Guide to French School Education

7. French Primary School - Ecole Primaire

  1. Class Structure
  2. Enrolment
  3. Curriculum
  4. Assessment

7.1. Class Structure of French Primary Schools

Children attend primary school from the year in which they reach the age of 6 years old. It is possible to enrol a younger child if the school considers the child is ready to benefit from the experience, and a place is available.

The school week is 24 hours, attended over 4 or 4.5 days a week, as determined by the school. Most schools have opted for 4 days, leaving Wednesday free. Since 2008, attendance at school on a Saturday morning, which used to be so much of a feature of schooling in France, has been abolished.

The basic class structure is as follows:

Table: Class Structure

Age Class
6-7 Cours Préparatoire (CP)
7-8 Cours Elémentaire (CE1)
8-9 Cours Elémentaire (CE2)
9-10 Cours Moyen (CM1)
10-11 Cours Moyen (CM2)

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