Please read this guidance carefully before applying for a place. It explains priorities for admission and other important issues which you need to know before applying.
The Primary Programme’s principal aim is to provide tuition in English, based on the English Curriculum, on one afternoon each week at mother tongue level for first language and good second language speakers of English, working in collaboration with the French educational system. Pupils who attend the Programme receive the main part of their education during the rest of the week in a French primary school.
Admission to the Programme is not automatic. If fundamental decisions about coming to live in the Pays de Gex or about your children's educational future depend upon gaining a place in the Programme, please seek our advice before taking these decisions.
Places and admissions priorities
- Children must be enrolled in a French primary school in the Pays de Gex.
- Priority is given to children of parents who are resident in France. Children who attend French primary schools in the Pays de Gex, but whose parents reside in Switzerland, will be considered if space allows.
- Within the group of students who achieve a pass mark in the tests for the primary section, priority is given to children of CERN employees whose children attend a French primary school in the Pays de Gex. (By ‘CERN employees’ is meant those who are employed directly by CERN.)
Testing for Primary (refer to calendar on homepage for dates)
All places in the Programme are awarded on the basis of entrance test performances.
Testing for our intake class (the CP or reception class) takes place during the June preceding the beginning of pupils’ first academic year within the Programme. At this point, candidates are at the end of their GS year within French primary schools. All French primary schools in the Pays de Gex are informed of the test date and asked to give this information to families. Existing members of the Association are also asked to pass this information onto new families who may be interested. The test date is placed on our website about one month in advance. Normally, the Programme's primary teachers conduct the oral tests, which are moderated via recordings. The testers’ main goal is to put children at their ease, so that they can respond in English with their usual fluency and confidence. Places are awarded on the basis of performance in the oral test.
For all other Primary classes (CE1, CE2, CM1 and CM2), oral and written entrance testing takes place at the beginning of September. These tests consist of a brief piece of continuous writing by the candidates and a reading comprehension exercise based on a short passage of prose. An oral test also takes place.
Apart from priorities outlined above, only the oral and written results (for CP only oral results) are taken into account in entrance testing. The date of a family’s contact with the Programme in the preceding year is not taken into account.
Communication about testing and results
Information on all test dates is placed on our website about one month in advance. Written information also goes out via all French primary schools in the Pays de Gex. While we actively seek the cooperation of these schools, we cannot take responsibility for possible delays or failures in the communication of information.
We cannot issue personal reminders to all families who contact us during the year. Please check this website and/or email or telephone us in early May or late August (as appropriate) if for any reason you feel that information has not reached you.
All tests are by appointment only: you must contact us, preferably by email, in order to be given an appointment and details of testing arrangements.
All decisions about admissions to the Primary section are made by the Head of Programme. The local 'Inspection' is informed of all testing decisions and we work with local primary schools on several issues, including attendance.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 04 50 40 82 66 to get in touch with the Programme’s administration.