This guide to French education will help you enroll your child in the top French classes in France and the French education system.
Your child could be enrolled in the top French Classes In France if you live in France. It is a highly regarded system. There are many stages to the French education system. The specialist streams that your child chooses to follow in their final year of French schooling will depend on his or her academic performance. A student who has completed compulsory French education can apply for higher education in France. Here is a description of the French education system, including primary, secondary, and university educations in France.
Top French Classes In France standards
Top French Classes In France has been praised for their excellent reputation. It offers a national curriculum, traditional learning methods, and strict discipline. Some have complained about a decline in French education in recent years. The latest OECD/PISA international rankings (2012) show that France has dropped three places in terms of educational standards for 15-year-olds. France is currently 25th among 65 countries. 43% of French students have difficulty with mathematics, and there is a growing gap in inequality within schools.
French education philosophy emphasizes:
- Individual competition with an absolute grading system (no “on the curve” grading).
- Instead of creativity, emphasize analytical thinking and rote learning.
- High academic expectations are common
- French children are not expected to have fun at school. Schools are not responsible for organizing creative or sports activities.
French schooling begins at age six and is mandatory for all children. However, most French children begin schooling earlier. To sit for the Baccalaureat exam, a student must continue to study for two more years. To be eligible for university, students must pass the exam. Large classes are common with 30 students or more.
Top French classes in France education reforms
The French government proposes controversial reforms to the college system (middle schools for 11-15-year-olds) to make it more egalitarian and provide equal educational opportunities to all students, regardless of their backgrounds. They include the teaching of modern languages, history, encouraging teachers and students to collaborate in interdisciplinary classes, reinforcing secular values, and allowing schools the freedom to create part of the curriculum. Right-wing political parties and teaching unions oppose these changes and have started strikes.
France has both international and local schools
France’s public schools are free for most students. Foreign families might consider international schools to help their child transition. They can continue learning in a familiar language. Consider the age of your child and how long they have lived in France. See Expatica’s guide for French schools to learn more about how to choose a school: private, public, bilingual, and international.
Top French Classes In France: Compulsory Education
French education is mandatory for children aged six to sixteen, but preschool can be enrolled by children as young as three years old. France’s 18-21-year-olds are more than half of those enrolled in full-time higher education. Nearly 64% of secondary students complete their secondary education through the baccalaureate or baccalaureat Professionnelle (le bac prof), exams.
Schools can be mixed-sex or secular. The majority of French schools are state-run schools (Ecoles publiques), but there are some private schools that are under contract with the French government (sous contrat). This means that the government pays teachers’ salaries and the school follows the French curriculum. Fees are reasonable. Private schools (ecoles prives), which are completely independent (hors contract), are also available. Some of these schools are international. Private schools that are affiliated with a particular religion usually charge a fee and are therefore private. Although there are schools that offer bilingual education, most public schools do not have them. Expatica has a guide that will help you choose the right school for you in France.
The Ministry of Education sets the national curriculum for top French Classes In France. The French government has published reforms that allow schools to create 20% of the curriculum.
Top French Classes In France; France’s school year
French schools have long holidays. They have a two-month-long summer vacation that begins in July and ends at Easter. There are also two to three weeks of Christmas and Easter breaks. You can check your zone to find out the school term dates and holidays in your local area. Ask at your local municipal hall. Private schools have their own dates.
Top French Classes In France; France’s school week
Students attend school for between 24 and 28 hours per week. This is spread over four, four-and-a-half, or five days, depending on where they live. Students studying for the baccalaureat might have to work as much as 40 hours per week. Some schools close at 3:00 pm on Wednesdays, while older students may be able to take lessons on Saturdays. French primary schools used to offer Saturday classes. However, it has been discontinued and replaced with a longer school year.
The school day begins at 8.30 am and ends at 4.30 pm (later for students older than 18). Two breaks are taken (recreation) and lunch lasts at least one hour. Students have the option to return home for lunch, or they can stay at school and eat in their canteen. The school lunch includes a starter, main course, dessert, and cheese. Prices vary. Students can either go home with their parents or to etudes (study classes) after the school day ends.
Many top French classes in France offer a fee-based service de puericulture which is available before, after, and during vacations. These services must be separately signed up and often fees are means-tested.
Students do homework every night, while older students can work for two hours or more each day.
How to register your child in a Top French Classes In France or a French school?
Contact the service des Ecoles in your local arrondissement or Mairie if you’re enrolling your child at a Top French Classes In France or a public school. The school closest to their home is where children go. Paris: A six-year-old child who doesn’t speak French can be sent by the town hall to a school that offers French-language classes for beginners.
You can directly contact the college or lycee you wish to enrol at. If your child is from abroad and is entering college/lycee for the first time, contact the administrative head of the educational district or the education authority (inspection academy, service de la division des eleves, or rectorat). You may need to have your child take a French-language exam.
The structure of the Top French Classes In France or the French education system.
The compulsory French education system consists of three stages, or cycles, after the optional nursery school or kindergarten (Ecole mamanelle):
- Primary school (ecole).
- Middle school (college).
- High school (lycee).
Preschools and nursery schools, also known as ecoles maternelles, provide childcare for children aged two to six years. Children are not required to attend state facilities, but they are available for free. These facilities are a great way for children of ex-pat parents to learn from top French classes in France quickly and easily. The curriculum is designed to help children prepare for primary school. It includes reading, writing and numeracy, as well as a foreign language. For more information about maternelles, and other daycare options for preschool children, visit Expatica’s guide on French preschool options, French daycare, and French childcare options.
Primary school (ecole primarire)
France’s primary school system is open to children from six to eleven years of age. If your child did not attend the maternelle, it is best to apply through the local mairie. Your child’s birth certificate, proof that your child is a resident of the area and a current vaccination certificate is required. Expatica has a guide that will help you choose a French school.
There are five levels to choose from:
CP: Cours préparoire ou 11eme – 6-7 years old
CE1: Cours elementaire, 10eme – Age 7-8 years
CE2: Cours elementaire ou 9eme – Age 8-9 years
CM1: Cours moyen 1 and 8eme – 9-10 years old
CM2: Cours moyen 2 and 7eme – 10-11 years old
The school week lasts approximately 24 hours. Primary schools close often for part or all of Wednesday. Lessons include literacy, numeracy and geography/history. Often, a foreign language is taught, such as English. Before September begins, your child must be enrolled by June.
Middle school (college).
Students in France go to middle school (college) when they are between 11 and 15. All pupils are accepted into the top French classes in France or schools. There is no entrance exam to state schools. Before the start of school, you must register at your local mairie. Find out more about choosing top French classes in France
There are four levels to choose from:
- 6eme – 11-12 years
- 5eme – 12-13 years
- 4eme – 13-14 years
- 3eme – 14 to 15 Years
This syllabus provides a broad education. It includes French, mathematics and history. General classes are more popular among academic students than vocational classes.
High school or lycee
The final three years of secondary education, which are 15-18 years old, are spent at a general lycee, a technique lycee, or a professional lycee. The core curriculum consists of eight to nine subjects. Students are also offered three electives as well as an artistic workshop. The student will make the final decision about which baccalaureat they want to pursue at the end of the year. For information about enrolment requirements, contact the school directly.
These levels are:
- Seconde (CAP, BEP – 15-16 years old
- Premiere (CAP, BEP), 16-17 years old
- Terminale (BAC), 17-18 years old
Hope you find this guide to French education will help you enroll your child in the top French Classes In France and the French education system is useful.
Also read, 20 Top French Classes In France in Nice