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Secondary state schools with numbers of french students ?

(24 Posts)
Jpsparis Fri 25-Oct-13 08:23:57

Hi, we're moving soon to London with 3 kids. We can't afford fees for publics international schools and moreover we are not sure this is the best way to "integrate".
A simple question : is there some particular state secondary schools with a lot of french students ?
Would someone like to share with us experience of such a kind ?

And.. Sorry for my poor english skill. I hope my childs will be better than me very quickly. But as you may know, French school aren't really good at teaching foreign languages.

OP’s posts: |
Needmoresleep Fri 25-Oct-13 08:50:31

You dont say what age your children are, or where you plan to live in London.

The French tend to congregate in West London. South Kensington, near the Lycee, is fiendishly expensive, and so there are quite a lot of French families further west, eg Fulham or Chiswick.

England, unlike France, has church run schools, and they are often seen as better than "ordinary" state schools. (I realise the risk of starting a very different debate.) There are at least a few very sought after Catholic schools (The Oratory - where Tony Blair sent his sons, and Cardinal Vaughan for boys and Sacred Heart for girls) where there will be plenty of French. A useful link is

Popular schools have clear and published admissions criteria often based on where you live. You need to ensure you meet them.

There are a huge number of French in London, fairly well scattered and so your children are unlikely to be the only French speakers in any school.

Bon chance

Bonsoir Fri 25-Oct-13 08:54:42

You need a website called Avenue des Ecoles which gives the lowdown about education in England for French speakers.

Jpsparis Fri 25-Oct-13 16:59:34

Thanks for your answers. Avenue des ecoles is a good resource but the website is great when you're looking for public or international schools with high fees...
I didn't find a lot information on the state schools.

My child should be 14, 12 and 9 years old when we move.

So I guess the best thing to do is to write to the admissions service of school in "French" area.

OP’s posts: |
bigTillyMint Fri 25-Oct-13 18:15:23

There are loads of French families in SE London.

Londonlady48 Fri 25-Oct-13 18:32:14

There are lots of different nationalities in London schools so coming from another country won't be a problem in itself, the majority of pupils in London schools come from outside the UK. 14 is not a good time to start school in England to be honest as Y10 is when pupils start GCSE courses and indeed some schools go for early entrance. Your DC will be at a big disadantage here unless fluent in English. You might be better off trying to get the 14 year old into the lycee (for which you will have to pay) and getting the other two into state schools. You don't say how long you are planning on staying in the UK?

You cannot apply to state schools until you have an English address. The 12 year old will be entering Y8 but there will be time to learn good English before starting GCSEs. SW London is a good area with decent state schools e.g Ashcroft and easy access to central london for the lycee. Hope this helps, you are very brave, good luck with the move.

casacastille Fri 25-Oct-13 18:41:44

My bilingual 14 year old DD is in a state secondary (not in London) with only 3 other native French speakers. The head of languages gives her different work to do during class French lessons, and takes the 3 of them for native-level work outside normal lesson time.

It's WAY better than the English teaching she received in school in France, which was a total waste of time. She HAD to do the same work as her non bilingual classmates and any attempt to engage her with harder work was vetoed by the headteacher hmm

What I'm saying is that wherever your DC go to school it is highly likely their French will be catered for far better than they would be in a state school in France.

Jpsparis Fri 25-Oct-13 18:59:25

You meant SW ? Or SE is also full of french kids ?

OP’s posts: |
Jpsparis Fri 25-Oct-13 19:06:56

Thanks for the advice LondonLady. It is a very important point you underligned.
I have to say That my 2 older kids have really no trouble at school in france. They are on the "top" of their classes as far as french criteria are used.
In a way, I dont care If they have to repeat one yeah at the same school level : they Will have learn english in a far better way than If they were the best of their school classes in Paris.

