Maternelle School

A unique aspect of French education

A unique aspect of the French school system is that all children have access to Maternelle education before Elementary school. Maternelle School is neither preschool nor a daycare centre, but the first cycle of the French education system in which students follow the French national curriculum. Children learn to socialize and develop independence, knowledge and skills, and build the foundation for becoming bilingual in French and English. Students begin Maternelle in August the year that they turn 3.

Class Structure

The Maternelle currently consists of 3 PS classes, 4 MS classes and 4 GS classes. Each class has one French speaking teacher, one English speaking teacher and one teacher’s assistant.

The Main Objectives in Maternelle

The French Curriculum

The Maternelle curriculum emphasises developing communication and language skills, as well as exploring and discovering the world. Children learn by playing, thinking and solving problems, by practicing, memorising and being reminded. The curriculum is divided into five parts:

Becoming Bilingual

The language of instruction at Lycée Condorcet is French, however, as we are a multicultural school, our program is bilingual (French and English) starting in Petite Section. 

-In PS, 50% of the program is in French and 50% in English
-In MS and GS, we begin to focus more on French in order to prepare students for year 1 in which they will be studying concrete subjects, mostly in French. For this reason, 70% of the MS program is taught in French and in GS, students follow the French national curriculum which includes 1.5 hours of English and on top of that, the students have 5 hours of the NSW curriculum taught in English. 

Percentages aside, languages and discovering vocabulary and communication skills are one of the top priorities in Lycée Condorcet Maternelle.

Structured learning with students working in small groups

A typical day in PS

The Maternelle differs from other programs offered to children aged three to five in Australia in its structured educational mission and its official Department of Education curriculum. Its aim is to inspire children to go to school to learn, grow and discover their personality and, as such, it is an essential step toward ensuring their future academic success. Because of this ambitious goal, the students attend Maternelle school five days a week, from 8.50 am to 3.15 pm. The curriculum sees the children working towards Early Stage 1 outcomes of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabus in all Key Learning Areas within the French educational framework.

TimeActivity
8.00 - 8.50Children play in the courtyard while parents sign them in
8.50 - 9.05Morning welcome, free play in the classroom
9.05 - 9.20The children and teachers gather for their morning routines
9.20 - 9.40Tools and competence acquired for structuring thoughts, working in small groups and individually
9.45 - 10.15Break
10.20 - 10.30Gathering, quiet time, toilets
10.30 - 10.50Learning about languages and communication - working in small groups
10.50 - 11.00Gathering, hands washed
11.00 - 11.45Lunch
11.45 - 14.00Nap time
14.10 - 14.35To act or do, express yourself and understand through physical activity. Learning about languages in all its dimensions
14.35 - 15.00Exploring the world
15.00 - 15.15To act or do, express yourself and understand through artistic activities (for example listening to music).
15.15 - 15.25We look back on the day, we welcome parents.
Happy, smiling children in hats hug in the playground
Child practices counting in Maternelle