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Frequently asked questions


My child tested for Primary last year. He passed the test but didn’t get in due to lack of space. Is it worth applying again this year?

If you are applying for 6e this time, then the answer is clearly YES! There are 30 spaces for 6e. It is the biggest intake year of all and your best chance to get in.

If you are applying for CM1 or CM2, the answer is still YES. Although the number of places is not yet known for these classes (it always depends on the number of French kids) the experience of doing the test is invaluable. Firstly, you will know if your child has the level required for the section. Secondly, your child will feel more comfortable taking the test each time and so, at the latest for 6e, they will have a very good chance of doing their best. Thirdly, at the testing you will make contacts with the teacher and other families who can offer advice on how to work on the English in the meantime. You might also like to check out this website:

Of course, it is important to communicate this to your child, to explain that the spaces are limited and if it doesn’t work out, this is not necessarily a reflection of their ability. Encourage them to feel positive about their English and any opportunity to ‘show off’ what they can do. See it as a practice run. The more relaxed they are, the more likely they are to communicate naturally and fluently when talking with the teacher. The earlier the test is taken, the more emphasis is placed on oral skills. The older they get, the more it is expected that they have reasonable written skills too.



What does the PSAB do?

The PSAB is a very active community of Parents, teachers and pupils.

The PSAB is an organization, made of of volunteer parents, that represents you at all levels of the school administration. We have long standing relationships with the heads of the different schools so we can bring up any concerns you may have with the appropriate administrator to make sure you voice is heard and advocate on your behalf. 

 We also support different school activities and host many events throughout the year such as the Parent/Teacher Wine & Cheese Evening and the Terminal Graduation ceremony.For all of this to happen, we need your support and involvement. You can sign up to become a member, right here on the PSAB web site! Just go to the "About PSAB " drop down menu and choose registration.

Fill out the form there and you can even pay for your membership right there!


SaltimBuc is our Anglophone section’s resident theatre troupe. This all-English-language free activity meets every Saturday afternoon and welcomes bilingual students from the primary, college and lycée, as well as their parents, teachers, little brothers and sisters… in a fun, friendly, and dedicated effort toward two common goals: improving our expression and communication skills and putting on a great show! 

Graduation ceremony

An amazing ceremony, with guest speakers, the principal, the teachers, the parents, and last but not least the students in caps and gowns, check out the pictures in the Lycee section!


The Back to School PotLuck is the association's  Fall get-together. Usually held in September/October, it kicks off the year's activities and celebrates in style the French "rentree".

Parent/Teacher Wine & Cheese evening

The PSAB helps the teachers organize this event.

Invitations via Punchbowl and the website. Venue: MLK middle school. date: the teachers decide on a date, usually in the Fall.

MLK and LFA Open Houses, Entrance Exams days

the PSAB helps the teachers organizie these events.

Incoming 6th graders Tour of MLK Middle School

The PSAB organizes this event, a great opportunity for the incoming 6th graders to meet their classmates, their teachers, the MLK staff and tour the school before the summer.

Field Day

Our annual field day is held in the spring and is a chance for all the members to meet up for a picnic and to pit themselves against others in a fun sporting event for all the family.

Invitations via Evite and the website. Venue:  the Matelots in Versailles.

Parents' nights out

A great opportunity to share advice ideas, give support, and make new friends while having a good time together. On Thursday nights, three times a year. Dads are welcome.

Invitations via Doodle and the website. Venue: local restaurants.

Primary Crepe party

a fun get-together to welcome new families and build connections.


PAMUN is designed to provide a joyful and meaningful experience of negotiation, compromise and consensus building, on issues of concern to the global community. Students are confronted with the challenge of defending and furthering the interests and goals of the countries they represent, while seeking to accept with due respect and consideration other countries’ goals and interests, and strike an appropriate balance.

BUC has a passionate PAMUN club that meets every friday and also participates to all the inter-school meetings as well as the yearly meeting at the United Nation in Paris.

See the website for more details.



How does the French Educational System work?


The French education sytem

The French education system is based on the principles of liberty of teaching, free access to education, religious and political neutrality, and compulsory education. The organization of a compulsory, free and neutral public education service at all levels is one of the State's duties.

