Strength before weakness


Ermesinde is a secondary school with a different educational ethos. Here, some students and co-director talk about their lycée

On my show this week, we start with a round-up of the week's news with Sasha Kehoe and then dive into education at Ermesinde.

Lycée Ermesinde is based in Mersch, with its own educational philosophy. They have plenty of space, its set in nature, and there's even a boarding house.

Philippe Demart, Directeur Adjoint, talks about how the school's approach is to discover a student's strengths, and allow the student autonomy to develop them through various 'entreprise' and personal projects.

Student Vicky Koster explains a typical school day where there are a few shared lessons but plenty of time between lessons to work on one's own choice of project to pursue. The students get to run their own cafe, for example. Other entreprise include marketing ('Chelsea Studios'), sport, beauty, creative writing, motion studio, arts et métiers, nature and more.

Students Ines Carvalho and Africa Lima explain their 'mémoire' or extended essay. This is a long-form piece of research that they work on throughout the school year. As with other lycées in Luxembourg, the students will finish with the Luxembourg Baccalaureate, but Philippe Demart doesn't believe the students need to dedicate the previous five years in the 'typical' mode of education to achieve that Bac. Indeed the school's mindset is to develop independence, teamwork through organisation of events, personal choice in all they do and the exploration of various workshops in order to define more clearly one's own strengths and inclinations for a working life.

José Santos talks passionately about his fondness for the 'Dragons' entreprise, which is a sports club. For José, despite the distance from his home in the south of Luxembourg, there was no other school choice for him. This was it! José and Philippe talk about the entrance interview and application. Philippe suggests an early application if you want to increase your chance of entry success. He also explains that the interview, with student and parents, is about trying to discover what the student might want to pursue in later life, as far as they can know aged 11 or 12.

If you want to apply to Ermesinde, apply early and ponder the question 'What can you do for the school? What can you bring to the school?'