Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > France
Reload this Page >

Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Old Aug 4th 2019, 6:19 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 4
electronpusher is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Toulouse: Schools and commuting

We're scheduled to move to Toulouse in October of this year. We have two children who will have just turned 7 and 11 years upon our arrival. I've read the previous posts on schools and would like to check if the same advice still stands e.g. are there other schools we should be aware of? The move is job related and anticipated to be for at least the duration of our children's education (>/= 10 years). My greatest concern is for my daughter who will be 11 - I accept that she will lose a year to pick up a level of understanding with the language. I will be working south of the city, near to the Pierre Fabre Research Centre. Ideally, we would like to live outside of the city centre - I am happy to commute using public transport or part drive/cycle. Ideally, I'd like to keep my commute to no more than 30-40 minutes in one direction.

What schools would you recommend for my daughter aged 11?
What schools would you recommend for my son aged 7?
Where would you recommend living in view of my school and commute comments?

Thank you in advance.
electronpusher is offline  
Old Aug 5th 2019, 6:49 am
  #2  
dmu
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Hérault (34)
Posts: 7,388
dmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Originally Posted by electronpusher View Post
We're scheduled to move to Toulouse in October of this year. We have two children who will have just turned 7 and 11 years upon our arrival. I've read the previous posts on schools and would like to check if the same advice still stands e.g. are there other schools we should be aware of? The move is job related and anticipated to be for at least the duration of our children's education (>/= 10 years). My greatest concern is for my daughter who will be 11 - I accept that she will lose a year to pick up a level of understanding with the language. I will be working south of the city, near to the Pierre Fabre Research Centre. Ideally, we would like to live outside of the city centre - I am happy to commute using public transport or part drive/cycle. Ideally, I'd like to keep my commute to no more than 30-40 minutes in one direction.

What schools would you recommend for my daughter aged 11?
What schools would you recommend for my son aged 7?
Where would you recommend living in view of my school and commute comments?

Thank you in advance.
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
Others who know the Toulouse area will come along to advise about your daughter's education, but IMO, unless she knows a modicum of French Grammar and has knowledge of French Culture, it wouldn't be advisable to throw her in at the deep end in a French State Collège. You do say that losing a year by doing last-year Primaire would be acceptable, but this may not be sufficient to prepare her for Collège. Locals will know whether it's possible to find a location to live in which suits both the International School and your workplace....
For your son, it's the Mairie of the Commune where you'll be living which allocates the Primaire, usually the one nearest to your domicile if there are several in the Commune. He's a good age to pick up the French language and be prepared for Collège later on.
Have you read the "Schooling" thread in the Read-Me: Moving to France FAQs above? It's more or less up to date, except for the recent reform of the Bac, which won't concern you yet, and in fact will probably be reformed again before your daughter will be affected!
dmu is offline  
Old Aug 5th 2019, 11:17 pm
  #3  
Austin. TX.
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,235
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

You could easily live in Colomiers/Tournefeuille and commute to Pierre Fabre.
With such a large anglophone (Airbus) population around there, the schools are used to handling non-french speakers. I would take the opportunity to have your elder child go back to primaire for one year (possibly Lucie Aubrac would be a good choice) and then she can test for entry to College Victor Hugo British Section and then continue onto the Lycee and her Bac International. That way she will have a bit more help with her french and her english will be an asset and not a hindrance!
I 'd be talking to https://www.english31.org/portfolio_...-lucie-aubrac/if I were you.

