It’s the middle of the summer holidays. Your child is about to return to school or about to move up to a higher level. What should you expect and what does your child need to take with them?

Important Starting Blocks

French schools do not provide all school materials. At the very youngest age you will need to purchase nothing. With the increasing maturity of your child, however, you will be expected to provide anything from pencils and crayons to exercise books and textbooks. When your child gets to secondary school (college) or high school (lycée) the costs mount.

You are not given the list of items required until the first week of school, hence the panic…

These are commonly asked for at the upper end of primary school (école élementaire). Younger children will not need the maths equipment.

  • La trousse – pencil case, larger the better to fit set square in
  • Le règle – ruler
  • Les ciseaux – scissors
  • L’agenda – diary for homework
  • Le classeur – ring binder
  • L’équerre – set square
  • Le compas – compass
  • Plastic covers for exercise books or text books. Teachers often give these out so that subjects are colour-coded, best to wait until asked for them and have some standard format covers handy for week one. There is a fantastic product out – plastic on a roll – which allows you to cover any size of notebook.
  • Crayons – coloured crayons and pencils
  • Stylos – red, black, green and blue – different colours are often used for key words pupils are expected to learn
  • Wipe-clean small whiteboard with cloth and pens
  • Le scotch – sellotape
  • La gomme – rubber
  • La taille-crayon – sharpener
  • La colle – glue stick

Shoes – pupils sometimes require separate pair of clean-soled trainers/tennis shoes for the gymnasium hall

All these need to fit into a rucksack, big enough to take larger than A4 books.

Note for lefthanded students go to , tel: 01 60 69 28 73

Also Useful to Have at Home

  • Bescherelle Verb Book for reference. School versions have basic lists useful to carry around.
  • Le Petit Larousse dictionary or encyclopedia
  • School guides on topics such as grammar, dictation, spelling (orthographe). Look for these in several supermarkets before buying, or check out local bookshops.
  • World Atlas or online Atlas
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