What is the difference between a lyceum and a gymnasium

Often educational institutions, striving for individuality and wanting to stand out from the crowd, they change their name to either a gymnasium or a lyceum. Often not only the students and their parents, but also the school administration has little understanding of how they differ from each other and from the regular high school. Let’s try to figure out what the orientation of the lyceum and gymnasium and how they differ from each other. Gymnasium

Gymnasium has its origins in Ancient Greece, where similar institutions with this name appeared. In the 16th century, gymnasiums as we see them today were formed in Europe. They were already involved in preparing students for university. In Russia at the beginning of the 20th century they belonged to general education institutions, which gave not special, but secondary education. After the revolution in 1917 they were abolished. Then, when the Soviet Union collapsed, gymnasiums began to appear with a humanitarian orientation. They offered more in-depth study of some subjects. Teaching was done with the help of experimental advanced methods.

The future students of the gymnasium underwent a special selection, the requirements to the teachers were more serious. In order to obtain the new elite status, the school underwent a thorough inspection. And students, teachers, and administrators were subjected to it. The facilities of the school should have been in line with the new status. Gradually the prestige of high schools increased. Parents were therefore increasingly keen to enrol their children there. Often they had to go through a serious competition.

How and in what way a lyceum differs from a gymnasium

How gymnasiums work

At present gymnasiums are not formally different from the general secondary school. Nevertheless, the once elite educational institutions honor their traditions, use special educational programs.

There was a selection process for applicants to the gymnasium, apart from elementary school pupils. But, according to the law, elementary school students were not eligible for admission as a result of testing. The only condition for entering a 1st grade gymnasium is the place of residence. Children who are registered in the area where the gymnasium is located will study in the 1st-4th grades of this school. Pupils from other districts of the city may be accepted only on the condition that there are vacancies. Of course, these rules apply only to public high schools; private institutions can set their own admission rules.

What are the special features of the educational process

Most often gymnasiums teach only humanities direction, though there are some exceptions. For example, in Kaliningrad Gymnasium No.1 admits students to senior classes in the following areas:

  1. The natural sciences;

  2. Humanities;

  3. socioeconomic;

  4. technological.

Gymnasium education is more extended not at the expense of more hours but at the expense of differentiation. This does not mean that there will be no physics in a humanities class and no English in a mathematics class; the FSES is the same for all. In the narrow-minded class a minimum of all subjects that are not related to special subjects will be given. It turns out that kids choose an orientation and get more than basic knowledge in the subjects they are interested in. The approach had clear advantages; children took an in-depth course in only those sciences for which they had a natural interest. After graduation from high school they enter the corresponding college.

Further education

Usually in gymnasiums, there was a special level of additional education. Students are offered electives in specialized subjects, there are quite a few sports sections and clubs, and Olympiads and master classes are regularly held. They have the opportunity to develop their potential, to do whatever they feel like doing.

At some schools, for example at Fadeev Grammar School in St. Petersburg there is a structure called the Council of Grammar School Students, which consists of pupils, teachers and administration. In this council, we plan activities and contests together, and discuss the desires of the students. In short, children took a fairly active part in gymnasium life.

Types of gymnasiums

How and in what way a lyceum differs from a gymnasium

Gymnasiums differ from one another not only by subject orientation, but also by other features.The following types of such educational institutions can be found in Russia:

  1. Full-time boarding schools. Intermediate option with boarding schools are full-time gymnasiums. There pupils stay from morning till late evening, doing their lessons, having a rest, having lunch, doing their homework, and going home for the night.

  2. Bilingual. Here it is not just a question of teaching one or two foreign languages but also of arranging lessons in them. Some private institutions have foreign teachers teaching in their mother tongue.

  3. Orthodox. Gymnasiums with a religious bias teach not only the fundamental subjects, but also world literature, Latin, Russian literature, Greek, theology.

Quality of education

Gymnasium education is elite; it makes higher demands on teachers, students, and curricula. Gymnasiums pay special attention to project work. These educational institutions focus on an individual approach to students, help them discover their potential, decide on a career orientation. On the whole the material and technical base of gymnasiums does not cause criticism.

