Finding a school for my 13 year old

hello everyone,

i am south african and am considering moving to france this year. I am looking to find a school for my daughter. she is 13, and speaks english and german.

she has just done one year of french at school and I fear it will be difficult to adjust to an all french school.

as i won't be able to afford an international school it seems that the only options are public schools or a public school with an international section.

are there some happy stories about there about children this age actually managing in these circumstances? Could you provide me with any information about public schools with international sections in the languedoc rousillon area? beziers or Perpignan?

I would be happy for the help.

that's terrific. I will definitely stay in touch Janet, thanks for all your help. It is very reassuring.

At Capestang Laura is the only English girl, (there is a girl with English parents in the year below but she has been in France since she was 3 so no language problems for her) There is also a Spanish girl but her French is better than Laura's. In Quarante there are some Americans and some Spanish and the English girl so in a school of only 280 ish pupils 5 internationals in Capestang much bigger school but only 2 internationals. If we had known we may of tried to get Laura into Quarante but as she is in now she is staying. It is difficult for her to make friends but she has a few and has had a friend for a sleep over and been to her home for a sleepover. The extra help at Capestang has been given by the English teacher. I think the French teacher is the one with the teaching French as a foreign language skills but she is on maternity leave so the English teacher has offered to help thankfully. I think 12/13 is a difficult age for girls at the best of times but Laura is coping well. When you get to Cruzy do get in touch I am sure Laura would be happy to help your daughter and show her the ropes so to speak. Also in France they often make children redo years at school and we were surprised they did not do this with Laura but I think she is managing and keeping up with the others reasonably well. Good Luck. (PS I think from Cruzy you usually go to Quarante college. Apparently lots of the teachers there speak English and the head is very helpful.)

thank Janet, that is encouraging to know :) I was so worried. Is there any flexibility in transferring to other schools if you believe another school would be more helpful? Quarante is very close to where we will live initially (in Cruzy)

is the extra help provided by the school? Or is it something you have to obtain privately? My daughter is also an only child - has Laura been able to make friends? how have the local children taken to her. Are there quite a few international students at the school?

We arrived here in Capestang (just west of Beziers)in July and my daughter is 12 (13 in April) so she did 3 weeks of school before the break for summer in 6eme and then went back into 5eme this term. Her French was very minimal and she is managing. She has been assessed and is getting some extra help but she is surviving and her report shows she is above average in all bar 3 lessons from 12. So can't be too bad. (Parents evening on Tuesday will know more then). I have to say i am very proud of her she manages well despite being an only child and very shy. She says she finds playtime harder than lessons as she can't sit and chat like the other girls do. Laura is at the local College and I have to say they have been helpful. A friends daughter goes to Quarante college ad is finding as it is smaller they seem to help more. I guess it is just try it and see. The local education bods sent someone to assess Laura to see what extra help she was going to need and said emersion is the best method lots of French children to play and join clubs etc. Hope this helps.