Hi guys! Few days ago, I wrote my "back to school article" and I was like, "they don't know French school because it's different so far from American school".

Inspired by:

As I'm just going to be in 9th grade, I really don't know anything about college in France. I'll try to explain to you high school.

From your 3 years old to your 16 years old, you're obliged to go to school. In France, we haven't uniforms.

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From your 3 years old to your 5 years old, you go to kindergarten, "la maternelle".
Preschool = Petite section (3 years old)
Pre-K = Moyenne section (4 years old)
Kindergarten = Grande Section (5 years old)

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During 5 years, it's elementary school, "la primaire".
1st grade = CP
2nd grade = CE1
3rd grade = CE2
4th grade = CM1
5th grade = CM2

You'll learn to read and start English during 1st grade. You'll learn French, math, bio, history, geography and sports.

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Until middle school, you have amazing schedule: 8.30am to 4.30pm and no school on Wednesdays.

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Then, you go to middle school for 4 years.
6th grade = Sixième (6ème)
7th grade = Cinquième (5ème)
8th grade = Quatrième (4ème)
9th grade = Troisième (3ème)

First, you have a shitty schedule: 8am to 5pm or 5.30pm. But it happens that you start class at 9am, 10am or 2.30pm (when a teacher is absent). Or finish class at 2.30pm (still if a teacher is absent). It can happen that your schedule was good on a day like you finish class at 3.30pm.
Class are different. You have 9 classes (French, math, English, second language from 7th grade (Spanish, German or Italian), history - geography, arts, music, biology, technology and sport.

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For sport, you have once or twice week two hours of sport. For example, during few weeks you go to the pool, then you run, then you play rugby, then you play volleyball, then you dance... You're obliged to go sports even you're in your period (except to go to the pool). Last pic is me during gym class.

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In middle school, each grade's students is divided in several "groups" named like 6èmeA, 6ème B... or 6ème1, 6ème2... Each "group" has one classroom where they stay for every classes except for biology, technology, arts, music class, sport. All the hours, the teachers move to another classroom. It's cool because you have time (just until the teacher is here) to discuss with your friends.

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In France, we always write on notebooks (rarely on computers during technology).

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During all the last year of middle school, you get ready to pass an exam, le brevet.

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Then, you go to high school, lycée.
10th grade (sophomore year) = Seconde
11th grade (junior year) = Première
12th grade (senior year) = Terminale

On the end of junior year, you have an exam named the high school diploma (baccalauréat) for French. And then next year for all the other classes.

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Then, you go to College, université ou faculté.

Holidays
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It seems, French students always think about, "when it's the holidays?" The holidays are always 2 weeks except in Summer. France is divided into 3 zones for not all the French are on vacation at the same time. It works only for Winter and Spring holidays.
Back to school is always around September 3rd. We have 2 weeks of holidays all the 6 weeks of school. So first holidays will be on October 18th after school.

Hope you enjoyed reading it. I hope you understood.

Check out my others articles:

Check out my school collection:

Check out my back to school tag article:

With love,
Noémie