ecole joli bois in Brussels

(67 Posts)
Ballet Fri 25-Jan-13 07:42:59

I am planning to send my duaghter to ecole Joli BOis this september.
does anybody has any idea about school??

runningmad Sun 05-Jan-14 22:12:18

All schools teach the same curriculum. However, you'll find the children at Joli-Bois are on average from better off backgrounds, most are from the near area, though quite a few get off the 36 bus each day who get on at Stockel metro, then travel far to get there, they are from I'd say poorer backgrounds. Crommelynk primaire has quite a high percentage of boarding house children who are again from poorer backgrounds, but not all. Ask if you can have the average mark for CEB for the past 3 years and the percentage of those who passed, if you want to compare academics. But if your child is clever, it really won't matter which school so much for them as it might for the parents!

If you're after a sizeable English speaking population, for social life outside school, you won't find it at either primaire, but will at the maternelle of Joli-Bois. If you're not English speaking at home, you might want to find some children who speak the same language at a school, it really can be good, so long as it's not 40% of the school population!!!

I don't think either Joli-Bois or Crommelynck have set enrolment days, they don't fill their primaire classes so it's not necessary. However, Mater Dei will have a waiting list, for that school it is essential.For the maternelle, you need to phone tomorrow 02/762.12.35 from 9am. Cannot see details on the primaire website, ask the maternelle. If you don't phone tomorrow, little chance you'll get a place for the younger one.

morita13 Sun 05-Jan-14 21:10:19

Hi Runningmad again! Just a piece of advice on your experience, any suggestion between Crommelnyck and Jolie Bois regardin the academic background and type of education they provide? Thanks again!

manyokati Sun 05-Jan-14 20:53:45

Runningmad, thank you for your answer.
The thing is that right now we are happy at Crommelynck (only spent about 5 weeks there, not such a long time so no comparison with other schools) but I just keep reading all those negative comments about the school and it made me a bit suspicious whether we should look for another school. We were told by a friend that Jolie Bois is a good school giving stronger basic education than Crommelynck. Is that true?
Our daughter just started maternelle 2 months ago, so her French is quite poor at the moment but I was told by Mme Delvaux, the directrice, that she will be fine by September. So why did you ask about our linguistic background? And we are planning for staying longer, not just 1-2 years, so shall we consider about secondaire now? Music would be a pull for Jolie Bois, but also sports is very important, our girl loves that. I do not mind larger schools (you meant Crommelynck?).
Oh, about enrolments, I am really confused now and I was looking at the home page of Jolie Bois and could not find anything about that. Is it true that they start tomorrow and I should be phoning them as soon as possible if we want a place there? And what about Crommelynck? I have no idea, my French is not the best.
Thanks for answering.

morita13 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:47:59

Thank you very much for your explanation runningmad!
Now I get the idea a little better! And thks for pointing Crommelynk which I did not know!

runningmad Sat 04-Jan-14 11:40:46

It's not where you live that matters, it's the order of geographical proximity to schools. So if your nearest Catholic secondaire is 40kms away, you are same place on the list as someone whose nearest Catholic secondaire is 10m away.

Where you live in WSP, it places St Michel and SC de Lindhout way down on the list of proximty, too far down to get a place. Where you live in WSP, Mater Dei is your nearest Catholic secondaire, so as long as you attend your nearest primaire or 2nd nearest, you'll get a place at Mater Dei for secondaire. Why would you want to go to St Michel anyway from WSP? Why pass many comparable schools to travel further?

Your kids get a place at Mater Dei maternelle and primaire IF THERE ARE PLACES, as I said, follow the enrolment instructions on the websites and phone up on the days specified and ask.

Jean 23 is fine, but if looking for slightly more relaxed but still academic, you would want to look at College Don Bosco which is nearer.

morita13 Fri 03-Jan-14 11:24:10

Hi runningmad thanks for your answer. So you mean that living in WSP does not allow me to send my kids to St Michel or SCLindhout in Secondary??? Matter Dei is amongst our preferences as well. My question is if I send my kids to Sacre Coeur de Stockel and asumming I do not get a spot in Mater dei for primary, do I still have chances to get into Mater Dei in Secondary? We recently arrived here so I have no knowledge of how the system works...
My kids are M1 and M3, and I have heard that in Matter Dei you can only get a place in M1, is that true?
Anothe question is WSP a good place to live as far as schooling concerns?
Any idea about Jean XXIII Woulowe.
Thank you very much indeed!!

runningmad Thu 02-Jan-14 22:27:10

From where you live, you will not get a place at Sacré-Coeur de Lindhout or St Michel under the current system so you can instead concentrate on the schools nearer to home like Mater Dei and College Don Bosco.

