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International exchange program for primary schools

(7 Posts)
TiredSquirrel Mon 18-Jun-18 10:31:08

I am French and a long time lurker on MN. I discovered it when I was living in the UK and, as I was quite isolated, it was my source of information for a lot of British things.

After 3 years in the UK, we decided to relocate to France (mainly because of the uncertainties that appeared with Brexit) and we are now in Angers, Loire Valley.

We decided to register our 8 year old DD in a School that had a good program for languages, especially English because DD really loves English and considers herself “French-English” (After 4 months here, she still plays in English and speaks English naturally at home).

Among other things, her new school had an exchange program for pupils in Y5 (here it is “CM2”) with a school in the UK / South-East England. This program started in 1994 and every year French 10-11 year olds would spend a week in the UK and vice versa.

This year, the English coordinator decided to leave the school and the English School then decided to stop the exchange program she had been organising for the past 24 years.

Now my DD’s new school is looking for a new partner school for this exchange program, and it seems quite complicated to organise, and this is when I thought I would ask you, wise mumsnetters!

Does anyone have experience on how to find a primary school in the UK willing to participate in an exchange program with a French school?

OP’s posts: |
Mamabear12 Mon 18-Jun-18 11:26:35

Hmm, my dc school might be interested. Their school is a French/English Bilingual Primary school in London and affiliated with the Lycée. Therefore, the child would be speaking English and French perfecting, thus making the exchange very easy. How does it work exactly? Where do the children stay? Is it with the family that sends their child to the UK?

TiredSquirrel Thu 21-Jun-18 12:38:08

Thanks for replying!
The whole class spends 5 days in the UK and then the British pupils come here and spend 5 days.
I think they stay with the children's families in the evenings and visit the area during the day.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 21-Jun-18 12:49:31

I think you may struggle. With demands for host parents to be dbs checked or equivalent, the school dc attended which has a longstanding exchange trip in y6 (interestingly to your area) are staying as a group in hostels or activity centres in future, but still including meeting penfriends and spending time in school. We recently hosted a French exchange student through dd secondary school and I was dbs checked as a volunteer (no charge) through the school but fear it may prove an additional bureaucratic burden for many.

Takethemdown Thu 21-Jun-18 12:52:25

Ours did similar but they stayed in a hostel or bnb type situation so they didn't have the craziness of all the Dbs checking.

unintentionalthreadkiller Thu 21-Jun-18 14:20:48

I think Y5/Y6 is quite young tbh. It's common around here in y8.

TiredSquirrel Fri 22-Jun-18 13:38:41

Thank you all!
I did not think about DBS checking, but of course that is why it is complicated to organise these exchanges.
I'll reach out to the French coordinator and see if I can help.

OP’s posts: |

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