Education in FranceOn December 22, 2016 by admin
France’s education system is generally considered successful, though open to criticism over questions of equality. Reports show that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to underachieve in France.
At least four different types of school are typically attended by French children, as follows:
Nursery School (École Maternelle)
This pre-school is not mandatory and requires parents to enrol the child for attendance. Between the ages of 2 to 6, toddlers begin lessons in reading, writing and numeracy as well as being encouraged to play and make art. The curriculum for these nursery schools is designed to give children a head-start in primary school.
Primary School (École primaire)
From the ages of 6 to 11, all children are required to attend primary school. Over these five years, pupils sit through the following classes:
- Cours préparatoire (CP) – preparatory class
- Cours élémentaire (CE1) – elementary class 1
- Cours élémentaire (CE2) – elementary class 2
- Cours moyen 1 (CM1) – middle class 1
- Cours moyen 2 (CM2) – middle class 2
Note that children may be required to repeat a year if teachers and school directors feel they will benefit from doing so.
Middle School (Collège)
Unless they have repeated a year, children attend middle school between the ages of 11 and 15. This school provides a basic level of secondary education and begins to establish what type of high school the student will attend, taking on board any likely areas of specialized study.
High School (Lycée)
The purpose of a high school in France is for students to study for the all-important baccalauréat exam. Students will normally attend either a lycée general or lycée technique, with the latter focusing more on scientific or technological subjects. Baccalauréat success can gain entry into university or lead directly to a professional career.