International Tests from birth.
Preparing for the international test at 5 or 10 years old for the English sections starts at birth.
Every parent who now comes to KidooLand wants their child to become bilingual, to have career opportunities and travel open to them. These dreams happen sometimes when pregnant and certainly once baby is still in nappies.
Parents know from theirown experience how difficult it is to learn English in the schools right now. English teaching skills are not always available and class numbers are in excess of 12 children .. sometimes as many as 30.
With such large classes, teachers cannot focus on essential oral skills. The majority of adult French parents feel very stongly that their levels are not where they should be. They know how essential English is and how not having it, is a block. They do not want their child to repeat their negative experience.
They also know that due to lack of English teachers, many children don't start English until college when the ado is self concious, afraid of mistakes. This is a disaster for them later.
A French statistic is that on average between college and lycée a student will only speak in the foreign language in class for a total of 7 minutes.
7 minutes of oral expression.
This is a truly shocking statistic.
Due to class size and classroom control and a lack of confidence of the teacher to speak in English, the focus is mainly on writing and listening excercises.
In reality, in your job, when you travel... the focus is on being able to express yourself, to be understood and to understand.
What every single parent wants - is to set their child up for success when they are young, when their ears and brains are so receptive to language sounds, when they have no real fear of making mistakes.
They want their child to love and enjoy learning.
That's why 7,000 parents have already booked classes with us.
Many parents want their children to attend an International Section either in Primary (Sartoux, Trois Collines, Fenelon) or 6eme College (CIV, Nikki de St Phalle, Eganuade, César, Fenelon de Grasse) or perhaps even the European sections in Stanislas.
Due to limited places, competition is strong. Places are allocated on dossier and in many cases an entrance exam and interview.
For Anglophone families, the journey is a little easier but not guaranteed. They do English at home and French at school.
Others with big budgets put their children into schools like Mougins and EBICA. Interestingly EBICA no longer even has a college as they know the majority of their students leave and go to the CIV next door as it's cheaper.
The rest call us (Tel 04 93 64 53 54) .
They want to know how to get into these schools
==> Essential reading on this subject is HERE
While some of these schools will say don't prepare just have a good nights sleep, the truth is the majority of applicants have spent years becoming bilingual.
The bottom line and the truth is , if you do not start learning English very early and making sure your French dossier is solid. You will not get a place.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Start young. Early Years Foundation Skills are fundemental to your child's education and wellbeing for the rest of their life. Scientific consensus shows that the 0-5 years period is crucial to providing the foundation for health and happiness.
Join a baby club with your 0-2 year old. It is essential for the parent's well being and this in turn helps your child.
Our positive and interactive classes run in English support the parent and provide essential learnings for your baby and toddler.
While they seem fun and playful, there is a lot of science and pedagogy behind every activity. Our baby clubs HERE
2-3 years is an really essential moment in your child's life. Play is essential however there needs to be a structure and framework behind it. You must ensure that your Preshcool programme focuses on the EYFS
communication and language
personal, social and emotional development
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
Smallgroup size is essential as this allows your baby to have interaction without overwhelm. It also is much more personalised. The Playgroup in KidooLand provides careful monitoring at this stage with termly records kept showing progress and achievement of milestones.
Research shows that the earlier develoment flags are spotted, the sooner gaps can be closed.
Sadly in the large groups often found in municipal structures, the absenteeism due to low pay and stressful working conditions, key issues slip through the net.
Our Playgroup team are able to help parents during the Early Years if we spot a flag and ensure parents get professional help to close gaps before they go to school.
On several occassions it has been the KidooLand team who have spotted issues for newly arriving children in Maternelle even Primary and flagged it to parents and given them the confidence to speak to their medical professionals and take action.
An additional benefit at KidooLand is that we have a bilingual team and so we can welcome your child in French to make them feel comfortable but then all activities are run in English .
The playgroupers are then often bilingual in French and English by the end of their first year.
When they then start school, they are already well adapted for the classroom structure. This makes La Rentree a pleasure for them and their parents.
They also have a solid English base and can join our Wednesday and Saturday Kindergarten to maintain their English skills.
These are generally the children that are then accepted into our Sartoux Preparation programmes in CP.
Quite simply because in the core Early Years, they played in English and developed core EYFS skills.
They generally excel in school and at KidooLand and continue on the pathway to the International schools.
The other pathway is with the family that join us once their child is in Maternelle.
Depending on how many hours they spend in the target language in Petite and Moyenne section will decide whether they can succeed the test for CP or not. Realistically 2 hours per week, will not get you into the International programmes 2 years later. It's not enough. Of course you can try however we believe in being honest with you.
