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French vs. British Curriculum

(3 Posts)
Cherokee2013 Mon 04-Dec-17 12:35:33


I have read a thread on this topic already on mumsnet but it was dates 2011 so I wanted to get more recent views!

We are considering whether DS should go into the French system or British curriculum. We live in Dubai and have many options. I went to French school and did a baccalaureate and although I found schooling hard, it was good, well-rounded education. I went to University in the UK, which was a great fit for me.

I have read here that French school is more strict, children think for themselves less and generally don't enjoy school. I know the British system is tough for little ones to begin with but eases up towards the end of school where you specialise.

Does anyone know if French education is moving away from this or is it still the same? What would your recommendations be? And is it possible to start in French school and move into the British curriculum later?

Thank you in advance!

fidgettt Wed 06-Dec-17 01:58:43

This is probably very little use to you OP, but from what I hear about French schools in France & London, they do many things later, the curriculum is very rigid, no differentiation, SEN are ignored, lots of emphasis on handwriting.

Not sure how much that applies to a French school in Dubai though?

I imagine you could spend quite a few years on one system and it still being fine to switch to the other. Might get harder after 13+ sort of age though.

Needmoresleep Thu 07-Dec-17 12:12:45

Lots in London move from French to British system. I only know of one boy who did the reverse when he moved to France in his teens and he was forced to repeat years. Natural breaks are at the start of Yr 9 and for sixth form. From observation kids enjoy the British system more, though some French would claim that their system is more rigorous and thus superior. The final two years seem particularly tough.

The big advantage of the French system is that the same thing is taught at the same time across the world, making it easier for people with mobile careers. However it is worth warning that the Lycee CDG in London can be quite sniffy about accepting non French, as a friend found out when her 17 year old who had been in France since the age of two tried to get a place. (Apparently Wembley would suit him better as there were more Brits, as if any of the boy's French peers would even be able to spot that he was not French.)

It is also worth noting that the French school year starts on 1 January, and that kids can be accelerated or held back, which can lead to problems if you then want to transfer back to a British state school which goes by chronological age. London private schools tend not to have a problem, nor in fact do London Universities. DD was a bit surprised to discover when she was starting sixth form that her autumn born French friend was about to start University, because her birthday put her in the year above and then she had been accelerated at some point during her school career.

British schools tend to offer a lot more in terms of sport, music etc, so French parents have find alternative out of school provision, not easy given the long school days. I understand that CDG has no outside space at all.

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