FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What does the PSAB do?

PSAB is a very active community of parents, teachers and pupils.

PSAB is an organization of volunteer parents that represents you at all levels of the school administration. We have long-standing relationships with the heads of the different schools so we can bring up any concerns you may have with the appropriate administrator to make sure your voice is heard and advocate on your behalf.

We also support different school activities and host events throughout the year such as the Parent/Teacher Wine & Cheese Evening and the Terminal Graduation ceremony. For all of this to happen, we need your support and involvement. You can sign up to become a member, right here on www.psab.fr/join. Thank you!

Saltimbuc

SaltimBuc is our Anglophone section’s resident theatre troupe. This all-English-language activity meets every Saturday afternoon and welcomes bilingual students from primary, college and lycée, in a fun, friendly, and dedicated effort toward two common goals: improving our expression and communication skills and putting on a great show!

Graduation ceremony

An amazing ceremony, with guest speakers, the principal, teachers, parents, and last but not least the students in caps and gowns!

PotLuck

Back to School PotLuck is PSAB's  Fall get-together. Usually held in September/October, it kicks off the year's activities and celebrates in style the French "rentree".

Parent/Teacher Wine & Cheese evening

PSAB helps the teachers organize this event, usually in the Fall.

MLK and LFA Open Houses, Entrance Exams days

PSAB helps the teachers organize these events, and welcomes visiting families.

Incoming 6th graders Tour of MLK Middle School

PSAB organizes a tour of the collège, an opportunity for the incoming 6th graders to meet their classmates, their teachers, MLK staff and to tour the school before the summer.

Field Day

Our annual field day is held in the spring and is a chance for all the members to meet up for a picnic and to pit themselves against others in a fun sporting event for all the family.

Parents' nights out

An opportunity to share advice ideas, give support, and make new friends while having a good time together.

Primary Crepe party

A fun get-together to welcome new families and build connections.

How does the French Educational System work?
The French education system is based on the principles of liberty of teaching, free access to education, religious and political neutrality, and compulsory education. The organization of a compulsory, free and neutral public education service at all levels is one of the State's duties.

In France, the Recteur d'Académie is chosen by the Council of Ministers and appointed by decree of the President of the Republic. A Recteur is in charge of an Académie, which is the local administrative entity specific to the French national public education service.

The Recteur, who is also Chancellor of the Universities, rules the education policy in the Académie he/she is in charge of, under the authority of the Minister of Education. A Recteur is both a manager and a leader.

The Recteur has full control over the three school levels: primary, secondary and higher education, which gives him/her authority over the whole teaching or administrative personnel he/she is responsible for.

The local administration offices are based in the city where the Recteur is appointed. Decentralized services are at the disposal of the Recteurs: they are called Inspections Académiques. At the smaller administrative scale of a département, these services are supervised by an Inspecteur d'Académie - Directeur des Services Départementaux de l'Éducation Nationale (IA-DSDEN).

The local administration of the Académie, called the Rectorat, includes all the administrative services that manage the different categories of personnel.

Range of action and authority of a Recteur

Recteurs are granted wide powers of organization concerning administration, teaching, and vocational and curriculum counselling. They have full authority over the whole teaching or administrative personnel they are responsible for.

Recteurs are responsible for appointing the necessary personnel in the Lycées (High Schools) and Collèges (Junior High Schools) over which they have educational control. They determine the general pedagogical structure of all schools. Along with the local authorities, they organize the provisional investment programs. They distribute the amount of money each school receives for its pedagogical initiatives, and appoint the necessary personnel.

They manage the careers of numerous secondary-level teachers, and they have authority to inspect all the personnel appointed in their Académies. They organize most final exams, choose their contents, appoint the juries and countersign the national diplomas.

The school system from nursery school (kindergarten) to Higher Education

In France, education is compulsory from the age of six. Prior to that age, families can decide to enrol their children in nursery schools at pre-elementary level, and most French children under the age of six attend nursery school.

The first year of primary school is called Cours Préparatoire or CP. There are different key stages for four other years until they reach the last year of primary school (Cours Moyen 2ème année or CM2).
French pupils start learning one or several foreign languages (mostly English but also German) as young as 7 or 8 years old.

Between the ages of 10 and 12, pupils start their secondary education in a Collège where they will attend 4 years from what is called Sixième to Troisième, ending with their taking a national exam called Diplôme National du Brevet. In general, these French pupils study two foreign languages. It is then time for them to make a choice: either join a Lycée (a school providing secondary education for the three years after Collège), go to a vocational school or learn a trade as an apprentice. In 3 years, French pupils attending a Lycée prepare to sit for their Baccalauréat final exam which can be academic, technological or vocational. They may in some cases learn a third foreign language. The Baccalauréat is the first university diploma which opens the doors to higher education.

