THE CORE CURRICULUM
In the lower gymnasium, students take English five times a week as part of their core curriculum. The emphasis in the first four years is on the fundamentals of English grammar and conversation. The English curriculum at OG provides students with practice in all skill areas—speaking, reading, listening, and writing—and emphasizes a strong grammatical base by using textbooks and a variety of interactive approaches. Students take a placement test when they first arrive at OG. They are then divided in groups according to ability level, so they can better receive individual instruction and progress at a pace and in an environment that is non-threatening and allows for differentiated approaches to language learning.
When students reach upper gymnasium (years 5-8), they study several subjects intensively in English, in addition to their English language class: geography, history, civics, mathematics and biology. These classes are taught fully in English, and are supported by their regular English classes.
THE IB in ENGLISH
Open Gate is currently in the pre-application stages of setting up an IB program in English as well as all other subjects. The IB is an international certificate recognized by the Czech Ministry of Education as equivalent to the Czech maturita, and is recognized as a valid secondary education certificate for universities across Europe and the United States.
The scheduled curriculum change to IB will optimally be the autumn of 2009. In the meantime, OG offers students a variety of other exams to supplement their English language learning.
In addition to Czech maturita, currently all graduates will attempt at least the First Certificate in English by their eighth year. While it is not a requirement of graduation, an OG graduate should strive to excel in English at least to the standard of an FCE. For students who excel beyond FCE, OG will support their efforts to achieve the Cambridge Advanced and the Cambridge Proficiency.
Current SEPTIMA and OKTAVA students also have the opportunity to take A level exams in a variety of their chosen subjects—for example, English language, history, geography, mathematics, and civics. SEPTIMA students choose a minimum of one and a maximum of three subjects for which they will sit A levels. In addition to their regular course work, students take optional intensive seminars during the next two years in order to prepare for their A level exams.
See www.cie.org.uk for more information about specific exams.
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
OG students are encouraged to and given many opportunities to speak English outside of their classes as well. Native speaker teachers moderate a variety of clubs in addition to their teaching responsibilities, and several teachers play a dual role in dorm life, helping out with everything from tutoring to organizing after school and weekend activities on campus. The OG Chronicle, international cooking club, cricket, evening tea parties, chess club, and drama activities are just some of the ways students practice their English outside the classroom.
This year's KVINTA students visited our sister school, Wymondham College, in Norfolk, England, to study and live with native English speakers for two weeks. Wymondham students will visit us in the Spring.
After the success of last year's International Students’ Weekend, OG will host another at the end of April 2009. Many fun games and activities are planned, and the lingua franca of the weekend will be English.