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What is a French nursery school like?

The nursery school is an essential stage in the life of a child to ensure his academic success.
Its main mission is to help children be happy about going to school to learn, and to affirm and develop their personality.

The nursery school follows the curricula of the French National Education system.

It is a place where children learn together and live together.

They develop their oral language and begin to discover different forms of writing, numbers and other areas of learning.

They learn by playing, thinking and solving problems, practicing, and memorizing.


There are approximately thirty children in each class. The teacher is helped by a classroom assistant.

Nursery pupils are welcomed for half-days or full-days.

Children who do not speak French, will only come to school in the morning, at least at the beginning.

Daily routine


Children may bring a snack in a tupperware box in the morning. It should be healthy and easy to eat.

Pupils who stay at the « garderie » after school can bring a snack for the evening.


School breaks are times when your child can rest between activities. They take place in the school yard under the supervision of the teachers.

They encourage physical activity and exchanges between children of different ages.


The early afternoon is the time for children to have a nap:

  • In « Petite Section », all children must take a nap.
  • In « Moyenne Section », children have a quiet time where they listen to music. They don’t have a « siesta » as such.

Areas of learning

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Art and graphic expression

Pratical information

Children are not required to wear a uniform. However, students are asked to come to school in appropriate clothing for classroom life.

It is very important to mark children’s clothes with their names.