The French Education System

L’Etoile French Immersion school provides a developmentally significant, immersion approach to education that integrates rigorous academics with arts, drama, sports, and music. With small classes teachers are able to personalize the curriculum such that students are truly engaged in their education. Respect for the autonomy and integrity of the individual is balanced with the need for collaboration and cooperation. At the end of primary school students are prepared to embrace the academic challenges of middle school in either the French or American school systems.

Following the structure administered by the French Ministry of Education, the curriculum is organized into 3 cycles. Grouping multiple years into each cycle offers the ability to focus on a child’s individual development, rather than on grade-level norms.

Cycle 1 (also known as the maternelle)
  • Petite Section (PS) = Preschool
  • Moyenne Section (MS) = Pre-K
  • Grande Section (GS) = Kindergarten
Cycle 2
  • Cours Préparatoires (CP) = 1st Grade
  • Cours Elémentaires 1 (CE1) = 2nd Grade
Cycle 3
  • Cours Elémentaires 2 (CE2) = 3rd Grade
  • Cours Moyen 1 (CM1) = 4th Grade
  • Cours Moyen 2 (CM2) = 5th Grade

For further reading on the French education system please consult the government publication, French Curriculum: Kindergarten & Primary School.

La Scolarité Française

La plupart des enfants entrent à l’école maternelle à trois ans. Ils y apprennent à vivre ensemble, à s’exprimer et préparent leur entrée au CP, à six ans. Le CP est la première classe de l’école élémentaire, qui va jusqu’à la classe de CM2. En principe, les enfants passent cinq ans à l’école élémentaire.

À l’école primaire, la scolarité est organisée en trois cycles :

L’organisation en cycles pluriannuels permet de mieux prendre en compte le rythme de chaque élève.

En savoir plus