Comparing bac and A level grades

If you are planning to go to a UK university, how does your bac offer translate in terms of A levels?

Dr Ruth: bullying

"Since the beginning of the year, my 8 year old daughter has been bullied at school – nothing serious just name calling and comments about ‘rich English…’etc. She has now started saying that she doesn’t want to go to school and that she feels ill in the mornings, although I’m sure she isn’t. I’m not sure what to do, and my French isn’t really up to tackling this with the school. Help please."

Student holiday jobs - update

Search for summer holiday jobs by region or by type of job by clicking here to link to L'etudiant magazine's job listings or here for student jobs (not necessarily summer only)

Best banks for teens

Either you want them to learn to look after their own money or your teenager is desperate to flex their growing independence by having a bank account. So what kind of accounts are on offer and how do the banks compare?

University costs and grants

Reminder - if you are starting higher education in France this October, your grant application has to be in by the end of this month - 30 April.
To find out if you are entitled to a grant and how much

French kids don't get fat?

How come France has the lowest number of obese kids in the developed world?

How do you get boys to work?

Carrefour's new budget beauty

Read more on mumspace


This year's brevet, or DNB - diplôme national du brevet – takes place on 28 and 29 June. 
Whilst most students will go on to lycée to study for a bac, the brevet, taken at the end of collège, around the age of 15, is the last compulsory exam in the French education system.

French kids don't get fat?

Getting an early taste for oysters

Here's an interesting article from the NYT by Karen le Billon, author of French Children Eat Everything.
Consider this: Our children are three times more likely to be overweight than French children. In fact, we lead the world in producing overweight children, but the French have one of the lowest rates of overweight children in the developed world.

What's in this year's bac?

Terminales and premières will be sitting bac exams in just a couple of months time. They should, of course, be well into their revision by now!

Molly Innes: How do you solve a problem like…Getting boys to work

Hot Cross buns, chocolate and bank holidays over, it's time for the serious business of the Easter holidays. Revision. Both teens have bac exams (part one for one, part 2 for the other) coming up in June.

Now, I hate to generalise. But. One of these children is a girl, the other is a boy.

One is sitting in front of meticulously prepared notes – complete with highlights, annotations and colour coded underlinings – that were prepared during the February holidays.

The other is horizontal, watching videos on an iPad and telling me to chill.

Caf holiday vouchers: how to use them

EVEN THE French find the Caf holiday voucher system confusing. When I remarked to the charming man at our local CAF office that  “there are many British residents who don’t use their holiday vouchers because they don’t understand how the system works,” he replied: “there are many French who don’t use their holiday vouchers because they can’t understand how the system works”. 

Hope for asthma vacine

SCIENTISTS in Nantes working for the research body Inserm claim they are well on the way to developing a vacine for asthma.
Trials of the vacine, which works by introducing tiny doses of allergen directly into the muscles, have proved effective on mice and clinical trials on people could start within the next four years.
The number of people, particularly children, suffering from asthma has doubled in the past ten years and is now responsible for a quarter of a million premature deaths a year.

Dr RUTH: weight problems

"My twelve year old son has started saying that he is fat and wants to go on a diet. He is a bit on the ‘chubby’ side but I’m worried that if I encourage him he will end up with an eating disorder..."

This week on Mumspace

Orange is this summer's colour
Book review: The Paris Wife
Are you getting your health checks?
Molly Innes on incipient middle-age
Dad's Dairy
Pedicure warnings
and the Harry Potter tour

CLICK HERE to go to the mumspace pages

Molly Innes: Middle-aged? Moi?

I have long regarded myself as 'on the cusp' of middle age. OK, it takes about three hours for my face to settle down in the mornings and lose the pillow marks. And half a bottle of Frizz-Ease to get rid of the electrocuted witch look.

But yesterday, as I caught a glimpse of my sixteen year old son's budding mustache I suddenly wondered if my own budding mustache might not be equally visible - in a certain light.

Alternative Education

Alternative education doesn’t have the same long history as, for example, in the UK where the Summerhill model of a pupil-lead school was introduced in the 1920s, but it does exist in France. 
Whilst French secondary education is well rounded and the bac respected worldwide, the education system  is sometimes criticised for being too rigid and inflexible, more about learning by rote than questioning and exploring. Non-academic children can move into more vocational education from around the age of 14, but what about the bright kids who just don’t fit into regular, hierarchical lycée life? Who find themselves at odds with the system or just downright unmotivated? A lycée expérimental might just be the answer.