The French education system:
Ecole Maternelle and creches
Kindergarten or pre-school. Ecoles Maternelles take pupils from age 2 to age 6, and prepare them for entry into primary school. The French école maternelle is more than just a playschool; the curriculum includes reading and writing, numeracy and even sometimes a foreign language, as well as artistic and creative activities. There are three classes, les petits, les moyens and les grands
Ecole primaire Ecole élémentaire
Primary school or grade school. Five classes, ages 6 to 11. The primary school curriculum in France is similar Ireland and includes literacy and numeracy, with classes in French, arithmetic, but also geography and history, the arts, and more and more frequently a foreign language, usually English. Until 2008, the school week was Monday to Saturday morning, with Wednesday free. From September 2008, there are no more classes on Saturday morning. Students have an average of 28 hours of school weekly.
This is known as Middle school. It has four levels, normally for pupils aged 11 - 15. The collège unique is the backbone of the French school system. All pupils go to collège, usually at age 11, but sometimes at an older age, if they have been made to repeat a year in primary school. The collège is designed to provide all pupils with a fundamental secondary education, after which a certain degree of specialisation will be introduced. In practice, pupils are frequently oriented during their collège years either towards general classes, from which they will be expected to continue their education in a traditional lycée, or towards more technical classes, after which they will be expcted to take an exam called the Brevet which is a type of junior cert and then either stop their secondary education if they have reached school leaving age. Or continue in a lycée professionnel or vocational high school. The programme in collège includes French, maths, history,...
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