In France, the Recteur d'Académie is chosen by the Council of Ministers and appointed by decree of the President of the Republic. A Recteur is in charge of an Académie, which is the local administrative entity specific to the French national public education service.

The Recteur, who is also Chancellor of the Universities, rules the education policy in the Académie he/she is in charge of, under the authority of the Minister of Education. A Recteur is both a manager and a leader.

The Recteur has full control over the three school levels : primary, secondary and higher education, which gives him/her authority over the whole teaching or administrative personnel he/she is responsible for. 

The local administration offices are based in the city where the Recteur is appointed. Decentralized services are at the disposal of the Recteurs: they are called Inspections Académiques. At the smaller administrative scale of a département, these services are supervised by an Inspecteur d'Académie - Directeur des Services Départementaux de l'Éducation Nationale (IA-DSDEN).

The local administration of the Académie, called the Rectorat, includes all the administrative services that manage the different categories of personnel.

Range of action and authority of a Recteur

Recteurs are granted wide powers of organization concerning administration, teaching, and vocational and curriculum counselling. They have full authority over the whole teaching or administrative personnel they are responsible for. 

Recteurs are responsible for appointing the necessary personnel in the Lycées (High Schools) and Collèges (Junior High Schools) over which they have educational control. They determine the general pedagogical structure of all schools. Along with the local authorities, they organize the provisional investment programs. They distribute the amount of money each school receives for its pedagogical initiatives, and appoint the necessary personnel.

They manage the careers of numerous secondary-level teachers, and they have authority to inspect all the personnel appointed in their Académies. They organize most final exams, choose their contents, appoint the juries and countersign the national diplomas. 

The school system from nursery school (kindergarten) to Higher Education

In France, education is compulsory from the age of six. Prior to that age, families can decide to enrol their children in nursery schools at pre-elementary level, and most French children under the age of six attend nursery school.

Pupils begin compulsory education in the first year of primary school (called Cours Préparatoire or CP). There are different key stages for four other years until they reach the last year of primary school (Cours Moyen 2ème année or CM2).
French pupils start learning one or several foreign languages (mostly English but also German) as young as 7 or 8 years old.

Between the ages of 10 and 12, French pupils start their secondary education in a Collège where they will attend 4 years from what is called Sixième to Troisième, ending with their taking a national exam called Diplôme National du Brevet. In general, these French pupils study two foreign languages. It is then time for them to make a choice: either join a Lycée (a school providing secondary education for the three years after Collège), go to a vocational school or learn a trade as an apprentice. In 3 years, French pupils attending a Lycée prepare to sit for their Baccalauréat final exam which can be academic, technological or vocational. They may in some cases learn a third foreign language. The Baccalauréat is the first university diploma which opens the doors to higher education.

Once they have passed, they can enrol at any university. They can also choose to stay at school for two more years and either join a preparatory class to enter one of the Grandes Écoles or prepare a higher vocational diploma (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur: BTS).

What is the SIAB ?

The SIAB is the Section Internationale Anglophone de Buc, in other words the set of schools based in Buc that particpate in the providing free English education, teaching English, History and sometimes Geography for kids aged 9 thru 18. These years correspond to the the last two years of the French Primary school, the College and Lycee.

The schools that compose the section are :

  • Louis Bleriot (Primary
  • MLK or Martin Luther King (College),
  • LFA or Lycee Franco Allemande (Franco German Lycee)




What is the timetable ?

With the collège, the lessons take place from 8h45am to 4h10 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Wednesday 8h45am - 12h10am. These schedules make it possible to take the buses of the many lines serving both schools. Recent timetable changes made by the school mean some lessons can start at 8h10am or finish at 5h10pm in the college, meaning that only the regular public transport can be used.

At the lycée the lessons start in general at 8h45 and finish between 4h25pm and 6h15pm, Monday to Friday.


Is there a cafeteria?

The pupils of the collège and the lycée can eat lunch at the lycée Franco-Allemand 5 days, or 4 days (without Wednesday) per week.

The registrationtion is yearly, payments are made per trimester.


How does the program function ?

