Bethlen Gábor Református Gimnázium
Bethlen Gábor Református Gimnázium is located in Hódmezővásárhely in Csongrád county, which is a mainly agricultural area in the south of Hungary and thus – with our country being rather capital-centred – occupying a slightly disadvantageous position. Wages are lower and unemployment rates are higher here than in the capital. Although the number of students with special needs is relatively low, the students come from very different layers of society and with very different social and economic background. We experience a growing social gap among them, so there is an urgent need to provide the less advantaged with the same opportunities as their more advantaged peers have.
The secondary grammar school run by the Hungarian Reformed Church has been operating since 1723 and was relocated into a new building (the present one) in 1896. The state took the school over in 1948 and it remained a state-run school until 1994, when it became church-run again. We started ‘rebuilding’ Christian school traditions and pedagogical methods. A couple of years before that date another tradition was revived when we launched the so-called ‘eight-year grammar school’ system again, which means that we have pupils from the age of 10 as well as from the age of 14 till the age of 18. The number of students at our school has been between 540 and 560 recently. The number of teachers is 50 at the moment.
Some years ago we started a new system in our eight-year classes: one half of a class is specialized in English language (it replaced German after a few years) and the other half is specialized in sciences. Students who enrol to study at our school at the age of 14 can choose from different pairs of subjects to be specialized in: biology-chemistry, mathematicsphysics, literature-Hungarian grammar-history and English language (with no pair).