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Preamble - Belgium (French speaking community)

Definitions

The elementary school: includes pre-school and primary level, where there is both mainstream education and special needs education. (from 2 -12 years old, compulsory from 6 -18 years old)

Competence: an ability to use acquired knowledge and expertise in order to accomplish tasks 

Basic competences: refers to the basic competences taught to pupils in the first years 8 of compulsory education and which must be continually followed up as these competences are considered necessary for social inclusion and for following studies.

Curriculum: a reference for teachers stating the aims to be fulfilled by each pupil. It is a tool designed to help both the school and pupils to accomplish these aims, which are that all pupils achieve the necessary basic competences.

Formative assessment: the pupil is observed and his/her progress or difficulties are noted and accordingly improved or corrected. It is not permitted to compare the results of one pupil with the results of others. The aim of the formative assessment is for the pupil to understand the level he/she is on and for that it is important to give the pupil responsibility for his/her own performance and success. It is important to test the pupil as often as possible so that the pupil can assess him/herself in collaboration with the teacher.

Summative test: a test taken at the end of a certain period in order to make an evaluation of the progress of the pupil.

Differentiated pedagogy: a process where the teacher respects and takes into consideration the diversity and the heterogeneousness of the class. It implements diversity into the methods of learning and represents the different ways of teaching, according to the needs of the pupil, whilst also ensuring that all pupils follow on the same level. When a pupil meets difficulties it is useful to go through the particular task and help him/her to overcome these difficulties although it is better to prevent than to cure. The best differentiated pedagogy is preventive, proposing as often as possible different ways of achieving a new competence so that each pupil can discover new abilities for themselves.

Control: A safety device of the Control Commission of the educational system includes a work group, curriculum commission and an assessment tool commission, all aiming to implement the general and particular aims defined in the decree.

Class council: A staff meeting to discuss the progress made by pupils where also the guidance service, parents and pupil are allowed to participate. A report containing marks with the teacher’s comments on is filled in for each pupil and the individual education plan is also discussed and decided. The staff consists of class teacher, head teacher, paramedical, social and psychological members.

The tasks of the class council are:

  • to develop and adjust the individual learning plan in relation to the pedagogical, paramedical, social and psychological activities
  • to assess the progress and the results of each pupil and to adapt the individual learning plan
  • to decide whether to keep the pupil on the adapted level
  • to propose, in suitable cases, inclusion into a mainstream school giving a motivated opinion for this decision and ensuring the realisation of the project
  • to move pupils into adapted classes during the year and propose changes if necessary
  • to make decisions about graduation to the secondary level. 

The report contains the opinions and decisions from the school team and the guidance service. All decisions made by the class council are taken collegially and strive to be unanimous; these decisions are then conveyed to the pupil and the parents by the head teacher of the school.

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