At the collège level: the pupils of the section follow the national program in all the subjects including German which is taught as a first foreign language starting in6ième. The six hours each week of history and English literature are taught according to a Franco-British program by native English speaking teachers. Moreover the pupils have the possibility of learning Spanish as a second language as of 4ième.  Pupils integrating the collège after 6ième begin German in 4ième

At the end of 3ième, the pupils take the Brevet des collèges Option Internationale, with examinations in English literature and history
At lycée level the pupils of the section follow the national program in all the subjects. German is taught as a first foreign language. However, arrangements can be made for the pupils not having started German at an earlier level. The timetable includes five hours weekly of English literature and 3 hours of history-geography taught according to a Franco-British program by native English speaking teachers.

In Seconde, the pupils choose an option, Economics or Spanish and in Première, they are oriented towards the S series (scientific) (optional Spanish) or the ES series (Economics and Social studies) with a Maths option according to their results and their project.

At the end of Première, the pupils take the French part of the baccalaureate. In Terminale they take the exams of the remainder of their subjects for the French baccalaureate, as well as the examinations of the international option of baccalaureate (OIB), British section, in English literature and history - geography. These examinations comprise written and oral elements.


Who is the program intended for ?

This program is for French-English bilingual pupils. Most candidates come from either English families expatriated to France or French families back from a stay in an English speaking country.  Another frequent constellation consists of binational French-English speaking families residing in the area.
The Anglophone countries represented are Great Britain, Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mauritius and India. Certain parents come from other countries such as Indonesia and Senegal.
The pupils’ families of the section live in the departments of south-west Paris.


How can I get a subsidised bus pass for my child?

Basically, you need to pick up an application form for the Imagin’R pass at your local train station or bus depot. Fill out the form, attach a recent photo, have it stamped by the school and send it off to Imagin'R. If all goes well, you should pay €150 less than the full price, thanks to the subsidy paid by your departement. The procedure is quite straight forward for those living in the Yvelines. Apparently it can be more complicated for those living in Essonne, and unfortunately the Hauts-de-Seine do not offer any subsidy for primary or secondary students.


However, in 2012 many Primary families were asked to pay the full price as Imagin’R was not familiar with an SIA in a primary school. Since then much has been communicated on the SIA Primary section and today, most of us have succeeded thanks to parents sharing their strategy and contacts at the relevant departments.Read on for more details on how we managed to get the difference refunded should you encounter problems obtaining your preferential rate.


Fundamentally, it seems that children in primary are not entitled to subsidized bus passes and this is the answer we all received initially. But don’t give up! If you persist, it becomes evident that children attending a specialized school on a “dérogation” are entitled to this benefit, at least in the Yvelines. Apparently, the key to each application is whether the Conseil Général of the Département in which you live has agreed to provide the subsidy.

In future years, the primary section should be better known at Imagin’R, but if all else fails, you should contact the Conseil Général again ( Make sure you include the following details:

(your child’s name) ; date de naissance (DOB) ;
adresse ………

Code Utilisateur du forfait : ……….

Code RNE de l’école Louis Blériot : 0780521T

They will then deal with Imagin’R directly and you will receive a refund of €150 by cheque.

As yet, we do not have a success story from Essonne. The only advice we can give to all families living outside the Yvelines is to make sure that you didn’t simply get the standard reply which says that primary school children are not eligible. This was the reply received on several occasions in the Yvelines too before speaking to the person in charge of school transport at the Conseil Général. Once this person got hold of the application in question, it was dealt with in a few days.

If anyone has any additional information that will help us all to streamline the process, please let us know so we can pass it on to other SIA primary families.

Good luck!


How to register ?

To enter the Section Internationale Anglophone of the collège Martin Luther King, the pupils take an admissions test, both oral and written. The tests take place in the beginning of April. Consult our calendar or the websites of the collège and lycée for the precise dates .
The pupils of the Section Internationale Anglophone of the collège Martin Luther King having passed their Brevet OIB, must take a competitive entrance exam for the Anglophone program in the lycée Franco-Allemand as admission IS NOT automatic. The pupils from other establishments are invited to take the test at the Lycée Franco-Allemand at the beginning of April.
Admission is possible at any level.