The French High School System

arts.jpgAs the project on the Holocaust which I mentioned in another post was accepted on Tuesday, the next step is now to prepare for next year.

Before I go on and blog about what I plan to do, I’ll try to explain a bit more about the French education system so that the rest makes sense.

I teach in a Lycée. Lycées provide a three-year course of further secondary education for children between the ages of 15 and 18. The three years are called respectively: seconde, première and terminale.

In France when the students are in lycée, they can’t choose all their subjects. They choose between a variety of specialized “sections” or streams. In our school they can choose between five:

– Humanities (which include languages)

– Economics and Social Sciences

– Sciences

– Management Sciences and Technologies

– Health and Social Sciences

Each section has mandatory subjects (thus whatever your choice you have to do French, maths, at least one language, etc), compulsory subjects that go with your choice (for instance physics if you have opted for the science section) and optional subjects (another foreign language if you wish).

However within the mandatory subjects, the levels are different and depend on the stream. Thus students who have chosen Humanities are expected to reach a higher level in English than those who do Health and Social Science. Logically enough the English exam in the 3rd year will also differ.

We intend to have two different classes involved in the project. The students will all be in première but some will do Humanities wheras the others will have opted for Sciences. They will all study English and a number of them will also do German as their second foreign language while the others will study Spanish.