The solution to bilingualism for Francophones living abroad  

by  OFALycee, French education working in complement to the British school system  / Posted on

Discover the new time-saving approach to bilingual education for French speaking children living abroad. 

OFALycee, the first 100% online French school, will open its digital doors in the UK this September, bringing a new way of thinking to bilingual education that allows parents to combine the best of both worlds. 

After many years in French schools in the USA, Géraldine Guillermin, Head of School, and Olivier Saint-Vincent, Academic Director, decided to combine their expertise and their passion in a new educational offering designed to benefit French-speaking pupils living abroad. Instead of being forced to choose one school system over another, OFALycee harnesses innovation in both concept and method to allow families to combine the best of the British and French systems in a single bilingual and bicultural education for their children. 

The benefits of the concept of complementarity are simple: instead of treating each curriculum as a separate entity, why not take what is learnt in the local school system and use it to fulfil the requirements of the French programme? The common core subjects such as mathematics, science and foreign languages are already taught in the local school and follow a similar number of course hours in both the British and French school week. In general, when French-speaking students wish to follow the French education program in parallel to local school, they must study and submit assignments for the entire course. However, when viewing the two systems as complementary, this double workload can be lightened considerably, capitalizing on what pupils have already learnt and adding just what is necessary, rather than duplicating it in its entirety. 

How does this translate in practice? The 18 hours of lessons required per week for the Brevet des Colleges programme in France are achieved in just four hours at OFALycée. For Year 12 (Première), 23 hours of lessons are reduced to 7 hours and for the final year (Terminale), 27 hours requires just 8 hours. Sounds too good to be true? With 100% pass rate for both the Brevet and the Baccalaureate, and 88% with honours, the success of the pupils speaks for itself.  

Moreover, if that wasn’t enough, the 100% online model brings additional advantages. Latest figures indicate a time saving of 40%-60% in online teaching compared to the traditional classroom environment. Stripping away the unnecessary elements of in-person teaching and redesigning lessons for a streamlined, online classroom allows OFALycée. to deliver the French curriculum without compromising on either rigour or knowledge. Indeed, by covering all 16 literary works of the French curriculum for Years 7-10 (6eme-3eme), OFALycée’s pupils not only fulfil the requirements of the French program, but are even pushed beyond them.  

While this innovative concept of online complementary education is designed to accelerate learning and maximize dual achievement, the culture at OFALycée is one of nurturing, support and self-development, where academic success goes hand-in-hand with personal well-being. On the academic side, lessons take place in small groups of a maximum of 4-8 pupils, allowing both differentiated teaching and individual support for each pupil. In addition, Social and Emotional Learning is an integral part of all the school’s programmes with professional coaches available for both group and individual sessions, allowing pupils to discover their own potential, develop self-awareness, and practice effective communication and collaboration. These are essential elements of education that aim to help pupils find and nurture the keys to their well-being and find their place in the world with confidence.  

Now in its third school year in the United States with 300 pupils, 70 classes and more than 100 lessons taking place each week, the benefits of this new approach to bilingual education are clear. This September OFALycée will open its digital doors to the French community in the UK, offering the same opportunity of a French education working in complement to the British school system, allowing families to combine the best of both systems and opening doors to pupils not only for higher education, but for their personal and professional success in the future. 

Our Members

Our members are international professionals and their families. We soften their landing so they have a successful time in the UK.