Choosing the Right School
It means that the children have mother-tongue or near-native competence in both English and French. The programme follows the normal French secondary school curriculum, plus additional hours for language and literature as well as history and geography taught in English. Children must be capable of speaking, reading, and writing in both English and French at a level expected of their peers in the UK and France. If you are not sure, ask yourself if your child would be capable of following an English or History class in the same year group in the UK or France.
For the 6ème test, allowances are made for the fact that many of the children entering will have come from a French primary school and focused day-to-day writing practice in English will not be part of their school schedule. (They are understanding about spelling.)
Class sizes vary according to demand, but do not usually exceed 28-30 pupils in collège. In lycée, up to 32 places can be given to each year.
The schools offer the same program and assess the children on the same criteria so you should really make your decision based on the length of the commute. However, the Rectorate does take into account personal preference and does its best to place the child at the school the family has chosen.
Assignment to one establishment rather than another is based on their testing score. Pupils who achieve the highest overall marks should obtain their first choice.
Camille Sée offers a class for non-francophone children arriving from abroad who do not speak French. Some children in the Section have made the transition into the International Section once they have improved their French. However, the transition from the UPE2A class to the International Section cannot be guaranteed: it would depend upon the student’s academic level overall and the number of spaces in the International Section available in the year group for which they would be applying. They would have to take the test to make the transition to the International Section.
In order to get placed in one of these sections, they would need to take an exam through the CASNAV office.
There are a number of Collèges around the city that have UPE2A classes for newly arrived students. Students are placed in a program based on the collège that is nearest to their residence and it is not possible to request a specific school.
Once a student has been placed in a UPE2A class (or NF as it is called at Camile Sée) they would start in a class with students who are all new arrivals in France. Little by little they would be integrated into regular classes until they eventually are fully assimilated into a regular program. The goal is to have all students fully integrated into the general section after one year, although this may depend upon the individual child’s ability to reach the required level of French.
The school nurse will assess your child but there are no additional special needs teachers or resources allocated to the Section to help students who are struggling with orthographic processing.
No, priority is not given to students who already have a sibling in the school. All applicants must take the entrance exam and places are offered based on test results and availability.
The school day for the International Section is an average of one hour longer and there is a heavier homework load. You should consider what the daily commute to and from school will be, taking into account that the children start at 8am on some days and could end as late as 5:30pm. Some IS children at Camille Sée commute from the 10th arrondissement each day and are flourishing. However, your decision has to be based on what school you respond to most positively and what you think your child can manage. It is a good idea to visit the school on the Open Day if possible.
It’s truly international – bicultural and bilingual – a fantastic mix of cultures and experiences: francophone families who have lived abroad and whose children have the required level of English from studying in an English speaking school system; children whose parents are native-English speakers but have lived in France for some years; families who have one French parent and another native-English speaker; and even, in a few cases, children with 2 native English speaking parents, and recently arrived in France. Most of the children in the Section have lived abroad or have one English speaking parent at home.
Yes! Anyone can apply, regardless of how close they live to the school. However, please take into consideration the length of your child’s commute.
We organise welcome picnics before classes start, allowing new students (and their parents!) to meet future classmates before that first day. Parents are also available to talk to new families. Most support is via ASICS (the IS parents’ association) and parents in the school community.
English is not taught as a foreign language in the International Section and students must be fully bilingual and capable of following a demanding academic programme in both French and English.
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