If Sacré-Coeur de Stockel is nearer than Crommelynck and as near as Mater Dei, I'd be looking there. If you like the idea of by primaire your children being tested and pushed, then Mater Dei is better for you. All the schools in your area, Crommelynck, Joli-Bois, Mater Dei and Sacré-Coeur de Stockel, they're all your nearest or 2nd nearest primaire of type, Mater Dei will be your nearest Catholic secondaire, you'll get a place 99% certain at Mater Dei, 95% certain at College Don Bosco, that is under current secondaire enrolments.

You will have to hurry for Mater Dei, their enrolments for primaire and maternelle I think are next week by phone and very strict, if you phone late, no chance of a place. Sacré-Coeur de Stockel is also completely full in maternelle at the moment, actually more children there per class than Mater Dei, but more movement too as more international children, still you need to be prompt and enrol quickly as there may already be a waiting list for next year's P1 class and M1? class.

morita13 Thu 02-Jan-14 22:08:15

Hi runningmad, my nearest school is Jolie Bois, second Matter dei and sacre coeur de stockel is also close (2 minutes by bus). I am interested in good acdemic level and good chances to get in the really good secondary schools (Matter dei, St Michelle, sacre Coeur de Lindhout), any advice? I would apreciate any advice . Thanks

runningmad Thu 02-Jan-14 15:23:12

Are you planning on staying long term in Brussels?
I'd be personally happy with Crommelynck and I walked around the maternelle recently and did like the atmosphere. But however for primaire, there are many internat children, not many at all who live around the school. Many expat children who leave at this point.

The problem is you have Mater Dei there which is without doubt the most popular school in the area, but also not a school for those who are not ok with their ethos to push the children quite hard even in primaire, so it's not a school for everyone.

Ecole Joli-Bois, well, mmmm, it really depends on your linguistic background, whether you like larger schools, whether the music academy straight after school is a pull, whether you prefer one school at Crommelynck or 2 schools at Joli-Bois as primaire and maternelle or separate. Plus the Action Sport para-scolaire at Crommelynck is as cheap as you'll get, also their hot meals are cheaper than other schools.

It would really depend on what you're looking for in a school.

If you're happy with Crommelynck, don't move.

manyokati Thu 02-Jan-14 14:03:22

Can I just ask why you would rule out Crommelynck? I am really curious about this. We moved to Brussels at the end of October and we were happy that our oldest daughter has been accepted to 3eme maternelle in Crommelynck (we did not do much research about maternelles). She started there beginning of November and I read in many discussions on the net that Crommelynck is not so popular among parents but I do not know why? We do not have much impression about the school yet and we should be selecting a primaire for her daughter soon (I do not know when the enrolments are). For us, Ecole Joli-Bois is just as far as Crommelynck, we live just halfway between them. And our 2nd daughter has also been accepted to Crommelynck accueil to start in March. So I have no idea what to do now. Can you give me any hints/suggestions/your opinion on this? Thanks very much in advance!

runningmad Wed 18-Dec-13 16:52:18

Morita13, what are your nearest schools?

morita13 Wed 18-Dec-13 14:58:02

Hi Natation, any advice about jean xxiii wouluwe? We just arrived to Brussels and we found a spot there. We live in WSPO and we will try to get a spot at Matter Dei, but I have heard they have no opennings rather than for 2 1/2. My kids are 4 and 2 and half. So I am a littel bit confused... I would apreciate any piece of advice. Thanks

runningmad Mon 19-Aug-13 21:15:17

neither are near each other. Where do you live? And where are you changing from?

umomar Mon 19-Aug-13 20:58:56

Hi here
i am living in woluwe saint lambert (wsl) i would like to change my children school
i have choices between (colloege don bosco) and ( institut de l'angelus)

could you please help me.....
thank you

natation Fri 01-Mar-13 21:05:53

Jean Absil would give that child max index, if the child went to the nearest primaire, none of the other secondaire schools around there which are also sought after would give max index, I know where she lives, now that primaire priorité is gone, those on the max index are likely to get places and Jean Absil being the only sought after school which also gives a max index if combined with nearest primaire, so it would be the best choice for simply maximising chances at secondarie. The head at SC de Lindhout admitted to the parent of a priority child that there is every chance all their places in 1ere commune will be filled for September 2013 by priority children, the same might happen at St Michel too, if the number of classes is 12 or less this year. From next year with the dropping of primaire priorité, it will be far easier for non priority children to get places.

