College with European Section

Hi, I am trying to find information out about these, does anyone have a child at one of these schools and would let me know the pros and cons please?

To compensate the lack of German at my daughters' collège, one of my colleagues who teaches German came to my house a couple of times during the last holidays for lessons (I paid her with cheques emploi service /CESU). It worked really well & they loved the approach; simple conversation in a mix of French & German so they heard correct prononciation plus got the opportunity to repeat it; she wrote every phrase down as she went so they had a visual backup too.Conjugaison etc will come later, but it was excellent to get them up & running & give them language they can use. They want her to come back!! Valérie we love you!

Véro, thanks. We have until next year, fortunately. I think Italian would be a lost cause given the fact that Daryl will probably spend most of next summer vacation in Ticino and her aunt is a teacher... As with her very correct English, it is already working its way through without dialect. Oooof! I am giving her a German head start but it is a good idea to do grammar especially in an academic setting, which she has taken in, ditto having seen how close Italian and Spanish are, with two parents who used to use it as the 'secret' language she is taking it in but neither of us has properly studied it, so good for school.

It is why we gave an international school fair consideration. It is a matter of trying to find a school that will satisfy her essentially. Henri IV is only a consideration because her sister will be in the ULIS there as of this autumn, otherwise.

As for between Spanish and European, I would say the former. It is a gut feeling, having done classics and having my 'O' level Latin, Greek and French (plus German), etc, but having failed 'O' level English four times and never getting it myself. I had a lot of explaining to do with the Cantab people back then!

Brian, there is now only one collège in Bergerac offering German (in a classe bilangue with English: Eugène Leroy) and they don't have the option of doing another modern language in 4ème - but they can do Latin. Official EN policy is that if a child does a language other than English as LV1 they HAVE to do Eng as LV2 even if they are a native speaker - there are no exceptions. I have been up against this with all 4 of my daughters at collège & will be up against it again with no.5 who's going in Sept. They can do Italian (& only Italian) as LV3 at the Lycée in Bergerac which offers Eng German & Spanish also Latin but no Greek. (You can do Greek at Coll Henri IV). Hope this is some use to you... Sorry Tracy, hijacked a bit there - I teach 2 4èmes at the moment, one a Spanish option Européenne one (they are also classicists) and the other optionless. Guess which is better at English?

Tracy, the problem is twofold. Firstly they are are a long way apart, we would either have to go to Bordeaux or the other side of Perigueux which means a long journey either way or boarding, where it is offered. The other is the competition for places. We know French parents who want their children to have the international school education so that they are advantaged with languages, etc, that a regular college usually does not offer. One set of parents, although separated, agree entirely on this. Both are teachers; the ex-wife is a language teacher at a regular local college, she is especially enthusiastic. The other parents are also teachers or professionals who have worked or studied abroad. Multiply the number of 'professionals' who think that way and the small number of places and you will see how stiff competition is.

Our younger daughter has a year until she has to have a college place. Her friends will go to the local not-so-great college although a few will go to schools with international or European sections and perhaps a couple to private colleges. We are gradually working on getting our daughter to consider going to one of the Bergerac colleges rather than the less inspiring local one. Also, she wants to do German and Spanish since she will have to do French anyway and English she can continue under her own steam. Even that narrows the field down. It is not easy, we thought about but have now discounted international schools because she will not want to board and we cannot afford it realistically anyway. Best of luck looking though.

Hi Tracy, they'r usually smaller classes of brighter kids but don't expect a wonderfull language level from the teacher, as is soo often the case with mfl in France. I''ve come across them when teaching in Aurillac, they exiqt in Decazeville where we used to live and in most lycée as far as I'm aware, not so sure at collège level (always avoided teaching at that level!) I'd go for it if you want more stimulation, perhaps not if you simply want your kids to "go with the flow" and not be put through what could be some difficult changes - friends etc. ;-)

My OH has already aired the idea of sending our kids back up the road to her old collège in the Aveyron, the bus leaves each morning from outside our shop...! For those of us here who have moved countries etc. it seems just sooo parochial that she wants the kids to go to her old school, from where she/we/all the family are from, you can imagine the scene when there were only aveyronnais in our shop slagging off the tarnais and the different attitudes this side of the "border"... :-O

Hi Nola, we live in Burgundy so I doubt anyone would know about these, was really wondering what advantages they give the kids, are they worth it and so on. My children are currently at the local Catholic and I have enquired at the nearest college and it seems they give priority to the children who have attended their own primary school (naturally) so am considering whether to move my kids out of their current school (for CM1 & CE1 in Sept)so they get first dabs at the college.

It will mean some serious changes - eg they have been at the same school since TPS and it will mean longer school hours, which are already long so I want to be sure we are doing the right thing in the long term. My eldest is very bright and needs the stimulation I hope a european sector would bring, rather than the average education in the local school, which I have no complaints about just think she could do better.

There are some good ones in Bordeaux - state and private. State, I'd look at Cheverus and private either St Genes or L'Assomption (St Genes is nigh on impossible to get into, or it was....). There are others, if you're interested. One of my daughters went to Cheverus.