The Cité Scolaire Internationale is a French state school for children aged 6 to 18 years (primary school 6-11; college/miidle school 11-15; lycée/high school 15-18). There is no nursery school or kindergarten. French state education is free and both text and exercise books are provided in the primary school. There are nine language sections in the school – English, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic. The school year begins in September and finishes the first week of July with vacations, on average, every 7 weeks. Classes are held from Monday through Friday. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are full school days. Wednesday and Friday are half days with optional extra-curricular activities on Friday afternoons. The 24-hour week is organised so that each child has 18 hours in French and 6 hours in the section language. The average number of children in the primary school is 510. There are 19 French classes with an average of 26 pupils in each.
The school programme
The international primary school welcomes children from CP (Year 2; Grade 1 – NB children who are 6 years old before December 31st of the year of entry) to CM2 (Year 6; Grade 5). During the 18 hours in the French classes, the children follow a programme based on the established French national curriculum, adapted to allow for the reduced number of hours. Sport is part of the curriculum (the CPs and CE1s - Years 2/3; Grades 1/2 - attend sessions at a swimming pool). For the remaining 6 hours each week, children have lessons taught in the language of their section by native language teachers. There are no boarding facilities at the school and the children do not wear a uniform. Children who do not speak French or whose level is insufficient to follow the French national programme, attend ‘special’ French classes (Français Langue Seconde - French as a second language – FLS). These groups are small. The teaching team, led by the head teacher Mr. Pascal Fino, is made up of 21 French teachers, 2 of whom are FLS teachers, and 22 foreign teachers. The team is supported by two administrative assistants and a library assistant.
The international sections
There are 9 sections: Anglophone, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic. Each section has a parent association (APESA, APEG, APESE, APESI, APESJ, APESP, APESLP, APESC, APESAR). The lessons in the sections are held in classrooms set aside for each language, by professional teachers whose mother tongue is that of the section.
The Anglophone and Japanese sections are fee-paying. A charge is made for sitting the entrance test. Contact the appropriate Section office for details or consult the APESA website: www.csianglo.org
Conditions for Admission
One important objective of the school is to help children arriving from abroad to integrate into the French education system, yet at the same time allowing them to maintain their own cultural identity. French children returning from an extended stay in a non-French speaking school environment are also given the opportunity of developing the skills they have acquired in their second language. All children take an entrance test to assess their level in the language (note: there is an entrance fee in the Anglophone and Japanese Sections). There are both oral and written parts to the test in the section language (CP; Year 2; Grade 1 - oral only) as well as a written test in mathematics and in French (for French-speaking children). There are 30 different nationalities at present in the school.