6. Nursery School in France - Ecole Maternelle
6.3. French Nursery School Curriculum
France takes seriously the education of children in their nursery schools, as preparation for attendance at primary school. It is not ‘playschool’ - there is a course of study that children are required to follow and upon which they will be assessed.
The curriculum is known as horaires et programmes.
In general, children are grouped in class by age, or having regard to the child’s maturity and skills.
There is specific provision in the school timetable, and in the financing of schools, for children with particular difficulties to be given additional support. The service is called Réseaux d’Aides Spécialisés aux Elèves en Difficulté (RASED).
The weekly timetable covers 24 hours, with the day organised by the teacher around varied activities and communication exercises. There is generally no specific timetable for lessons, which are left to the discretion of the teacher.
The learning priority at nursery school is language development, which is carried out through four main areas of activity:
- Living together
- Physical activity
- Arts and science
- Imagining and feeling
All pupils in the grande section of nursery school are expected to start learning a modern language, which is continued with vigour when the child continues into primary and secondary education.
In terms of assessment an evaluation of the child’s level of literacy is undertaken prior to leaving nursery school.
Each parent will also normally receive an annual report from the teacher on their observation of the child’s performance and general disposition.
You should find that every effort is made by the educational and health teams to detect any early signs of sensory deficiencies or language disorders, in order to determine if a specialist programme of learning will later be required.
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