Year groups in France are made up according to the child’s year of birth running from January 1st to December 31st.

Equivalent year groups

French Year GroupUK equivalentAgeBorn
Petite SectionNursery3-4 years old2017
Moyenne SectionReception4-5 years old2016
Grande SectionYear 15-6 years old2015
CPYear 26-7 years old2014
CE1Year 37-8 years old2013
CE2Year 48-9 years old2012
CM1Year 59-10 years old2011
CM2Year 610-11 years old2010
6èmeYear 711-12 years old2009
5èmeYear 812-13 years old2008
4èmeYear 913-14 years old2007
3èmeYear 1014-15 years old2006
SecondeYear 1115-16 years old2005
PremièreYear 1216-17 years old2004
TerminaleYear 1317-18 years old2003


Primary children joining the British Section at the École Internationale, Saint-Germain-en-Laye are usually given an “externé” place. What exactly is this?

Many years ago, we were faced with a major problem: there were far more primary-aged pupils who could benefit from a bilingual education than there were full-time places available at the École Internationale. ‘Full time’ in this sense means that the child obtains a place both in a French class at the École Internationale and one of the 14 national Section classes.

With the cooperation of surrounding local French state primary schools, and by special agreement with the French school authorities, it was agreed that children could be enrolled in their national Section class at the École Internationale for two half-days per week while continuing to have their French education for the rest of the week in the school (either publique or privée sous contrat) nearest to their home. Local teachers co-operate by avoiding the teaching of foundation skills in French and Maths while their bilingual pupils are absent.

The system started with a limited number of children in 1978 and has flourished, with currently more than 700 children benefitting every year from age three to 11 (nursery to Year 6). Around 70% of the British Section primary pupils at the École Internationale are externés, enabling us to more than double the number of pupils who would otherwise not have been able to benefit from a bilingual education.

In addition to a bilingual education, externé children benefit from a French education close to home, making friends nearby, and enjoying local after-school activities.

Inevitably, the system imposes some challenges: parents have to provide the lunchtime transport between the two schools as, although there are often school buses at the beginning and the end of the day, there are no buses at midday. However, many parents get round this by arranging car pools with parents of other externés (not necessarily British Section) at the same local school.

The externé system only operates at the École Internationale in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Children living within the Le Pecq catchment area (Le Pecq, Montesson, Le Vésinet, Croissy, Rueil-Malmaison, etc.) attend the École Jehan Alain (from Grande Section, Year 1) and École Félix Éboué (Year 2 to Year 6) where British Section children are full-time as of Grande Section. The externé system ends when the children enter secondary school in Sixième (Year 7, age 11-12). Externés and full-time pupils are given equal consideration for secondary places.

As an externé, your child will attend British Section classes two half-days per week. See the table below for your child's class schedule and those classes which take place at the same time for carpooling purposes.

Petite SectionThursday-
Moyenne SectionMondayThursday
Grande Section1TuesdayFriday
Grande Section2FridayTuesday

NB. There are two Grande Section classes:
- class1 : takes place on Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon, and
- class2 : takes place on Friday morning and Tuesday afternoon.

No, we are unable to take pupils during the school year. All new students will start at the beginning of the school year in September.

No, the nationality of the family and/or child is not a condition for entry to the British Section. Your child will be assessed on his/her level of English and potential to thrive in a bilingual and bicultural learning environment.

No, due to the pressure of demand for places with the British Section, we are unable to keep places for children returning from abroad. Returning families should contact the Admissions Officer as soon as they are aware of their return to France. Former pupils will be assessed in accordance with the applications procedure.

The British Section is hosted at five French state schools but employs its own teachers and staff as a non-profit 1901 Association. At the Lycée International, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the British Section is one of fourteen international sections, half of which are fee-paying. The remainder are subsidised either wholly or partly by their national governments. The British Section receives no funding from the British government.

British Section teaching programmes are based on the British National Curriculum. History/Geography are in addition, also derived from elements of the French school programme. Our students work towards the international version of the French brevet and then IGCSE in English Language and Literature and in History. In their final two years of schooling, students prepare for the international option of the French Baccaleaureat (the OIB). We work hard to develop a learning environment which stimulates our pupils to become independent and creative thinkers. The unique access to both the French and British educational systems, with their complementary pedagogical approaches, also enable our pupils to become well-rounded and flexible learners. The curriculum is enhanced by access to excellent library facilities on all sites and an extensive support system for university entrance to prepare our students for further education. See our pages on Learning for more information.

The British Section offers a number of extra-curricular activities. For more information see Beyond the classroom.

In Maternelle, canteen facilities are available at École Jehan Alain in Le Pecq but not at the École Internationale, Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

In Primary, canteen facilities are available at the École Félix Éboué, Le Pecq and available from CP (Year 2) at the École Internationale, Saint-Germain-en-Laye for those with a full-time place. There are no canteen facilities available for externé pupils based at the École Internationale, Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

In Secondary, canteen facilities are available at all British Section sites.

Please note that canteen facilities are provided by the host school and are not included in the British Section annual tuition fees.