Or there's always https://www.intst.eu/ if you've got the money and don't care about the kids learning french.
petitefrancaise is offline  
Old Aug 6th 2019, 7:31 pm
  #4  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 4
electronpusher is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
Others who know the Toulouse area will come along to advise about your daughter's education, but IMO, unless she knows a modicum of French Grammar and has knowledge of French Culture, it wouldn't be advisable to throw her in at the deep end in a French State Collège. You do say that losing a year by doing last-year Primaire would be acceptable, but this may not be sufficient to prepare her for Collège. Locals will know whether it's possible to find a location to live in which suits both the International School and your workplace....
For your son, it's the Mairie of the Commune where you'll be living which allocates the Primaire, usually the one nearest to your domicile if there are several in the Commune. He's a good age to pick up the French language and be prepared for Collège later on.
Have you read the "Schooling" thread in the Read-Me: Moving to France FAQs above? It's more or less up to date, except for the recent reform of the Bac, which won't concern you yet, and in fact will probably be reformed again before your daughter will be affected!
[color=left=#000000]Thank you for your help. I'm glad I found the forum - it looks like a great resource. I'm conscious that it may take longer for my daughter to become confident with the language - I read on the schooling thread that some children stay down a year and even two. I'm hoping with the right level of support from school and home that we can prepare her for college after a year. Do you know of other people who have children of a similar age and how they have coped? My first thoughts were for the International School but the fees are very high. Ideally, we'd like the children to pick up the language and integrate into the French schooling system.[/color]
electronpusher is offline  
Old Aug 6th 2019, 7:50 pm
  #5  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 4
electronpusher is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

[color=left=#000000]Petitefrancaise: Thanks. I'm under the impression that the rush hour commute in and around Toulouse is quite bad. Can this be avoided with public transport, alternative routes avoiding the e.g. A620 or out of sync travelling times e.g. travelling before 7.30 AM and after 6.00 PM? We're travelling to Toulouse again in September and will take the opportunity to visit Colomiers/Tournefeuille. Are there any other places you would recommend looking at e.g. south of the city e.g. we hear that Muret and Labarthe-sur-Leze are nice areas? I've also read that some people are living in L'Isle-Jourdain and this may be worth a look. [/color]
electronpusher is offline  
Old Aug 6th 2019, 7:55 pm
  #6  
dmu
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Hérault (34)
Posts: 7,388
dmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Originally Posted by electronpusher View Post
[color=left=#000000]Thank you for your help. I'm glad I found the forum - it looks like a great resource. I'm conscious that it may take longer for my daughter to become confident with the language - I read on the schooling thread that some children stay down a year and [/color]even two[color=left=#000000]. I'm hoping [/color]with the right level of support from school and home[color=left=#000000] that we can prepare her for college after a year. Do you know of other people who have children of a similar age and how they have coped? My first thoughts were for the International School but the fees are very high. Ideally, we'd like the children to pick up the language and integrate into the French schooling system.[/color]
Your average French Primaire wouldn't normally give extra support for non-French-speaking pupils, but being in the Airbus zone, you should find one. The Lucie Aubrac school in pf's link sounds a good choice, and you could get a private tutor to improve the chances of your daughter reaching her peers' level in Grammar in a year. Sometimes less bright pupils (not necessarily foreign) do have to stay down for 2 years, but this means that when they eventually go up to Collège, they are 2 years older than their peers, with all that that involves. Support at home would depend on your own French skills and knowledge of French Culture (Literature, History, Geography...). Our Primaire gave a lot of homework every day and parents are expected to at least supervise, if not help, the children.
My two were born in France, so I can't help more on this issue, but others will come along with their experience.
dmu is offline  
Old Aug 6th 2019, 8:17 pm
  #7  
Austin. TX.
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,235
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

