Characteristics of the studies
napsala a do angličtiny přeložila Natálie Langová
Above all, the grammar school prepares the students for studies at universities or colleges, as well as for higher special studies and practical work. The main goal of the school is to provide general education with respect to the students’ specialization. At the end of studies, the students take their leaving exam in the Czech language, a foreign language and two optional subjects. The Jan Palach Grammar School in Mělník offers four-year and eight-year courses of studies. The basic curriculum is common for all pupils, and includes two obligatory live languages (English, German or French). Senior students may take up a third language in the form of an optional subject. Thus the character of the grammar school providing general education is preserved. Specialization of the students is solved by means of a system of optional subjects. In the second year of the higher stage of grammar school studies, students opt for one optional subject for further studies. Thus they opt for their future specialization in sciences, languages, technical subjects or social science. However, this choice need not be entirely definitive, and may be changed by the students selecting other optional subjects, which they take up in the third and later in the fourth year of studies. In the last year, the students have three optional subjects. The wide offer of optional subjects includes, e.g. subjects improving the students’ knowledge of mathematics, sciences or social science, an administrative work course, or another live language taken up in the sixth year (sexta) and in the second year of the four-year course of studies respectively, whereas a seminar on sciences, a conversation course in the chosen foreign language, the Latin language, or a seminar on social sciences may be opted for in the seventh year (septima) or third year of studies respectively. In the last year, the students mostly have seminars, e.g. a seminar on history, social sciences and mathematics. Economics and conversation courses are offered, as well. For economic reasons the optional courses may be opened only if there is a sufficient number of students applying for them (as a rule 12). In the last year, the students opt for only two subjects from a number of classical academic subjects (history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, preparation for the state language examination etc.), to which they devote themselves for a greater part of their time. Thus we endeavour to promote specialization of the students in the last years of studies.
At the lower stage of grammar school studies, subjects are taught in accordance with the approved curricula. We teach English from the first year (prima), and starting from the third year (tercia) the pupils take up German or French. The pupils may improve their knowledge of languages by means of exchange stays abroad. We maintain contact with a secondary school in Oranienburg, Germany.
The school provides textbooks only to the younger pupils. As for the other school things (exercise books etc.), the pupils buy them themselves. In most cases textbooks are ensured for the pupils by the school library provided that they order them in advance, or textbooks may be purchased at the school textbook exchange.
The school is located in a new building, which was completed in 1996. In the building, there are special laboratories and classrooms, as well as two classrooms equipped with computers connected to the Internet. The students may use the school library with a reading room, the school art workshop, gym and playground. During the school opening hours, they may also use services of the school canteen. Besides, the students have an opportunity for using the school facilities outside classes within the framework of their optional subjects and clubs. Catering is ensured in the form of a dining hall located immediately in the school building.