About

About

Our story

Our school started in 1980 as a Saturday morning club run by three French parents in a community hall. In the decades since, L'École Française de Bristol has grown from strength to strength to meet the needs of our local community of francophones and francophiles. 

Over the years, we have moved into permanent premises, gained official recognition, strengthened our partnerships, and opened classes for children for whom French is a new language. We remain, however, very much a community organisation with a unique teaching model. 

Our legal status reflects this specificity: we are not subsidised by the French government, nor are our staff civil servants in the French or UK systems. We are in fact a non-profit making organisation (registered charity 900410) and a limited liability company (2463900) meaning that all fees go towards the running of the school, for example salaries, administrative fees, rent, utility bills, school supplies, and library registrations.

Mission and Values

L'École Française de Bristol’s mission is to offer an excellent education provided by qualified and experienced French-speaking teachers and teaching assistants. The school’s fundamental values ​​are: respect, community, curiosity, ambition, creativity and multilingualism. 

Our mission and values guide and underpin our work, enabling children to develop knowledge, skills and a positive attitude towards learning, while becoming global citizens. 

We value our international and local partnerships, including our partnerships with parents which not only form the cornerstone of our community, but which are crucial to our pupils' wellbeing and academic success. By working together, we can better understand our children, identify their needs and nurture their confidence in expressing themselves in French.

Bilingualism at the EFB

With over 40 years’ experience of teaching bilingual and multilingual children, L'École Française de Bristol has a deep understanding of the benefits of learning two or more languages simultaneously, the potential challenges involved, as well as the key elements required to bring about positive outcomes for children. 

Research has shown the cognitive, linguistic and cultural advantages of learning two or more languages at the same time: bi- or multilingual children demonstrate enhanced mental flexibility and creativity, find it easier to learn additional languages and can show more tolerance towards other cultures. At L'École Française de Bristol, we see these benefits first hand and strive to develop a sense of global citizenship in our pupils.  

While our pre-school and Maternelle can be attended five days per week, our primary and secondary pupils attend L'École Française de Bristol part-time: one day per week at the primary level and two hours per week at the secondary level. We are unique in offering a ‘day release’ service, meaning that primary school children who speak French at home are ‘released’ from their English primary school one day per week to attend L'École Française de Bristol on the basis of off-site education. In their weekly French class, pupils study the French language with the objective of being able to understand, read, write and speak in French independently by the end of their primary education, and to have enriched their understanding of francophone culture.

In our experience, a crucial factor in the successful acquisition of the French language by our pupils is exposure to the French language at home and the involvement of parents/carers in their children’s learning and school life. Parents are therefore called upon to speak to their children in French, support reading and writing at home, visit their child’s class when possible and to attend our community events. Paired with our educational expertise, this parental investment is what makes learning fun and rewarding for our pupils.

Team  

Our team is made up of highly qualified native French-speaking professionals with specific experience of working with bi- and multilingual children. The school’s dedicated staff have created a fun, caring environment where each child is supported to develop their French language skills to the best of their abilities. The headteacher is Mathilde Monnet.

The school benefits from the support and expertise of an advisory board (comité d'école). Made up of five trustees as well as parents and local francophiles, the advisory board assists the school’s leadership in the areas of strategic planning, monitoring and finance. The current chair is Nicolas Hatton.

Premises:

L'École Française de Bristol is based in north Bristol in a purpose-built school benefitting from bright and spacious classrooms, a garden and playground. 

The early years team has the use of two large interconnected rooms, a smaller dormitory and its own nappy changing and personal care facilities. The space is generous enough to accommodate designated cooking, craft, reading and play areas as well as weekly yoga sessions and other indoor physical activities. Our early years pupils have their own playground, with a sandpit, mud kitchen, wendy houses, scooters, balance bikes, tricycles and climbing frame. Children regularly use the lawn area for games and relaxation as well as the vegetable patch for growing fruit, vegetables and flowers. We spend a lot of time outside in all weather and the children have access to many open-ended resources for imaginative play and to experience nature and its benefits.

Our two other classrooms are used for primary school classes from Tuesday to Saturday and our secondary school class on Saturday morning. Each room has a reading corner, personal desks and an interactive white board. They also have access to board games, toys, and a pretend play corner for our younger pupils. Our pupils proudly display their work to share it with the school community, and, on a weekly rota, take ownership of various tasks including tidying. Our primary and secondary pupils also have use of a designated playground and the garden which they enjoy all year round.

Contact

Address: École Française de Bristol, 35 Stanton Road, Southmead, Bristol, BS10 5SJ

L'École Française de Bristol is located in Southmead and accessed via a single-track road off Stanton Road. Please note that we are not permitted to use the parking area in front of the school which belongs to our neighbour, the Bristol Beacon Music Centre. We kindly request that you park on neighbouring streets when visiting the school or dropping off and collecting children.

Opening hours: 9 AM - 5 PM (please book an appointment for visiting the school)

T: +44 (0) 117 969 2410

E: enquiries@ecolefrancaisedebristol.org

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