Educational models differ in various countries. There are a lot of common rules and patterns that can be similar across the borders and at the same time you can observe many discrepancies.
Talking about French schools, we can distinguish certain number of facts that are peculiar for these schools. So, gaining secondary education in France, you can face the following aspects:
1.Mandatory attendance, required by law
According to the French law all children at the age from 6 till 16 are obliged to go to school. Parents cannot make concession for their children and let them stay at home. They bear responsibility and are amenable to law about the educational obligations of their children. It is similar to the USA, where school education is compulsory in every state.
2.Applying old educational methods
Though French education is moving towards changes, there are still some old methods left. Teachers still often use not modern educational approaches, which struck their roots deeply. Thus, pupils in French schools can be punished with copying of the lines or a teacher can give grades in front of the rest of the class.
3.Math is the focal point
In comparison to liberal arts, math and physics have a special place in the French educational model. Excellent pupils are those, who have success in these subjects. Well performing of the mathematical tasks is the formula for success at school and a strong possibility to gain high education.
4.No emphasis on religion
French schools are secular. Pupils are forbidden to wear any religious attributes or signs. This is directed to avoiding any disagreements, contradictions or conflicts on the religious background. Of course, sometimes it causes controversy and arouses different opinions, similar to the situation when the Muslims scarves were prohibited several years ago.
5.The education is centered on teachers
The education in French schools is arranged in such way that it is focused on a teacher and his or her fulfillment of the educational curriculum. The schools and auditoriums are organized to make a teacher center for children acquiring knowledge and studying courses. It should be mentioned that teacher’s methods can differ, depending on their age. By all means, young teachers have advanced methods and pay more attention to academic activities of schoolchildren.
6.Lasting school days
The question about the time, which pupils spend at school, is always of great interest. People can consider the following fact as positive or negative, there are differing views. Though, the day of French schoolchildren usually starts at 08.30 and lasts until 05.00. Such long staying at school is compensated by two hours lunch break, during which all children can rest from their in-class activities.
7.Distinctive number of holidays
The certain advantage for French schoolchildren is a big number of holidays. Almost every seven weeks there is a two week rest. Besides the summer holidays, duration of which equals to two months, schoolchildren have All Saints break, Christmas rest, winter vacation and Easter break.
8.Considerable lunch break
As we have already mentioned, the working day of the French pupil is quite long. That is why it is reasonably interrupted by the two hours lunch break. It provides children with enough time to have their meals and distract themselves. Some kids go home to have their lunch or eat at the school cafeteria.
All public schools in France are free. Parents only buy school supplies or even receive state help for this, if they are in bad financial standing. There are also private schools, where education is certainly performed on a paid basis. But for example, in comparison to British counterparts, French ones are often cheaper.
10.Learning of languages
There are a lot of bilingual schools in France. Starting from the 6th grade pupils usually begin to learn English or another language. In private schools learning of languages is applied even earlier. In most cases the second language is English.