The French Schooling System

If you’re looking for a school in Paris for your child and don’t know where to look, this is an overview of Parisian primary and secondary schools that teach languages within the schools as well.

If you would like more information about a school or a special language, please contact us.

The author of this article, Marcela, is a French-Mexican lady that enjoys researching  educational institutes and systems, teaching languages, and helping other parents.  In this article, Marcela has put together a comprehensive overview of the the French schooling system from the very young stages to University. 

1       General information about school

School is mandatory from 6 years old until 16 years old

  French English
The year the child turns 3 years old Nursery PS – Petite Section Cycle 1 Nursery EYFS
4 years old MS – Moyenne Section Reception
5 years old GS – Grande Section Year 1 Key stage 1
6 years old Primary CP – Cours Préparatoire Cycle 2 Year 2
7 years old CE1 – Cours Elémentaire 1 Year 3 Key stage 2
8 years old CE2 – Cours Elémentaire 2 Year 4
9 years old CM1 – Cours Moyen 1 Cycle 3 Year 5
10 years old CM2 – Cours Moyen 2 Year 6
11 years old Secondary Collège 6ème (sixième) Year 7 Key stage 3
12 years old 5ème (cinquième) Cycle 4 Year 8
13 years old 4èmè (quatrième) Year 9
14 years old 3ème (troisième) Year 10 Key stage 4
15 years old Lycée 2de (seconde) Year 11
16 years old 1ère (première) Year 12 Key stage 5
17 years old Terminale Year 13

 

2       General information about state schools

  • They have a good rate of education
  • They are free, minus a small fee for lunch (the “cantine”)
  • Every neighbourhood (“arrondissement”) has at least one school in each level (nursery, primary, secondary).
  • Each school receives a maximum number of students. It depends on the demography and can be revised every year
  • Kids are assigned to a school depending on their home address, except for the “section internationale” – see “Languages – “section internationale”” at the interested level

3       Before 3 years old

3.1       State:

  • Before 3 years old
  • Enrolment starts ASAP, even before born, at the neighbourhood town hall (“la mairie”)
  • Documents for enrolment: proof of address (less than 3 months), proof of employment for both parents, parent(s) ID, proof of wedding or divorce (family situation).
  • birth certificate (probably in French), proof of immunisation (at least: diphtheria, tetanus and polio),

3.2       Private:

You’ll have few options:

  • Assistante maternelle: the child goes to her house, she can take care up to 4 children at the time
  • Nounou: you hire her to come to your house
  • Garde partagée: you (with another family) you hire her to come to your/their house
  • Crèche d’entreprise: some companies (your employer) offers these places near or inside the workplace

In the three first cases, the “mairie” can put you in contact with the associations that oversee putting you in contact with the mother helpers.

4       Nursery from 3-6 yo

4.1       State:

  • From 3 years old (the year the child turns 3)
  • Enrolment starts beginning of December of the previous year and ends mid-February, at the neighbourhood town hall (“la mairie”)
  • Documents for enrolment: birth certificate (probably in French), proof of immunisation (at least: diphtheria, tetanus and polio), proof of address (less than 3 months), parent(s) ID

5       Primary

5.1

As said before  –  (relevant only for the first 5 points of the list, not all of them)

State:

  • They have a good rate of education
  • They are for free, there’s a small fee for food (the “cantine”)
  • Every neighbourhood (“arrondissement”) has at least one school in each level (nursery, primary, secondary).
  • Each school receives a number of students (depending on the demography in Paris), so it can change from one year to another, so the student might change too
  • The kid is assigned to a specific school in the neighbourhood, except the “section internationale” – see “Languages – “section internationale”” at the interested level
  • From 6 years old (the year the child turns 6)
  • If the child was in a state nursery, it will have access automatically to a primary school
  • Enrolment starts beginning of November of the previous year and ends end-January, at the neighbourhood town hall (“la mairie”)
  • Documents for enrolment: birth certificate (probably in French), proof of immunisation (at least: diphtheria, tetanus and polio), proof of address (less than 3 months), parent(s) ID

5.1.1      Languages – “section internationale”:

Foreign languages aren’t included in the normal curriculum.

