Education in France - Primary Education

Primary Education

Schooling in France is mandatory as of age 6, the first year of primary school. Many parents start sending their children earlier though, around age 3 as nursery classes (maternelle) are usually affiliated to a borough's primary school. Some even start earlier at age 2 in pré-maternelle or très petite section classes, which are essentially daycare centres. The last year of maternelle, grande section is an important step in the educational process as it is the year in which pupils are introduced to reading.

Maternelle (Kindergarten)
Age Grade Abbreviation
3 -> 4 Petite section PS
4 -> 5 Moyenne section MS
5 -> 6 Grande section GS
École élémentaire (Primary school)
Age Grade Abbreviation
6 -> 7 Cours préparatoire CP / 11ème
7 -> 8 Cours élémentaire première année CE1 / 10ème
8 -> 9 Cours élémentaire deuxième année CE2 / 9ème
9 -> 10 Cours moyen première année CM1 / 8ème
10 -> 11 Cours moyen deuxième année CM2 / 7ème

After nursery, the young students move on to primary school. It is in the first year (cours préparatoire) that they will learn to write and develop their reading skills. Much akin to other educational systems, French primary school students usually have a single teacher (or perhaps two) who teaches the complete curriculum, such as French, mathematics, science and humanities to name a few. Note that the French word for a teacher at the primary school level is maître or its feminine form maîtresse (previously called instituteur, or its feminine form institutrice).

Read more about this topic:  Education In France

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