The second stage of basic education continues the educational and pedagogical work of the first stage, the improvement of skills and abilities.
This stage constitutes an integral system, but in line with the development of children’s thinking and age features, it comprises two pedagogically distinguished phases. It recognises that the thinking of a 10 to 12 year old is strongly linked to experiences gained empirically. Therefore, in Years 5 and 6, development relies on integrative-visual thinking, with the focus being shifted to abstract conceptual and analytical thinking from the beginning of puberty.
In this stage, the school nurtures children with different interests, varying degree of intellectual, emotional and physical development, abilities, motivations, social and cultural background. They are prepared for further education in line with their interests, abilities and talents, and for their future integration into society.
It improves abilities and skills required for a harmonic and constructive relationship with their environment. It develops students’ self-knowledge, collaboration skills, willpower, helpfulness, solidarity and empathy during learning activities and in the course of living in a school community. It demonstrates the values of reliability, integrity and credibility in practice.
In the socialisation process of this stage, the school raises awareness of the value of the democratic working and some generally prevailing rules of the community. It clarifies the notion of individual and public interest, of majority and minority, and their importance in relation to the community and each other. It provides a foundation for the preparation of lawful exercising of rights and duties. It expands democratic norms to responsibility for the natural and the artificial environment, and to everyday behaviour, as well.
The school has a key role, in this stage again, in raising the awareness of national, nationality and ethnic traditions, and to teach their preservation. Through its educational and pedagogical work, the school develops national identity in students, represents the need for different cultures living along with each other. It strengthens the awareness of belonging to Europe and motivates the recognition and acknowledgement of the traditions, cultures, customs and way of living of other nations in a universal sense as well. At the same time, attention is paid to the presentation of the shared problems of humanity.
Key areas of development
Harmonic development of body and soul: by satisfying the need for motion and by developing the culture of motion, the co-ordination of motion, the sense of rhythm and hearing; by providing a foundation for the abilities of concentration and relaxation, by communicating the role of consciousness in living a healthy way of life; by deepening and enriching emotional intelligence; by improving the ability of self-evaluation, by raising awareness of the value of collaboration within the family, in interpersonal relationships, in friendships and among peers.
Facilitation of the processes of socialisation: by raising awareness of the interrelationships of intellect, emotion and action; by discovering the desired harmony of moral belief and moral action; by strengthening intergenerational and peer relationships; by offering a practical interpretation of citizenship and a practical knowledge related to the everyday pursuit of life.
Extension of basic literacy: by the targeted development of the interrelationships of intellect, emotion and action; by providing a foundation and practice in self-learning and self-education. Practice-focus, expansion of knowledge required in and applicable to the way of living, the improvement of problem-solving thinking prevail in the process of academic learning. Students apply the knowledge they gain in solving real tasks and problems, in resolving real conflicts, they enforce their decision-making capabilities in organised exercises and in spontaneous real-life situations. Indirect communication writing, visual communication, electronic communication gains an increasing role in learning activities, liaisons in second languages appear. Learning to learn, independent navigation, application of IT, and the increasing demand for learning foreign languages all contribute to the extension of basic literacy.
Key issues in selecting learning strategies: the consideration of age features; the empirical foundation of knowledge and the introduction of the deductive way of obtaining knowledge; the development of creativity; striking a balance between written and oral skills; healthy student load, monitoring their maturing process; individualised improving assessment. The role of (co-operative and interactive) learning techniques and learning arrangements building on collaboration increases in this stage. The ratio of knowledge acquisition methods requiring active student participation (observation, experimenting, gathering of data using new ICTs, modelling, role-play, etc.) increases. The school builds on the curiosity of students and their demand for systematic knowledge. Therefore both heuristic learning situations and systematic knowledge acquisition experiences are called for. A learning process organised in this way brings them closer to cognition, the joy of knowledge and builds their confidence. Students grasp the essence of requirements and realise the value of their own performances in the course of the learning process.