In 2018, the Poulletier Kindergarten (Paris Center) was the first Parisian public institution to receive the “bilingual school” label. Today, seventeen branches (some classified as REP) offer early learning English. And all the staff participate!
† The students are looking forward to you! Agnès Gosselin opens the doors of the Poulletier Kindergarten (Paris Center) for us. The guard, all dressed in red, will never have taken her role so seriously: on this day to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum (70th) anniversary, she proudly wears a British guard’s headdress. Despite the haste, she slips away with a big smile: I spent my evening making a 70’s shaped cake! †
Learn English while having fun
In the courtyard of the bilingual school group of Ile Saint-Louis, the excitement is at its peak. In the audience, some counselors and parents accompany the neighboring primary school students, who come to attend the festivities. But the real queens and kings of the day are the toddlers, who will soon be on stage.
The show takes place under the watchful eye of Florence Le Page, City Educational Manager (REV) and godmother of the activities. Smiling, she confides that she wouldn’t trade her place for anything in the world and that she enjoys working with the little ones, who are always up for new creative activities. The person in charge ensures the smooth running of the performance, switches from English to French and reassures the most intimidated.
Sitting in a circle around the English language assistant, Célia Petersen, the students begin the opening notes of ” All you need is love of the Beatles. It is flawless, despite their young age. The American assistant, who has been working at the school since October last year, continues to be amazed at the talent of the students: “ They know as many words as a CM level from any other school! †
An adventure that involves every member of the school
In 2018, the Poulletier school group was one of the first to receive the bilingual school label in Paris. Today, 16 establishments offer enhanced English classes to students in their sector. In the kindergarten, the program is enriched with 3 to 6 hours of introduction to the language, in addition to fun workshops at extracurricular times, such as afternoon or Wednesday afternoon.
The aim of the bilingual label is also that every member of the establishment can speak English. You learn through training, but also through immersion. In February, the babysitter, several Specialized Kindergarten Agents (ASEM), counselors and teachers from the Poulletier School Group left for Dublin, Ireland, for a week of intensive English and cultural visits.
For Margot André, head of foreign language projects at the city and the origin of the trip, this is an essential step for everyone to feel involved. An idea approved by Eric Denis, the director of the establishment: ” Everyone could participate in this trip, both the supervisors and the teachers or maintenance workers. “An experience that ended with a refund:” Until on our return we organized a big festive afternoon for the children on the theme of Ireland says Florence Lepage, whose office is full of all kinds of creative materials.
A † team building † that impresses the families of students, such as Gaëlle Barbier, parent deputy who educates ” personal involvement and team cohesion The local resident attended the start of the bilingual program with Victoire, her eldest now in primary school next door. She quickly noticed the changes in her daughter’s work ethic and concentration, through ” to care for the education provided at school †
The student’s mother is delighted that such an initiative is taking place in public institutions and continues to test the model with her youngest, Domitille, a student in the middle section: † She manages to communicate with our English speaking friends, and one day she even told me † Now we only speak in English”, and we managed to have a real conversation! We sometimes forget how quickly children learn. “And Gaëlle Barbier laughs at her daughter’s certain disinhibition that lets her talk without worrying about making mistakes, gleefully proclaiming a” Mom, can I have a cake? †
Focus on the start of the 2022 school year!
Paris counts today seventeen bilingual establishments, including kindergartens and primary schools. Spread across 10 districts, these branches (some of which are classified as Priority Education Networks, REP) welcome area students living in the district. Of these seventeen locations, sixteen offer early and enhanced English learning. Italian is also taught in an establishment using the same methods. At the start of the 2022 school year eight new schools will become bilingual: three of them will learn English, two German and three Spanish.