Well, oui I’ve been to France! On the first Monday of the Australian (Victorian) school holidays my fifteen year old son and I jetted off to Paris to stay with my brother, sister in law and nine year old nephew who have been living in Paris for nearly a year, for two weeks.
On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, after a couple of lengthy flights including managing our transfer through Hong Kong Airport (an experience) we slid into a taxi and headed to Mirabeau in the 16th Arrondissement (District). For Victorian readers the 16th District is the Toorak of Paris – beautiful (my brother is obviously not a teacher!).
We walked through the door at 9 am, put down our bags and headed out to the local coffee shop. Sitting outside, I enjoyed my first coffee experience (one of numerous for me as I quickly learnt that a coffee meant toilets!) in amazing surroundings. The day was planned by our Parisian family as a ploy to help us through our jetlag.
A visit to the EaB International: The Victor Hugo School – Paris
The Victor Hugo School has been an IB World School since March 2003.
We arrived the day of my nephew’s school open afternoon and my son and I were invited – permission granted. This is a big event, as parents have to make appointments to enter the school and rarely see their child’s classroom. This is also something expats grapple with, after coming from Australia where parents are used to an ‘open door’ policy, but security is high in international schools.
My nephew attends the EaB International: Victor Hugo School. When visiting any school I’m always on the lookout for ideas – not just to compare! I was not disappointed. The differences were obvious. Space is at a premium in Paris so classrooms are very small. My nephew’s classroom is small by Australian standards, however, there were approximately 14 students in his grade so that’s the trade off. The French students attend school for 30 weeks a year and there are 5 public holidays in May and others during the year. They have a half day on Wednesday where students can go home or do sport. My nephew is doing tennis as an optional paid extra – sensible Aussie parents.
His teacher was welcoming, but also overwhelmed as there really wasn’t enough room for visitors in the classroom. The activities the students completed with their teacher while I was there, were the same activities that I have presented to children in Australia -literacy activities and numeracy games. I observed students who were engaged and enjoyed sharing their writing orally with all visitors.
The children were then taken to their Violin class which was taught in French (which my nephew seemed to understand) but I didn’t. Then it was off to French language class where the children sang songs for us. Visiting a school in another country is a terrific experience. There are obvious differences but also many similarities.
Photo- Writing displayed at the school. Impressive!
After school we went to the park that the school uses at lunchtime as there isn’t a playground. The park is breathtaking! These children are not missing out. My nephew’s friends and their parents meet each day after school so that the children can play outside (most live in apartments).
My nephew has made many friends at school from different countries around the world. He is by nature a very social ‘Aussie’ boy who would adapt easily to any environment and that’s my observations as a teacher. He’s not too keen on homework which seems to be plentiful and likes spending time with his mates playing and of course the computer which he uses with ease. He told me how he narrates cartoons and uploads them to utube and they’re good – yes, he is only nine! His education for the last year has certainly not been confined to the school. Paris and beyond has been his classroom.
My favourite musee even more than the Louvre: Musee D’ Orsay
As I write this post my nephew and his parents will be part of an Australian group attending ANZAC day at Villers Bretonneux. Another example of learning through ‘real life’ experiences.
Next post: Guided Reading – Forming groups
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9 responses to “Viva La France – EaB International: The Victor Hugo School Paris”
Yolande, If you read my message could you please contact me my private email ( firstname.lastname@example.org). We are also french but we’ve been living abroad a couple of years. Our son will start in grade 7 at Eab Victor Hugo and I would like to have a feed back.
I’m an Italian living in Los Angeles. We will move to Paris next summer for 1 year and we are planning to enroll our 9 years old boy to EaB (he’s currently attendint 3rd grade in a public American school). So, how was your experience? Did you choose EaB? Please let me know
My brother and his family chose the school. They visited a number of schools, and chose the EAB because it had a friendly atmosphere. They felt the curriculum would suit their child. All said, my nephew had a great time at the school. My nephew didn’t speak French when he started, but managed very well with the French component of the curriculum. I visited the school, and also found the parents friendly.
P.S. Have a wonderful time in Paris.
My nephew is back in Australia after spending a fantastic year in Paris. He loved his time at the school and blended back into his Australian school quickly. His parents looked at a number of schools but felt Victor Hugo suited their Aussie son. I enjoyed my visit and found the school ‘buzzing’ and very friendly. What a fantastic experience!
Thank you for sharing this information. I am an Amercian moving to Paris this summer and am considering putting my 6-year old in the Victor Hugo School. I don’t know many people in Paris and would love to connect with other parents. I look forward to visitng the school!
Hello, We are also moving from US(Boston)to Paris this summer and my son too is 6 year old. We haven’t zeroed in on the Victor Hugo school but still considering it. Glad to find someone else here in the same boat. Would love to exchange notes. Please email me at email@example.com
My husband and I are moving with our sons, 5th and 7th grade to Paris for one year starting in June 2013 and was wondering if you ended up sending your son to the Victor Hugo School. If so, what has your experience been?? We are considering the school and do not know anyone in Paris so I would love any feedback you may have.
I enjoyed your comments about Eab…we are moving to Paris end of June and my 2 kids will go to Eab Victor Hugo.
We are French but have been living overseas for 18 years .Kids are 9 and 11 so it will be their first experience living in Paris. I easily understand the differences you noticed, being myself a teacher of FFL.
Hope you enjoyed the city of Light
How lucky you are! Paris is the most beautiful city and what a wonderful experience your children will have. I really enjoyed my visit to the school and could see that my nephew is very happy. I found the parents at the school very friendly and I was only a visitor. I dropped my nephew at school some mornings and was greeted by parents I had briefly met. Infact, I found Paris not only the city of lights, but the ‘friendly city’!
Cheers Nina and thanks for commenting.