Early Years: our preschool

Early Years: our preschool

The early years team is based in our bright and spacious nursery with a garden and playground. Through a balance of child and adult-led activities, and at a pace adapted to each child’s needs, your child is supported to gain autonomy, have fun and develop a thirst for learning.

We are a unique preschool offering high quality childcare in French. We have an established team of professional Early Years Practitioners and teacher who aim to provide high quality learning experiences through play and structured activities within the framework of the EYFS.

We offer a choice of programmes:

  • French maternelle accredited programme run by a native French, qualified teacher (“Professeur des Ecoles”) and French speaking practitioners. This curriculum is delivered Monday to Thursday in a French immersion context, better suited to bilingual children who speak French at home. However, our programme is open to all children whatever their proficiency in French. We offer a balanced education promoting multiculturalism and following the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) framework. We are part of a network of French schools abroad (AEFE) and follow the French maternelle curriculum (Petite et Moyenne sections).
  • Part-time programme on Mondays and Fridays supporting children’s additional language within the EYFS framework. Activities will be offered in small groups with qualified French speaking practitioners. 
  • We also offer the possibility for your child to attend any 3, 4 or 5-day combinations during the week.

These two services offer a balanced education to children whether bilingual or not, extending French language skills for bilingual children or supporting the learning of French as a Foreign Language.

Each child has a key person to support their learning and well-being.

Premises  

Our facilities include a two-part large bright classroom, a playground with amenities, a garden area where children grow vegetables, fruits and plants, and a sleeping area. 

Inspections

Classes are inspected by OFSTED.

Our OFSTED registration number is EY486621.

Our last inspection was on 26.04.2023 and we were rated “good”. The inspection highlighted that “Children develop a desire to learn and are keen to get involved in the interesting activities on offer to them. All children develop their language and communication skills to a good standard in both their first language and any additional language they speak”.

The Maternelle is also inspected by The Inspector of the French National Education who on his last visit in January 2024, gave very positive feedback about our unique offer and outstanding teaching.

Communication        

We use the software Learning Journal to share pictures, comments, and observations of children throughout the week. We also have individual meetings to discuss children’s progress throughout the year, allowing a positive and effective partnership with parents / carers.            

Children with Additional Needs     

Mathilde Monnet is our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). Please do not hesitate to ask for an appointment if you would like to share information about your child with Mathilde, or if you have any queries, on SENCO@ecolefrancaisedebristol.org

"Both our kids really enjoyed their year in Maternelle at L'École Française de Bristol and enthusiastically used French at home within a few weeks of starting. The educational team establishes a strong caring bond with the children and offers a structured programme of fun activities around several themes per term. They also enjoy long play times and activities outdoors, as well as physical development indoors (Yoga, obstacle course). The team instils a strong sense of security and encourages developing independence and autonomy in daily tasks. All the staff are warm and approachable and give daily feedback and regular “Spotlight” meetings to discuss our child’s development. Above all, our son can’t wait to take his lunch box and walk through the door each morning!"

Alastair N.

Toddler Group

For those not yet old enough to attend our preschool, our weekly toddler group for children aged 18 to 33 months runs on Mondays from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. The group, called Les Bambins, provides a fun environment where children and carers can enjoy socialising, singing and playing in French.

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