If the parents want their children to be taught a foreign language they need to join a “section internationale”.

  • an application needs to be done
  • an oral test will be done
  • an exemption will be given to attend in a different school, instead of the nearest from home
  • the language class is taught ~3 hour/week
  • languages/school(s):
Arabic – Ecole élémentaire d’application, 90 Bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 46 27 32 03
Chinese – Ecole élémentaire, 3 rue Émile Levassor, 75013 Paris, +331 45 85 52 57

– Ecole élémentaire, 130 rue Longchamp, 75016 Paris, +33 1 45 53 45 78

English (UK)

not in Paris but nearest are

 

– Ecole élémentaire, 85 rue du Point du jour, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, +33 1 55 18 62 10

– Ecole élémentaire, 4 rue Victor Hugo, 92310 Sèvres, +33 1 46 26 77 45

– Ecole élémentaire, 1 avenue Auguste Dutreux, 78170 La Celle-Saint-Cloud, +33 1 30 78 23 92

– Ecole maternelle et élémentaire, 2 rue du Fer à Cheval, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, +33 1 39 10 94 80

– Ecole élémentaire, 3 rue de Seine, 78230 Le Pecq, +33 1 39 76 60 99

– Ecole maternelle, 4 rue Jéhan Alain, 78230 Le Pecq, +33 1 39 76 66 15

– Ecole élémentaire, 12 rue Collin Mamet, 78530 Buc, +33 1 39 56 41 32

– Ecole élémentaire, Rue de Verdun, 77300 Fontainebleau, +33 1 64 22 97 53

English (American) – Ecole Active Bilingue Jeanine Manuel, 70 Rue du Théâtre, 75015 Paris, +33 1 44 37 00 80
German – Ecole élémentaire Lafayette, 216 bis rue Lafayette, 75010 Paris, +33 1 46 07 66 76
Italian – Ecole élémentaire Vicq d’Azir, 16 rue Vicq d’Azir, 75010 Paris, +33 1 42 02 49 16
Portuguese

not in Paris but nearest are

– Ecole maternelle et élémentaire, 2 rue du Fer à Cheval, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, +33 1 39 10 94 80

– Ecole élémentaire, 3 bis, avenue du Pasteur Martin Luther King, 78230 Le Pecq,
+33 1 30 82 12 71

– Ecole élémentaire, 82 boulevard Senard, 92210 Saint-Cloud, +33 1 47 71 22 28

Spanish

not in Paris but nearest are

– Ecole maternelle et élémentaire, 2 rue du Fer à Cheval, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, +33 1 39 10 94 80

– Ecole élémentaire, 26 rue Schnapper, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, +33 1 39 73 58 68

Russian – Ecole Littré, 6 rue Littré, 75006 Paris, +33 1 42 22 19 25

Nota bene 1: to allow foreign students to update their French level, they can have more French lessons

Nota bene 2: the exemption gotten for primary ISN’T automatically given for secondary degree

