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We will be adding information on local schools, and posting some useful links very soon.

In general, each town or village has its own schools, certainly a primary school and often also a college.  The Lycées are situated in the larger towns. 

Primary schooling runs, as in the UK, up to year 6 (CM2 here in France).  The children then move up to college which takes them to age 15.  They then have the choice (assuming they pass their brevet) to go on to Lycée.  They can opt not to follow a purely academic path at Lycée and to transfer to a training based education such as a trade skill or commercial training.

There is no pressure on places, and schools are generally very glad of extra pupils.  We have found no adverse reaction whatsoever from the schools to having English-language pupils join a class, and though it is always hard at the beginning for the child, the integration doesn't take long. 

There are so many activities and sports available that children automatically become 'involved' with their classmates outside school.  The facilities for activities and sport are excellent - and there is usually only a very small subscription to pay.

Learning French to a standard that is in the middle of the class standard takes around 18 months, depending on the child of course. 

Schools try to help the children along by organising additional French classes (in place of the English lessons for example) and can put you in touch with people and organisations outside school who can give further language tuition.

It is also common for the child to start in the class year one year behind their age.  This is to allow them one full school year to settle in and obtain a reasonable proficiency in the language without having too much stress of not fully understanding subjects being taught in French.

Teaching methods are very structured and all children are expected (and helped) to learn good handwriting, use of language and numeracy.  Physical education is part of the curriculum, and is adapted to take advantage of the facilities in the area.   In this region, for example, children are given weekly sailing lessons during the summer.

For parents who like to be involved, there are PTA's (APE's) which are involved in organising events, but also take a role in certain aspects of the running of the school.  Each meeting accompanied by crêpes and cider after 'any other business' of course.



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