Secondary school I

General basis

After the 6th year of primary school (meaning after the 8th year according to the Swiss Conference for Public Education), students have the possibility to start their secondary school I education at Institute "La Gruyère". After three years, they reach their mandatory secondary school graduation.

According to HarmoS, the secondary cycle I covers the 9th to the 11th school year. The program is based on the PER (Swiss-French Study Plan) and designed in compliance with the regulations of Canton Fribourg.

The program’s main focus is the acquisition of these core subjects:

  • French
  • German
  • Math

The program is supplemented by the following additional sujects:

  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Biology
  • Sports
  • Physics
  • Accounting
  • IT
  • Arts

The secondary cycle I is based on continuous tests (announced or unannounced) and parents have the possibility to view the results on the online platform Pronote.

A report with marks and teacher assessments is regularly handed out throughout the year.

The weekly schedule counts 32 hours of teaching, from Monday morning to Friday noon.

At the beginning of the year and depending on the student’s goals, we offered optional classes in: Spanish, Italian, Latin and technical drawing.

Each class has a class leader who ensures communication and cooperation between the management, dean, students and parents.

In the 11th class according to HarmoS, each student is advised on his post-compulsory curriculum in regard to possible higher education, apprenticeships, a language year or other.

In the middle school from 2018 we are introducing a bilingual section (French/English); each student in that section will have 6 hours of weekly instruction in English.

« C’est merveilleux de voir que l’Institut est toujours en constante évolution et que la famille Butty est toujours en place. Ces trois années à La Gruyère ont changé ma vie. Vous restez un joyau dans les Alpes suisses. »

Frans Jurgens, Shelton Connecticut USA, ancien élève entre 1971 et 1974

Swiss Matura in 3 years

Now also available with bilingual French – English curriculum

Institute "La Gruyère" has prepared students for the Matura diploma for more than 30 years. This degree corresponds to the Secondary School level II. We work in close collaboration with the Swiss Matura Commission (CSM) which organizes, through the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, the Matura winter and summer exam sessions.  

From the beginning of the term 2018, Institute "La Gruyère" runs the bilingual French – English federal Matura program. In this curriculum, lessons in history, geography and one additional subject are in English. The program lasts 3 years.

The Swiss Matura curriculum requires 7 main subjects (the same for all students) which assures an extensive general knowledge acquisition:

7 main subjects

  • Native language: French
  • Second national language: German or Italian
  • English
  • Math
  • Sciences: Chemistry, Biology and Physics
  • Humanities: History, Geography
  • Art and Music

In addition to the main subjects:

One specific optional subject

Institute "La Gruyère" offers four optional subjects.
Each student has to choose one option among:

  • Languages: Italian, Spanish, Latin or Russian
  • Chemistry – Biology
  • Economy & Law
  • Arts

Complementary optional subject

Institute "La Gruyère" offers a wide range of complementary optional subjects among which each student can choose freely:

  • History (also available in English)
  • Geography (also available in English)
  • Philosophy
  • Applied Math
  • Physics
  • Economy & Law
  • Arts

Matura paper

Before the final Matura exam, every student has to write a Matura paper under one teacher’s supervision. Students may freely choose a topic. This paper should foster their independent reasoning. Furthermore, after completing the writing, an oral exam has to be taken in front of a jury member.

Our teachers’ opinions and grades are not taken into consideration at the official Matura exams: these tests are divided into two sessions, the first and the second examination part.

The Matura program has an ambitious curriculum, especially in regard to its main subjects. Therefore, Matura program students should be very motivated and studious.

With the Swiss Matura diploma, students obtain admission to Swiss and foreign universities, the Polytechnic Colleges EPFL (in Lausanne) and EPFZ (in Zurich), as well as to other higher education institutions.

French Baccalaureat

For several years, Institute "La Gruyère" has run the French Baccalaureat program that starts after graduation from Secondary School and is regulated according to the directives and program of the French Ministry for National Education.

From the beginning of the first year, two different series are available:

. The ES serie is designed for students with special interest in economics, social sciences, geography and history.

. The L serie is designed for students with special interest in literature, philosophy and languages.

This diploma program requires good French skills, especially in writing, as systematic response is a must: students have to be able to expose clearly their line of thought.

The French Baccalaureat is a worldwide recognized diploma giving admission to universities and colleges. Recommendations are needed for admission to higher institutes and renowned schools, as well as for most Swiss universities.

Language course

Institute "La Gruyère" offers a specific language course for who wishes to proceed with further studies afterwards. In fact, this one-year course accredits non-native French-speaking students with consistent language skills in French and English.

Intensive Language Studies

Intensive French language lessons are based on the following topics:

  • Literature
  • Writing
  • Grammar
  • Orthography
  • Written and oral expression
  • Reading
  • Gallicism and lexicology
  • Vocabulary
  • DELF (Diploma in French Language Studies) exam preparation

In addition to the French language program, the English course covers:

  • Grammar
  • Conversation
  • Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • Literature
  • Written comprehension
  • Cambridge exams preparation

Comprehensive teaching and learning

Classes in IT, math and general culture complete the language course curriculum.

This year of studies is an outstanding preparation before starting the Swiss Matura program or the French Baccalaureat. After having achieved excellent language skills during this year, this course may also pave the way for an apprenticeship or further higher education.

Upon request and according to a student’s future education, we organize private classes in German (native-speaking teacher), advanced accounting and math.

Certificates and diplomas

After the one-year language course, students take the exam of either the French and English certificate or diploma, both designed by Institute "La Gruyère", and in addition the DELF–DALF certificate or diploma.

During this same year and according to their language level, students may sign up for exam preparation classes for the following Cambridge certificates and diplomas: PET, FCE (First), CAE (Advanced), CPE (Proficiency), TOEIC and TOEFL.