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France:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

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Overview France

Contents

France:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

France:Historical Development

France:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

France:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

France:Political and Economic Situation

France:Organisation and Governance

France:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

France:Lifelong Learning Strategy

France:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

France:Organisation of Private Education

France:National Qualifications Framework

France:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

France:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

France:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

France:Funding in Education

France:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

France:Higher Education Funding

France:Adult Education and Training Funding

France:Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Primary Education

France:Organisation of Primary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

France:Assessment in Primary Education

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

France:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Higher Education

France:Types of Higher Education Institutions

France:First Cycle Programmes

France:Bachelor

France:Short-Cycle Higher Education

France:Second Cycle Programmes

France:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

France:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

France:Adult Education and Training

France:Distribution of Responsibilities

France:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

France:Main Providers

France:Main Types of Provision

France:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

France:Teachers and Education Staff

France:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

France:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Management and Other Education Staff

France:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

France:Management Staff for Higher Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Quality Assurance

France:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

France:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

France:Educational Support and Guidance

France:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

France:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

France:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

France:Mobility and Internationalisation

France:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Mobility in Higher Education

France:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

France:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

France:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

France:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:National Reforms in School Education

France:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

France:National Reforms in Higher Education

France:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

France:European Perspective

France:Legislation

France:Glossary

Curriculum, Subjects, Number of Hours

Collège curricula define, for each cycle, essential knowledge and skills which should be acquired as well as methods that should be understood. They form the national framework within which teachers organise their teaching while taking into account each pupil's learning rhythms.

A new curriculum was developed and came into force since September 2016 (curricula for the cycles 2, 3 and 4). This new curriculum was created along with the new common core of knowledge, skills and culture that was planned in the law no. 2013-595 of July 8, 2013 for restructuring schools.


Elaboration of Curricula

Since the law no. 2013-595 of July 8, 2013 came into force, the creation of the new curriculum is coordinated by a new body, the Conseil Supérieur des Programmes (CSP – Higher Curriculum Council). This council is composed with legislators, members of the Conseil Économique, Social et environnemental (Economic, social and environmental council), and finally members that are nominated by the Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research. 

The CSP does not create the curriculum by itself, but rather delegates this role to a group of experts, which is chosen by the CSP. It is also important to note that the Inspection Générale de l’Éducation Nationale (IGEN – General Inspectorate of the National Education) has a role in the reflexion on the curriculum.

The Department seizes the CSP to create a new curriculum, the CSP makes a proposal, and if the Conseil Supérieur de l’Éducation (CSE – Higher Education Council) approves, the Department definitely enacts the project into the Official Journal.


Contents of Curricula

Education in collège is structu0kred into subjects that depend on the cycle the student is in.
The Sixième is the last grade of the cycle of consolidation that starts in elementary school. The different subjects are:

  • French;
  • Foreign language 1;
  • Plastic arts;
  • Musical education;
  • Sports and physical education;
  • History-geography;
  • Moral and civic education;
  • Mathematics;
  • Sciences & technology.

For the Cinquième, Quatrième and Troisième that constitute the furthering cycle, subjects are:

  • French;
  • Foreign language 1;
  • Foreign language 2;
  • Plastic arts;
  • Musical education;
  • Sports and physical education;
  • History-geography; 
  • Moral and civic education;
  • Mathematics;
  • Life and earth sciences;
  • Physics-chemistry;
  • Technology.

History of the arts education was introduced into the curricula for collège stemming from the reforms in 2008. This is transversal education, based on a pluridisciplinary approach to works of art which allows pupils to master cultural and historical bearings that are indispensable in understanding the works and in enriching their practice of the arts. Possibly done by all teachers of a same class, this subject is mostly dispensed by music, plastic arts and history-geography.  

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is incorporated into technology education. An ICT and internet brevet (B2i) was set up in order to validate the acquisition of a set of skills in the usual techniques in information and communication.

With regards to Modern Languages, note that the new curricula are designed according to the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR). Since the 2016 academic year, the second foreign language starts in Cinquième (and not Quatrième as is used to).

Moreover, institutions have, since September 2016, a given weekly hour endowment that depends on the cycle the student is in (3 hours in Sixième pour the 3rd cycle, 4 hours in Cinquième, Quatrième and Troisième for the 4th cycle) which is not allocated to a specific subject but to complementary teachings. In Sixième, it consists in 3 hours per week of personalised support, which main objective is to “foster personal fulfilment and the construction of the students’ intellectual autonomy” as well as to allow “specific support of students, the ones with great learning difficulties in particular” (annex of law no. 2013-595 of July 8, 2013).

In Cinquième, Quatrième and Troisième, students have 4 hours of complementary teachings per week, that are shared between personalized support (1 to 2 hours per week) and enseignements pratiques interdisciplinaires (EPI – interdisciplinary practical teachings, 2 to 3 hours per week). Consisting of at least two distinct subjects, EPI allow the student to build and deepening knowledge and skills that are inscribed in different teaching curricula. At the national level, 8 topics were given:

  • Body, health, well-being and safety;
  • Culture and artistic creation;
  • Environmental transition and sustainable development;
  • Information, communication and citizenship;
  • Antiquity language and culture;
  • Foreign or regional language and culture;
  • Economic and professional environment;
  • Sciences, technology and society

Timetables by subject

Cycle
3: consolidation cycle
4: furthering cycle
Subject
Sixième
Cinquième
Quatrième
Troisième
French
162h (4h30)
162h (4h30)
162h (4h30)
144h (4h)
Mathematics
162h (4h30)
126h (3h30)
126h (3h30)
126h (3h30)
Plastic arts / Musical education
72h (2h)
72h (2h)
72h (2h)
72h (2h)
History, Geography, Civic and moral education
108h (3h)
108 h (3 h)
108 h (3 h)
126h (3h30)
Foreign language 1
144h (4h)
108h (3h)
108h (3h)
108h (3h)
Foreign language 2
-
90h (2h30)
90h (2h30)
90h (2h30)
Sports and physical education
144h (4h)
108 h (3 h)
108 h (3 h)
108 h (3 h)
Life and earth sciences
144h (4h)
54h (1h30)
54h (1h30)
54h (1h30)
Physics-chemistry
54h (1h30)
54h (1h30)
54h (1h30)
Technology
54h (1h30)
54h (1h30)
54h (1h30)
Complementary teachings
108h (3h)
144h (4h)
144h (4h)
144h (4h)

On this table are given the intended subject instruction time during the whole academic year, and between parentheses the intended subject instruction time per week.



Teaching Methods and materials

In the collège, we find the same conditions that are valid in primary school , except for the fact that with collèges (public), the départements - and not the municipalities- provide the pupils with schoolbooks (in most cases). 

There are no recommended teaching methods at the national level beyond the curricula. Finally, contrary to elementary school, there is no ban on homework for students.