French Education

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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

Hello Everyone

I havent posted on here for months but these type of queries really make me cringe and I feel compelled to respond.  I moved to France with my son when he was 3 and we lasted for 6 years so left before the dreaded college years.  I could not imagine in a million years moving him after 10, at primaire it was hard enough for him and thats without knowing that life changing exams would be on the horizon.  My son was a  bright confident boy but after a horrible experience in the last year at primaire, racism from the teacher and other kids mainly despite his relative fluency, he turned into a child that did not want to attend school and very introvert.  I loved France but the education system is poor, its under funded, the teachers are apathetic and the job prospects bleak.  I came back because of my sons education, until he is at Uni I will not move him again.  He has just aced his SATS so I am over the moon, more importantly he loves his secondary school and skips out of the door each morning.

Do not underestimate how depressing and unsettling for the whole family an unhappy child/teen is!

I would wait a few years, if you own the house already what's the rush,?

Panda

 


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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

I think anyone bringing a child here over about the age of six is taking a risk that they will never, truly, settle into the system. I don't believe in all honesty that French education is any better or worse than the UK , but it is different and messing around whipping kids out of one culture, popping them into another, and then (not infrequently) doing the reverse is hardly going to be beneficial to their long-term prospects. I don't suppose that it is co-incidence that many of the most vocal British critics of French education are those who turned up here with older children.

Jon
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

The response from 'penofmyaunt', who appears to have a teaching background, is excellent and should be required reading of anyone looking to move to France with school age children.
Hopefully 'daftdoctor' will pick up on this thread, as if I recall he is looking to move to France with his 11/12 year old son early next year, but I don't think he has posted for a while.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

The Riff-Raff Element said:

 don't suppose that it is co-incidence that many of the most vocal British critics of French education are those who turned up here with older children.

 

And mine were both born in France. There were moments when being forreners worked against us with some of the homework we didn't  have a cat in hell's chance of helping them, never mind the kids knowing either. But really mine had the same treatment as french kids and it suited some and they flourished in the system. Those that don't fit in  neatly, usually do not.

 

As on observer of life, the interesting thing was the body language of the teachers during those school council meetings, and I did a lot of them, especially college and with those that are called professeurs. The creme de la creme and they sat upright, head and chins held high, the tone, well it was if they themselves had given the children these gifts that they were obviously born with. Then the average kids and their body language would change position as they derided the average kids for not being bette.  And those who had problems, well the figurative knives were out and they became Gollum like creatures, snarling and full of wickedness and if even one of them had wanted to say anything good, or give  encouragement, they had not the courage to say it in my presence at least.

I think it is forgotten on here as to how french kids get on in their own system and the redoubling etc or being banged into a no hope segpa. Beware anyone whose child can not follow the chosen path to follow of being above average and not being a deviant.

 

My problem is that I am not just inetersted in me and mine. Ofcourse I am interested in mine too, but I am always interested in those around me. In the early days, when we didn't realise the problems we were going to have, I did a lot for other parents at the school. Maybe I was braver or more stupid than they were, or just did things a little differently. I would contact the inspecteur directly, and even if he returned my letters telling me to mind my own business, then he still did as I had asked. I was elected to the school council incidentally, it wasn't as if I was 'just' writing. Also, as he had returned the letters, I took it that he had not kept a copies either.

So complaints about the french system, well, there are many reports out there, making more or less the comments I have made for years and by french people, who are qualified to make these comments too.

I posted a week or so ago about La Bouture. Still going, a group of college/lycee teachers who in the 1990's were alarmed about the drop out rate and poor performance in their establishments and trying to find methods to help the kids, now isn't that wonderful. Sadly none worked where my kids were schooled.


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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

Panda I have pm'd you
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

@ Idun - what can I say? Schools vary. Ours is so utterly different to what you describe that it might be in a completely different country. I'm a parent correspondent too and I've never yet encountered the attitudes of teachers you describe.

Having sat through several classes in different subjects (I asked - I wanted to see how it worked 'cos I hadn't been through the system) I've yet to quite understand what this business of everything being taught by rote is about, because I don't see it. I see things that look pretty much like the methods used on me - so perhaps a little outmoded - but endless rote? Nope.

Jon
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

RRE, college? lycee?

I saw a little of the attitude in primary school, but they don't have a class council that goes through each kids results either. They have that and the other council meeting with elected parents/teachers in colleges / lycees.

Sometimes it had felt like a different country when reading other people's experiences in other parts of France.

A good friend lived nul part and she said that the attitude of the college teachers was laisser faire, the expectations for the kids in that very rural setting was next to none as they 'd be working on the farms. The kids of professional people would send their kids to schools in the towns. At least our village had a mix and a private and state primary school. And I suppose that that is something that people moving to cheap property in very rural France never take into account, the attitude towards education and for want of a better expression, bettering one's self and achieving the maximum in life. My friend moved to a village that was just about attached to a city, very very different.

Re the college, well. at the first meeting, I could not believe it, not at all and this was before they got to my son. I was shell shocked when I got out. Trouble is that french people are used to their system, and the moans, well, they are well out of the hearing of the profs for the most part. They also know that the profs will get even with the pupil and I know that they do just that. Of all the profs I encountered over the years, I can say that about 1 in ten was a decent human being and good teacher and they usually were not liked by the 'other's, I have words for them, but I won't use them on here. I wouldn't let most of them near a rabid dog, never mind a young mind. Still I am very thankful for the 'good' ones.

 

 


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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

 idun wrote:

RRE, college? lycee?



Two children at college, one in primaire.

I'm on the class council for college and I teach English at the primaire. My wife is treasurer of the OGEC for the primaire. We like to stick our oars in.

We don't get that many British students through the schools - this is not a particualrly fashionable area - but I've seen enough to have a pretty clear idea of the sort of problems they can have.

Incoming children can also have impacts on more established anglophone children who end up translating for them in class. For some of the translators this can be a benefit (consolidates learning); for others it can be really damaging to their own education.

Also, children more used to the relaxed attiudes of teachers in the British system can find the levels of deference expected in the French system difficult to adapt to.

Lots of reasons, in my view, not to move older children (ie older than six!) unless absolutely necessary.

Jon
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