It won’t be news to those of you who follow French current events that on the 14th of February the French Minister of Education officially announced a reform of the French Baccalauréat. The French are very attached to their “Bac” and as a result, politicians tend to be very cautious about what could be perceived as an attack on an institution; the last time the French Bac underwent changes was in 1995.
As an accredited French school, the reform touches us directly. It will be up to us to prepare rapidly for the changes it entails as it will have an impact on our Seconde students from next year. They are the ones who will sit the new Baccalauréat in 2021. You can rest assured that we will be ready for it.
I won’t go into too much detail in this letter, but I can briefly summarise: the Bac 2021 will have fewer final written exams (4 instead of 7), there will be a new oral exam, continuous assessment will count for 40% of the final grade and there will be a wider choice of speciality subjects than is currently available.
The objective behind the reform and the modifications it entails is to better prepare high school students for third level education. The Baccaluréat will become more of a stepping stone on the path towards university rather than an end unto itself. It would appear that in 2021, there will be less suspense about passing or failing the Bac: everything will be in place to ensure that everyone passes.
Our teachers are therefore experiencing a shift in the current paradigm: up to now they have prepared students in the final school cycle for Bacclauréat success; in the future they will be asked to focus even more than they currently do on ensuring that the students in their care acquire the skills and competencies necessary to succeed at third level.
One of the challenges of the new reform is that it draws up a new form of lycée (high school) where students start to think about their future earlier. While I do believe it is important for students to be aware of the career and study options open to them, I also think it is essential for teenagers to enjoy being teenagers. High school cannot become a branch of university. That students can worry less about passing the Bac is a good thing, but we must not allow one worry to be replaced by another; high school students shouldn’t find themselves stressed and anxious about the post-bac future and the world of adults while they are still at school.
Let’s make sure our students have the time they need to mature, discover and enjoy themselves. You can count on our team to do their utmost to ensure a happy balance: providing quality education, guaranteeing the best chance of success, while proposing a fascinating variety of learning experiences and a passionate school life.
Have an excellent weekend,