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What is the English National Programme?
Article published on 29 September 2012
last modification on 28 September 2012

by Section britannique

Directeur de la section internationale anglophone :

(+33 (0)4 50 40 82 66)
e-mail de la section :
Site web :
Président de l’Association des parents d’élèves (ALA-ELP) :
Mme Julie Badoche

I. What is the English National Programme ?

We are an ‘international section’ defined by French law and run by a parents’ Association (ALA-ELP). We form an integral part of the middle and upper secondary schools (Collège and Lycée), and provide teaching in English in subjects for pupils within those schools whose English is already very good or of mother-tongue standard. This is determined by entrance testing. Students receive 6-8 hours of tuition in English per week within the Programme and are educated in French for the rest of their timetable. This structure provides an education which is both bilingual and bicultural. For more information on the aims and work of the Programme, please consult our website,, in conjunction with this page.
The subjects we teach are:

• English and English Literature

• History-Geography

• Mathematics in English

English and Mathematics courses are based in large part upon the English National Curriculum, and we prepare students for certain British examinations, including GCSE.
We also co-operate with the French school in preparing students for international options within French examinations: these are the International Options of the ’Brevet’ (DNBi) and ’Baccalauréat’ (OIB or BOI).
We provide 6 hours of teaching for most of our pupils per week: 4 in English and 2 in either Mathematics or History-Geography. Since September 2012 all pupils entering the school at 6ème level must take History-Geography. From September 2013 this will apply to all pupils entering 6ème and 5ème, and so forth. Pupils can request to take both History-Geography and Mathematics in English. For more details of hours and associated tuition fees, please see our website. It should be noted that this is primarily a French international school, so all other subjects are taught in French. History-Geography and Mathematics are also taught in French to all pupils.
All students in the Programme take the French university entrance examination (the baccalauréat) at the end of their studies, with the OIB/BOI. We help students prepare for university application, and try to ensure that they can use their French qualification to go to English-speaking universities, if they wish to.
At present we have about 300 pupils in the Collège and 230 in the Lycée. We also have a primary section of 330 pupils, which is open to English-speaking students in local French primary schools. Teaching takes place on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons for three hours each week.
Entry to all levels of the Programme is always via an entrance test in English.
More details of both primary and secondary sections of the Programme as well as testing dates are available on our website:

II. Examination courses

As an international section, one of the Programme’s main tasks is to prepare students for the International Options of the brevet (the DNBi taken at the end of 3ème) and baccalauréat (OIB/BOI, taken at the end of Terminale).
The Programme follows the English approaches and curricula where possible, and therefore offers GCSEs at the end of Key Stage 4 (2nde in the French system) in English, English Literature and Mathematics, the latter being an option. In a similar way, refer to Key Stage 3 assessment criteria in our Collège English and Mathematics classes. Students taking the Mathematics option in 4ème and 3ème sit the GCSE Statistics at the end of 3ème.
As the Programme is an examinations centre for Edexcel, we can also offer some IGCSE language examinations. These are taken at the end of 2nde, or, for French, at the end of 3ème. Such optional language examinations are only run if demand is sufficient. Parents are asked to sign their children up for all such public examinations during the second half of the autumn term.
An advanced Mathematics course is run in 1ère for students who wish to pursue Mathematics in English beyond GCSE. For selected pupils who wish to take the exam, this will lead to AS level Mathematics.
Examinations results for subjects we teach can be consulted on the Programme’s website:

III. Staff

Teachers of primary and secondary English and secondary Mathematics and History Geography are first language or good second language English speakers with professional and other qualifications from English speaking countries. We have good knowledge of both British and French educational systems. We run training for teachers, and keep regular contacts with the UK via consultancy and inspections. There is a staff page on our website.
The Programme Secretary is Lucy Howen: she is the person you will probably speak to first when you contact the Programmme office.
To contact her, please telephone 00 33 (0)4 50 40 82 66, or email

IV. The Parents’ Association

The Programme is financed entirely by fees paid by parents via a 1901 association (‘association loi 1901’) known as ALA-ELP (’Association de Langue Anglaise - English Language Programme’). The Association governs and finances the Programme. Elected committee members manage resources, recruit and employ teachers, and are involved in all aspects of governance.
The ALA-ELP President is Mrs Julie Badoche (email contact:
A history of the Association and other important details which are of interest to present and future members can be found at on the ALA-ELP pages of the programme’s website:
The Association runs an AGA each year which all members should attend.

V. Applying to the Programme

Admission is by entrance test for all pupils and at all levels. For secondary pupils coming from non-French schools, the Lycée may also test in mathematics and in French. The secondary school offers special tuition for non-French speakers in both of these subjects. This is described elsewhere on this website.
All parts of the Programme have grown rapidly in recent years and are still growing. Operation on two sites (Ferney-Voltaire and St Genis) is planned by the French authorities for 2016. This date may change. Admission is not automatic, even for those whose English is of a high standard. Parents should consult the Programme and the Lycée/Collège about places available, and should not in any circumstances base important decisions (such as accepting a job or selling a house) on the assumption of gaining a place.
Entrance testing takes place in April/May for the following September for the secondary section and in April or May for the intake class (CE1) of the primary section. Testing for other primary classes takes place in September.
A final reminder: for further information on both secondary and primary parts of the Programme, you should consult our web site:

Peter Woodburn / revised October 2012

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