Any BSP parents here that can chat to me about the school? Went to see it today. Please PM me if you would prefer. Thanks!
British School of Prague? Paris? BSP School Brunei?
Thanks, sorry I know someone who used to work in BSPrague and know several people who have been to BSP Brunei, but not paris, sorry
Mine didn't go there, but I had several friends whose kids did. While they were happy with it while they were there, when the kids (aged 11+) went back to UK, they were distinctly mediocre academically, compared with their peers, and none achieved a reasonable standard of French. Of course, they may have been a spectacularly thick bunch to start with .
It's a fabulous school, no question of that, but I know of three families who have come back into the UK system (two into private sector, one into state, all non-selective) who have not been happy with how their children compared with their peers in the UK. None of the kids went into the top French group (which you would kind of expect, having been living in the country and having more French tuition than you would get in the UK. All were disappointed with this.
They were consistently sold the line (so they told me) that when they went back to the UK, their children would be at, or near the top, of their peer group level, and they weren't. A close friend of mine had concerns about how little homework her daughter was getting, and her DD has certainly struggled with the amount of extra homework expected of her at her new school. None of these kids were older than 14 when they left BSP, so it may well be that the school ratchets up the homework and standards as the kids get older. I think their results are fine, so this may well be the case, but these stories played a part in the decision not to send mine there.
Just had a look at the GCSE and A level results, and they look pretty good, and on a par with DD2's non-selective private school.
I know families who have moved their DC from Marymount to BSP and been hugely relieved at the higher academic standards at BSP.
Thanks for the insights. The (lovely) primary school reminded me very much of my DCs' state primary school back in London, albeit on steroids! I can't get away from that thought and for that price I want it to be perfect and I'm not sure it is, especially the secondary school.
Well, to be fair, Marymount only goes up to age 14.
Have you looked at ISP and ASP? How long are you going to be in Paris? We were there for part of primary and a chunk of secondary. I think if you are only there for primary, any of the schools would be fine.
A very, very close friend of mine has two DCs at Marymount. She has very good reasons for choosing it and her DH is on the board but neither one of them would claim that it has high academic standards - its strengths lie elsewhere.
Have you completely given up on French schools, castles?
MrsS we haven't looked at any other schools yet in Paris. I will have one going into primary and two secondary hence the conundrum. I agree most places are fine for primary, its trickier at secondary.
Bonsoir, we have pretty much given up on French schools as it's likely we will be back in UK in 2/3 years anyway and with one in 5eme and one in CM2 already it will not be a good age for them to reintegrate into the English curriculum. BSP felt like a possible solution but we are just not totally excited about it, at that price.
Mine went to ASP. The younger (who was 12) slotted back into the UK system with no difficulty at all, and is way ahead of her peers in most subjects (particularly French), according to her teachers, and predicted a string of A* at GCSE. This surprised me as most people gave me gloom and doom over the American system and told me she would be at least one year, if not two, behind. She is in the top group for everything and wasn't in the top group for anything at ASP!
DD1 was a little trickier, as she was older (15). We thought/were told it would be difficult, if not impossible, for her to go back into the UK system, so have kept her in the international system (at VAST expense!). She is more than holding her own academically, and is doing her IB French a year early - her French teacher said that she is virtually bilingual and that her written French is better than the Francophone students. (We were, on the whole, very pleased with the standard of French teaching at ASP, although some of the French teachers were not particularly pleasant...)
I think if they are in a different system and transferring to the UK, there comes a cut off point where they will struggle, which in my opinion, is about 14/15 - when some kids will already have taken some GCSEs and all will be embarking on their GCSE courses.
I know several DC who have moved from EIB to ASP and found the transition dead easy. On the basis of MrsS's post, moving from EIB to an English school shouldn't be too hard up until 13 or so. The feedback I get from families who have moved on from EIB up until 12/13 is that the DC do fine in Anglo schools. Have you looked at Kingsworth?
Having asked around the people I know, they are all very happy with the school...but they also agreed that if they were paying full price they would think twice! (Either company is paying or they have staff discount). One person had kids in primary and secondary and felt primary is better: felt her child was not being pushed in secondary. One absolutely loves it but child is in Y7 and has just moved from French system so is mainly enjoying all the extra curricular and the broader curriculum. As mrsS says results at GCSE and A level are good which, considering the intake (2/3 are not EMT, for starters) means they must be getting something right.
This is my concern MrsS- it will be much harder for my now nearly 13 year old to slot back into UK system aged 15 if we don't move him into it now. Maybe we should look at ASP though I bet it's just as expensive?!
Brioche, that is exactly what we think - if we weren't paying for it ourselves x3 we probably wouldn't think twice about BSP! My 12 year old who is pretty bright is also quite lazy and really needs to be pushed and I got a strong sense he wouldn't be at BSP.
My other bugbear, that I forgot to mention before, is I really don't want to live out in the 'burbs and travelling from central Paris every day will add 2 hours to their day. Gah!
Thanks for the insights everyone. Bonsoir, I have never heard of Kingsworth. Can you tell me anything about it? Thanks.
ASP is indeed as expensive! I have to say that my two were pushed pretty hard at ASP - DD2 is very lazy indeed, and soon pulled her socks up when she found out that not doing homework = no break or lunchtime until it was done.
I think re swapping systems, there is no problem until the school year aged 13/14 (maximum) after that it is difficult. If it goes beyond that, I think you have to wait to 16+ to move (post GCSE) which can cause problems in itself if they have no GCSE equivalent qualifications (MYP not a problem - they can go on and do A levels after this).
Is Kingsworth new?
Kingsworth is a new school in the 16th arrondissement that does GCSE and A-levels. I went to an open day in May, before it had opened. Obviously it's an unknown quantity but I liked the people I met (owner and teachers) a lot more than I had anticipated. The idea is that it is cheaper than ASP/ISP/Marymount/BSP - more in line with EIBVH, but better quality than EIBVH. Obviously limited facilities.
IMHO you can consider living in Central Paris (near Monceau) and send your CM2 to local Primary (free) or EAB Monceau, and consider UK boarding for your Secondary DC. There are no excellent international/bilingual schools in Paris.
If you want to get into a good UK private secondary school it is necessary (not just desirable) to send your DC to a bilingual primary school. Both EIB Monceau and EJM (formerly EABJM) have upped their game very significantly and are working at the former NC level 5/6 by CM2 with their most able and fluent English speaking pupils in English language/literature. But you still need to supplement maths - French NC maths barely grazes Level 4 by the end of CM2 (though consolidation is great).
Castles, if your kids are reasonably bright, and they go to one of the international schools in Paris, I am sure they will have no difficulty transferring back to the UK school of your and their choice. We picked a non-selective (although there is an entrance exam) for DD2, as we thought it was the right fit for her, but I am confident that she could have passed the entrance exam to go anywhere. All of the international schools in Paris get kids into the top universities - a fair number from all of them go to Ivy League/RG unis. And given that these are not selective schools, with a good number of children who have English as a second (or third or fourth) language, I think that's pretty good going.
I agree with MrsSchadenfreude. The important thing, as far as returning to the UK to an English school with ease, is for DC to have done at least part of their schooling in English. Both Paris schools and international schools have their fair share of bright children and demanding teachers to keep their brains active and progressing.
Thanks everyone. I agree with everything you say MrsS and Bonsoir, it's just the cost of BSP I'm having a problem with. And the location and really wanting to go back to London!
If you want to go back to the UK in the next couple of years but don't want to spend €€€ on fees, EIB, EJM, Balzac and Sèvres will all do the job.
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