Longtime Fri 01-Mar-13 20:45:20

Sorry, natation, that was me replying to something much further up, I just didn't realise how much further the thread went on. You said something along the lines of being really difficult to get into St Michel, Sacré Coeur de Lindthout ... but that they would get a place at Absil. I was just saying that that is not a given.

natation Thu 28-Feb-13 22:12:54

I don't remember anyone in this thread looking for a place at Jean Absil, you'll have to point me there. I think at the end of the thread, only people looking for maternelle and primaire places.

With primaire priorité disappearing next year for 1st secondaire enrolments, it will open up place to more children living near any popular secondaire and also going to nearby primaires. Mater Dei on previous history, according to the secretary, has about 75% of places taken by priorité children, leaving a bit under 40 places for those not with siblings/at the primaire/teachers' children, that percentage will go down hopefully next year when the 75 children at Mater Dei primaire no longer get potential priority (in fact only 50 qualify this year), unless they get priority under a different category.

Longtime Thu 28-Feb-13 21:34:02

Are you sure she'd even get a place at Absil, natation? We used our priority for dd but there were people who wanted a place that didn't get in.

natation Wed 27-Feb-13 17:26:46

Are you very confident of places in EEB1 ? I am assuming they are going in to the English section. I'm only asking as new children into English are unlikely to get places unless there is a connection such as parent teaching there.

There are about 30 Uccle schools, the Uccle commune website only lists the schools they control.

As so many schools did their enrolments months ago, getting ANY PLACE IN UCCLE will be your main challenge, not a place in a nice school. Your only choice is to phone them all up.

You might just be better off looking in an area with more chance of a maternelle place and using the school buses for EEB1.

You need to pm longtimeinbrussels to be put on the mailing list for the private mumsnetters group, or if you want to be in the facebook group, send me a pm, befriend me on facebook and I'll add you.

oldwomaninashoe4 Wed 27-Feb-13 12:06:39

Sorry to barge in on thsi thread but I am hoping to cash in on your local knowledge of brussels schools. I am moving to brussels in July with 4 kids and the older 3 will hopefully be going to teh european school in Uccle and we are trying to rent a house between uccle/south Ixelles between the school and Schman area. However I have a 3 year old who will need to be enrolled in a local Maternelle from September 2013. i got a list from the Uccle Council website but dont know where to start as have no idea about where is good and which ones are close to the european school. i am only learning french so dont even feel confident phoning them up. Any suggestions of good maternelles in this area would be much appreciated.

Also nanation would you mind putting me on the private brussels mums list as i see that was mentioned before but i cant find where it is - perhaps it is a private group.


natation Tue 26-Feb-13 15:43:01

You'll have to join BCT for access to the contacts, unless they come on here.

If your daughter is already fluent in French, really fluent in that she speaks spontaneously and with fluidity, then personally if your motivation for placing your child in Acacia is to learn English, then you should really think about a monolingual English school for a couple of years. Where does your daughter get her French from? Are you already in Brussels? You can easily keep up French in Brussels and still attend an English school. It depends on your budget though. You could consider BSB, if you are on a "low" income, you could get the 4-5 class for as little as €15k (30% reduction) or other English schools do it for around that price nearer to Brussels centre. Acacia is only 6k so a big difference.

Do check at Acacia that the English teacher is QUALIFIED and I'd actually ask for the person's name and what qualification and do an internet search and also that they are MOTHER TONGUE English. I know they employ at least in maternelle non qualified teachers and in primaire non mother tongue English teachers. Having said that, these have not actually been big issues. I don't have any dissatisfied Acacia parents that I am aware of. The same cannot be said of other private schools.

