There’s a reassuring feeling to the cycle of going back to school. It’s one of those few things in life that we can depend on – like night follows day and summer follows spring. And now autumn and winter.
Except there will be a few subtle changes this year in what in the French system is called “la rentrée”.
Remember the strict rules about telephones. They must not be used by the children when in school. If there is a temptation to use them – tell your kids NO. They are allowed to keep their phones securely in their back-packs and switched off.
In terms of the digital revolution under-way in Monaco, it will be increasingly evident in the educational sector this time around. Students of Charles III college in particular are going to find a significant enhancement in the IT infrastructure there.
Do you ever have to get into a negotiation with your children about doing their homework? The first challenge is the find out what homework has actually been assigned. And some of our budding geniuses are quite adept at perhaps telling us what they would like us to know. To be fair maybe they need that extra little helping hand in interpreting their assignments. So an experiment at Fontvielle School is an advance in “digital access” as well as making it easier for us parents. You will now be able to access the list of homework assignments for your children directly on-line.
Also now lucky primary school students are going to have lighter back-packs. A policy of one book for two students means those young bodies will not have to shoulder so much weight. Over time this is very helpful for their posture.
There are big changes in the Baccalaureate in the near future. This qualification on leaving school and preparing for University has after all been relatively unchanged since Napoleonic times. The baccalauréat has been traditionally much more weighted to final exams than in other countries. The changes are targeted for the first exams in 2021; they envisage a new baccalauréat that will be partly based on continuous exams across the whole two years. Pupils will also be able to orientate their studies towards specific degrees sooner. New specialities will include computer science and coding. So, Monaco is pressing ahead rapidly preparing baccalaureate students for the future including help in choosing their specializations and 54 hours of orientation with respect to their post-bac. And that infamous philosophical essay for university entrance – help is on hand in the second year of the “bac” now with two hours per week devoted to how to express oneself well both in writing and in speech.
And for pre-schoolers there is a brand-new preschool in Place des Bougainvilliers. Such a pleasant surprise for all the parents who will be able accompany their young children to the Stella kindergarten there.
Back to school – HelloMonaco researched the total numbers in Monaco which are also to be found in the French press who report just short of 6.000 pupils of which about 20% are in private school with over 500 teachers involved in total.