National assessments

I am delighted to be back with you after the festive period; I hope each and every one of you had the chance to wind down and spend some relaxing moments with your family. I would, of course, like to take this opportunity to wish you all a marvellous 2019, full of happiness, joy and success!

The entire French Section team is ready to make 2019 a memorable year with events lined up such as C0ding night, Museum Night and Reading Night (la Nuit du c0de, la Nuit des musées and la Nuit de la lecture) – as you can see we have decided that there aren’t enough hours in the day, we’re going to work by night too!) Although daily school life is accompanied by a little less fanfare than the big events, it is there that the magic happens every day – in the care and attention, the reassuring words and the advice that FS teachers and learning assistants use to help our students deepen their knowledge and know how.

And all of that attention and care pays off. 2019 has kicked off with some excellent news for the French Section – our inspector has shared the results of the CP and CE1 national assessments in French and Maths from the French Schools in the Asia-Pacific zone . The zone consists of 33 French Schools in 16 different countries. The results confirm what we suspected – that the work of our teachers, the support of our families and the pedagogical vision of Carine Capel all help our French Section students score well above average when compared with other students in the Asia Pacific zone – a zone that is well-known for its excellent results.

The results show that our students are stronger in all of the skills tested in both French and maths. In CE1, our students are found to excel in problem-solving, differentiating sounds and recognising words. In CP, their strengths lie in differentiating sounds, knowledge of the alphabet and number bonds. But again, I have to emphasise that both year groups score higher than average in absolutely all areas. We were relieved to note that the one area of difficulty for our students – comparing numbers – proved impossible for all of the other students in the zone, so it would appear that the problem lies not with our students’ capacity to compare numbers accurately, but with the way the question itself was phrased.

Congratulations go to our students and to their teachers for the quality of their work, their commitment and their talent. The results of these assessments prove that our French-English pathway works wonders, with the two languages complementing and reinforcing each other, accelerating the pace of learning in our classrooms, and helping our students obtain results they would not achieve otherwise. How else could you explain our students’ excellent performance in French in a zone where the largest schools (Singapore, with 3,000 students and Hong Kong, with close to 2,000) have a student body of 94% native French speakers? The idea that we could equal such schools in French assessments, never mind do better than them, when our classes include several students whose native language is Mandarin and who joined the French Section without a single word of French, is utterly incredible. And let there be no doubt about it, every single one of our CP and CE1 students sat the national assessments, including the FAL students and those who have only been with us for the shortest of time – their parents can confirm this, they have all received the individual results.

It is a new year, but our objectives are the same: to continue to ensure that our school is a unique place where every child can flourish and succeed.

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