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A French School For Your Child

By Rebecca Connell

Of all the decisions a parent will have to make for their child, education is surely one of the most important. Bombarded daily by another article on state vs. private, mixed vs. single sex, religious vs. secular… it’s not surprising that parents are confused and often panicked as to what is the best course to take for their child.

The English school system is not an easy one to navigate for English parents, let alone for foreign ones- catchment areas, league tables… it’s enough to make you give up on the whole thing entirely. Though not yet quite at the stage of negotiating waiting lists myself, I have increasingly been thinking about what I will do when the time comes.

So I have begun to think back on my own education, which, until the age of 13, I spent in the French system.  A top priority for my parents, my mother being French and my father English, was for their children to be bilingual. This meant that from a young age French was the order of the day: French nursery rhymes, French story books, French cartoons, French au pairs, and of course French schools. And to this day I am thankful that they chose to do so. Other bi-national friends of mine were not so lucky. Either through a desire for their children to be fully integrated or, as some of them put it, to avoid confusion, they were immediately placed in the English system. The result was that they found themselves in the difficult position of not being fully English, but nor could they feel connected to their French side as their lack of fluency in the language caused too much of a barrier between them and the culture. And language was the thing they complained about the most: in a world where one language is simply no longer enough, why would you not make the most of the head start you could give your child?

Fluency in French was one of the obvious benefits I received from my primary education, but not the only one. Growing up with two nationalities in one country is never easy for a child. I remember being very confused about it and went through a stage of insisting I was only one or the other. This is because young children don’t want to stand out, they want to belong. It was difficult enough to be “The French Girl” at my school when I was 13, I don’t think I would have handled it all that well at a younger age. Luckily, I had ten years of being surrounded by kids who all had multiple nationalities and languages; there was no exclusion, no weird looks or comments on accents: Everybody else was exactly like me. I realised through my time at school that I didn’t have to be one or the other: I could be both, and proud of both.

This is why when the day comes to make that choice for my child, there is no doubt that I will be signing up for the French start.

If you are looking for the right French school for your little one, then your task will be a lot easier than my parents: due to the rise from both the increasing French population and others who are eager for their children to experience “ l’école à la française”, there is now a wealth of great schools for you to chose from.

La Chouette School

La Chouette School is a new independent Pre-Prep Bilingual School in Ealing Broadway for 2 to 6 year-olds. It follows the French National Curriculum set by the French Governing body L’Education Nationale. All teaching is based on bilingualism through immersion, with 50% of the lessons being taught in French.  The classes sizes are kept small in order for the teachers to favour children’s personal development, placing emphasis on their general well-being. The school also offers a wealth of extra-curricular activities, as well as before and after school care facilities and school meals.

School Website


Ecole Jacques Prévert

Founded in 1973, L’Ecole Jacques Prévert is in a beautiful red brick building on leafy Brook Green. The school follows the French curriculum and is administered by a British non-profit making company. It has been hugely successful with both French and English parents and  now has more than 255 children attending its nursery and primary school classes. Emphasis is placed on the learning of English, and the language is taught as soon as children attend nursery by native speakers. It has lovely facilities including a spacious and comfortable library and computer room run by a full-time teacher. The school also has an indoor gymnasium for the younger children as well as an outdoor one for the older ones where Sport is practiced, and there are also regular swimming lessons organised at the nearby pool. The proposed extension of the existing premises, if successful, will give more space for the pupils whilst retaining the educational advantages of a small school.

School Website

La Marelle

And if you don’t want to place your children in full time French-education, La Marelle offers you a perfect compromise:

La Marelle is a Saturday morning school set up in 2008, by a group of French-speaking mothers . They wanted to create an environment where their bilingual children could meet other children like them while receiving formal instruction in the language and culture of the French-speaking world.  The first lessons began in April 2009 at Fleetdown Primary School in Dartford and it now welcomes over 80 enrolled pupils.

Following the success of its school for French-speaking children, La Marelle now also teaches French as a foreign language. This includes classes for children aged 3 to 10, GCSE preparation and French conversation classes for adults. There is also a toddler group and library opening in 2011.

What about the older children? The Lycée Francais Charles de Gaulle is no longer the only option- and thank God considering the waiting list!

School Website

L'Ecole Internationale Marymount de Londres

L’Ecole Internationale Marymount de Londres is a private catholic girls’ school which also offers boarding. It is a registered school of the Conseil Des Ecoles Internationales, and as such offers both the first and second cycle of the International Baccalaureat, as well as a wide variety of activities ranging from sports to theatre, music and choir.

Teaching is in English but with the added benefit of French literature lessons and French being taught as a mother tongue (though there is also the possibility of studying it as a foreign language).

The school is on a beautiful private property only 18 km from central London, and can take as many as 250 students, half of which are borders.

The school’s philosophy is one of tolerance, respect and excellence, within an environment of great diversity (46 nationalities).

School website


27/03/2017 - gendronalice said :

je suis une jeune éducatrice spécialisée Française et je viens d'arriver à Londres pour m'y installer avec mon conjoint.
Je suis à la recherche d'un travail dans une école française, en tant qu'assistante ou autre chose.
Pouvez vous m'aider dans mes démarche de recherches, comment faut- il s'y prendre ?

Merci d'avance


21/12/2016 - suewingfield said :

Please could you tell where is the French school on the Wickes site. In Harrow, and what do,they start. My grandson is jus 3 and is bi-lingual in French and english

Which area is near to the school as they have no,at present.

