Opened in September 2008, this program is based in the Louis Blériot Primary School in Buc, located opposite the MLK middle school and LFA high school campus. The small classes provide an environment where students are able to participate actively and where teachers can give individual attention to all members of the class.
There is an entrance test of student’s abilities in English, primarily based on oral expression and listening comprehension.
The primary section aims to offer English-French bilingual education from an early age in CE2, CM1 & CM2 (UK years 4 – 6 / USA grades 3 – 5) and to prepare students for entry into the Collège Martin Luther King.
The Anglophone Curriculum at Louis Blériot
The Anglophones are mixed in with the French children for their regular lessons. It is only for their English lessons that they leave their French peers and join their English teacher in the dedicated English classroom. The Anglophone children have 3 hours of English per week, divided between the 3 subjects listed below. Their exercise books are colour-coded to help them remember which one to bring to each lesson which starts training them for secondary school.
The children cover the same curriculum as their French peers but in English. In CM1 we start with Clovis to the Middle Ages, continuing in CM2 with Middle Ages through to World War I.
Reading and Writing (literature)
The class will study an age-appropriate novel which must be brought to the lesson every week. There will be various comprehension exercises, quizzes and associated activities. Poetry, mythology and other forms of literature will be studied in the latter half of the school year.
English book reviews: Pupils are asked to read an English language book of their choice during each school break. Specific guidance is given concerning the format of each book review. When they return to school, the children are asked in turn to talk to the class about the book they have read.
Grammar, vocabulary & spelling skills
Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, prepositions, homonyms, apostrophe, prefixes, suffixes, sentence types and manipulations. Vocabulary extension through 'Wordly Wise 4' and regular learning of spellings as recommended under the British National Curriculum.
The children use the library at every opportunity; it is a magnet that draws them as soon as there is a little spare time. Books such as “Wimpy Kid”, “Harry Potter”, the “Lemony Snicket” series or Jacqueline Wilson books are very popular. The library also has a subscription to the magazine “Discovery Box” in English which is circulated amongst the children.
Supporting your Child beyond the classroom
Parents can support the on-going bilingual education of their children in many ways: In daily life, with homework, with reading.
The CE2 children are still very young, there is a lot for them to cope with when they enter the Anglophone Section and it is very easy to forget things. For this reason it’s useful, especially at the beginning of the year, for you to supervise them as they pack their school bag for the next day. It is essential that they have the correct exercise and text books. By the time they get to CM2 it should be a lot easier for them, but in the meantime your guidance and support is precious every step of the way.
It sounds obvious, but keep speaking to them in English… even if they consistently reply in French and even if they would prefer you not to. It is still going in. One day they will recognize the invaluable gift you have given them. Hold on to this thought!
Of course, if you have gotten into other habits, these are difficult to change, but not impossible. Your determination and commitment are essential here. Exposure to the English language outside the home is a huge help to giving the kids a real context for their language, other than just something they speak with mum or dad. Make the most of the social events organized by the PSAB – better still, get involved as a family. Actively support your child’s friendship with other children in the section. Encourage regular contact with friends or relatives living in Anglophone countries by phone, letter and email. It’s so easy today to keep in touch and send a quick message with a photo… Hopefully you can spend part of your annual holiday in an Anglophone country.
At home, encourage film watching in English rather than French. Switching on the subtitles in English can have real added value, especially when watching a film for the first time or if the pace is so fast and actors mumble. It can also be useful in terms of visualising words, so spelling etc. can be improved thereby. You can also access BBC radio via the internet and make this part of your daily life. The BBC has a great kids’ learning website with games that are fun to do, as well as an interesting history website.
Even in CM1 and CM2, many kids still need guidance and support to do their homework well. Of course, this doesn’t mean doing it for them, but your help can be invaluable and strengthen the learning process. Go through their homework diaries with them, as well as any exercise instructions in text books and make sure they understand what they are meant to do. It will soon become clear if they can be left to continue on their own. Sometimes they may need some further clarification to grasp the “point” of an exercise – why it has been given and what the teacher wants them to focus on. Getting them to explain the task back to you in their own words will give you a good idea of their understanding.
Encourage them to use dictionaries and the internet to do their homework as applicable, but if homework is dragging on, don’t feel guilty about just spelling something out for them! Research homework should be done in English and not translated from a French site.
Reading through the notes taken/given in class as they go along together will greatly help them to absorb the content and vocabulary in a gradual process rather than cramming just before a class test. Getting them to tell you about what they have learned can be interesting and fun for all concerned.
If you have the time to read the class reader with your child (or on a separate occasion) you will better understand the work covered and be able to talk with your child about what has been read. You can help your child to explore some of the larger themes touched upon in the book, such as friendship, loneliness etc. When answering comprehension questions on the book, they should refer back to the book for detail and vocabulary rather than relying purely on memory. Answer in full sentences and remind them to check punctuation.
Some children may still need help learning their spelling words. Make sure they understand the meaning of the words in question. If you know which words pose a problem for your child, you can spot check at breakfast, in the car, out shopping – give them every chance to master those tricky ones! When they have to write sentences showing the meaning of the words, they often need help to come up with a sentence that really does show this. It’s a learning process – don’t hesitate to point them in the right direction. Give them examples and help them develop their own.
Children need to get into the habit of always having 'a book on the go' and not just the book they are reading in class. Obviously, they need to practise their reading skills in French too, but they should at least alternate between French and English books for pleasure reading.
Reading in English can be arduous at first, particularly during the CM1 year. Try taking it in turns reading either a paragraph or a page each. The benefits of this are enormous. Not only does fluency and understanding improve, but also it helps to create a special bond and loving moment. By the age of CM1 the traditional 'bedtime story' has all but disappeared as they now know how to read themselves but by adopting the habit of reading to each other, this special moment at the end of the day is reinstated. The benefits for you as a parent are also non-negligible. It forces you to take time out of your busy day and slow down making for a more relaxed evening and greater stamina to undertake the rest of the tasks that you have to get done during the evening!
Or what about a family reading slot at the weekend where the whole family reads their own book all in the same room? What a very bonding experience!
Children’s poetry is very popular in some families – take turns to read aloud your favourites with all the voices and gestures!
Surround them with books and encourage them to use their school library regularly.
A subscription to a magazine on a topic that interests them also makes a great present.
Ecole Primaire Louis Blériot
12 rue Collin-Mamet, 78350 Buc
+33 (0) 1 39 56 41 32
M, T, Th, F
8.45am - 11.45am
(gates open 8.35am & 11.45am)
1.45pm - 4pm
(gates open 1.35pm & 4pm)
9.00am - 12 noon
(gates open 8.50am &12 noon)
This is an optional, means-adjusted paying service provided by the Town Hall. You will need to register at the Town Hall for your child to attend. Lunchboxes are not allowed in France.
Before and after school supervision
This is a paying service provided by the Town Hall and you need to register. Depending what time your child’s bus arrives in the morning, you may need to enrol him/her for the morning garderie. This applies M,T,Th & F.
Morning Garderie : from 7.30am
Evening Garderie: until 6.45pm
Note: As there are only lessons on a Wednesday morning, the Town Hall proposes a Wednesday afternoon kid’s club “centre de loisirs”. Please contact them directly for full details and rates