Once they have passed, they can enrol at any university. They can also choose to stay at school for two more years and either join a preparatory class to enter one of the Grandes Écoles or prepare a higher vocational diploma (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur: BTS).

What is the International Anglophone Section in Buc?

Section Internationale Anglophone de Buc runs across three schools based in Buc that participate in  providing free English education, teaching English, History and Geography for kids aged 9 through 18. These years correspond to the the last three years of Primary school, the College and Lycée.

The schools that compose the section are :

  • Louis Bleriot (Primary)
  • MLK or Martin Luther King (College),
  • LFA or Lycee Franco Allemand (Franco German Lycee)

What is the timetable?

In collège, lessons take place from 8:45am to 4:10 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Wednesday 8:45am - 5:10pm. These schedules make it possible to take the buses of the many lines serving both schools. Recent timetable changes mean some lessons can start at 8:10am or finish at 5:10pm, meaning that only the regular public transport can be used.

At lycée, lessons start in general at 8:45 and finish between 4:25pm and 6:15pm, Monday to Friday.

Is there a cafeteria?

Pupils of collège and lycée can eat lunch at the Lycée Franco-Allemand 5 days per week.

Registration is yearly, and payments are made per month.

How does the program function?

At collège level: pupils of the section follow the national program in all the subjects including German which is taught as a first foreign language starting in sixième. The six hours each week of history and English literature are taught according to a Franco-British program by mostly native English-speaking teachers. Moreover the pupils have the possibility of learning Spanish as a second language as of cinquième.

At the end of troisième, pupils take the Brevet des collèges Option Internationale, with examinations in English literature and history.
At lycée level, pupils of the section follow the national program in all the subjects. German is taught as a first foreign language. Arrangements can be made for pupils who need beginner-level classes in German, if they did  not start German at an earlier level. The timetable includes five hours weekly of English literature and 3 hours of history-geography taught according to a Franco-British program by mostly native English speaking teachers.

At the end of Première, the pupils take the French part of the baccalaureate. In Terminale they take the exams of the remainder of their subjects for the French baccalaureate, as well as the examinations of the international option of baccalaureate (OIB), British section, in English literature and history-geography. These examinations comprise written and oral elements.

Who is the program intended for?

This program is for French-English bilingual pupils. Most candidates come from either anglophone families living in France or French families back from a stay in an English-speaking country. Another frequent constellation consists of binational French-English speaking families residing in the area.
The Anglophone countries represented are the UK, Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mauritius and India. Families of the section live in the departments of south-west Paris. There is no 'sector' requirement to live in a certain geographical zone, and the extensive bus network allows students to travel from quite some distance.

How can I get a subsidised bus pass for my child?

Basically, you need to pick up an application form for the Imagin’R pass at your local train station or bus depot. Fill out the form, attach a recent photo, have it stamped by the school and send it off to Imagin'R. Depending on where you live, you may benefit from a subsidy paid by your departement. The procedure is quite straight forward for those living in the Yvelines. Apparently it can be more complicated for those living in Essonne, and unfortunately the Hauts-de-Seine do not offer any subsidy.

However, many Primary families were asked to pay the full price as Imagin’R was not familiar with an SIA in a primary school. Since then much has been communicated on the SIA Primary section and today, most of us have succeeded thanks to parents sharing their strategy and contacts at the relevant departments. Read on for more details on how we managed to get the difference refunded should you encounter problems obtaining your preferential rate.

Fundamentally, it seems that children in primary are not entitled to subsidized bus passes and this is the answer we all received initially. But don’t give up! If you persist, it becomes evident that children attending a specialized school on a “dérogation” are entitled to this benefit, at least in the Yvelines. Apparently, the key to each application is whether the Conseil Général of the Département in which you live has agreed to provide the subsidy.

In future years, the primary section should be better known at Imagin’R, but if all else fails, you should contact the Conseil Général again (transports-scolaires@yvelines.fr). Make sure you include the following details:

(your child’s name) ; date de naissance (DOB) ;
adresse ………

Code Utilisateur du forfait : ……….

Code RNE de l’école Louis Blériot : 0780521T

They will then deal with Imagin’R directly and you will receive a refund of €150 by cheque.

As yet, we do not have a success story from Essonne. The only advice we can give to all families living outside the Yvelines is to make sure that you didn’t simply get the standard reply which says that primary school children are not eligible. This was the reply received on several occasions in the Yvelines too before speaking to the person in charge of school transport at the Conseil Général. Once this person got hold of the application in question, it was dealt with in a few days.

If anyone has any additional information that will help us all to streamline the process, please let us know so we can pass it on to other SIA primary families.

Good luck!

How much are the school fees?

The section is located in state schools of the Academy of Versailles, and so tuition is free. There is no charge to attend Section Internationale in Buc.