A question for parents

11 Replies

Hi, we're due to move to Brittany in May and I'm not sure how I go about registering my daughter with the local schoo. There is a primary school in our village close to our new house and I would very much like her to go there. Does anyone have any knowledge or recent experience ?? My daughter has just turned four so is due to start school this year. Thanks in advance 

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Harry Dresden 1451909222

She will be in école maternelle for at least the next year if not two and then will go into the first primary class - CP. There are 3 classes to maternelle (petit, moyen and grand section)  and it is optional as it is not obligatory to send a child to school in France unitl they are 6.


However, école maternelle is a good place to start - my youngest son started in petit and could speak and read French before English and by the time he went to CP he was learning some basic grammar.


If you are in the cathcment area, then you need to go to the Mairie to get it organised.

Jack1-977774 1451909498

Pop into the school and speak with the headmaster/mistress, they will have the forms and help you with your queries. Take i.d. with you, proof of the French address (utility bill), the child's vacinnation record, birth certificate etc (depending on the child's date of birth and if totally out of nappies - as in the first year they have afternoon naps - she may be able to start immediately).


You should pop in and say hello to the Mairie too, just to introduce yourself. If you have to wait for the next school year to begin, dates for registration for each new school year are usually displayed in the window/notice board of the Mairie's office. The Mairie/head of school will tell you approximately when.


Best wishes.

Dibbyspot 1451916780

As other state go to the School you like the look of, some villages have both a public school and ecole privee. The ecole privee is normally afiliated to the Catholic church and is not expensive - we pay €170/year/child.


Do see the Marie - they can be very helpful on many things and often organise the school meals. Our 2 children, aged 8 and 10, have been in their French school for the last term and were keen to start again. They say the meals are great and even claim to have had fois gras - once!  


Overall, our experience has been very favourable compared to UK with higher teacher density and smaller classes 15 children in a class. The other thing we notice is that the schools are very calm compared ot the UK. Communication and discipline seems good. Unlike UK the children are keen to go to school. 

Twinkletwinkle 1452698948

Hi there,


where in Brittany are you moving to?


I can only agree with the others really. My son is 2 1/2 and started in maternelle last September. We didn't really know what the protocol was at the time, but we visited two local schools after approaching them directly. We then chose one , filled in the relevant forms....of which surprisingly for France there weren't many! It was very straightforward .........hope it is for you.

DamianHannett 1452699641

Hi & thanks for the info. I wasn't sure weather it would be too late to register her if we left it until we arrived and spoke to the school directly, or if we would need to register her in advance. We're moving to Morbihan, a little village called Glenàc.

Harry Dresden 1452725472

You would need to register in June or July at the latest for the beginning of the next school year (2016/2017)

DamianHannett 1452727640

Thanks Harry I'm sure we will meet with the school well before then

geegee42 1452727944

Doesnt matter when you arrive, summer or winter, go to the local school, enrol your child and away you go, école maternale is basically pre school, bit like a creche, its not compulsory, our local one opens at half seven and shuts at half six, older primary children can usually use it before and after normal hours, allowing parents to drop them off before and pick them up after work, this service is normally provided free.

DamianHannett 1452728486

Cool, easier than I thought then, thanks for the info

geegee42 1452728988

We arrived late Oct enrolled three into primary one into college, moved three months later, enrolled one into pre school, three into another primary and the oldest into another college, found it all straight forward, three went on to university left with no debt, ones still there doing her masters, one did a bts and followed that up with a Erasmus university course in the UK, apart from the one doing her masters all the rest are in full time work in various corners of the country.

DamianHannett 1452762202

Cheers geegee, sounds like one less thing to worry about. Both my littluns will be enrolled in the local maternelle privée (petits & moyen), hopefully I will have it as easy as you did, my eldest is very excited about her new French school (the youngest is too young to understand yet).

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