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Moving again: France Western suburbs of Paris this time - schools help needed

(20 Posts)
blondecat Thu 03-Sep-15 19:54:08

We know the drill: You have settled and then it's time to be on the road again. And maybe you hope this time it will be for good. Maybe it will.

We will move to France, probably to the Western suburbs of Paris as soon as we can, and definitely by the spring. DH set out last Monday already and I am not good at the long distance relationship thing

DH is French so he is in his element.
I've just spent 2 years agonising over school choice for DD ( almost 5) and getting her into a fantastic school here. So we move.

While house-hunting I was advised to maybe choose a school first or at least know that there is a school I'd be happy with in the area. DH went to primary school in Africa and turned out OK, so he says it doesn't really matter (as long as DCs end up somewhere like Pasteur in Neuilly or Hoche in Versailles for lycee, of course). DD will start French primary next September and it will be a big change for her from half days and masses of outside play time in the kindergarten here. I probably worry too much

So far I am thinking off

Lycee Intl in St Germain (primary British section):
I am getting mixed messages on this - from it's the "only" school if you want quality to they put too much pressure on the kids
She would be behind the UK kids as she doesn't read yet

Institut Notre Dame St Germain (English)
I understand they do less English than the Lycee Int (3-5 hours a week as opposed to 2 half days and at lunchtime (?))

State primaires in Le Vesinet feeding into Lycee Int

Sections Intl de Sevres

EAB Monceau but I suspect it's too far to commute from Neuilly

Or local, probably Catholic, sous contrat schools in Neuilly, St Cloud, Versailles where there seem to be no English sections

Please post or PM me

Thank you in advance!

lifeisunjust Fri 04-Sep-15 20:24:49

Why do you have to have a school with English? I assume you speak it at home?
My 17 year old has just transferred to English from French only school, scored AAAB in AS levels and predicted A*A*AB for A2s. No need for English education before that.

Mistigri Tue 08-Sep-15 13:02:46

I would also consider a French school, if you have decent local state or sous-contrat schools.

BoboChic Fri 18-Sep-15 20:23:57

I wouldn't advise any school at all in Neuilly-sur-Seine and definitely not Lycee Pasteur, which is not at all in the same league as Lycee Hoche in Versailles. The school situation in Neuilly is tricky (far too long a story to post) but avoid, avoid, avoid.

Lycee International in Saint Germain is a lot more desirable for English and everything else than SIS.

If you want to live in Paris, EIB is the go-to school for Franco-British families, which it serves well.

guihailin Sat 19-Sep-15 09:20:22

If there is one French parent, I'd move to somewhere lovely (8eme near Monceau) and go for the local French primary and college. You can do all the pastoral stuff and more from being the Anglo parent, and during the huge holidays. Save the money (there is no private school worth it in Paris) for a trust fund, they will thank you when at uni. EIB etc is only reassuring for the mothers to get their social life at the school gate. The education is better at the state (public) schools. Catholic school for secondary would be nice for secondary if your family have friends there via your husband and you wish to also meet at Church, kermesse and in Corse in the Summer.

guihailin Sat 19-Sep-15 09:22:41

I would add though that you must get a thorough lesson from your French spouse and inlaws on the "code" for school. It is fabulous, I'm a big fan, but you have absolutely got to learn the code from well educated French people and teachers, cos otherwise you will be totally lost and hugely frustrated, maybe even scared, at what you can see compared with your own cultural experience of schooling.

BoboChic Sat 19-Sep-15 10:03:30

As someone who, unusually, has had DC go right through from PS to CM2 in a French state school and DC go right through from PS to CM2 at EIB, I am quite well placed to know that EIB Monceau is fantastic value for money and that DC come out of it way ahead of DC who come out of a state school.

guihailin Sat 19-Sep-15 10:47:41

If DC come out of EIB Monceau/Etoile way ahead of DC who come out of a state school then it would not be so far down national league tables, in 800th position or so.

BoboChic Sat 19-Sep-15 11:21:09

I am not talking about EIB Etoile (lycee) but about EIB Monceau (maternelle and primary). Very few pupils who complete EIB Monceau take their bac at EIB Etoile - it's not the same population at all.

BoboChic Sat 19-Sep-15 11:24:59

You may not realise (because the branding is a bit misleading) that there is no relationship beyond shareholders and MD between the two schools. The heads barely talk to one another.

guihailin Sat 19-Sep-15 13:06:14

Thanks for your reply Bohochic. In which schools do most former EIB Monceau primary students take their Bac?

BoboChic Sat 19-Sep-15 14:20:28

There is no "most". It is a school which by design has a very large proportion of international DC who move on to other countries. Some leave for Catholic, more traditional schools, and others for state schools - though not after the end of quatrieme, for technical reasons. Quite a lot of French families move on - it's very much the nature of the school to have a highly transient t population. Sedentary families are very much in the minority.

guihailin Sun 20-Sep-15 09:35:14

OP, if you are not yet a member, you can join Message, a parents' association in Paris, where you can search forums and find lots of knowhow from parents (and some teachers) at the schools you listed.

guihailin Sun 20-Sep-15 09:36:53

Bobochick, of the EIB Monceau children who stay in Paris what are the best colleges they move on to in your opinion?

BoboChic Sun 20-Sep-15 09:54:59

guihailin - "best" is a complicated notion in a heterogeneous context where different families have very different priorities. Schools DC regularly move on to: Fenelon-Sainte Marie, Balzac, Chaptal, EJM, ASP, Ronsard, La Tour, Carnot. But lots leave for other countries.

BoboChic Sun 20-Sep-15 10:03:12

I think it is really important to emphasise that EIB Monceau is catering to a very non-standard population. Its curriculum is fantastically enriched versus a Paris state primary. I cannot emphasise this enough.

BoboChic Sun 20-Sep-15 10:55:33

OP - I've reread your OP. If your DD is not currently in a French maternelle in GS but you want to send her to a French primary (CP) in September, I really do advise you to move her sharpish to a French school. It is notoriously difficult for DC to succeed in CP without having done maternelle.

BriocheDoree Thu 24-Sep-15 15:46:02

If you are in the Western suburbs there is Institut Notre Dame, Lycée International, Blanche de Castille in Le Chesnay and Louis Pasteur in La Celle Saint Cloud. They are all French schools with varying degrees of English. All of them should have sufficient English for children who are EMT. After that it depends if you want Catholic (Notre dame or Blanche de Castille) which can mean better facilities and more pastoral care (this is a huge generalisation, of course!) or public ( Lycée, Pasteur). Lycée can be a nightmare of organisation for younger kids (they might not get an integrated place and lower down the school you end up ferrying them to and from the lycée for several times a week, not good if you are working!). Otherwise for primary they are all good schools. One thing to remember, other than the Lycée they are essentially all French schools with a bit of English: the culture is entirely French. Not saying which mine are at (it's not the lycée!) but we're very happy for the level of English given that www speak it at home.

paap1975 Fri 04-Mar-16 10:43:53

If you can get your kids into the Lycée International, I'd go for it. It is a great school.

TwistInMySobriety Fri 04-Mar-16 13:38:20

DH went to primary school in Africa and turned out OK, so he says it doesn't really matter (as long as DCs end up somewhere like Pasteur in Neuilly or Hoche in Versailles for lycee, of course)

One wonders how the 99.9% of French pupils who don't go to either mostly manage to turn into productive citizens hmm

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