5.2       Private:

  • The annual fee can be very variable, from 2 000 € up to 20 000 € and it’s reviewed every year
  • Enrolment process, the order of steps can be different:
    • A form has to be completed
    • Payment of a deposit (not refundable)
    • The director will review it
    • A mail with the answer is send
    • If the answer is positive, the child and parents will have at least one interview, maybe more
    • Final decision
  • Majority are religious and teach only French and few hours of English:
  • École Sainte-Geneviève, 64 rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 39 01 00
  • École La Rochefoucauld, 11 rue Cler, 75007 Paris, +33 1 47 05 98 96
  • École Nouvelle St-Thomas-d’Aquin, 7 rue Perronet, 75007 Paris, +33 1 45 48 72 54
  • École Mixte Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc, 24 bis rue Charcot, 75013 Paris, +33 1 45 83 60 23
  • École Catholique La Salle Notre-Dame de la Gare, 20 rue de Domrémy, 75013 Paris, +33 1 45 83 53 38
  • Groupe Scolaire Notre-Dame-de-France, 63 rue de la Santé, 75013 Paris, +33 1 44 08 69 70
  • École Charles-de-Foucauld, 12 rue des Jonquilles, 75014 Paris, +33 1 45 43 18 17
  • Ecole Saint Jean, 89 rue Olivier de Serres, 75015 Paris, +33 1 40 65 15 38
  • École Blomet École Normale Catholique, 7 rue Blomet, 75015 Paris, +33 1 40 65 15 33
  • École Sainte-Élisabeth, 112 rue de Lourmel, 75015 Paris, +33 1 45 54 56 76
  • École Lamazou, 80 rue Boileau, 75016 Paris, +33 1 45 27 59 06
  • Ecole Sainte Marie des Batignolles, 77 rue Truffaut, 75017 Paris, +33 1 46 27 33 49
  • École du Sacré-Cœur, 36 rue Dautancourt, 75017 Paris, +33 1 46 27 18 24
  • École Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre, 31 rue Caulaincourt, 75018 Paris, +33 1 46 06 03 08
  • École Sainte-Marie (La Madone), 8 rue Championnet, 75018 Paris, +33 1 46 06 19 42

 

  • Few are no-denomination and teach only French and few hours of English:
  • École Alsacienne, 109, rue ND-des-Champs – 128, rue d’Assas 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 32 04 70
  • École Pascal, 33 boulevard Lannes, 75116 Paris, +33 1 45 04 14 23

 

  • One teaches more languages (French, English, Spanish or German), lay:
  • Euroécole, 5 rue de Lübeck, 75116 Paris, +33 1 40 70 12 81

6       Secondary (1st part “Collège”)

6.1

 As said before  –  (relevant only for the first 5 points of the list, not all of them)

State:

  • They have a good rate of education
  • They are for free, there’s a small fee for food (the “cantine”)
  • Every neighbourhood (“arrondissement”) has at least one school in each level (nursery, primary, secondary).
  • Each school receives a number of students (depending on the demography in Paris), so it can change from one year to another, so the student might change too
  • The kid is assigned to a specific school in the neighbourhood, except the “section internationale” – see “Languages – “section internationale”” at the interested level
  • From 11 years old
  • Enrolment starts beginning of November of the previous year and ends end-January, at the neighbourhood council (“la mairie”)
  • Documents for enrolment: birth certificate (probably in French), proof of immunisation (at least: diphtheria, tetanus and polio), proof of address (less than 3 months), parent(s) ID

6.1.1      Languages – “section internationale”:

Languages are included in the normal curriculum, in a small number of hours every week.

If the parents want the teenager to be tough a language in the “section internationale”:

Nota bene: the exemption gotten for primary ISN’T automatically given for secondary degree

  • an application needs to be done
  • an oral test will be done
  • an exemption will be given to attend in a different school, instead of the nearest from home
  • the language class is taught ~3 hour/week
  • languages/school(s):
Arabic – Collège et Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13

– Collège et Lycée Claude Monet, 1 rue du Docteur Magnan, 75013 Paris, +33 1 56 61 90 00

Chinese – Cité scolaire Gabriel Fauré, 81 avenue de Choisy, 75013 Paris, +33 1 45 85 22 98

– Collège et Lycée Claude Monet, 1 rue du Docteur Magnan, 75013 Paris, +33 1 56 61 90 00

– Collège et Lycée Janson de Sailly, 106 rue de la Pompe, 75116 Paris, +33 1 55 73 28 00

– Collège Bergson, 27 rue Edouard Pailleron, 75019 Paris, +33 1 42 02 06 36

English (UK)

 

– Collège et Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13

– Collège et Lycée Camille Sée, 11 rue Léon Lhermitte, 75015 Paris, +33 1 48 28 13 37

