Our Elementary classes, located in the most beautiful rooms in the American Cathedral in Paris and in the American Church of Paris, offer bilingual teaching based on Montessori pedagogy, complemented by traditional teaching and adapted to the pedagogical needs of each child. A guarantee that your child will cover (and often surpass) the French National Education expectations for each cycle outlined by the French Ministry of Education.
Our pedagogical approach aims to:
- Ensure that the child acquires the knowledge and skills specified by the French Ministry of Education for the fundamental learning cycle (cycle 2) and the consolidation cycle (cycle 3).
- Encourage the development and fulfilment of children, and to train them to be well-educated, self-reliant, curious citizens who are open to the world and who will become confident, happy young adults capable of achieving their full potential.
- Enrich linguistic communication through immersion in a fully bilingual environment with two full-time teachers (one English-speaking and one French-speaking).
Our child centred pedagogical project:
- Determines the way in which the class will work on a daily basis;
- Encourages children to develop and be inquisitive through a variety of practical classroom activities.
The learning and academic objectives of the French national education system are at the heart of the project:
- Mastering cycle 2&3’s common foundation of knowledge, skills and culture thanks to a programme based on several major areas of learning, including language, reading and writing, mathematics, the arts, questioning the world, musical education, history and geography, and science and technology.
Teachers use a variety of carefully selected teaching practices (traditional and Montessori approaches) to ensure that the children:
- Achieve their full potential in a bilingual, stimulating and caring environment.
- Are in the ideal setting to prepare them for their next step in the national or international education system
- Are enriched culturally and personally ensuring that they adopt good values.
The aims are to have positive, active and humanistic teaching methods, focused on developing the child’s confidence, autonomy and ability to learn.
They develop their independence and acquire new knowledge thanks to the use of materials specially prepared for our class, through projects worked on in class and individual progress approaches proposed by the teachers.
Continuing to respect the Child’s rhythm:
The teachers introduce new concepts in the form of Montessori lessons or presentations in small groups, the children will then reinforce their learning through more autonomous exercises and activities. Not all children do the same thing at the same time, and each child develops at their own pace. The children learn to manage their individual work, guided by the teachers. Over the course of the day and the week, the child will carry out the exercises suggested by the teacher. They are given a certain degree of freedom that can only exist within this framework that ensures trust, comfort and security.
Some may be more advanced in maths, while others are making progress in French or English. In the end, everyone follows the same course in each skill area at different speeds.
A guarantee that your child will cover (and perhaps even surpass) the French National Education expectations for each cycle outlined by the French Ministry of Education.
Children take part in assessments twice a year, organised in the form of "challenge weeks". During these weeks, they take part in both individual assessments to find out more about what they have learnt in relation to the expectations of the national education system, and collective, practical challenges such as the Lego challenge, the sports course and the creative challenge (linked to art, theatre or music).
A national assessment for CP, CE1 and CM1 is carried out in the second week of September to enable teachers to confirm the child's educational needs. This allows them to elaborate their individual pedagogical project and any adjustments that may be necessary. Our teaching practices are adapted according to the needs of the pupils, in particular for the priority learning areas identified in French and maths.
The student's progress is then carefully monitored by the teachers, who organise a lesson plan in line with the student's project. Throughout the year, the teachers monitor the child's progress to identify any adjustments that need to be made. Two annual school reports in line with national education expectations are also prepared for the families, as well as two formal individual meetings per year snd additional meetings as and if required during the year.
Teachers introduce different techniques throughout the year to help children acquire important skills that will serve them well in their future education. These approaches are organised in such a way that the children do not feel under pressure to perform, but rather enjoy the challenge and the aim of making the most of their abilities. One example is the "Sums challenge", where the children time the number of sums they can solve in a given time.
Working and making progress in a multi-age class:
Children can be very sensitive and can sometimes give much more importance to the opinions of other children than to those of adults. Our lessons are mostly given in small groups making sure that we can respond to the children's interests, and cultivate healthy dynamics in the classroom.
Knowledge is built through discussion, exchange and reasoning.
The older children take on more responsibility for example by accompanying the younger ones (role models, tutoring, etc.).
They may be asked to present a lesson to a younger child if they are at ease to do so, thus allowing them to consolidate what they have learnt (or by providing explanations in response to questions from younger pupils).
Being in this truly bilingual class, allows the children to discover two be immersed in an environment with two equally used languages. The aim is not to teach English or French, but to teach in English and in French. Children practise the language and discover literature through their English-speaking and French-speaking teachers.
The children are permanently picking up and perfecting their language skills thanks to linguistic and cultural immersion, during the lessons, and also in the many other everyday contexts that they encounter. This enables them to acquire the language through real life situations and experiences, understanding situations with more and more ease, and expressing themselves with increasing confidence.
This bilingual teaching environment enables the children to develop a real command of both languages by
- Allowing them to speak both English and French on a daily basis.
- Helping them to learn English or French naturally through another subject.
- Putting them in contact with native English and French speakers increasing their ability to acquire the right accent from an early age.
- Discovering Anglo-Saxon and Francophone cultures.
Language learning for new pupils
When children arrive in class, the teachers get to know them and identify their language level and clarify their learning needs.
The school can also recommend the best approach for families to accelerate their child's learning of the new language. For example, by taking French as a Foreign Language (FLE) or English as a Foreign Language (ESL) classes on Wednesdays.
An exceptional pupil-teacher ratio and a beautiful environment to learn in
In addition to the charm of our premises, the school offers children a very favourable pupil-teacher ratio, with around one adult for every ten children. This ratio allows the children to work in small groups with their teachers, and for the teachers to support the children on a daily basis to help them develop their full potential.
The Aims of the Elementary Class
Our school offers solution-focused education, encouraging the children to be independent and to develop collaborative skills. They learn to take on different roles within a group and show respect for their environment, for others and for themselves. The children develop their independence and acquire new knowledge through innovative teaching materials.
The autonomy and perseverance acquired by our children is highly valued by the prestigious Parisian and International institutions that they join after our school.