Discovery of the world

The main purpose of the Discovery of the World syllabus is to give pupils a frame of common references to develop an understanding of themselves and the wider world. Moreover, the Discovery of the World syllabus will prepare pupils for transition into Secondary education.

The syllabus consists of five different areas of study (biological, historical , socio-cultural, geographical, and technological ), each of  these areas is further divided into specific topics for each year group.

In accordance with the educational principles of the European school’s pedagogy, the applied  approach privileges a holistic development of the child and  of its active role in learning. The following teaching strategies are encouraged:

  • Discovery based learning – Guided discovery develops curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, leading to independent learning
  • Cross curricular links are strongly encouraged to promote the holistic development of the pupil
  • Promotion of a European perspective in line with the Principles and Objectives of the European Schools
  • A range of teaching methods to support various learning styles including differenciation, working cooperatively in groups or pairs;
  • Using field trips and the local environment (e.g. school environment, local historians, museums, parents etc.) as a resource;
  • Child centred but teacher led – Using the experiences of the pupils as an entry point for the topic at hand;
  • Applying, when suitable, learning outcomes to national references e.g. referring to national landscape, historical events, culture;
  • Incorporating ICT as a tool for researching and presenting information.


The syllabus, which is part of the harmonised syllabuses, covers the five years of the primary cycle. Discovery of the world is taught :

  • 90 minutes per week in P1/P2,
  • and 180 minutes per week in P3/P4/P5.

For further information, please consult the Discovery of the world syllabus.