Secondary Education in France
The French education for children aged 11 to 18. Find out about secondary schooling at French collèges and lycées...
Secondary education is broken into two phases. It begins with the compulsory first cycle for ages 11 to 15 at collège. After four years of collège, the student passes an exam (brevet des collèges). It should be noted that it is not essential for the student to successfully pass the brevet in order to continue schooling. The collège is followed by the post compulsory second cycle for ages 15 to 18 at a lycée. This is completed with the Baccalauréat. As with the elementary schools, registration must be made at the local Mairie by June, or sooner if a child is to be schooled outside of the commune of residence. Enrolment at private and international schools takes place at the school itself. The Service Public website has detailed information on college and high school enrolment procedures, schedules, and every day school life.
What Subjects do Children study in French school?
At collège, children study maths, French, history, geography, one foreign language and second foreign language from age 13 at the latest, physics, chemistry, science (known as SVT which covers natural sciences and biology), technology, music and art. Sport is compulsory for two hours a week at least. Once they move onto Lycée, children can specialise in a chosen area (see below).
CollègesCollège is the first cycle for kids aged 11-15 years. On completing the CM2 cycle the pupil is ready for admission into sixième (6ème).
|Collège||Age||UK, US, other name|
|Sixième (6ème)||11-12 years||1st form/year 7/sixth grade|
|Cinquième (5ème)||12-13 years||2nd form/year 8/Junior High: seventh grade|
|Quatrième (4ème)||13-14 years||3rd form/year 9/eighth grade|
|Troisième (3ème)||14-15 years||4th form/year 10/High School: ninth grade|
- Application form
- End of term reports for the past year
- Exit certificate from the school
- Certificate of admission to 6eme
- Proof of vaccination certificates for DT-Polio
- Two passport photographs with name and class requested
LycéesFor ages 15 to 18. The final three years are the seconde, première and terminale. It is at this point that the student specialises in a chosen area. The final exams are the Baccalauréat (the "Bac"). The Baccalauréat and the "International Option" Baccalauréat (OIB) are globally recognised qualifications for university entrance. Certain Bac exams (for example French) are taken at the end of première, the rest of the bac is taken in June of the terminale year. The Service Public website has more on high school registration
|Lycée||Age||UK, US, other name|
|Seconde (CAP, BEP)||15-16 years||5th form/tenth grade|
|Première (CAP, BEP)||16-17 years||lower 6th form/eleventh grade|
|Terminale (BAC)||17-18 years||upper 6th form/twelfth grade|
The "bac" subjects are grouped by discipline:
- General bac include: Arts & Literature (BAC L), Science (BAC S), Social & Economic (BAC ES)
- Technological bac includes: Science & Industrial Technologies (STI2D), (Applied Arts & Design STD2A), Science & Laboratory Technologies (STL), Medical & Social Sciences (ST2S), and Science & Management Technologies (STMG)
- Detailed information from the Ministry of Education