These parents are encouraged to think more long term and apply for college.
OUR PREPARATION CLASSES
In the year you plan to take the test for CP or 6eme , we offer our “Preparation classes”. We have two options.
1 - Regular weekly classes that take place in the year you plan to take the test on Saturdays in Vallauris.
2- Holiday camps in October and February.
Neither of these options suit beginners.
For those that are looking to take the test into the Primary sections, our most successful French candidates start English with us from 2 years old.
These parents are thinking about their child's educational pathway before they start school.
They will do things at home and with youtube , books in English, nursery rhymes and so much more .. lots which is free.
The ones we accept:
- have been doing English classes in places like KidooLand for several years while in French school.
- OR come from an International home environment already and so have naturally developed their English skills at home but need to develop their writing and oral expression
- OR they have been in an International private school like EBICA and Mougins and want to boost their skills, targetting exam techniques
Basically. They are not beginners.
Our weekly classes are generally by invitation and are always on acceptation of the dossier.
Our weeks of total immersion during the holidays in an English environment where we all speak English all the time, can make or break between "I passed" and "I missed by 1 point" . They are open to children on our programmes and from outside of KidooLand. They work out so much cheaper than taking a plane to be in the UK and because we are focussed on learning English and the test, the return on the investment you make is much higher.
FAMILIES & KIDOOLAND WORKING TOGETHER
At KidooLand , we ask that parents tell us and then regularly remind us if their goal is an International school.
We mark it on our database and make our teachers aware that this is what you are hoping for.
It means that as your child approaches the age where they can apply to be on our weekly programme we can be assessing levels to see if it’s a fit.
Children that are showing potential and are in families who are considering this path are then invited to have deeper conversations.
Remember we don't take beginners onto our Preparation weekly classes.
You must have the required level and motivation. This is for several reasons ;
- we don't want to force a child into a group programme that isn't for them. Find a private tutor and focus 1:1 on your child (we do not provide this service or contacts)
- We want to maintain the best level in class to provide excellence. Lower levels dilute the class.
- We want to have fun in class , so we want it to be with children that are going to enjoy the activities and the speed we do it at.
- We don't want a child to struggle. Speaking English and being bilingual, attending the intesive bilingual schools is not for everyone. There are many great options out there that don't take the bilingual route too. The child is the most important.
We do accept new students with the right level. They will need to complete an assessment before we can accept them. The sooner you come to us the bettter.
Right now, we are already looking at children we teach to see if they can join our September 2023 programmes for the CP and 6eme test.
LEVELS AND EXPECTATIONS IN THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
I have personal experience of the CIV and Fenelon systems.
They are no walk in the park.
You have to learn the programme in one language and be able, at home , to understand it in the other.
Thus in primary school, the hours are longer with all the homework .
Once in College and Lycée you actually have more physical hours in class and then the additional extra work at home.
It can be very challenging (even if it is rewarding) especially if you want to add in extra curricular activities and just some fun outside of school. Hours are long , sometimes 8a.m-18h so with transport your child might be doing days of 6h30-19h. Then they have to do homework. It leaves very little fun, family time and time for sports and activities.
Being bilingual when you start these programmes sets you up for success and lowers the workload .
For those of you that are French and only speak French at home. This means starting English as early as you can.
Please don't leave it until the year of the test.
Passing the test will be incredibly difficult and even if you do pass, the initial years will be very intense.
We have had children start young , follow the Preparation classes and then actually not go to these schools out of choice. They don't need to as they are already bilingual and stay in their French public school and enjoy all that extra free time or perhaps they prefer to stay in Tramontaine or Stanislas and go for a European programme.
All of these skills are essential life skills whether you take the test or not, whether you pass or not.
Children develop and enhance their English levels and their confidence in exchanging in English.
THE LITTLE EXTRAS ON OUR PREPARATION PROGRAMMES
We work in partnership with the parents. Children on our programme have access to our online programme and tips to boost from home.
In the holidays we then offer total immersion.
We drill on spellings, dictations and of course do grammar and sentence structures. There are even interview skills with a teacher you may not have met yet so they get used to speaking with people they aren't familiar with.
Parents have the option of booking assessments in the holidays so they can have a takeaway report to work on at home.
While we only work on the English we are also in conversation with parents around behaviour, general life skills and checking that the French side is on track too.
STEPPING STONES - FROM BIRTH
So we recommend that you start your discussions about your child's education when they are a baby.
Plan the stepping stones early so that you can gently and confidently accompagny your child through life. Exposing them to all the key life skills in the 0-5year period.
Doing this will open doors for them and give you options in Primary and College.
This will be life changing for your child.