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| || |"After researching the Lycee and talking to administration there, we were still not certain about the system. So, you're right! It's hard to understand. What aspects of the schooling are you most impressed with; focus on Math/Sci or Music/Art? Sports?" I suppose how serious the system is- school (although not obligatory) starts at 3 years old in France, and it is not playschool either- your child will learn. It is a literary education even for math- which is very much different than in America. Sports, Music and Art are definately not their focus.
"What are weaknesses of the system? " The weakness would be the strictness of the system; again the Lycée is part of the french national education, the children work alot harder than in the US and the school day is very long.
"What is the quality of teachers there? Where are teachers recruited from and what sort of backgrounds do they have?" The teachers go thru the a national competition to be admitted as a teacher (I have a friend that just did it at 40 years old and it almost killed her). That being said, some teachers are great and some less so. Since they are on "an international assignment" it seem like they are part of the elite.
"Is German taught in Kindergarten alongside French?"
I'm not sure- I can find out for you. My daughter is in the equivalent of 7th grade and has French, German, English and Latin!
"I believe there are about 15% of children that are not French-speaking or are not French nationals. Have you noticed if they have a hard time adapting, even at young ages of 3 or 4?" My daughter has always been in the french system so I cant say. The advantage of 3-4 year olds is their brains are little sponges and they just get on with it.
"And, how about the parent interaction?" Not sure about that question.
Are the non-French parents left out of the scene or are they welcomed by "the others to help them integrate into the school culture?"
If you dont speak french you will be slightly handicapped- it really is a french school. But lots of people speak english. There isn't a notion of "school culture" like in the US.
"Is there a parents' association?" The school is run by the parents- an elected committee (kind of odd); there are several meetings a year where things are voted on (conducted in French).
"We've decided to stick to an English international school for our 4 year old daughter, but would still highly consider the Lycais for our upcoming baby. Please share your thoughts on the questions above if you can. Much thanks." It really depends on what your plans are- that is how you have to look at their education. If you Zurich is a longterm thing- put the little ones in the local school. If not (who knows what the future will hold), the best thing is continuity- for you and for them.
And yes, the school is supposed to move to Maur in 2010 (10 minutes from the actual location), because there are so many new students (if you are French- they cannot refuse you admission)
Anyway, you can pm me if you want more info.
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Thank you for great description. We are now hesitating over our move from Brussels to Zurich and if we move we decided to stick with LFZ. What you wrote about it looks really promising.
One concern : this school never rejects french citizens, right. So, is there possibility of getting "kicked out" say, the next school year, if they don't have enough space for us (non-french, non-EU )
BTW, tried to PM you and it says your messages inbox is overflown