Four Matura study profiles
Before entering the upper school of the Gymnasium, our students choose their Matura study profile. They also select a core subject.
At Freies Gymnasium Zürich students can choose from the following profiles:
- Classics with Latin as core subject, combined with English and Greek (for students of the lower school of the Gymnasium only)
- Modern Languages with Italian as core subject
- Economics and Law with Economics and Law as core subject
- Mathematics - Natural Sciences with Applied Mathematics and Physics or Biology and Chemistry as core subjects
Core subject “Latin”
Students choosing Latin as a core subject receive an education in the classics and the humanities with emphasis on language, literature and cultural history. This study profile focuses on in-depth knowledge of the Latin language, helps students to understand language structures, facilitates the acquisition of modern languages and the understanding of foreign words and scientific terminology; furthermore it improves students' ability to express themselves in German and to develop their mastery of their mother tongue.
Studying Latin as a core subject involves the in-depth translation and interpretation of important original Latin literary texts. These texts, which are always concerned with basic questions of human existence, offer historical distance to enable students to gain new perspectives for present-day problems thus leading to deeper understanding of the cultural diversity of the European continent. Latin as core subject ensures a linguistic and cultural general education of timeless interdisciplinary importance such as is currently only available at a Gymnasium.
Core subject “Italian”
Studying Italian enables students to find their way in the Italian-speaking world and culture. It promotes the skills needed to understand others and to express oneself in a foreign language. Students learn the four basic communication skills: listening and reading comprehension, oral and written expression.
The lessons aim to help students to break down the boundaries to the Italian-speaking cultural area, comprising Italy and the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, and to study in depth the values and mentality of this culture.
Learning Italian contributes to international understanding and also improves the student’s ability to understand the descendents of Italian immigrants and their integration in Switzerland.
Core subject “Economics and Law”
The subject, Economics, is concerned with both current events and history. Students examine the workings of the market economy, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as economic crises based on examples from world affairs. Questions such as: Where does money come from and what significance does it have? Why do we have economic crises? Why is there unemployment and what can be done to combat it? Why are there such marked differences in wealth and prosperity? Why are some countries rich and others poor? Economic history and philosophical interconnections are also explained. Students choosing this study profile should be interested in economic, political and historical interconnections.
The subject, Business Studies, is based on examples from the world of business. Students learn about such topics as how a company is founded and run; how the stock market functions and its significance; the role and functioning of the banks. Visits to a variety of enterprises help to clarify and deepen students’ knowledge of the material.
In the subject, Law, students learn about the Swiss legal system by examining legal cases that appear daily in the press. Both the history of law and modern legislation are studied. Students visit court hearings to help them to understand the material.
Core subject “Applied Mathematics and Physics"
The core subject Applied Mathematics and Physics meets the requirements for a broad range of fields of study in the areas of natural sciences, mathematics and technology. In addition to increasing knowledge of mathematics and physics, it promotes basic competencies, such as analytical and structured thinking skills.
The applied mathematics lessons provide the opportunity to explore chapters from the basic subject in more depth and to identify the inter-relationship between certain subsections. The primary focus here is on analysis and probability calculation. Furthermore, students selecting this core subject are able to examine mathematical themes that cannot be covered in the basic subject lessons, such as cryptology or differential equations.
The lessons in physics allow the basic physical principles to be further studied in increased depth for improved understanding of fundamental natural phenomena. In addition to covering classical mechanics, such as the rotation of rigid bodies or thermodynamics, themes from modern physics, such as atoms and nuclei, semi-conductors or the theory of relativity are also part of this course of studies.
Core subject "Biology and Chemistry"
The core subject Biology and Chemistry comprises a broad range of themes with particular focus on researching, examining and experiencing in the chemistry laboratory or in practical biology work. Many of the themes are specifically tackled in an interdisciplinary manner.
In biology, there is further in-depth study of the anatomy, lifestyle and behaviour of animals and humans in connection with their history of development. Relevant environmental themes are discussed, foodstuffs are analysed and examined with regard to health issues. Experiments involving classical and molecular genetics provide the basis for ethics discussions concerning the application of modern genetic and reproductive technology.
In chemistry, chemical processes are examined in the laboratory and further in-depth knowledge is acquired in the areas of analytics, the application of separation techniques in research and industry, the diverse range of natural materials, synthetic materials, buffer systems and radioactivity as well as complex chemistry and colour theory. The use of computer-assisted measurement methods in the lessons illustrates the capabilities and complexity of modern data acquisition and analysis. Finally, visits to companies provide insight into the working world of scientific professions.
By encouraging scientific thinking and communicating important basic principles to aid the understanding of the world from a scientific point of view, the core subject Biology and Chemistry is an excellent basis for future studies in medicine or the natural sciences.
Due to the great importance of mathematics in all natural sciences, both sub-profiles of the Mathematics-Natural Sciences study profile have an increased number of lessons in mathematics as a basic subject.