Maternelle: Cycle 1

In the French educational system, “l’école maternelle” includes both preschool and kindergarten. Children are placed in the section which best corresponds to their developmental age; typically, age three in PK, four in MK, and five in K. For Kindergarten, children must turn five by December 31 of the year enrolled. Learn more about our kindergarten program.

How about Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
What happen if a child is a “Fall baby” (turning 5 between September 1st and December 31st of the year they are stating at EB) and do not usually qualify for Kindergarten in California?
Because we are following the French educational system, EB children are able to enter Kindergarten classrooms at age 4; as long as they are turning 5 years old by December 31st. This is a huge advantage because children can be placed in the program that is appropriate for their development. When we have “Fall Baby” candidates, we look closely at the child’s readiness, we have discussions with parents and we welcome the child for a group evaluation. Sometimes we decide to place the child in a MK classroom (Pre-Kindergarten program) and sometimes if we feel the child is ready, we will enroll her/him in Kindergarten.

All of our preschool and kindergarten classrooms have full-time bilingual teacher’s assistants to give each child ample individual attention and gentle support as they learn a new language. 

Learning in action

This video series shows our program in action: music, cooking, circle time, recess, and PE.

Preschool Philosophy

Our Preschool offers children full immersion in French. Our children not only learn to understand and speak French, they also learn about different cultures and traditions as they are immersed in a multicultural environment.

Our Preschool’s goal is to balance the development of knowledge while taking into consideration the children’s experiences and interests. Our ultimate aim is to help each child develop a sense of autonomy/independence, and support their growth of knowledge and skills necessary for school readiness.

Our Preschool is modeled on social, developmental and constructivist approaches inspired by educators and thinkers such as Erickson, Vygotsky and Piaget. It allows each child the time to settle in, observe, imitate, carry out tasks, investigate and experiment; it stimulates their desire to learn by increasing their experiences and enriching their understanding.

Our Preschool revolves around children being intrinsically curious, active learners through play and tasks, and their desire to overcome difficulties and succeed. Our teachers encourage the development of the whole child by responding to their individual needs. They provide a safe environment for children to explore different types of relationships, to learn and discover the world through play, to wonder and investigate ideas and possibilities, to create and produce projects, to practice and rehearse rich and diverse situations by helping children develop their own identity and a multicultural awareness.

The National French Curriculum guidelines and our Academic Long Range Plan (“Projet d’établissement”) guarantee the continuity between our preschool, primary and middle school curricula.

Learn more about:

Our program

How we teach

A typical day in preschool