There are plenty of pretty, little towns/villages around there but I would be concerned about your daughter learning enough french to cope with french college. Like DMU I think holding her back for 2 years is not a good option - even if you could get permission to do it because that isn't a given. 1 year should be ok though.
The british section (english 31) that I posted a link to is actually in the french school system - it's very well integrated and getting a place there is highly sought after by french students and not just british ones. The Bac Option International is also very, very well thought of and accepted internationally.
My elder daughter went to Lycee Victor Hugo in the English 31 section and she had friends that arrived in France during college BUT the ones that did well/flourished had at least 1 French or french speaking parent.
Please don't assume that french classes in France are like English classes in the UK. They aren't - french kids are required to have a very detailed knowledge of french grammar in a very academic sense. By the ages of 10, all my kids knew the names of most tenses in french grammar and could conjugate accordingly. That is to say, your elder daughter can't just "pick up" french to be at the same level as her peers - she is going to need a lot of support to cope with college. They don't take any prisoners in college and the more rural you go, the harder it gets as the number of non-french speakers is smaller. Teachers are there to teach the subject and not to be french instructors.
Lisle Jourdain is very nice - all along the Save valley is lovely but that commute to Pierre Fabre??? There's a school there -Ecole et Collège N.D. Le Clos Fleuri – Etablissement privé sous Contrat d'Association avec l'Etat which was really good with some friends whose kids didn't speak french when they started. It's private but with funding from the education nationale it isn't too bad at all.
petitefrancaise is offline  
Old Aug 7th 2019, 6:38 am
  #8  
dmu
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Hérault (34)
Posts: 7,388
dmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
There are plenty of pretty, little towns/villages around there but I would be concerned about your daughter learning enough french to cope with french college. Like DMU I think holding her back for 2 years is not a good option - even if you could get permission to do it because that isn't a given. 1 year should be ok though.
The british section (english 31) that I posted a link to is actually in the french school system - it's very well integrated and getting a place there is highly sought after by french students and not just british ones. The Bac Option International is also very, very well thought of and accepted internationally.
My elder daughter went to Lycee Victor Hugo in the English 31 section and she had friends that arrived in France during college BUT the ones that did well/flourished had at least 1 French or french speaking parent.
Please don't assume that french classes in France are like English classes in the UK. They aren't - french kids are required to have a very detailed knowledge of french grammar in a very academic sense. By the ages of 10, all my kids knew the names of most tenses in french grammar and could conjugate accordingly. That is to say, your elder daughter can't just "pick up" french to be at the same level as her peers - she is going to need a lot of support to cope with college. They don't take any prisoners in college and the more rural you go, the harder it gets as the number of non-french speakers is smaller. Teachers are there to teach the subject and not to be french instructors.
Lisle Jourdain is very nice - all along the Save valley is lovely but that commute to Pierre Fabre??? There's a school there -Ecole et Collège N.D. Le Clos Fleuri – Etablissement privé sous Contrat d'Association avec l'Etat which was really good with some friends whose kids didn't speak french when they started. It's private but with funding from the education nationale it isn't too bad at all.
Kids leaving CM2 (last year Primaire) are experts in Grammatical Analysis, really important in order to cope with 1st year Collège, and the main reason (in addition to mastering Maths) why less bright ones are kept down.
This isn't to put the OP off, but he should be aware of what his daughter should expect if she goes to the same local Primaire as his son....
dmu is offline  
Old Aug 7th 2019, 10:49 am
  #9  
BE Forum Addict
 
Tweedpipe's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Halfway between Ricard & Absynthe
Posts: 3,524
Tweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Must agree with PFrancaise, a commute from Lisle Jourdain to close to Pierre Fabre (which I believe is near le Pont Neuf) - would be no fun.
Imho Muret is not very exciting, neither is the commute, and only check out Labarthe-sur-Leze if you enjoy an even much longer commute. L-s-Leze were at one time promoting themselves as 'Une Ville qui Bouge', unlike the traffic if you opt to live there and commute.
Colomiers is ok, some pleasant property there away from the centre which is now concrete high-rise. Very popular obviously with AirBus on it's doorstep, which with more demand than supply has resulted in some sharp rental property price increases. Tournefeuille is very pleasant (we lived there for a few years) but purchase and rental prices have sky-rocketed - nice if you can afford it.
I wish you luck with your 11 yr old daughter, far from the best age for making a move to France. Doable, yes. Problematic, for sure.
Tweedpipe is offline  
Old Aug 7th 2019, 8:00 pm
  #10  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 4
electronpusher is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

Thank you all for the advice.
electronpusher is offline  
Old Aug 8th 2019, 9:40 am
  #11  
BE Forum Addict
 
Tweedpipe's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Halfway between Ricard & Absynthe
Posts: 3,524
Tweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond reputeTweedpipe has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Toulouse: Schools and commuting

As it's been mentioned in some long past posts, a place to perhaps mention again is Pibrac, aka Pibracshire. There's some very nice properties there, and many hundreds of Brits, and if you wish to live surrounded by 'em - in France?, shudder the thought - it may be worth considering. Your commute would be a fraction shorter than L'isle Jourdan but I'm sure some living there (other than Brits probably) do in fact work in Toulouse. I'm out of touch with property prices in Pibrac but I should imagine on a par with Tournefeuille. Food for thought.
Tweedpipe is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.