Like our town, our school has not got a long history. The town itself was established in 1952 and the government at the time wanted it to be one of the most developed industrial settlements in the country. Earlier, there had been three villages in the area, which were united and huge construction work began. A few years later the first part of the chemical plant and the first few blocks of flats were built and inaugurated.
In the early sixties, there was a great need for a secondary school as the children living here had to travel to Miskolc to get secondary education. That is why in 1962, our school was established. In the first year, it functioned as a branch of the Secondary Grammar School of Ózd, but a year later it gained independence.
Besides general studies, the new institute also provided secondary medical education in the first few years. Growing demand for more and more classes of this type meant the medical branch being separated from Ságvári Secondary School, and became Jókai Mór Secondary School, which educated children until 2011, when it was closed down.
Our school has always taken demands into account and several changes in the curriculum have been made. Till 1991, we had also provided correspondent classes for those who wanted to get GCSE while working.
Over the course of time, the national curriculum was updated several times, which – together with the market demand – made the stuff implement changes in the structure of classes. Specialised classes providing higher-level of education of certain subjects were introduced. These classes targeted students interested in certain fields by offering them increased number of classes in Art or Science subjects.
Electives for upper classes were also introduced so that they could take up extra lessons in any subjects such as Maths, History, Biology to prepare for the university entrance exams.
In response to the radical changes in the final exam structure in 2005, the teaching staff increased the number of available electives and made a lot of steps to be able to prepare the students to the two-level Matriculation exams, which have been targeting different skills instead of the pure traditional exams testing students on knowledge of facts only.
Fortunately there are more students applying for places in our school than we can accept; giving the chance to select those whose abilities are better. Unfortunately, we experienced that the interest in learning languages had shrunk. It had two reasons: students realized that acquiring a foreign language was not enough, they wanted to learn other subjects as well, but it was vital for their future studies and jobs. The second reason was that there were schools close to us that are specialized in languages and students who want to study English or German choose those.
To make our chances better we introduced a class specialized in computer studies and English or German. Nowadays, however, the demand for German studies is very low, so at present we offer a language preparatory English class for beginner students and those who learnt English in primary school. During their first year, students concentrate on English (18 lessons / week) and ICT (3 lessons / week). During the next four years, they also have quite a lot of language lessons a week (5 English and a second language (3 lessons per week) that they can choose from French, German, Latin or Russian) but they also learn everything ordinary classes do.
The latest change in the curriculum was made in 2010, when the management of the school realised that classes B and C were less and less popular. In response to this, these became general classes with the opportunity to choose between IT, History or Maths that they can study four times a week. There is an opportunity not to choose any of them, either.
In Hungary, education in secondary grammar schools lasts for four years , but in the early nineties experiments started to reform the system of education. One of them was the introduction of 6 year long classes in grammar school. The staff of our school worked out a special curriculum and in 1992 students in the first 6 year-long class started their secondary education. This type has been successful ever since, and the education is in very high level. The results show its success: generally over 90% of them are accepted to universities and collages.
In 2011, the Municipality of Kazincbarcika realised that its budget was not enough to run the school, so after thinking over several possible scenarios, the Salesian Order was asked to take over the institute, so from 1 September 2011, the school has been working as a Catholic Grammar School. It also has a new name: Szalézi Szt. Ferenc Gimnázium (Salesian St. Francis Secondary Grammar School.)