Preschool is an essential step on a pupil’s path to a successful education. Its key mission is to make children want to go to school to learn about, affirm and develop who they are.

From the age of 3, children learn and live together. They develop oral language and begin to discover their letters, numbers, and other types of learning.

They learn through play, by thinking and resolving problems, by practising, by using recall and memorising.

Teaching is organised into five areas of learning:

  • Controlling language in all its aspects
  • Acting, expressing and understanding through physical activity
  • Acting, expressing and understanding through artistic activity
  • Building the basic tools to structure thinking
  • Exploring the world

More information about preschool in French: French Ministry of Education

ELEMENTARY : CP - CE1 - CE2 - CM1 - CM2 (AGE 6-10)

The Elementary School welcomes pupils aged 6 to 11 for two cycles (cycle 2 and the start of cycle 3 in the French system) with five grades of class: cours préparatoire (CP), cours élémentaire 1st year (CE1), cours élémentaire 2nd year (CE2), cours moyen 1st year (CM1) and cours moyen 2nd year (CM2).
This is the first phase of statutory education.


The common foundation of knowledge, skills and culture

The school programmes ensure fundamental knowledge and skills are acquired.

They interpret and refine the objectives set by the common foundation. This foundation is built around five elements:

  • languages for thinking and communicating
  • methods and tools for learning
  • developing the person and the citizen
  • natural systems and technical systems
  • representations of the world and human activity

In place since 2015, these programmes that were designed to be simpler and more accessible, are better at encouraging the success of all pupils and improving the quality of teaching.
Their objectives must be clear and defined according to a progression that is suitable for children’s learning.


Programmes designed by cycle

The programmes must enable each pupil to steadily acquire the knowledge and skills at the centre of the three cycles of statutory schooling:

  • Cycle 2, core learning cycle (CP, CE1, and CE2 – age 6-8)
  • Cycle 3, consolidation cycle (CM1, CM2 and 6ème – age 9-11)
  • Cycle 4, further study cycle (5ème, 4ème and 3ème – age 12-14)

The programmes present the challenges and learning objectives for each cycle, highlighting the contribution of the different subject areas to achieving each of the five key elements of the common foundation, specifying by subject area or subject the levels of progress expected by the end of the cycle, the knowledge and skills to be acquired.
They also state the progress milestones needed to organise pupils’ learning across the three years of the cycle.

More information about elementary school in French : French Ministry of Education