July 21, 2024
international school

The director of the British section of the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye takes part in the Fête de l’anglais on 9 October. He presents his lecture to us.

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Can you introduce yourself ?

James Cathcart, director of the British section of the international school of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and President of the Association of British and Anglophone International Sections  (ASIBA). I graduated from Oxford University in history and have taught history-geography in France since 2002. I have the title of principal in England.

What is ASIBA?

ASIBA brings together all the British and English-speaking (non-American!) international sections in French lycées and French lycées abroad. We organize training days each year for teachers working in the British and/or English-speaking international sections. ASIBA is the privileged interlocutor between the Ministry of National Education and Cambridge Assessment International Education, the partner authority for the British version of the International Baccalaureate Option (OIB) .

During the English Festival, you are going to present a conference entitled: “Schooling in English in France before the Bac: where, how, why? How can a French high school student study in English while staying in France?

The British and English-speaking international sections! They constitute a bilingual and bicultural system set up by the Ministry of National Education, in cooperation with Cambridge Assessment International Education. Their particularity is to integrate, within the French system, an education relating not only to the language, but also to the culture and the pedagogical follow-up of the United Kingdom. The teachers in charge of the specific disciplines of the international section – currently, language and literature and history-geography – are native speakers and have the necessary qualifications to teach their discipline in English.

The educational path of the British international sections focuses on developing the language of pupils of English origin and allows non-English speaking pupils to practice English in depth and to aim for a level of mother tongue.

The teachers in charge of specific teaching implement them in accordance with the learning objectives as well as the choices and prescriptions defined in the national teaching programs.

British and English-speaking international sections exist in elementary schools, secondary schools and general education high schools in France and in the French education network abroad.

Some British and English-speaking international sections, such as ours, prepare their students for British qualifications such as the “IGCSE” offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education. The IGCSE is the international version of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), passed at the age of 16 (corresponding to the second class), in England. It offers students the opportunity to measure their progress against the British school standard in preparation for the International Baccalaureate Option (OIB).

James Cathcart

What must be the level in English of a student if he wants to be taken in this type of course?

The international sections provide schooling together for children from foreign families settled in France, children with two nationalities, French children who have completed part of their schooling in an English-speaking country or, more generally, attesting to a sufficient level in this language.

The British section of the international high school goes further by offering French-speaking students with a good foundation in English as a foreign language the possibility of joining the “Fast-track English” sixth form class at Pierre and Marie Curie College (Le Pecq) and the of “Second reception” at the Lycée International to develop their English and then integrate classes with other bilingual students. We check the ability of students to follow the lessons provided in the section by admission tests. You can watch a video created by a former pupil of the Second Reception class , Anita, recounting her experience and what the program has brought her. Anita will be attending English Party with me on October 9th.

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