This past week, we held two information meetings at the primary campus to present the updated pathways that will be on offer for the next school year. The changes to the pathways are not exactly revolutionary, more like evolutionary – in keeping with the developments in our student profile in recent years, as I discussed with you here. The pathways currently on offer were the starting point for us, we have refined and elaborated them in order to better meet your expectations. The existing pathways were created to meet specific needs at a specific moment in time (when the French Section was growing rapidly) and they have fulfilled their role. It is now time for them to evolve at the same rhythm as our school.
We were guided in our work by certain factors: the growing number of French-speakers arriving in our resolutely bilingual school who have no previous contact with the English language; the progressive opening of the French Section lycée (high school) classes, meaning our students stay with us for longer; the fact that almost all of our CM2 students continue through to secondary; the concern among some families either that their children might not be fully equipped to succeed in the French system or to comfortably reintegrate a French school in France. We propose the new pathways in order to meet these evolutions.
Welcoming French and French-speaking children to our school and guiding them in their discovery of bilingualism should be something we take greater care of. We have created an EAL pathway in order to better respond to those children’s needs when they first begin learning English. It is a pedagogical option, but also a social one that is specific to our school and how it works.
The FAL pathway was originally conceived of as a transitory and remedial pathway for children who didn’t speak French (very well). That pathway will now evolve from being a simple crutch to help children catch up, providing them with a French ‘survival kit’ to becoming a veritable stepping stone to long-term success in the French educational system. The format for FAL will remain much the same for MS, GS and CP (FAL Infant), but in cycle 2 it will take on a new dimension (FAL Junior) with added content to meet the needs of children who are comfortable in French but wish to do improve their overall language level.
Finally, almost all of our primary students stay with the French Section when the times comes to move to secondary school. We are very proud of that fact and we want to assist and accompany that tendency as best we can. We know that the transition from primary to secondary can be an intimidating one and so, the new FLC pathway will offer students the opportunity, from CM1, to prepare themselves for the move by assisting them in the acquisition – in the case of local families – and the maintenance – not always easy for expatriate families – of a rich French literary and cultural knowledge.
Do not forget that these pathways have been developed in order to give your child every possibility to succeed in our school; they are not, by any means, a support system for students in difficulty. They are designed to accompany your child and ensure that they become the best student they can be. Do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher to discuss the pathways – they are the ones who know what will be of greatest benefit for your child.
Have an excellent weekend.