WPS or Uccle / Messidor or Joli-Bois?

(16 Posts)
nainamadan75 Mon 12-Jun-17 06:32:11

We are very very late in the game because we just found out we are moving.
We applied to a lot of schools and got into the following:
St Job
Which one do you recommend? I want my kids to be in an international environment. They both speak fluent french and english! One would be for maternelle 3 and the other primaire 2!
Location (wether uccle or WSP) is not an issue for us.
Thank you for your feedback.

OP’s posts: |
cannotseeanend Mon 12-Jun-17 19:08:38

The area of Uccle where Messidor and Lycee Francais are located, in relation** to the environments of other areas of Brussels, is not very international. It is heavily dominated by French French. Compared of course to say a small town elsewhere in Belgium, it has a far higher percentage of non Belgians, but compared to other areas, French dominate and make up a disproportionate percentage of non Belgians. Furthermore, there are few opportunities for after school activities in English. It is the worst area of south - east Brussels (traditional higher income international family territory). The most English oriented of the areas with high numbers of well off international families are Woluwe-St-Pierre, Woluwe-St-Lambert, Etterbeek, Auderghem and just outside Brussels Kraainem and Wezembeek.
You want an international environment so go for Joli-Bois, but there will be other schools nearby with places such as ecole communale de Stockel, Jean 23 Woluwe and Parmentier in WSP alone - don't believe the spiel you often get on the phone that there are no places, it often takes several phone calls to the same school. WSP is near many after school activities in English.
Rugby - VUB Brussels Celtics
Ballet - Danz Royal many locations in area
Football - Wezembeek Wanderers and Brussels Sports at ISB
Scouts and Guides
Children's Choir and Ding Dong
Art with Art-en-Ciel and Green Bush
Musical Theatre Company
Softball, lacrosse - Brussels Sports at ISB
I'll stop there. Loads more. All very close to Joli-Bois.

NONE of these activities is anywhere near Uccle.

nainamadan75 Mon 12-Jun-17 19:47:37

Thank you. This honestly helps a lot!!!!
Why are so many people not for Joli-Bois? Is it that bad?

OP’s posts: |
cannotseeanend Mon 12-Jun-17 20:49:10

I've never heard anyone describe Joli-Bois primaire as a bad school, certainly not Joli-Bois maternelle. They are 2 separate schools and your children would be at both so be aware of that.

Firstly both Joli-Bois schools have surplus classroom space, very unusual in Brussels, the primaire has 16 main classrooms plus about another 4 in which could be used in the loft floor, but in fact only 13 classrooms are used by classes - 2 for 5 primaire years and 3 for I think P2 or P3. It means it always has spaces. Joli-Bois maternelle has less space but still it always has space.

Secondly and unfortunately for Joli-Bois, the nearest other schools are Mater Dei, Sacre-Coeur de Stockel and ecole communale de Stockel and those 3 schools are chocka block full by September. EC de Stockel is the "least" popular and has just expanded from 2 classes per year to 3 but still it's better situated geographically for parents commuting to work by metro and better situated for French children who live in Tervuren and Zaventem where there are no French schools. It's a simple matter of geography that 3 other very excellent schools are nearby so they attract ambitious parents.

I think it's true to say that the 2 Stockel schools especially are popular with English mother tongue parents so a disproportionate number there, count on around 10%, then another 10% of children who have access to English as a second language, then you have a substantial proportion of the Belgian parents who can speak English quite well too. Don't believe the cliché that French speakers are worse at speaking English in Belgium, definitely not the case in WSP and Stockel area. There are less English speakers at Joli-Bois but they are still there and you can expect more than at the 2 Uccle schools you mentioned.

Really Joli-Bois is ok. It's no worse than the 2 Uccle schools. It's "richer" socio-economically than both of the Uccle schools at 20/20 score, St Job is 14/20 and Messidor is 13/20. That is based on 2011 scores which you can find if you search hard enough on the internet - it's a raw score showing how wealthy the average child is who attends the school. Don't read too much into these socio-economic scores but if you find a school unusually high or low in an area, it can often be quite telling, such as one school in WSL which is way way lower than all others. A high score of 20 means that the children are socio-econically at the richer end however of society. Academic results in Belgium do tend to be a reflection of how well off your parents are.

Don't run away from Joli-Bois, just know the competition nearby is rather popular.

nainamadan75 Mon 12-Jun-17 21:04:28

Thank you Thank you THANK YOU. This helps a lot;-) Just made me feel less scared about moving. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Longtime Mon 12-Jun-17 21:27:08

Where are you moving from Naina?

nainamadan75 Mon 12-Jun-17 21:43:25

Amsterdam;-) My husband is French and I am Dutch/Indian. I just really want my kids to be in an international environment so this type of information, in such length, REALLY helps;-) So thank you again.

OP’s posts: |


Longtime Mon 12-Jun-17 22:44:11

We have a Benelux mn Facebook group if you're interested in joining. Feel free to pm me

nainamadan75 Tue 13-Jun-17 09:07:50

I'll PM you;) as I would love to
Do you know of this school ? l'école Claire Joie ? Is it international? Good? We just got accepted.

So now we have space st Joli - Bois and this school. Which one do u recommend?

OP’s posts: |
cannotseeanend Tue 13-Jun-17 12:11:31

Ecole Claire-Joie V Ecole Joli-Bois.

I know little about the former, either fewer Anglophones there or Anglophones are less vocal.

The area around Ecole Claire-Joie is very urban and I do love Etterbeek, the area around Joli-Bois is really suburban and not far to the forest. Both great areas but very different and both are great for kids too.

If you are coming to Brussels before starting school, I'd hang on to those school places in Etterbeek and WSP but I'd let go the Uccle ones. Then you can eventually choose on area you prefer.

I have nothing against Uccle but it's pants to get to on public transport due to no metro and all the trams runs on the streets too. It's also as French language as you can get, not great for those with Dutch background. It also means any activities in English are further away to reach. It's also a bit more expensive for housing.

nainamadan75 Tue 13-Jun-17 12:23:46

again thank you;-) thank you thank you
am coming in july to get a feel.. i really loved WSP when i went for a visit but my husband prefers the school messidor. lets see.
thanks again;-)

OP’s posts: |
cannotseeanend Tue 13-Jun-17 12:47:41

Never ever let a man choose either a school or a home to live in.

nainamadan75 Tue 13-Jun-17 13:01:47

Hence it's going to be an interesting "battle" which I intent to win;-)

OP’s posts: |
Longtime Wed 14-Jun-17 08:42:40

I agree with cannot about letting your dh choose the school/area to live in as it's likely you will be the one organising activities and running the children around.

Feel free to pm me as others who haven't seen this post may have advice. That said, cannot isnour schools expert and you will not get better advice from anyone else.

nainamadan75 Wed 14-Jun-17 09:34:40

Longtime I'm trying to see how to PM... not sure how 😂

OP’s posts: |
Longtime Wed 14-Jun-17 21:08:29

On the blue bar where my name appears on the LHS, on the RHS it says "Add message/Report/Message poster". You just need to click on message poster

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