– Collège Maurice Ravel, 89 Cours de Vincennes, 75020 Paris, +33 1 44 64 87 40

– Collège et Lycée Montaigne, 17 rue Auguste Comte, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 41 83 23

English (American) – Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel, 70 Rue du Théâtre, 75015 Paris, +33 1 44 37 00 80
German – Collège et Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13
Italian – Collège et Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13
Japanese – Collège et Lycée Jean de La Fontaine, 1 place de la porte Molitor, 75016 Paris, +33 1 46 51 16 00
Portuguese – Collège et Lycée Montaigne, 17 rue Auguste Comte, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 41 83 23

– Collège et Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13

Spanish – Collège et Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13
Russian – Ecole Littré, 6 rue Littré, 75006 Paris, +33 1 42 22 19 25

Nota bene 1: to allow foreign students to update their French level, they can have more French lessons

Nota bene 2: the exemption gotten for “Collège” ISN’T automatically given for the “Lycée”

6.2       Private:

  • The annual fee can be very variable, from 2 000 € up to 20 000 € and it’s reviewed every year
  • Enrolment process, the order of steps can be different:
    • A form has to be completed
    • Payment of a deposit (not refundable)
    • The director will review it
    • A mail with the answer is send
    • If the answer is positive, the child and parents will have at least one interview, maybe more
    • Final decision
  • Majority are religious and teach French and few hours of English, German and/or Spanish:
  • Collège Sainte-Geneviève, 64 rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 39 01 00
  • Collège Paul Claudel-d’Hulst, 118-120 rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, +33 1 44 18 63 83
  • Collège de l’Alma, 12 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris, +33 1 44 18 62 82
  • Ensemble Scolaire Saint Michel de Picpus, 53 rue de la Gare de Reuilly, 75012 Paris, +33 1 43 44 55 56
  • Groupe Scolaire Notre-Dame-de-France, 63 rue de la Santé, 75013 Paris, +33 1 44 08 69 70
  • Collège Blomet, 5 rue Blomet, 75015 Paris, +33 1 40 65 15 30
  • Collège Saint-Michel des Batignolles, 35 avenue de Saint-Ouen, 75017 Paris, +33 1 44 85 83 00
  • Collège Saint-Vincent, 8 rue Championnet, 75018 Paris, +33 1 46 06 19 42
  • Collège Sainte-Anne – Sainte-Marie, 49 rue Bobillot, 75013 Paris, +33 1 45 80 02 13
  • Collège Catholique La Salle Notre-Dame de la Gare, 20 rue de Domrémy, 75013 Paris, +33 1 45 83 53 38

 

  • Few are no-denomination and teach French and few hours of English, German, Spanish, Chinese and Russian:
  • Euroécole, 34 avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris, +33 1 47 20 09 17
  • École alsacienne, 109 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 32 04 70
  • Collège Pascal, 33, boulevard Lannes, 75116 Paris, +33 1 45 04 14 23

 

7       Secondary (2nd part “Lycée”)

During the Lycée the teenager can start to specialising. Here are few examples of Lycée:

  • agricultural college
  • hotel and catering college
  • technical college
  • vocational college
  • technological college
  • art college,
  • political college
  • and many others

 

But in this article, you will discover an overview of the “general” college that proposes more about languages.

In this “general” college, for the last year “Terminale”, the student most choose between:

  • Scientist (S)
  • Economics and Social (ES)
  • And Humanities (L – for Littairaire)

At the end of the year the student has the “Bac” (– for baccalauréat) tests.

