In the Petite Section the children learn to socialise, respect the rules of the class and the school and become independent. In terms of emotional development the first year is very important because they start to make friends and experience school life, in addition to gaining basics skills.
The Moyenne Section reinforces the knowledge acquired in the Petite section and develops the childrens’ writing and logic skills. New activities are introduced such as science experiments and cooking classes in which the parents participate. Art (music, theatre and creative development) continues to hold an important place in the curriculum as it allows the children to use their imagination and express themselves.
In the Grande Section the children focus on three key areas which will give them a solid foundation for the next year in Cours Préparatoire (CP).
- The development of sounds (the building blocks for reading).
- The alphabet and understanding the relationship between oral and written word.
- Learning joined-up writing.
In the Grande Section, the children have to develop their oral skills so that they can communicate effectively with others.
In CP, learning to read is organised around decoding and word identification. Reading is the core of the pupils’ work throughout the year. There is daily practice in cursive handwriting. Students learn to decipher and to write words they have learned. This learning also involves practising language orally, and vocabulary acquisition. Finally, the pupils have their first introduction to grammar and spelling. In mathematics, pupils are required to manipulate numbers up to 100. Pupils learn problem solving through a steady progression of tasks, which in turn gives practical meaning to mathematical operations. Pupils work on location in space and on the recognition of simple geometric figures . Measurements of length, weight, time and money are also covered. There is regular practice of Mental Arithmetic.
During CE1, reading and comprehension are refined through the study of longer and more varied texts. Students learn to write short texts independently. Vocabulary and grammar continue to have an important place in the timetable. In mathematics, students work with numbers under 1 000. They memorise and use addition and multiplication tables (2, 3, 4 and 5), and learn techniques of addition, subtraction and multiplication. They learn to solve problems which provide an introduction to division. In geometry, students are encouraged to reproduce or trace plane figures. Alongside this, Cycle 2 (CP-CE1) sees pupils’ first practice of science, as well as their first responses to history and civic studies. They acquire reference points in time and space as well as knowledge of the world, and master specific, related vocabulary.
CE2 is the first year of Cycle 3. The study of French language is predominant: Reading (fluidity and understanding implicit meaning), writing different types of texts, and studying the function and mechanisms of the French language. In mathematics problem solving is at the core of learning. Resolutions to problems are focused on numeracy (up to a million), on the four operations, on measurements and on geometry. Logical reasoning is also present in technological and scientific education. It is in CE2 that History and Geography enter the elementary school program. Basic vocabulary and key concepts are studied.
CM1 is the second year of Cycle 3, where we continue to use and reinforce notions from CE2. Independent learning, logical reasoning and accuracy are enhanced. In mathematics, numeracy (up to one million), fractions, concepts of surface and calculations on whole numbers and decimals are studied. In French, pupils develop their ability to understand subtle readings, and enrich their study of the language by working on the nature and function of words, as well as on complex sentences and new tenses such as the imperative and past historic. Humanistic culture focuses on the institutions of the Republic, democratic life and France’s role in Europe, while History covers of the Middle Ages to the Revolution.
CM2 is the last class of the development cycle, before entering collège. French is studied on a deeper level, with the emphasis on oral language and on reading and writing longer and more varied texts. Pupils develop skills in grammar and spelling. They continue to work on complex sentences, classes and functions of words, and grammatical agreements. Pupils become familiar, in various contexts, with with anterior future, pluperfect and conditional tenses. Mathematics sees the development of fractions and whole numbers as well as decimals. Students work on solving more complex problems (involving several operations, requiring several steps or conversions) and acquire a greater awareness of proportionality. They tackle percentages, scales and average speeds, and seek to acquire analytical and logical ways of working. The study of volume, geometric lines and symmetry is further developed, and students discover units of area, as well as expansions and rotations. Humanistic culture focuses on the principles of democracy and social life, production in France and France’s place in the world. History consists mainly in the studying of the Contemporary Era.