Istituto "Bertacchi" - Via XI Febbraio, 6 - 23900 LECCO (ITALY)
Tel: 0039 0341 364584 - Fax: 0039 0341 368104 - E-mail

Bertacchi High School is in Lecco, in the very north of Italy, on the easterly leg of Lake Como. Lecco has about 50.000 inhabitants and it is 50 kilometres from Milan, a quick train journey in fact.

For anyone who is not Italian a very brief description of the Italian education system may be useful in understanding how the school works. 
Italian pupils choose the type of school they wish to attend at the age of 14, after 5 years at elementary (primary) school and 3 years at middle school. At the end of both these schools they take an exam. The secondary school vary greatly from Liceo Classico, where Latin and Greek are studied, to schools offering accountancy, to technical high schools…
Once the pupils have made their choice, they must attend all classes, perhaps opting for one language rather than another, or a specialisation after the second class. Each pupil is in a class, and each class studies all lessons together.
Most of the pupils attend school in the morning only, for 6 days a week; they are "interrogated" regularly, i.e. examined orally, and written tests are also carried out in over 50% of the subjects. To go on to the next class the student must have the mark 6, or above, in all subjects (the marks range from 1 to 10). Pupils are not allowed to drop a subject they are week in although if they have 5 (slightly insufficient) in one or two subjects in June, they can pass the year and then attend a special course in September.
At Bertacchi there are about 130 teachers and 1300 students(mostly girls because languages and social studies seem to attract them more than boys). There are three distinctive types of schools:

Liceo Linguistico follows the pattern of the two more established Italian high schools meant for further university education, which are Liceo Classico and Liceo Scientifico; but instead of Latin and Greek or scientific subjects, pupils specialise in modern languages. All pupils learn English and then a combination of German, French or Spanish. At the end of five years they all speak these languages well. Many of them take international exams such as the Cambridge University First Certificate and Delf/Dalf from the Centre Culturel Français or Zertificat Deutsch of the Goethe Institute or DELE Diploma Basico of the Instituto Cervantes. 
Pupils from Liceo Linguistico leave school with an excellent general education and a good sound knowledge of three foreign languages. It is a very academic school, one which we feel is worth the effort required.

Liceo Socio-Psico-Pedagogico started as a teachers' training school, but since a university degree is now required, it aims at giving basic education to students, most of whom will complete their studies in the field of education and social assistance. 
Liceo delle Scienze Sociali was created 5 years ago and offers a modern curriculum and an integrated approach to the different subjects of the social area with the purpose of enabling the students to analyse contemporary society and its problems.
During the last three years, both these schools offer several of activities outside the school in order to help the students get a deeper knowledge of the services and facilities offered to people in need and make their choice for further studies and future jobs. Both give qualifications which can be used at university.

Although extra-curriculum courses are not a feature of Italian high school, we at Bertacchi pride ourselves in offering as many courses as possible in the afternoon. There is everything from music - including a popular course in bongo drums, to cine-lingua, where classic films are shown in the original language. Even lesson time is given over to visits, scientific field trips, visits to factories and, of course, expeditions to the beautiful alpine mountains, which form a backcloth to the city of Lecco. There are theatre visits, both in Italian and in foreign languages. 

The activity Liceo Linguistico prides ittself most is its school exchange program. 
We have several regular yearly exchanges with a few schools in Europe and in America:

We have also had occasional visits to and from several schools in Spain (Igualada), Rumania (Cluj), Holland (Amsterdam)and Great Britain (London & Taunton). 
Bertacchi works with another 4 European schools on a EU education project (Comenius) and the thee for 2002-2003 is European identity, comparing jobs in 5 different regions of Europe. 
We would be delighted to hear from other schools who would like to have a school exchange with us since we are convinced of their great educational value. Our aim is that every year class should go on at least one exchange. 

Bertacchi High School also offers courses for computer experts such as ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) and a few specialisation courses for graduated students such as "QUENSH", a course for quality, environment and safety experts.

Bertacchi high school is in a modern building close to the railway station; it has a series of laboratories: two for foreign languages, two for computers, two for chemistry and science and one for physics. There are two gyms and special rooms for video, etc. All the labs and most of the classrooms are equipped with computers and connected to the Internet.

On the whole, Bertacchi is a school that tries to keep up to the evolution of society and of the working world. 

Bertacchi has a website: where, among other things, you can find information about: 

If you wish to receive more information, you can write to and we will do our best to answer your questions.

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