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when do children start CP in France?

(16 Posts)
anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 13:48:08

Trying to time a move to France - does anyone know what age CP starts? We're not sure if they start CP the year they turn 6 (so they might start age 5) or the year they are already 6 (so might turn 7 that year). DS is 4.5 and has just started school in the UK and we're not sure if he would be due to start CP next Sept or the one after. Anyone any idea? (Assuming you were able to make sense of these ramblings)

sarah293 Tue 22-Sep-09 13:49:40

Message withdrawn

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 13:50:50

should make sense to people in France - start of primary school

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 13:52:07

just reread title of thread - sorry, not v clear.

castille Tue 22-Sep-09 13:55:46

CP = Cours Preparatoires = the 1st year of compulsory education in France.

Children start CP in the calendar year in which they turn 6. So assuming your DS was born in 2005, he will start CP in Sept 2011.

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 13:58:24

brilliant - thanks for that.

castille Tue 22-Sep-09 13:59:36

Oh and unlike in the UK, children are grouped according to calendar year of birth, not academic year.

Where are you moving to?


winnybella Tue 22-Sep-09 14:06:22

He'll start CP in 2011.

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 14:54:33

castille - hoping for Poitou-Charentes area but we're trying to organise things at the moment- won't be until next summer at the earliest. should have done this before having children I think! we want to get there before CP - so that's good news because if we manage next summer he'll go into maternelle. DD is 2 so could start maternelle next year too. are you in France?

castille Tue 22-Sep-09 14:59:43

Yes I am, in urban Brittany.

I would def recommend coming while you DC are young enough to be in maternelle if you can.

We moved back here (DH is French, DC were born here but we lived in the UK for a while) when the DDs were nearly 7 and nearly 5. DD1 went into CE1, DD2 into Grande Section. Although DD2 had a harder time adapting than DD1, she benefitted from huge advantages having a year in maternelle before the serious stuff.

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 15:04:00

this is exactly what we were thinking - we're really hoping for next year to make the transition easier.

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 15:06:09

how did you find the move?

castille Tue 22-Sep-09 15:10:28

Do you mean me personally?

If so then, umm, stressful for a bit, mostly on the children's behalf. But I had lived here for several years before and speak almost native-level French so that part wasn't a problem.

Do you speak French? Why are you moving? (if you don't mind me askingsmile)

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 15:16:44

yes (curious - sorry!), dh is french and I lived there for a while before we met. the kids understand but don't really speak it at the mo (they can under duress!).

we've been talking about going back for a long time and now seems the most sensible time (for the above reasons!)

anotherbadnight Tue 22-Sep-09 15:19:40

as in if we're going to do it, sooner is better than later for the children

castille Tue 22-Sep-09 16:10:15


Then it will be your job to keep up their English because their French will overtake their English faster than you can imagine...

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