7.1

As said before:

State:

  • They have a good rate of education
  • They are for free, there’s a small fee for food (the “cantine”)
  • Every neighbourhood (“arrondissement”) has at least one school in each level (nursery, primary, secondary).
  • Each school receives a number of students (depending on the demography in Paris), so it can change from one year to another, so the student might change too
  • The kid is assigned to a specific school in the neighbourhood, except the “section internationale” – see “Languages – “section internationale”” at the interested level
  • From 15 years old
  • Enrolment starts beginning of November of the previous year and ends end-January, at the neighbourhood council (“la mairie”)
  • Documents for enrolment: birth certificate (probably in French), proof of immunisation (at least: diphtheria, tetanus and polio), proof of address (less than 3 months), parent(s) ID

7.1.1      Languages – “section internationale”:

Languages are included in the normal curriculum, in a small number of hours every week.

If the parents want the teenager to be tough a language in the “section internationale”:

Nota bene: the exemption gotten for “Collège” ISN’T automatically given for the “Lycée”

  • an application needs to be done
  • an oral test will be done
  • an exemption will be given to attend in a different school, instead of the nearest from home
  • the language class is taught ~3 hour/week
  • languages/school(s):
Arabic – Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13
Chinese – Lycée Claude Monet, 1 rue du Docteur Magnan, 75013 Paris, +33 1 56 61 90 00

– Lycée Janson de Sailly, 106 rue de la Pompe, 75116 Paris, +33 1 55 73 28 00

English (UK)

 

– Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13

– Lycée Camille Sée, 11 rue Léon Lhermitte, 75015 Paris, +33 1 48 28 13 37

– Lycée 9, rue Villaret de Joyeuse, 75017 Paris, +33 1 45 63 30 73

English (American) – Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel, 70 Rue du Théâtre, 75015 Paris, +33 1 44 37 00 80
German – Collège et Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13
Italian – Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13
Japanese – Lycée Jean de La Fontaine, 1 place de la porte Molitor, 75016 Paris, +33 1 46 51 16 00
Polish – Lycée Montaigne, 17 rue Auguste Comte, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 41 83 23
Portuguese – Lycée Montaigne, 17 rue Auguste Comte, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 41 83 23

– Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13

Spanish – Lycée Honoré de Balzac, 118 bd Bessières, 75017 Paris, +33 1 53 11 12 13

Nota bene 1: to allow foreign students to update their French level, they can have more French lessons

7.2       Private:

  • The annual fee can be very variable, from 2 000 € up to 20 000 € and it’s reviewed every year
  • Enrolment process, the order of steps can be different:
    • A form has to be completed
    • Payment of a deposit (not refundable)
    • The director will review it
    • A mail with the answer is send
    • If the answer is positive, the child and parents will have at least one interview, maybe more
    • Final decision
  • Majority are religious and teach French and few hours of English, German and/or Spanish:
  • Lycée de l’Alma, 12 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris, +33 144186282
  • Lycée Polyvalent Notre-Dame, 49 rue Bobillot, 75013 Paris, +33 1 45 80 77 90
  • Lycée Polyvalent Notre-Dame – Lycée des Métiers de la Santé et du Social, 49 rue Bobillot, 75013 Paris, +33 145807790
  • Lycée Pascal, 33 boulevard Lannes, 75116 Paris, +33 1 45 04 14 23
  • Lycée Charles de Foucauld, 5 rue de la Madone, 75018 Paris, +33 1 46 07 72 59
  • Lycée Saint- Jean de Montmartre, 31 rue Caulaincourt, 75018 Paris, +33 1 46 06 03 08
  • Lycée Charles de Foucauld, 5 rue de la Madone, 75018 Paris, +33 146077259
  • Groupe Scolaire Notre-Dame-de-France, Lycée Privé Catholique, 63 rue de la Santé, 75013 Paris, +33 144086970
  • Lycée Paul Claudel-d’Hulst, 21 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, +33 145483467
  • Lycée St-Michel des Batignolles, 35 avenue de Saint-Ouen, 75017 Paris, +33 1 44 85 83 00

 

  • Few are no-denomination and teach French and few hours of English, German and Chinese:
  • École Alsacienne, 109 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, 75006 Paris, +33 1 44 32 04 70

 

Like & Share this post...

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Register for free events

Subscribe to our newsletter to register for our free events.