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Schooling Advice

Posted by NeilB - Created: 15 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by ChristopherL-188542 - 14 years ago

Louise,

First of all congratulations to your daughter on getting in to CIV 6eme.  We know how tough that is.  Presumably you knew about the Nice-Sophia transport problem when you applied so now that her application is successful you are trying to find solutions.  The CIV won't help you and tends to leave the parents to organise their own car-pooling or private bus schemes.  E-mail me if you want to actively participate in a bus scheme for Nice kids. I'm not personally involved but I have a friend who is.  Regarding the openess of the campus, it can be a problem for some kids.  It depends how autonomous they are.  My daughter started 6eme at age 11 and was far more organised and successful than either of her 2 brothers who started at 11 and 12 respectively.  One of my sons was quite honestly not ready for such a University style campus demanding a certail level of personal maturity. As did JJ, I offer you the guidance of my now 12 year old daughter to help your daughter find her way round in the first days. Once again, e-mail me if interested.  Actually the Haut-Sartoux primary has a beautiful system where they call upon last year's CM2 class kids (now mostly at the CIV 6eme) to be buddies to this year's graduating CM2 and to be responsible in guiding their buddy around the campus.  It would be nice to extend this idea wider into the community.  The CIV is excellent academically but really is deficient for this level of school spirit.  It is left largely to the parents and I would go further to say that it is left largely to the international parents as the French parents are generally not accustomed to making schooling fun.

 

Monique/Monica,

Regardless of whether you can afford the the tuition fees or not for a private school, my opinion is that your son would be better off in a classic French college.  Looking at his age it might even be advisable that he re-visits the last year of French primary to settle him in easier.  You need to speak to his latest teachers to see what they think of his capability to commence secondary school in a foreign language/culture. None of the international schools teach subjects in Swedish or Finnish languages and even if we all agree that learning English is highly desirable, your son has plenty of time to do that but he first needs to speak and learn and live and play in French if you will live here.  If you accept my opinion then your choice of school is pretty straightforward because you just choose where you want to live and your schools are defined by the commune.

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Posted by monique-187849 - 14 years ago

Hi

Does anybody have any experience in swedish speaking kids finding the right school in the area if an international school cannot be an option because of the tuition fee. My son is 11, speaks swedish and finnish and only a few words of english, no french. I probalby have to find the right school first and then start looking for an apartment in the area. Is it safe to let the kids go to school alone or do they have to be taken to school and back home by an adult? Where I live now it's as safe as it can be and children can run around as they feel like, riding their bikes to each others homes, go to the beach by themselves and so on.

 

monica

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Posted by JJ-183649 - 14 years ago

Louise, my daughter started at CIV last year when she was only 10, and she has coped just fine. No issues with its 'open' structure. My two older kids have already gone through CIV, again no problems (quite the opposite academically).

If you want my now 11 year-old daughter to give some handholding/advice to your daughter when she starts, mail me.

 

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Posted by michael and kate - 14 years ago

Hi

Our (now) 8 year old daughter spoke no French when we arrived in Cannes 18 months ago.  We put her in a French Private School, called Stanislas (www.stanislas-cannes.com).  She now speaks fluent French, writes well and skips to school every day!  Stanislas is an excellent school, 9th in the National League Tables, and has enough ex-pats, just incase your child should need some help, but few enough for them to speak English every day (in her class she has 1 other Brit).  The Private option is a good one in France, as its very reasonable (about 700 euros a term, 3 terms in a year) and the class sizes allow a non-French speaker a little more time.

Good luck with the move!

 

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Posted by CL-188388 - 14 years ago

MY DAUGHTER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED AT THE CIV 6 EME AFTER PASSING

THE TEST. SHE IS BILINGUAL HALF FRENCH HALF ENGLISH. WE LIVE IN

NICE AND ARE VERY WORRIED ABOUT THE TRIPS AND THE OPEN

ACCESS OF THE SCHOOL.

SHE IS NOT YET 10 YEARS OLD.

WE PUT HER NAME DOWN ALSO IN A FRENCH PRIVATE SCHOOL IN

NICE.

WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO GIVE US YOUR ADVICE FOR A CHILD

OF THAT AGE.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

 

REGARDS,

 

LOUISE   

 

  

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Posted by Tinker-186005 - 15 years ago

I agree with ym I also have schooled mychildren in the french system, they were born here, foreign children who have entered ther school at about your childrens age bounce about, ie their home room studies ie geographhy maths etc have been done in their appopriate year, but french studies have required them to drop back a year or two with extra help in their lunch breaks and within one school year they are all up and running, socialising with their peers, but getting the extra help in french as needed, art and sport play a reasonable part of the week but the family is expected to dash around on Wednesdays to fufil these areas, it should be noted that England is now selling off most of its playing fields for development in order to pay for the pressure of IT study euipment and so forth, nothing is perfect, but a good grounding and the blessing of being bilingual and or trilingual has to be a fabulous advantage, the Mougin school has possible advantages if you are only here for a short time the CIV if they are clever and the Fenelon, Stanislas groups also if they are bright alrounders, we never get it right just get them started.

Tinker

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Posted by NeilB - 15 years ago

Thanks for the replies. I would love to send both of my kids to the ISN but the budget cannot stretch that far and due to the personalities of my kids, I think a school that has an English section is best. We will be living somewhere around Vence (or just north). I have been looking into Le Pain D'Epice school, has anybody had experience with this school?

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Posted by CharlesP-187728 - 15 years ago

You should also consider the International School of Nice, a real international School that prepares for the International Baccalaureate.  Look at their site on http://www.isn-nice.org/ It has a good accademic reputation as well as being friendly.

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Posted by nodel-185297 - 15 years ago

I'm working not too far from the CIV and I can tell you I would have loved to study in such a school. Such a cool place surrounded by forests and lots of sport facilities: beachvolley, basketball, football (soccer), handball, lane...

Great place!

Here's the website: http://www.civfrance.com (couldn't find the English version though) 

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Posted by yjme-181229 - 15 years ago

I wondered how long you are planning to stay in France?

If it is long term, I would personally suggest that you put your nine year old into the local French state system (the standard is extremely high). He or she will learn very quickly and benefit enormously by then going up to the secondary level in two years time with lots of friends.  The only 'possible' disadvantage if he/she falls behind in some subjects because of the language is that he/she will no doubt redouble, which may not be wonderful, it really does depend on the child. I know many parents who have been entirely happy with their children being plunged into the French system, even being in a lower age class, past maternelle age, it's a great experience for most, but only you will know how your own children would react I think. For the 13 year old, there are secondary schools in Nice which cater for foreign children by giving them extra teaching in French and allow for them being 'behind' in the language. But 13 is a very sensitive age for any change and you may find your child is happier in an English speaking system in which case all the previous advice is very valid.

If you do decide to put them into French schools (financially very easy) you would be better off paying for private French tuition to bring their levels up perhaps faster allowing them full integration into French life.

As for the comments about lack of arts and sports in French schools, it is entirely dependant on the school.   I have three boys in the French system since the beginning (now 9 years in all) and have never found this. The system is simply different to GB for example and it is traditional that other activties are held outside of school hours (the Wednesday being a nightmare for most parents with all the running around!)in order to concentrate, perhaps, on the subjects that are a little more important.   Yes the system is tougher than UK, and they get excellent results. French schools are considered the best in Europe.

Good luck, not easy to choose, but remember most children adapt very quickly, it's usually us adults who worry!