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PRESCHOOL: cycle 1

A peculiar aspect of the French system: children can access preschool before reaching compulsory school age (6 years old). Preschool is usually organised in three years (petite, moyenne and grande section), depending on the children's age.

In France, 3- and 5-year-old children are provided preschool education. It is where first out-of-family education takes place for a vast majority of children.

Preschool is now considered as a normal part of a child’s curriculum. Children develop here their fundamental skills, build up their language and take their first steps in the fields of written expression, numbers as well as in other disciplines. A major goal of preschool is to grant kids a successful initial learning experience.

The Preschool Curriculum consists of five learning areas:

  • Language, the core of all learning;

  • Social and character development;

  • Physical expression;

  • Discovery of the world;

  • Emotional and creative development.

For more information you can read 2015 march, 26th Bulletin Officiel detailing the pre-school programme.

Primary school: cycles 2 and 3

Primary school welcomes children from 6- to 11-years-old. Programmes are nation-wide and mandatory for every teacher and every pupil.

Two main axes structure the teachings:

  • command of language and fluency;

  • education to citizenship.

School takes into account the plurality and diversity of every student’s skills. Besides reasoning and intellectual thinking, power of observation, taste for experimentation, sensibility, motor skills and creative imagination are developed.

The Lycée Chateaubriand follows the classical French school curriculum and offers some special features and educational choices.

Teaching is conducted in French according to the programmes established by the French ministry for education however, as early as nursery school, languages are a priority to prepare our young students for the international environment they will grow up in.

Students receive 2 to 3 hours a week of Italian lessons, starting the first year of nursery school, taught my mother tongue teachers.

English lessons are added to the curriculum in Grande Section and continued all the way through to UK Primary 6 /US 6th grade. 

English@home – see what we do, practice and roam ! The pedagogical materials presented in this space include recordings of dialogues and vocabulary, songs and rhymes proposed in class, videos and games. Its aim is to assist pupils in their revision of words and phrases, to train their listening comprehension skills and to promote their discovery of English-based online resources. 

ALEF – Appui Linguistique à l'Enseignement du Français – (French language support) groups are established in nursery school to give Italian mother tongue students a soft transition towards full immersion French which “if conducted all-out and possibly abruptly, could compromise the child's schooling” (AEFE advisory educational texts, 2006).

“Indeed, removed from his mother tongue and the reassuring bearings of his cultural environment, a three/four year old child, immersed in a linguistically foreign world, could be greatly destabilized and come to feel in a situation of failure.” Thereby the need for ALEF groups which call for the “implication of a bi-lingual teacher working alongside the classroom teacher.”


Reception starting 8.20 – Lessons starting 8.30:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8.30 to 15.20;

  • Wednesdays from 8.30 to 12.20;

  • Fridays from 8.30 to 15.10.