The Lyceum

The Lyceum also has ancient Greek roots. This was the name of the school formed by Aristotle, which existed for about 800 years. In the 19th century, there were 6 lyceums in Russia, which had the status of elite institutions. They were abolished after the October revolution. In 1992 these institutions came back, but in a new form, as secondary educational institutions with a technical profile. In addition, at the same time vocational schools began to be called lyceums, where children had an opportunity to get a basic technical education.

In 2012, lyceums began to appear as a separate type of educational institution, which along with gymnasiums became secondary educational institutions. At the legal level the essential difference between the lyceum and secondary general schools disappeared.

How lyceums work

Despite the fact that lyceums are formally equated to schools, in practice they have serious differences, retaining their advantages. Lyceums have a large amount of curricula, different profiles and increased attention. Lyceum can’t go below the FSES minimum but can go above it. The program is complemented by more hours; the load in the institution is higher. In addition to the compulsory subjects, the upper secondary school students also participate in extracurricular activities, project work, study groups and clubs.

Lyceums traditionally have different major classes:

  1. Physics and Mathematics.

  2. Technical.

  3. Sports and Physical Education.

  4. Social and Humanities.

  5. Social and Pedagogical.

  6. Science.

  7. Tourist and Local Lore.

But, usually on the basis of one lyceum there are seldom so many directions. More often they are prepared only in one profile. Education in narrow classes is aimed at professional orientation of children. Often lyceums operate on the basis of a higher educational institution or academy of science. They are called pre-universities, which prepare future students for a particular university. There are such lyceums on the basis of St. Petersburg State University, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and the Russian Academy of Arts where in addition to basic subjects special subjects are studied. Lyceum graduates are given preference when applying to these universities.

There are boarding lyceums where children live and study, they have their own dormitories that are a minute walk from the academic building. In this case, great attention is paid not only to academic work, but also to leisure activities. The main advantage of such institutions is the continuity of the pedagogical process. For example, in Chelyabinsk there is a boarding school for gifted children. This is an interesting institution where only boys from the 8th grade study.

Regular schools do not offer as many electives, advanced programmes or extra curricular activities. It is not only an educational but also an upbringing site. If you pay attention to the ratings, you can see that the lyceums are next to the gymnasiums.

Admission requirements

Usually lyceums do not have an elementary school and education in them starts in the 5th-8th forms. Before admission, applicants undergo a selection process that focuses on academic performance in the major subjects, participation and results of Olympiads. It is not possible to get into a lyceum just on the basis of an application; you have to go through a serious competition. the pupils usually enrol in the lyceum on purpose, because it prepares them for a specific higher education institute.

The difference between a lyceum and a high school

What is the difference between high schools and gymnasiums?

Based on the above, we can conclude that despite the fact that both lyceum and gymnasium belong to the elite educational institutions which have a good material and technical base andprepare the children for higher education and there is a significant difference between the two:

  1. In lyceums one studies since middle or high school, in gymnasiums – since elementary school.

  2. There is a rigorous selection process for enrolling in lyceums; there is no selection process for enrolling in a gymnasium from elementary school.

  3. High schools have a wider focus, lyceums have a narrower focus, based on a particular university.

  4. Lyceums are educated in more depth through an increase in teaching hours, gymnasiums are educated through differentiation.

  5. Upper secondary schools are open only to students from the local district, lyceums are open even to students from other towns.

  6. Often, children live in lyceums and go home for the night in gymnasia.

  7. In lyceums the additional occupations are developed in view of a profile orientation, electives, elective courses, in gymnasiums the attention is given more to circles and sections.

Does it make sense to go to a lyceum or gymnasium?

If a child or family council decides to enroll in an elite educational institution, it is important to be aware that there is a choice of specialization for many years to come. Priority is given to those institutions that focus on foreign languages. Some subjects are taught in a foreign language. Of course, when fully immersed in the language environment, the child is more likely to learn to speak fluently.

But, it’s important to assess the workload that is most likely to affect a child’s health. Pediatricians say the most common complaints among gymnasium and high school students are headaches, gastritis, myopia. They often have lowered immunity, poor physical fitness, if the child spends almost all his time sitting at a desk.

Of course, the desire to get better knowledge is a good thing. But, it is necessary to understand. Your child will probably be in a regular public school until some grade. After deciding on the orientation, you can choose an elite school that meets the student’s priorities.

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