Research shows that immersion in a language at an early age allows young children to develop, in addition to language skills, critical thinking skills and capacity to solve problems at a higher level, which gives them a significant advantage studying in elementary school and beyond.
The program of our pre-elementary school is extremely rich and diverse. Inspired by the best teaching methods, in France and in English speaking countries, our program offers immersion in the English language. Children develop the capacity to live together and through play, they improve their problem solving ability and fine motor skills. Artistic activities promote their creativity and nurture their imagination.
The benefits of our immersion programme in English
The best age to become bilingual
Three years of immersion to become bilingual, in French and English! Starting in Petite Section, while children are still learning and consolidating knowledge of their mother tongue, English immersion enables natural learning through a motivating and fun environment.
From immersion to bilingualism
Study of the French language is not neglected. Children have several periods in French during the week, even though the time allocated to English is dominant. It allows the children to develop and reinforce their French skills, in particular vocabulary and syntax. In Grande Section, the study of French language is increased to one hour daily, in order to prepare them for CP, the first grade of elementary school, where they will start with equal time in French and in English.
Qualified and passionate teachers
Their mother tongue is English! This is truly the guarantee of a strong immersion program. Our teachers know how to create an atmosphere of listening and trust which allows each student to grow and progress in his/her learning.
Attention given to each student
Teachers give each student the opportunity to realize their full potential through varied activities such as fine motor skills, music, art, and manual or language activities.
In each Maternelleclass, children are guided by two adults: a teacher and an assistant. The assistant is an invaluable help for the class as she/he will care for the children’s hygiene, and material requirements as well as their safe well-being. They will also lead a small group during workshops in addition to the teacher. The presence of two adults promotes a quiet environment and enables personalized attention for each child.
A safe and caring environment
Our campus “Pré de Challes” is apleasant place to study and are well adapted to children. Safety and hygiene are our top priorities. Each year, new projects are completed to improve the buildings and playgrounds.
The canteen is also a major asset. Parents can register their child for lunch provided by a caterer (Leztroy restauration) which guarantees fresh products, cooked close to the school premises, with a significant percentage of organic and local products.
The Grande Section, another adventure!
After the immersion program in Petite and Moyenne Section, our Grande Section naturally evolves into a rich and challenging bilingual program, preparing students for success in CP, where they will learn how to read and write in both languages, French and English.
Grande Section features a full-day curriculum developed in French and English. Instruction is delivered in English (20 hours per week) and in French (4 hours per week). Children develop pre-reading skills, expand their oral language skills and develop early literacy. They enrich their knowledge and vocabulary by listening to stories. Math skills, such as problem solving through the use of logic games and working on quantities and numbers are an important part of the program. Our interactive activities help prepare students for the elementary school years.
The 5 main areas of the curriculum in pre-elementary:
- Using the language in all its dimensions
Students engage in a variety of spontaneous verbal exchanges and express themselves in different situations, such as dialogue, stories, or explanations. These exchanges are valuable for the learning of languages and more specifically the English language. They learn to enunciate well, use vocabulary appropriate to purpose, and progressively learn a complex syntax structure through language games and repetition.
In Maternelle, students discover the function of the written word and start to write autonomously: discovering written language through phonics and the letter recognition, as well as developing fine motor skills necessary to learn cursive writing. We prepare the children to learn to read and to be ready for first grade.
- Establishing skills to structure thought
When they arrive at school, children already have developed some number concept from their observations and interactions through games. Teachers build upon each child’s understanding to construct new knowledge and skills: discovering numbers and how to use them to express quantities, understanding logic, exploring forms, and understanding the concepts of measurement and patterns.
- Act, express one-self and understanding through artistic activities
Artistic activities play an important role as they involve several disciplines and reinforce the learning of language as well as geometric concepts while developing critical thinking and creativity. Teachers offer a large choice of activities: drawing, practicing decorative graphics, making a composition and creating a 3D work of art. Children learn to play with their voice and learn classic rhymes and songs; they experiment on musical instruments and use their body to create sounds, as well as improve their ability to listen to sounds and practice performing arts. Teachers know how to adapt to the students learning style.
