vice versa) depends on the learning success and developmental level of your child. In the first school year, three dates are planned for this (end of November, mid-April, end of school year), in the following years two dates each (end of January, end of  school year).

Requests for such a change are usually made by teachers. But we as parents also have the opportunity to request a change.

Preparation for apprenticeship and further education

The transition into an apprenticeship or another  further education will already be discussed during 2nd secondary school. The subject is called “Berufliche Orientierung” (profession orientation).

All students complete the obligatory stellwerktest in 2nd secondary class. This performance test shows young people where their strengths and weaknesses lie. The stellwerktest is therefore an instrument for individual support and helps with organizing the last year of school. The test will be discussed at a parent/teacher conference. No grades may be derived from the stellwerktest, it is not suitable for rankings or an assessment of the quality of teaching and must be presented to us parents and child as a snapshot in time.

The teacher then conducts a situation review with your child to assess further education (what kind of apprenticeship or further education is suitable and desirable for your child).

The process is also intended to indicate where priorities need to be set in relation to a specific educational or professional goal. Therefore, the lessons in 3rd secondary class can be planned in such a way that the students can develop their strengths and increase their knowledge where needed.

Based on the goals they have set, the students set their own personal priorities, for which they take the appropriate electives in 3rd secondary class. In addition, the interdisciplinary skills of the young people are strengthened with the project lessons and the thesis.

“Berufliche Orientierung” takes place in the second and third grade of secondary school. Secondary school is usually followed by an apprenticeship or a transfer to further educational school such as gymnasium and  different colleges. But if your child is still undecisive or just needs a break, there are several interim solutions  like coaching from the career center or completing a pre-vocational year at the Viventa technical school.

In principle, all secondary school students are admitted to the entrance examination for the Gymnasium. A discussion between the parents and the responsible class teacher about the chances of passing the exam is recommended before registering. Potential candidates are offered  preparatory courses.

Below you can see what options there are after compulsory school in Switzerland