In the end, if you feel Acacia is right, it probably is! We are all looking for different things as parents, all schools are different and all parents are different and all children are different. You have to look at "best fit" not "best school".

f1977 Tue 26-Feb-13 11:21:03

Dear Natation...actually, I do have another question, do you think it's possible I can pose direct questions to your contacts?
In fact, we are both italian and our eldest is fluent in French (impressively, considering she has started to talk -both Italian and French- when she was 27 months...she is now 4) while the youngest, who just turned 2, understands perfectly both, but does not really talk yet. Because of possible moving and quite some other reasons, we thought of Ecole européenne & Lycée français for primary schools. Then, at the moment Ecole Europeenne is not an option, being in Laken...and Lycée français not yet feasible in the pre-school as too far and we just do not want to put them on the bus yet.
In that perspective introducing already English is ideal for us. At the same time we would like to be re-assured that the school is worthy both the money and the fact we (my husband in fact) accept the real catholic imprinting. As I said, in the explanation and pedagogy etc it seems really focusing on each little one development, with a positive attention to the others. The immersion FR/EN seems nice to expose them to the other language regularly by doing some activities. The area we live in is not especially nice for schools and I am too much concerned about the fact pre-school is a place to play with the aim to learn/be prepared to learn in many choices to be done for our kids: responsibility feeling is really difficult to cope with!!

And already big, huge thank you for all your explanations and great input!! Your remarks on the languages was really much appreciated!

Have a nice day

natation Mon 25-Feb-13 23:27:42

They do NOT however teach English or French in maternelle, the children acquire the language through oral immersion. Here is the biggest possible downside, if you are putting your child there to learn English or French or both. In the local French schools, so long as you choose the right school, either the majority of children in the class speak French as mother tongue, or there is a mix of mother tongue French speakers and a nice even mix of mother tongue languages amongst the "others" so that French becomes the sole language spoken in the classroom and also mainly in the playground too. At Acacia and other schools with a similar intake, eg BICS, some of the Montessoris, you will find mother tongue French speakers in a great minority, maybe the English speakers too, you might find the majority of the children speak neither French nor English. The result might mean a child with neither English nor French may not achieve a high level of fluency, simply because they haven't enough exposure to both of these language, a child with English and no French, may again end up with less fluency in French than the parents expect.

If you're in Brussels long term and speak neither French nor English at home, consider in fact monolingual English then swapping to monolingual French or vice versa. Doing 2 years in English aged 2-4 followed by local French school might achieve a higher level of fluency in both languages. It's easy to keep up English in Brussels, if at a French school. I know a little girl who spent 2 years learning English, has now swapped to French, she achieve mother tongue level English and expect her to achieve mother tongue French after her current year in French maternelle, another language at home. I don't think 3 years in a bilingual school would have given her mother tongue level of French and English.

So just think seriously about it. Ask in advance how many French and how many English and how many are neither. If you end up with 2 English, 2 French, 20 neither, well that may really not be good, if you end up with 10 French, 10 English, 5 neither, that might be better.

Also do be careful when parents say their children are fluent in a language. I've met "fluent" children who I'd say are barely in reality competent orally.

PS the maternelle at the lycee francais is cheaper than both Acacia and BICS and if you're English speaking at home, the classes are predominently French speaking children who are places there to become fluent in English or German, for the English speaker, I'd expect them to reach mother tongue fluency in French far quicker than the French children reach mother tongue fluency in English. They also have a teacher AND a teaching assistant in the classes at least in petite section - ask the poster on another thread who has their children there.

f1977 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:42:57


the program looks great and I am happy to read your contacts are happy with the school because it's quite an investment! (wow it's really expensive: we've just been at the presentation of the school)
we do not know if/where we would move, but the fact they teach EN too is a big advantage for whichever school will follow.

we were a bit frightened by the catholic context, even though at maternelle it does not look to be an oppressive presence...and it seems they do so much that it looks like a very nice school.

thank you for your quick reply!

natation Mon 25-Feb-13 17:21:41

I have quite a few contacts whose children have or currently still are at Acacia. I'd say it's great for :
children who cannot find places in local maternelles because they are too late in applying;
children whose parents are not at all at ease with the thought (often wrong) that they will not be able to communicate with a local French school - with more than 250 parents on the contact list who are indeed able to communicate at local French schools, if you choose wisely, this need not be the case;
children in Belgium for a short period, such as 1-3 years, or unsure how long they'll be there;
children who'll be going off to European school for primaire and they will be doing English and French as first / second languages and especially if they currently have no exposure to English;
children whose parents can afford the fees!

If you don't speak English or French at home and are wishing for mother tongue fluency in French and English in a short period, I think this goal might be unrealistic. If you speak English but don't speak French at home and are wishing for mother tongue fluency in French as the main goal, I'd say look first at the local system. Out of the private schools offering French/English and if you're looking at a good fluency in French, then enrol at the lycée Francais ASAP.

Well I'd say overall, the contacts I know are quite happy with the school. They should be paying me commission!!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now