OP’s posts: |
BlackberrySeason Fri 25-Oct-13 19:35:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Fri 25-Oct-13 22:57:37

Schools in England do not as a rule allow pupils to repeat a year. If your child is doing badly at school, he or she will continue to do so in the year ahead and possibly do very badly in public examinations. Do not rely on your children being allowed to repeat a year because they are still catching up in English.

Ragusa Fri 25-Oct-13 23:12:56

I might be wrong....but I think the Lycee Francais in Kensington is much cheaper than a regular Independent or international school. Also, I think extra money is available from the French government, means-tested. I could be wrong about that, though.

Jpsparis Sat 26-Oct-13 09:40:58

Hi Bonsoir, this is really a point !
We have to think about it. What I know for sure it's that French child in English state school can subscribe to some special curses "at distance" with the CNED. So they re able to run also the French program and pass French exam too.
This is something the French ambassy sets up because of the lack of place in the French system, especially le lycee de gaulles and so on...
So Ragusa, everything you wrote is true but you still have no guarantee at all to get a place.

OP’s posts: |
Bonsoir Sat 26-Oct-13 11:43:39

Doing the CNED is in theory possible but the workload of doing the CNED simultaneously with GCSEs and A levels would be pretty awful. And you have to pay for the CNED and parents need to supervise/help.

Bonsoir Sat 26-Oct-13 11:45:58

I wouldn't despair if getting a place in secondary on the Lycée Charles de Gaulle. Plenty of my Parisuan friends manage it. It is IME much harder to get a place in a French primary in London thZn in secondary.

JenaiMorris Sat 26-Oct-13 14:15:27

My friend's French ds was allowed to start in Y7 rather than Y8 when they moved here. I don't think it's very common but it's certainly possible.

All London schools should have experience of integrating non-native speakers, it's such a mix of nationalities.

strictlyfan2013 Sat 26-Oct-13 19:45:04

You might want to look at the Anglo European school in Ingatestone, Essex which is to the east of London. They definitely cater for a mix of nationalities. It's a state high school taking11-18 year olds.

Jpsparis Sun 27-Oct-13 10:16:20

Thanks Stricltyfan I will have a look.
Bonsoir, you could be right for De Gaulles, but it's still around 8000 a year. Multiplicate by 3, we can't afford it.

We walked through the southfields underground area yesterday and it seems a nice place to leave.
There's also the southfields academy really close... So far so good this is our main lead.

OP’s posts: |
Jpsparis Sun 27-Oct-13 10:17:22

A nice place to live !! Sorry...

OP’s posts: |
frenchspeaker123 Tue 19-May-20 16:52:22

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Meredusoleil Tue 19-May-20 18:32:35

Perhaps you should consider Hampton Court House School? It is private but takes childen from the ages of 3-18 years! The main reason I suggest it is because a lot of the curriculum is actually taught in French eg. Geography and History taught by a French speaking teacher etc. Then all 3 of your kids could go to the same school 👌

NightScentedStocks Thu 21-May-20 19:24:44

The op's kids are about 21, 19 and 16 by now.

Meredusoleil Thu 21-May-20 20:16:38

Flipping heck! Hadn't realised the thread was about 7 years old 🙄

Bidibidiba Thu 21-May-20 21:52:55

Bonsoir, vous pouvez jeter un oeil a Bolingbroke academy a Clapham, une ecole publique tout a fait decente.
Mes enfants sont/etaient a l'ecole de Wix (partie du LFCG) en classe en bilingue et la majorite des enfants Anglais de la classe de CM2 de l'an passe sont maintenant a Bolingbroke. Il y a une asso indepdte "FRench between the common" qui propose des cours de CNED apres l'ecole, pour les bilingues il me semble. Clapham est tres sympa avec bp de francais (sans doute partiellement du fait de Wix). Pour le primaire, 2 ecoles primaires "Outstanding" dans le quartier: Honeywell school et Belleville Academy. D'autres ecoles tres bien a Balham (Ravenstone Primary School), un peu plus au sud.
Sinon, n'hesitez pas a vous renseigner pour le systeme des boursiers du Lycee FR ? bon courage!

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