Moving to France with your children and unsure which class your child should attend? Our quick guide to French school grade equivalents is a good place to start.
Moving Your Children to a French School
Speaking French isn’t the only thing that changes for children moving to France from the UK, United States, or another English-speaking country. There are also a number of differences surrounding the school days and holidays, homework expectations, and extra-curricular activities. There are also additional things that parents might not be aware of, such as mandatory vaccinations and French school insurance.
Our guide to settling English children into a French school goes into the process in more depth, but first, let’s take a look at the school grade system in France.
France vs UK and America School Grades
Use the chart below to compare the French grade equivalents with those of the UK and America.
Which School Grade Should Your Child Join in France?
Trying to determine which school grade your child should attend in their new school system is often one of the most challenging aspects of moving to a foreign country. France, the UK, and the US all have their own school grade structures, as shown above.
However, it’s important to keep in mind though that each child is different, and how long it takes your child to adapt and settle into their new school environment will vary. This may also be influenced by various different factors, including your child’s language level, personality, home, and social situation, and current schooling capacity, and all of these elements should be considered when deciding which school grade is suitable.
Should my child stay behind a grade?
One option might be to keep children behind a grade in order to allow them to catch up with their peers. In France, this is actually a reasonably common occurrence even among native French students. Children of all ages are expected to reach class averages and may be asked to repeat a year if they don’t meet these averages for whatever reason. This does not seem to be stigmatised in France, and it may be a smart choice to give non-native children a chance to improve their language skills before moving onto a higher educational level.
Studying in France?
From nursery through secondary school to higher education, university, and foreign exchange study programs—FrenchEntrée is here to answer all your back-to-school questions. Visit our Education zone for more on studying in France and the French school system, or find out more about raising children in France in our Family zone.