Live in France? Join us for a gentil thread

(498 Posts)
TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 19:39:59

So how about a lovely supportive, information sharing thread for us mumsnetters living in France?
I've been here for two years, this is my second time living here so 4 years in total.
I have my moans about France, the paperwork, the driving but other than that I love it smile

Bonsoir Tue 01-Apr-14 17:00:26

The Paris bilingual collèges all have entrance exams for their English sections, yes - of varying degrees of difficulty. There are also often entrance exams for the French bit too (if the schools are private sous contrat).

LillianGish Tue 01-Apr-14 16:39:59

My dcs had to sit an English test for their school (which all my French friends thought was hilarious!). Obviously the school just assumed their French was up to it by the fact that they were already in the French system. It was quite a lengthy test - comprehension, essay, oral presentation and interview - but not particularly difficult as they are English.

castlesintheair Tue 01-Apr-14 16:29:03

I will do that I think after the chat with current school this week. Thank you Bonsoir, you are always so helpful.

LillianGish/Bonsoir, do you have to sit an entrance exam for the Paris schools?

LillianGish Tue 01-Apr-14 14:54:41

Thanks so much for the advice thanks. Very happy about it. Will join this thread in preparation for my return in August!

Bonsoir Tue 01-Apr-14 14:47:35

LillianGish - brilliant news! And well done - Massillon is notoriously hard to get into! I will undoubtedly be requesting feedback in due course wink

Bonsoir Tue 01-Apr-14 14:46:38

I see what you mean. It isn't a proper section internationale but rather a French school with reinforced English. But I would have thought that it would be worth talking to the head of English there to see what she things about your DS' education - she's bound to be knowledgeable about options in your region.

LillianGish Tue 01-Apr-14 14:42:28

Sorry for hijack. Just wanted to let Bonsoir that both my dcs got places in bilingual section at Ecole Massillon. Thanks for the advice to get my skates on back in September/October otherwise would probably be scrabbling around now.

castlesintheair Tue 01-Apr-14 14:36:03

Thanks Bonsoir. It's called St Charles in Orleans. I couldn't find much out from it's website but I was under the impression it was for children wanting to learn English rather than the other way around? If some lessons had the option to be in English especially the technical ones like SVT and techno that would be amazing. Just to get a bit of support would be nice.

Bonsoir Tue 01-Apr-14 14:21:00

castlesintheair - most French bilingual collèges and/or lycées are schools that offer the option internationale of the French bac and have extra English (or whatever other language they offer bilingually) lessons and also history in English. Which is your nearest bilingual school?

castlesintheair Tue 01-Apr-14 11:31:53

Can anyone please explain to me what a bilingual school actually is/involves?! There is one 40 minutes from us and it would be a complete pita logistically but I'm wondering if it might be a better option for DS? He's in 6eme in an all french college privee (can't find accents on my kindle!) and is happy but not being supported at all with french/General curriculum differences. This was meant to happen of course but now they don't have the resources blah blah. DH is meeting his form teacher this week (for 5 minutes ha ha!!) but I am weighing up our options. Thanks to anyone who can advise on anything and if bilingual sounds preferable for my DS.

scripsi Sun 30-Mar-14 15:40:22

thanks! very very kind of you - will do so! I have been tearing my hair out over this for the last two weeks!

ImpOfDarkness Sun 30-Mar-14 12:13:44

Youu can pm me if you like.

scripsi Sat 29-Mar-14 19:42:22

hello! I am not living in France (yet), but I am just finishing a much delayed post grad dissertation (have been off mn for a couple of months due to bereavement but I am a regular) and I am trying to get the gist of an article written in French (it is about the person my dissertation is on) I have done a kind of scratch translation on it but some of the turns of phrase I really don't understand and could change the meaning entirely. Would anyone be able to endure me messaging bits of phrases over? Really sorry to ask this but I am in a very tight spot.

NoelMamereGaelMonfils Tue 04-Feb-14 18:43:49

Ok thanks brioche. Turns out one of my new colleagues is an organiser and it looks like it'll be helpful for exposing DS to English so I'll give it a whirl.

BriocheDoree Tue 04-Feb-14 16:49:46
LifeisFuckingGreat Tue 04-Feb-14 08:05:33

What is this message? Sounds useful

BriocheDoree Mon 03-Feb-14 18:43:53

NoelMamereGaelMonfils, I rarely go to Message meetings but I have found it an invaluable resource on life in France. My DH is English and we both speak fluent French but it has been great for negotiating all of the French paperwork, particularly the unexpected things that life throws at you from time to time! It has also been very useful for recommending plumbers, buying second hand baby stuff, discussing life in France...I even got a job off message in the past.

Superspudable Fri 31-Jan-14 12:39:19

Sent you a message america about a recommended graphotherapeute in Paris

NoelMamereGaelMonfils Fri 31-Jan-14 07:47:45

Would you recommend joining Message brioche? I've been thinking about it now I have a little boy (three months), but they don't seem to have anyone local to me in my corner of the 93. BTW I'm a namechanger from upthread, I was ImpOfDarkness.

america Thu 30-Jan-14 20:55:32

Thank you Bonsoir and BriocheDoree. He is pretty tired in the evenings and doing normal homework takes already ages so not sure how to handle extra tutoring. He was already referred to a teacher who specializes in children speaking little or no French, whatever that means. Not sure if he will work on cursive though or just the language. I will ask the head teacher, she told me that DS is finding writing very hard. I really want to help him everyway I can.

BriocheDoree Mon 27-Jan-14 21:22:41

America, I was also going to suggest a graphotherapeute...my son also has to see one (been in the French system all along but has problems with handwriting). Have you considered joining message www.messageparis.org as that might help you to meet other English speakers locally: there are bound to be other kids your son's age nearby. My son is the same age but we are further out in the suburbs. It will be difficult for him. He WILL catch up, as Bonsoir says, but he might have a tough time. Is he in a French public school or one with a bilingual section?

Bonsoir Mon 27-Jan-14 14:06:45

america - you need to employ a graphothérapeute to teach your DS to write in cursive as this is taught in Grande Section and the first few weeks of CP and he needs to catch up fast. Ask your DS' class teacher if she can recommend someone - lots of DC need graphothérapie even when they have been in the French system. He will basically need to do a lot of drilling. I've seen other DC arrive mid-way through CP from England and they do catch up.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 26-Jan-14 10:06:23

america that sounds tough, for your son and you. Still it's very early days and slowly he will find his feet. Are you in Paris permenantly? Are there any English speaking groups you can join, like on Facebook. We have an English speaking kids group here (too far, we are down south) I wonder if there might be something like that around your way?

castlesintheair Sat 25-Jan-14 22:35:17

They should be able to provide soutien scolaire (extra lessons) or enseignante ASH (SEN teacher for language difficulties if he is in a private school). I imagine in Paris they are very used to dealing with expat children like your son. I feel guilty some days for what my DCs are going through too (been in school here since September) but they seem happy, mostly.

america Sat 25-Jan-14 22:20:20

Marking the place. I moved to Paris a couple of weeks ago and would appreciate any advice on how to help 6YO DS settling in his new school. We moved from a completely different schooling system and he only writes in capital letters which is turning into a major issue here and doesn't speak French. He panics when other children try to talk to him and runs away if possible. I am a single mum and work FT so cannot collect him from the school and feel v. Guilty for putting him through this. The head teacher mentioned a special teacher but I am waiting for more information on this. There is a very noisy party on the flat accross the yard giving me an opportunity to dwell on my worries rather than getting some much needed sleep. I hope things will look brighter tomorrow.

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