25/05/2016 - yasminahfr said :

Salut, j'habite dans londres est. je recherche une petite ecole piyr mon bebe age de 1 an. Je souhaiterai qu'il soit expose a la langue/ culture feancaise. Des suggestions? Merci d'avance

05/01/2016 - m_lavinia said :


We are about to move to UK from France, together with our two daughters born in FR, aged 3 and 7 years old. I was wondering if you happen to know if there is any french school in or nearby Portsmouth? Thank you in advance for any information you can kindly give us.

Kind regards,

06/07/2015 - domitillelarroque said :

Hello I am interested in your article is always available -it my email:

12/12/2014 - ecoofi said :

Hello, I'm moving out from France to UK / Hampshire or Bristol area / next year, and I'm looking for a school for my son 9; he is going to College, 6eme, in 2015. His English is fluent but I would like him to continue his education in French school as it should be easier for him, and won't create any delays to follow the program. Any advices, addresses?

26/11/2014 - lboumsong said :

Looking for a pre-nursery in Hampshire, near Alton would be great

10/07/2014 - Jonsmith said :

Parents in North West London may also be interested in knowing about a new bilingual primary free school which will teach children in French and English, opening in September 2015

Harrow Bilingual Primary School

25/05/2014 - dominiqueannaliese said :

I am an English mother and my husband is Italian. I speak English and he speaks only Italian. We are very interested to send our son to a French nursery. We were wondering if this is typically done to help achieve trI-lingualism? Or will this be too confusing? I look forward to hearing from you

14/12/2013 - kvekrakou57 said :

Enseignante de fraçais ayant une longue expérience
à la préparation de diplômes du Ministère de l'Education Nationale DELF et DALF, ayant reçu un certificat de reconnaissance pour la promotion de la langue française en Grèce par l'Institut Français d'Athènes, recherche un poste de travail à Londres dans une école francophone.

14/11/2013 - fayolleaudrey said :

Hello I Audrey 23yo from Paris, France. Iam now moving to England, west London. Iam searching for any position available in childcare to specialize in nuserie assistance teacher for bilingual schools

09/08/2013 - sarah.dees said :

Are you aware of any french nursery schools in Surrey ? My son is only 6mnths old but am keen for him to start as early as possible at a french nursery.

31/07/2013 - siweber said :

I am looking for a Saturday school for my 12 year old son to further his French from school as we are thinking of moving to Geneva. We live in North London.
Please let me know if anything available in the area.

10/07/2013 - annacummings said :

Hello there,

If you are looking for the best school for your child, maybe you are moving within the UK, into the UK or out of the UK? Please feel free to look at our website . We can help you with this as we are education relocation specialists.

Best of luck!


25/04/2013 - royanna.ebrahimi said :

im looking for a french school that they have clubs during midterm and half term school holidays .

02/03/2013 - chafika_93 said :

i am new in london
i am french teacher looking for job in french nursery or primary school
i live in SE15 1EB london

19/11/2012 - corinnehowells said :

Hi.My children understand French but do not speak it.I live in Watford area and would love to find a saturday school for them in this area.Any ideas please?

06/11/2012 - hayat-1998 said :

I am looking for a(french/English) school in north west London for my daughter.this is important. Can you please send me and email.....thank you

28/06/2012 - robertgood said :

I am looking for a school in the portsmouth area that follow the french national cirriculum

08/06/2012 - kpriya said :

Iam looking for a bilingual(french/english) school in north west london for my daughter.Can u please send some adress.....thanks

07/03/2012 - Anneminivin said :

We also live in east London (brick lane area) and looking for French nursery and then school for our now 20 months baby. We are interested in Montessori methods and eventually would like him to follow a baccalaurea curriculum. Any suggestion?

31/01/2012 - info said :

Luli Reis disse:Amei todas!!!! Mas com cezreta o vestido que mais gostei foi o último, com os recortes e tal.. E que menina atenta, já vi (fotos de) blogueiras usando!!! hahaBeijinhos!

18/11/2011 - eleonore said :


N'hésitez pas à regarder le site pour de plus amples informations sur les systèmes scolaires à Londres.

Merci Eléonore

28/09/2011 - comanga said :

I'm looking for a French school for my 5 year old daughter for the Saturdays, something similar to La Marelle but in West London. Can you help?

01/08/2011 - selhudayen said :

bonjour je cherche une ecole francais a south kensington pour mon fils 3 ans et demie.comment faire pour enregistrer? si vous pouvez m'aider? meme si 2 ou 3 fois par jours aussi une place activiter dans samedi. merci!!

19/06/2011 - dalgleishes said :

my 6 yr old son has been in a swiss school the last two yrs and we are moving to uk in the will be a shame for him to lose the french. does anyone know if there are any schools/organisations that hv suitable programmes? any native french speakers interested in playing on a regular basis would be great. the schools mentioned in this article is far from where we will live which is in godalming.
many tks for any info/suggestions.

05/05/2011 - susannah said :

There's also a project to set up a state-funded international secondary school in Greenwich. The focus will be on great language teaching, including French, and will be suitable for bilingual and English-only speakers. Lots of French-speaking families have already signed up.

If you live in south-east or east London and have a child in year 3, 4 or 5, register your interest now by going to:

03/05/2011 - HORSES79 said :


01/04/2011 - reddressrock99 said :

Hi Emmanuelle,

Please check this website and fill in the registration form asap if you are interested.
The school will be in south-east London.

Support is needed. Please pass the message around to your friends and family.

Thank you.


27/03/2011 - sophiegg said :

This is a great article! Would be even better if it also covered French-type schools outside of London (beyond M25)....

26/03/2011 - linescapa said :

any schools in Birmingham?


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