French Education

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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

Other side of the coin.

We moved here nearly 8 years ago, when my sons were 9 and 11(nearly 12). It certainly wasn't plain sailing for the first couple of years, and they both started a year below in our, then, village primaire.

Since then they have done just fine; The eldest passed his BAC this year with mention, and has just started doing a DUT in techniques de commercialisation at the IUT in Cherbourg, with a view to eventually working in Human Resources ....... he has travelled widely both with his college, lycée and with his mates; and the youngest is doing a Bac Pro Comptabilité, and intends to do broadly the same thing as his brother in a couple of years time.

They are completely settled, love it here and have no wish to go back to the UK - we used to ask them every 6 months whether they wanted to go back, and they have never once said yes - and eventually told us to stop asking!

Socially they have wide circles of friends, play in a local anglo-french rock band, are are playing in the semi-finals of a Battle of the Bands type gig in Paris next weekend!!
The girl singer in their group came over 3 years ago aged 13 (her Father, in the UK passed away, and so she had to move over to live with her Mother and Step-Father) Yes, it was quite tough for her for the first year or so, but she passed her Brevet, has never re-doubled, and has just started in Terminal for her BAC L, and has a high moyenne in all subjects. I also know another girl who came over at 14, passed her Brevet, was doing a BAC L, then applied for and got accepted at Film School in Paris, and is having an absolute ball.

I have found the majority of teachers to be just fine, yes, there have been some who have annoyed the heck out of me, but I am sure there are teachers like that in the UK as well!! .......... my boys have never encountered any form of racism or bullying from teachers or students alike.

Going by the posts on here, we appear to be in the minority, but, in my opinion, it IS possible to move over here with older children, and still make it work.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

 I think so much depends on the teachers and head in the school - not everyone is fortunate. It would be the same in the UK but I guess on home turf its easier to balance it out, in France it might be more isolating if the staff were not stellar.
Quimper.co

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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

 The Riff-Raff Element wrote:
 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.

 

Is it another country then? No one would have been able to tell mine were english if they didn't know. Lots of maghreban at the college and lycee though.

And some kids will do well no matter where they are. I have never denied that.

So what is said at the college council meetings about the kids who are not doing so well? what help are they given, how are they encouraged? I am very very interested in how 'problem' children are dealt with. So easy for the 'normal' ones, let's face it teachers used to train at the 'ecole normale'.

 


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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

<BLOCKQUOTE><table width="85%"><tr><td class="txt4"><img src="/cs/Themes/default/images/icon-quote.gif">&nbsp;<strong>idun wrote:</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="quoteTable"><table width="100%"><tr><td width="100%" valign="top" class="txt4">
And some kids will do well no matter where they are. I have never denied that.
</td></tr></table></td></tr></table></BLOCKQUOTE>

My eldest, yes - he would do just fine ............ he even got away with dreadlocks, a piercing and a tatto at his incredibly conservative, private Lycée - the other pupils just couldn't understand it, some of them were hauled over the coals for having a fringe too long!! He knows how to 'play the game'!
The youngest isn't that academic, (bright, but very lazy) but various teachers (in 3 different schools in 3 different towns) have put themselves out to try and help him - extra French in their own time, sourcing 'age-appropriate' English work to give him so that he maintains his written English level etc. There has also been Aide Personalisé available to all the pupils in both college and lycée, whatever nationality in French, Maths and English.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

 idun wrote:

So what is said at the college council meetings about the kids who are not doing so well? what help are they given, how are they encouraged? I am very very interested in how 'problem' children are dealt with. So easy for the 'normal' ones, let's face it teachers used to train at the 'ecole normale'.



This is drifting a bit off topic you realise. We may be told off.

However... it all rather depends on the nature of the problem, but the emphasis is on dealing with the problem locally rather than trying to export it. This might be something to do with it being a collège privé - quite a few of the staff were once also pupils there, so there is a sort of family air about the place.

There is a greater willingness now than there was a few years ago (I am told by those who have been there longer) to call for the services of the pyschologue or orthophonist, to actually identify the nature of the problem. Yes we have SEGPA and ULIS classes: some of the courses for these are taught by the mainstream teachers, others by specialists. It depends on the child.


Jon
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

No Sprogster you are mistaken, my son is 9 and will go into CM1 after easter next year. He will have at least 4 terms in Primaire before going to College. If he was any older we wouldn't be moving, in fact we have brought the move forward (from what would have been the ideal for us professionally) to try to maximise the chances of him settling into the education system.
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

 Chrisb wrote:
Going by the posts on here, we appear to be in the minority, but, in my opinion, it IS possible to move over here with older children, and still make it work.


It is possible.

It can work.

It is a risk.

I hear what you're saying, and I've come across similar cases, but I still don't think I'd recommend to anyone they try it with a child already in school unless they absolutely had to.

Finger in the air, I'd reckon - based only on my experience, mind - that about 60% of children coming to France having started school in the UK fail to settle. Either they end up going back having had a thoroughly disruptive educational experience or they just stay here and wallow. I notice in these cases the parents are rather more quick to blame "the system" than to examine their own level of fault.

Anyway, your boys did OK, which is good, and they are happy, which is better. Are we likely to see them on X-Factor? I only ask because the 2011 series of X-Factor in France was won by a French-speaking Brit. Big Smile [:D]

Jon
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Re: Education advice for our 12 year old

I doubt you would ever see them on x-factor - they are a heavy metal rock band, tempered by a female vocalist with a cracking voice, who wears little dresses and Doc Martins!!

BTW, yes, I do know families who have come over here with older children who, like you say, have failed to settle, or who have gone back to the UK after a couple of years, or to Uni ........ I may be generalising, but many of them were in families where neither parent spoke French, and often used the children as their mouth pieces, expecting them to make phone calls, go with them to appointments etc to translate, thinking that they were 'fluent' after a very short space of time ........ giving them too much responsibility, and shifting the 'balance of power' within the family - not good.
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