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 Post subject: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:29 pm 
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Hi,

We are planning to move to Aix-en Provence. Can anyone give me advice on my daughter's options for College in the Aix-area. The International Bilingual School is out of our budget. But I was wondering if anyone has any information regarding fees / waiting lists / procedures / difficulty in getting in to the following schools:

Ecole privée Val Saint-André
Collège privé Sainte-Catherine de Sienne
Collège Jacques Monod (Pennes Mirabeau)
Collège Mignet

My daughter is bilingual and is already studying in a French school (though not in France) and we have a livret de famille.

Many thanks in advance


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:42 pm 
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Hi Albert - and a warm welcome to the forum !
First of all that's really good news that your daughter speaks French and the Livret de Famille is vital to have in France to avoid complications !

I'm sure someone who knows about the schools system in France will be able to help you (I'm afraid my own experience in this area is very limited !)


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:44 pm 
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You/she will have to visit each individual school's site to get the answers. If your daughter is bilingual, what's the problem?
When we first came to France 25 years ago with our 4 children, we considered an international school for our older 2, then aged 15 and 16. Too far, too problematical, no guarantees. We sent them to the local lycée and the younger 2 to the locale école. They all had an excellent education.

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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:48 pm 
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MAD87 wrote:
You/she will have to visit each individual school's site to get the answers. If your daughter is bilingual, what's the problem?
When we first came to France 25 years ago with our 4 children, we considered an international school for our older 2, then aged 15 and 16. Too far, too problematical, no guarantees. We sent them to the local lycée and the younger 2 to the locale école. They all had an excellent education.



There's no problem, just wanted to hear from people who may know the schools.... all schools have a 'hidden curriculum' which could be positive or negative or both, but you won't find out about it from their websites...

About the fees, I have looked on the websites, and perhaps the fees are on there, but I couldn't find them (possibly my poor French...!)

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:21 pm 
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End of working day!

Sainte-Catherine de Sienne has classes of 30ish, certainly fewer than in a state college. I couldn't find anything on fees, but they're usually modest by UK standards (1-3k€/year seems average + meals, any boarding costs, outings, etc.). There is huge demand for private schools here, especially RC schools, so don't delay if you want to apply.

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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:55 am 
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Thanks MAD87.... actually, we are just trying to get organised in advance.... planning on relocating in August 2019... when our daughter would normally start college... so would you recommend making contact with schools as early as now?


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:38 pm 
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I think 3 years in advance is far too early. I'd reconsider this time next year. For one thing, French governments tend to fiddle with education and we're due to have an election next May (new minister who wants to make their mark). Secondly, depending on your nationality/ies, the goalposts may well have been moved by 2019....

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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:49 pm 
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Is there any particular reason to apply for private rather than state schools?

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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:54 pm 
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I don't know if it is stilll the case, but when my brother moved down to Prvence over 20 years ago, education for his children was investigated. Biggest concern was what colleges/universities were available to follow on, as he said that could be dependent on which school/which area you were in, and it was one reason he moved to Arles area not further east I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:26 am 
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Quote:
Is there any particular reason to apply for private rather than state schools?


I've been led to believe that the quality of state schools may not be as good e.g. classes cancelled if teacher is absent rather than the provision of substitute teachers... also my wife has a niece who is a teacher in a primary school in France and she says that they only teach English when the inspectors visit... I'm sure that this is the exception rather than the norm, but it does make me want to look at alternative options....

Would be interested to hear the experiences of others?


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:27 am 
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rue_d_etropal wrote:
I don't know if it is stilll the case, but when my brother moved down to Prvence over 20 years ago, education for his children was investigated. Biggest concern was what colleges/universities were available to follow on, as he said that could be dependent on which school/which area you were in, and it was one reason he moved to Arles area not further east I think.


Useful to know.... thanks very much!


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:47 am 
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My experience is now probably rather passé - the youngest of my children left university some years ago - but if you want some kind of guarantee that your child won't experience some of the things you mention, then she's probably better off going to a Catholic school. They have long waiting lists.

As for the teaching of English...it's generally poor. At our children's specific request, we spoke English at home and they therefore got the best of both worlds and top marks in the Bac.

Still, most teachers are hard-working and dedicated. I'd stop worrying and go with the flow.

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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:32 am 
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Another option - State School with additional private teaching in English - English National Program.

http://www.lyc-stcharles.ac-aix-marseil ... article680

Yes, there are still the strike issues etc you mention - but in my experience of Ferney the English National Program always ran using English Mother Tongue teachers.

Pupils take OIB - International Bacc.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:48 am 
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niemeyjt wrote:


Thanks niemeyjt... great link.... will help me make an informed decision!


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:21 am 
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... but your daughter won't be able to go to St Charles until she's 15. It's a lycée for 15 to 18 year olds. I understood you were looking for a collège.

If you want to apply for a place in a section Européenne / Internationale in a collège, I would advise contacting the school in January 2019 (if that's the year your child should be starting collège). There are limits to the number of pupils they can take in (usually maximum class of 30, but often 24), so there are written and oral exams to allow selection. These take place some time during the spring, the dates are chosen by the school. I doubt that your daughter would have any problems passing such tests.

As to the choice between state and private schools, I can't help really. Both my children went to state schools and did pretty well for themselves and I have just retired from teaching in the state sector - I don't think I suffered too much! I only know about private schools from what I've heard: some good, some not so good as with state schools. I would think that if your daughter gets a place in the section internationale of a state school she should be fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:44 am 
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Top Art wrote:
... but your daughter won't be able to go to St Charles until she's 15. It's a lycée for 15 to 18 year olds. I understood you were looking for a collège.

Yes Top Art, we are looking for a college, but the link sent by niemeyjt has a link to the academie aix marseille which has a wealth of useful information on all the schools in the area...

If you want to apply for a place in a section Européenne / Internationale in a collège, I would advise contacting the school in January 2019 (if that's the year your child should be starting collège). There are limits to the number of pupils they can take in (usually maximum class of 30, but often 24), so there are written and oral exams to allow selection. These take place some time during the spring, the dates are chosen by the school. I doubt that your daughter would have any problems passing such tests.

As to the choice between state and private schools, I can't help really. Both my children went to state schools and did pretty well for themselves and I have just retired from teaching in the state sector - I don't think I suffered too much! I only know about private schools from what I've heard: some good, some not so good as with state schools. I would think that if your daughter gets a place in the section internationale of a state school she should be fine.

Good to hear... thanks for your very practical advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:34 am 
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Sorry, I thought you'd already been on the "ac-aix-marseille" site to find your original list of schools or I would have suggested it. And, yes, you can find all the information you need on there or directly on the schools' websites.

I've just had a quick look on the site académique, as a lot of schools in France have recently lost their section Européenne / Internationale because of the current "réforme des collèges" (Mad was right, things do change... I won't comment on that). Apparently, collège Mignet is the only school (state or private) to retain its "section internationale" in Aix, so that removes any choice if you want your daughter in an international class, but obviously things could change again before 2019.


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:15 am 
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Yes, College Mignet looks like our best bet.... they have a small international section..... thanks again Top Art!


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:29 pm 
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Hi Top Art... I sent you a PM...


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 Post subject: Re: Collèges in Aix-en-Provence
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:40 pm 
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Hello Albert,
I've sent you a reply.


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