Middle School (6-8)
Grades 6 - 9
Middle School, called Collège in France, is a four-year course that transitions students from a world of spending the day in a self-contained classroom with a single teacher, to a more independent and self-directed environment where they have a different teacher for each subject and must change classrooms several times throughout the day. Teachers are now experts in their field and lead students into discovering new content and new ideas, solving complex problems, and becoming more autonomous learners, ready for High School.
The four years of Middle School are organized into three Cycles. Grade 6 (Sixième or 6e) is the Cycle of Adaptation: it initiates students into the workings of Upper School and ensures continuity of learning from Elementary School. In Grade 6 students add a foreign language (Spanish, German or Mandarin). Grades 7 and 8 (Cinquième or 5e and Quatrième or 4e) are the Central Cycle: students deepen their knowledge and know-how; physics- chemistry enters the curriculum; discussions of professional paths and training start; and students have the option to begin studying Latin in Grade 7. Grade 9 (Troisième or 3e) is the Orientation Cycle: this year allows students to build on what they have learned in Middle School and prepare for the Lycée (High School) years in which they will do more specialized work.
Students follow the French Ministry of Education’s mandatory coursework, which is complemented by courses in English for language arts, U.S. math and social studies. The program is challenging and requires a real commitment. Coursework can include up to 11 different subjects per year, ranging from art to life sciences. The objective of the French academic program is to ensure that all students have a well-rounded education. This gives them the building blocks to make choices in High School for more advanced studies.
Le Diplôme National du Brevet
At the end of Grade 9, the Diplôme Bational du Brevet or DNB (National Diploma of Certification) assesses the knowledge and skills students have acquired at the end of Middle School. For the DNB, students take written exams in math, French and history-geography, and an oral exam in art history. Final DNB scores are calculated using students’ course grades during the final year of Middle School.
Middle School Curriculum