Décalage scolaire

Décalage scolaire

A short guide to the difference in the organisation of year groups between France and Britain.

1               A child’s year group is based on the child’s age on:

France – 1st January

Britain – 1st September*

2               Public exams:


3ème (Y10) Brévet

Premier (Y12) Bac français

Terminal (Y13) Bac


Year 8 (5ème) Common Entrance

Year 11 (2nde) GCSE

Year 13 (Terminal) ‘A’ levels or I.B.




Prep school

YEAR 7/6ème

Penultimate year of Prep school or first year of some Public schools

Avant-dernière année de la Prep school ou première année dans certaines Public schools.

YEAR 8/5ème

Final year of Prep school.  Common Entrance in June, followed by a special ‘Leavers’ Programme’, therefore very few Prep schools accept pupils for the final term only (see note a).

YEAR 9/4ème

First year of most Public schools.

YEAR 10/3ème

Pupils choose 9-11 subjects and start the GCSE syllabus

YEAR 11/2nde**

Pupils revise for and take the GCSE exams in May and June, leaving school once they have finished (see note b)

YEAR 12/1er

‘A’ level: pupils choose 3-4 subjects and start the two-year syllabus

I.B: pupils choose 6 subjects, including Maths, a language and a science

YEAR 13/Terminal

Pupils revise and take the I.B in May or ‘A’ levels in June.  There may be a period when ‘A’ level pupils can study at home before the exams (‘Study Leave’).


a) Spotlight on YEAR 8/5ème

For a stay of one term (summer term) the options would be:

i                 according to date of birth, academic ability, level of English and maturity, a pupil could go into Year 7 or Year 9;

ii               a Prep school which accepts a number of international pupils in the summer term and organises an adapted programme;

iii              a traditional Prep school which will accept a pupil in the mainstream Year 8, taking into account that they will be obliged to follow an adapted timetable; this is very rare.

b) Spotlight on YEAR 11/2nde

For a 1 year stay the options are:

i                 according to date of birth, academic ability, level of English and maturity, a pupil could go into Year 12 or Year 10;

ii               a special one year Year 11 programme which a number of schools now offer.  A small group of international pupils have specially-adapted classes together for the year, within the main boarding school.  The accent is on perfecting written and spoken English and preparing pupils for the remaining 2 years of school in England (although not all pupils will stay in England).  Pupils study about 6 subjects and take GCSE exams in a number of them at the end of the year;

iii              to find a school which will accept a pupil in the mainstream Year 11, taking into account that a pupil will have to spend a significant amount of time revising and taking exams, without having the preparation of the other pupils.

For a stay of one term (summer term) in Y11 the options would be:

i                 for a pupil to go into Year 12 or Year 10, according to date of birth, academic ability, level of English and maturity;

ii               to spend a term at a specialised college for international pupils, but based on the British boarding school style, with intensive English lessons

*with the exception of some schools in Scotland, where it is 1st March…..

The summer season

The summer season



Royal Windsor Horse Show  10 – 14 May
The UK’s largest outdoor horse show with international competitions in 3 different equestrian disciplines.


Glyndebourne  20 May – 26 August
A festival which is as much about the opera performances as the setting. Enjoy a picnic in the beautiful gardens during the interval.




Chelsea Flower Show  23  – 27 May
Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea (central London), exhibiting the latest
ideas in garden designs and prized floral displays.


Royal Ascot 2013 - Day 2

Royal Ascot  20 – 24 June
Royal Ascot is Britain’s most valuable race meeting, attracting many of the world’s finest
racehorses. The Royal Procession is always an iconic moment to herald the start of every
race day.


5Henley  Royal Regatta  28 June – 2 July
Spectators enjoy over 200 rowing races of an international standard on the River Thames
at Henley.




Goodwood Festival of Speed  29 June  – 2 July
An intoxicating celebration of motor racing. There is unrestricted access to the machines
and the drivers who made them famous.




Roger Federer of Switzerland holds the winners trophy after defeating Andy Murray of Britain in their men's final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in LondonWimbledon  3 – 16 July
Two weeks of marvellous matches on the famous grass courts of the Lawn Tennis Association.



Cricket - Investec Test Series - First Test - Day Three - England v New Zealand - Lord's

Lords Test Match  July and September
Five-day cricket matches which create a gentle buzz, combining the excitement and
anticipation of world-class cricket with the sociable chatter of friends and companions.




9Cowes Week  29 July – 5 August
This is one of the longest-running regular sailing regattas in the world.  Over 8,000
competitors take part and the event features many drinks parties and a famous fireworks



Edinburgh Fringe Festival  4 -28 August

The Festival welcomes a whole host of performances and entertainment in the form of
theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music and exhibitions.

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Sailing School in June

Sailing School in June

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