- Act, express one-self and comprehend through physical activities
Children in Maternelle learn a lot through play and other exercises: acting, expressing themselves and understanding through physical activities physically exploring space in reference to performing specific gross motor skills, communicating with others through physical activities with an artistic goal, collaborating, cooperating and opposing in an obstacle course, while adapting to given space and time restraints. We respect this need as it helps them to develop skills and knowledge.
- Exploring the world
Various activities are offered to help developing time references, introducing temporal social references, experimenting with spatial concepts, discovering various environments, exploring the living world, using, creating and manipulating objects. Developing one’s personality, interacting with others and coping with emotions play an important part during the school day. We help students to verbalize the qualities that the school values: the love of work, empathy, respect for others, listening and sharing… We reinforce the natural talent of each child and help her/him develop new skills. Children also learn how to organize themselves and select skills to complete a task.
- A day in Maternelle
The day starts with “circle time” which will allow your child to develop listening skills and vocabulary along with the ability to communicate in English (or French) on topics that motivate them. The weather report and daily calendar reinforce conversations in French about weather, dates, times, and special events. It’s also a time for songs and story-telling. Imagine your child coming home with songs and poems in French! At that age, learning a new language is a piece of cake and their pronunciation is as good as a native speaker.
- Discovery workshops
Students are organized in small groups guided by the teachers but remain actors of their learning. Recent studies in neuroscience have proved that children show a better understanding when they are fully engaged in the activities. They question themselves and are able to find answers to their questions, they adapt the process of their analysis to each experience.
- Children take their morning snacks (fruit or vegetable) in small groups, which reinforces verbal exchanges and vocabulary. Every day, a period in the gym gives the children the opportunity to jump, crawl, run in different spaces and adapt to various situations… It is also a time to relax after activities requiring a lot of concentration. The teachers can propose movements in the space during singing games.
- Three recess during the day (morning, after lunch and afternoon) give children the opportunity to develop their imagination and practice the acquired knowledge in their own way. Sometimes we witness children acting as the English teacher, singing learned songs, making patterns with natural elements found on the ground: small leaf, nut, nut, branch and again small leaf, nut, nut, branch… Some may count the ants while others name shapes they discover on the back of an insect.
- The afternoon is resting time (a nap for the youngest, the oldest can listen to calm music while breathing deeply) before going back to the school activities. A well-rested brain works better!
- The day finishes with games in class. The teachers select games that will consolidate the acquisitions of the period. The children will thus review previously learned concepts while playing.
Primary school director at Pré de Challes
Born in Paris as the child of an American mother and Syrian father, cultural diversity has been a central part of Emilie’s life since her earliest memories and a defining aspect of her personality. Languages – English, French and Arabic – have followed her from birth to adulthood, each one bringing with it a different culture. This particularity certainly contributed to Emilie’s open-mindedness and led her to teach despite her varied educational cursus.
Indeed, Emilie studied Political Science and Economics at the University of Illinois, during which time she completed a successful year at Sciences Po in Paris in the International Program there. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Illinois, Emilie returned to France as a Language Assistant at the Université de Bourgogne. In her free time, she taught as an English Assistant at a private middle school. During these two years, she spent her summers as a Language Assistant at the University of Homs, in Syria. These two years which included so many different teaching and cultural experiences encouraged her to pursue a career in teaching and she applied for and was accepted for Teach for America, a prestigious program in the United States which “enlists, develops and mobilizes…future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equality and excellence.” Always searching for ways to perfect and grow, Emilie enrolled in a Master’s program in Education at Hunter College in New York. She specialized in Early Reading Instruction and defended a thesis in the Development and Measurement of Character Traits in children. Diploma in hand, Emilie participated in the opening of a new school. She taught and was promoted to Grade-Level Chair at a school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which has become one of the best in New York City. This school’s mission, which has proven more than successful, is to provide a good future through education to children in one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the United States. Despite all the interesting ventures and challenges that Emilie undertook in Brooklyn, she decided to return to France, where she was offered a position to teach at Ecole Bilingue International de Haute-Savoie. She enjoyed several years of happiness, teaching several classes of wonderful students and working with their parents. With the growth of the school and opening of a new building, Emilie worked in parallel to her teaching as the Pré Faucon Coordinator. Seeing the personal and intellectual growth of each of her individual students confirms her choice to work and grow in Teaching.