High School (9-12)
Grades 10 - 12
High School, called Lycée in France, is Grades 10, 11 and 12 (Seconde or 2de, Première or 1re, and Terminale), and it represents the last leg of a student’s journey towards university. Starting in Grade 10, students begin preparing for the French Baccalaureate, le Baccalauréat, and in many cases, our students select the prestigious Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB), which gives them the opportunity to showcase their bilingual skills and for which French studies are supplemented by demanding subjects in English.
The Grade 10 curriculum, also known as the Cycle of Initiation, is designed to prepare students to choose which specialties they will study in Grades 11 and 12. New subjects, such as economics, are included as part of a student’s required coursework, but first and foremost, the goal is to transmit a common culture to all the students (via French, math, history-geography, foreign languages, physics-chemistry, life and Earth sciences, physical education, and civic education courses), and to allow them to explore the literary, economic, scientific and technological domains. At the end of Grade 10, students choose specialized options that complement a core curriculum. Specializations are broken into three Series that will determine a student’s path through Grade 12: Série L (literary series), Série ES (economic and social series), and Série S (scientific series).
Grades 11 and 12 : The French Baccalaureate
Established and moderated by the French Ministry of Education, the Baccalauréat or BAC (not to be confused with the International Baccalaureate or IB) is an exam-driven two-year program. The successful passing of the BAC exams, at the end of Grades 11 and 12, leads to a diploma that marks the completion of the French High School program. The BAC program, taught entirely in French, is a very rigorous and demanding course of study that prepares students for a university career. The L series is centered on literary studies and focuses on foreign languages. The ES series is centered on economic and political sciences, and sociology. The S series is focused on math and experimental sciences (physics-chemistry and life and Earth sciences).
The OIB : International Option of the French Baccalaureate
The Option Internationale du Baccalauréat or OIB is not a separate diploma, but rather a bilingual option within the traditional Baccalauréat. The French curriculum is augmented by courses in English on language and literature, and U.S. history-geography. The BAC OIB is available to students who have demonstrated a true mastery of both French and English.