Say ‘Bonjour!’ to a lifetime of opportunity with a French education in Prague

A school teaching the French curriculum combined with strong elements of Czech and English delivers a diverse education that opens doors.

William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass Published on 07.03.2024 17:15:00 (updated on 07.03.2024) Reading time: 5 minutes

International schools in Prague are often chosen by parents with a view to their child’s future prospects. Studying in a foreign language while living in Czechia opens up a vista of international opportunities for further education and in the modern jobs market.

While various international schools teach in English, one prestigious Prague school stands out thanks to a curriculum with the potential to open even more doors worldwide. The French Lycée, situated at the foot of Petřín Hill in Prague 5, offers the standard French curriculum complemented by an added focus on English and Czech learning. This results in a cohort of graduates each year who in many cases aren’t just bilingual, but trilingual.

This extraordinary development of language skills is just one of many reasons for the school’s popularity. visited the French Lycée to find out more about the benefits of its holistic educational offer.

Learn in French, live internationally

As part of the Agency for French Teaching Abroad (AEFE), the French Lycée provides children with the same curriculum as they would find at any school in France and leads to the same qualifications when they graduate.

It is important to understand that this is a French international school.

Céline Allâtre, Headmistress of the Lycée

“We welcome children from the age of three, which is the legal age for starting schooling in France, all the way up to graduation at the age of 18,” she adds. “This is one of the strengths of our system; pupils and their families are with us for 15 years, which develops a really strong sense of belonging and progression.”

The school has nearly 800 pupils and includes a dedicated preschool building, while the impressive campus has been upgraded with new buildings tailored for modern educational requirements.

While these facilities provide a complete education, there’s no doubt that the language skills gained by pupils are a key part of the Lycée’s appeal. “We have a strong focus on languages,” says Mrs. Allâtre. “The curriculum is taught in French, but we have young pupils from different linguistic backgrounds: Czech pupils who have never heard a word of French, pupils for whom English is their mother tongue, and native French pupils.”

There are no language requirements for children starting at age three, as “they learn along the way through exposure to French every day,” says Mrs. Allâtre. This approach, coupled with compulsory lessons in English and Czech, mean the majority of pupils finish their studies having mastered French, English and Czech at different levels.

Those keen to foster even better English skills along with native-level French can join the British International Section, which offers bilingual learning in French and English at the younger levels. Then, from age 12 and up, it entails six hours of English language and literature, as well as British history and geography teaching in addition to the standard French curriculum, leading to a qualification named the French International Baccalaureate.

Pupils are also prepared for an international future by the school’s multicultural environment. “We have 40 different nationalities, with pupils coming from all over the world,” explains Mrs. Allâtre, who adds that nearly half of pupils come from French families and around a third are Czech, with the rest comprising other nationalities. “When you walk around the school, you hear Czech, French and English spoken naturally; pupils have no problem switching from one language to another.”

Further studies in France, Czechia, or beyond

The baccalaureate gained at the end of pupils’ studies is the equivalent of the Czech Maturita and opens doors to exciting higher education opportunities. “An agreement between the Czech and French Ministries of Education means that any child who graduates from the French Lycée can apply to Czech or French universities alike,” points out Mrs. Allâtre. Meanwhile, the school’s status as part of AEFE’s network helps ensure that tuition fees are reasonable considering the high quality of the education delivered.

While France is the most popular higher education destination, attracting around half of graduates, approximately 35 percent stay in Czechia, while others attend prestigious universities around the world. Pupils from the most recent cohort have gone on to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the London School of Economics, and the medical faculty at Charles University in Prague.

“Teaching the Czech language until the age of 13 is compulsory; in exchange, our pupils’ level of Czech is officially recognized by the Czech Ministry of Education, giving them the option to switch to Czech schools if they want to,” says Mrs. Allâtre. 

Remarkable facilities in central Prague

The French Lycée has a Open Day coming up on March 21, and a walk around the school’s campus is bound to impress visitors. Situated in a prime city center location, it features new, modern buildings that are airy, with glass façades bringing in plenty of natural daylight. Classrooms throughout the school are colorful and equipped with modern learning technologies.

Pupils also benefit from state-of-the-art facilities including an extensive gym used for various sports including basketball, floorball, climbing and more. The gym even has a football pitch on the roof. The campus is set for more exciting developments in the years to come, as environmentally conscious pupils are given the chance to get involved with plans to create more outdoor green spaces. 

The school also features a fully equipped music room complete with a piano and wide array of instruments, a library housed in a former chapel, and a radio room where budding young journalists record interviews with interesting guests.

“We have an extensive range of extracurricular activities, including a sports association provided by the school and activities arranged by a parents’ association,” explains Mrs. Allâtre. This association puts on a wide range of opportunities covering gymnastics, chess, art, martial arts, singing, sports, games, dance, drama and more, as well as events such as an annual talent show, art day, and summer fete.

Last but not least, school lunches are provided everyday by “Fresh and Tasty” from the Zátiší group. Strong focus is put on providing fresh and quality food to all pupils on the premises, whilst educating them in healthy diet habits. New pupils often mention that the school cafeteria is one of many pleasant surprises about life at the school. 

By developing kids’ interests and passions while building up impressive language skills, the French Lycée is a school that opens doors. For pupils, its close and supportive community is just the start of a lifetime of opportunity enabled by a holistic French education.

This article was written in cooperation with The French Lycée in Prague. Read more about our partner content policies.

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