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:

France

3ème (Y10) Brévet

Premier (Y12) Bac français

Terminal (Y13) Bac

UK

Year 8 (5ème) Common Entrance

Year 11 (2nde) GCSE

Year 13 (Terminal) ‘A’ levels or I.B.

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YEAR GROUPS

YEAR 6/CM2

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’).

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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…..

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