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Posted by Jeni-780887 - Created: 14 years ago
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7 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 7)

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Posted by lamby girl-784832 - 7 years ago

We have been here 7 yrs and both of my daughters have coped well with the French system, not every child does, whatever nationality that they are! We have experienced Primare, Collége and now Lycée.
Both of the girls have had far more opportunity here to stretch themselves, and have consistently been in the top 5 pupils in their respective classes. My eldest daughter was actively encouraged to take part in a French/German language exchange, which allowed her to live with a German family and improve her language skills for 6 months, not something that I have ever heard of in UK!!!
The only small complaint that I have is that the French curriculum is not geared up for anything artistic, musical or dramatic. Kids enjoy this aspect of school and can be very rewarding if it is something that you enjoy, but having said that my husband and I are more than happy with the education that they have received here, much broader than in the UK.

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Posted by saris-792590 - 7 years ago

as far as we are concerned excellent schooling - been here just over 5 years - daughter was 13 and son was 15 - daughter doing BAC and son passed BAC now at uni in france

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Posted by La Belle Vie-813063 - 7 years ago

My two started at the local schools in September. The eldest, at 12, is loving french school, her french has come on in leaps and bounds, she has made some fantastic friends and her attainments don't appear to have taken even the slightest dip with having to learn in a new language (at least I don't think so, but I haven't quite got my head around the french marking system compared to the english one). I do find the attitude to ill/absent teachers a bit boggling though ie if they are there you either don't go in, go in late or you are stuck in perm all day.

My youngest is not enjoying french school at all. Her teacher is wonderful and speaks quite good english (which might actually be a bad thing in terms of language development), and they are doing everything they can to help her with her french and her dyslexia. However, she is finding making friends difficult and some of her class are mean to her about not understanding what they are saying all of the time. We do have tears about going to school but I am not sure that moving her to a private school would make any difference at this stage.

Both schools are so different from their UK schools in terms of pastoral care (but we knew that would be the case), rewarding pupils for achievements and after school activities. However, it is what it is and it was our choice to be here and for the kids to be educated here.

I suppose in answer to your question both my kids are getting a reasonable education with no real complaints from us on what they are learning or how they are being taught.

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Posted by Lalitte - 7 years ago

Does anyone know where one can check a school's results in the evaluations nationales? Is such information disclosed to the general public? I rang the academie de Caen, but they told me I could only look at overall results for each region. (Calvados is slightly below the national average, btw). They seemed puzzled that I wanted to be able to compare different schools.

My local école primaire, unluckily, has a poor reputation, and so I am considering sending my daughter to the private school in Vire. (St Josephs - any opinions?) I gather a dérogation to a State school outside of one's catchment area is almost impossible to acquire, even on purely practical grounds, so I don't expect much sympathy from the local Mairie regarding concerns about academic excellence. I am not at all comfortable with opting out of the state system, nor with the prospect of lessons in Catholicism or an authoritarian teaching style, but if the difference in results is truly drastic I will have to consider it. My daughter starts CP next year. A very thorough test by a psychologue scolaire revealed that she is fairly advanced for her age.

If there is a site I can consult, or an accepted method of extracting the information needed, I'd be grateful to anyone who can help.

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Posted by amanda-781362 - 14 years ago


We moved to Normandy 2 yrs ago and my son (age 8) has spent 2 happy uears at a private school in Honfleur. Although hard, especially as no one of the staff spoke english his has had a great time. He is moving to a public school in Beuzeville after the hols as we have moved house. Time will tell what it will be like!



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Posted by Mike T-781056 - 14 years ago

We had a very happy experience in Normandy. Kids 3 & 6, older one could speak French when they arrived. Remember there a two systems, public and "private" the "private" system tends to be smaller and church based, I think we paid Euro50 per month (each) and this included a lunch that our daughter still talks about (good not bad). The French system is very work based and does expect a lot from the kids and they have long hours.

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Posted by vonny-780909 - 14 years ago


The schools in all areas of France are run by the same people so the basics will be the same everywhere you go. I think it's possibly just a difference in attitudes that could change from area to area, but the North of France will be the same format, all teachers will have received the same training..........

Don't fret - if you have decided to come to France to live, you accept that the school system will not be exactly the same as where you come from, good or bad, better or worse. Don't forget also that children spend 33 weeks a year in school, six hours a day for four days, but that still leaves an awful lot of time at home which is where the social and behavioural education should come from surely! Schools are for the academic side of children's education and that is what the French teachers are trained to do first and foremost.