French curriculum

Nous enseignons le programme scolaire français

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The French curriculum is a strong, globally respected system for anyone keen to give their child a life-long passion for learning. Whether you're educating your child at home or abroad, a French education offers a strong focus on developing independent, analytical thinking across broad subject areas. But is this well-regarded educational system a good fit for your child?

It's time find out more about our French international schools and discover what the French curriculum means for GEMS students...

Why choose the French curriculum?

A respect for academic excellence and an independent approach to learning lie at the heart of the curriculum taught at our French international schools. Regulated from France by the Ministry of National Education (Ministre de l'Éducation Nationale), this is a system geared towards independent excellence, supporting young people with all manner of special talents and aptitudes.

The French curriculum has three stages:

  • Primary school (enseignement primaire)
    Between the ages of 6-11, children enrolled on the French curriculum experience a primary education which is very similar to other leading global systems, including the British curriculum. Primary students are taught all essential subjects including literacy, numeracy,French, geography, history, arts subjects and a foreign language (often English).

  • The collège (enseignement secondaire)
    At secondary school level the French curriculum splits into two stages: the collège and the lycée. The  collège teaches pupils between 11-15 over the course of four years. During the first two years students enjoy a very broad curriculum, taking all of the fundamental subjects. 

    Over the final two years, teachers will help students to find their particular strengths and areas of interest. Some pupils will focus on these areas and progress to a more technical, vocational course. The majority will continue more general studies, then progress to the next stage of their French education, the lycée.

    Before moving on the the lycée, all collège students will take their first official exams to achieve the “Diplôme National du Brevet”. 

  • The lycée (enseignement supérieur)
    This stage educates students during their final three years of secondary education. Pupils aged 15-18 study to undertake the crucial baccalauréat exam which they must pass in order to enter university.

    There are three common types of baccalauréat (known as séries) available to students with different interests and skills. Students keen to progress to university should undertake a  baccalauréat in an area related to their intended future field of study:

    - (S), Série scientifique: Students study the natural sciences, physics and mathematics
    - (ES) Série économique et sociale: Students study economics, history, geography, social sciences and mathematics.
    - (L) Série littéraire: Students focus on French, foreign languages, philosophy, foreign literature; and the arts.

Focus: analytical thinking & outstanding academics

Alongside a deeply held respect for their teachers, students learning through the French curriculum are taught to truly respect academic prowess and independent, analytical thinking. Pupils are strongly encouraged to explore their own areas of interest and pursue their special academic interests with passion and competitiveness to achieve their very best. 

Key features

  • Established at the end of the 19th Century
  • Made up of three key stages; primary, collège & lycée
  • Lycée pupils attain an internationally recognised baccalauréat 
  • The baccalauréat is available in three areas of study; scientific, literary & economic
  • This qualification is equivalent to English A-Levels and the German Arbitur. 

GEMS Education schools teach the French curriculum to an outstanding level both in France and across the world. To discover a French international school near you, or to learn more about the benefits of enrolling your child on the French curriculum in India, Dubai, Emirates or further afield, contact our knowledgable team for more information. 

Display all French Curriculum Schools

Did you know that at 4,808 metres (15,774 ft), Mont Blanc, on the French-Italian border, is the highest mountain in the Alps, and the highest Western European mountain. Just one of the wonders of learning with GEMS.