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Notes for Prospective Students
- La Maternelle is the preschool/kindergarten
program of L’Ecole Française du Maine.
Instruction occurs completely in French, and the curriculum follows
the model of the world-renowned Ecoles Maternelles of France.
Because we believe the blossoming of each child happens by
developing his/her strengths and creativity, La Maternelle combines
song, play, art, and movement with structured learning in the
- A full-time elementary program through grade
6, our curriculum offers a multicultural education taught through
the immersion approach.
At this level of our program, students
learn to read and write in French and are encouraged to speak
French exclusively in the classroom.
The immersion experience leads
children to a more flexible way of thinking, and gives them an
appreciation for nuances of meaning.
As a result, our students
experience success in all subject areas.
English Language Arts studies begin in second
grade, three hours per week.
Because the same concepts are taught
at an earlier age in the French curriculum than they are in
English-speaking schools, English class then becomes a means of
confirming concepts and usage, drawing parallels and identifying
As a result, concepts in language formation are
reinforced from both the French and English curriculum and studies,
providing children with a steady foundation for language
Multimedia: We believe it is vital to
expose our children to technological resources where they are
Because we are a French school amidst a
predominantly English resource area, online educational resources
become invaluable tools for our older elementary students.
endeavor to provide a laptop for each student’s use in the
upper elementary years.
Music Arts and Suzuki Program: At its
inception, the school’s vision centered upon the relationship
between music education and the immersion process of learning a
They are partners in a full education.
levels at L’Ecole Française du Maine are immersed in
our Music Arts Program, which includes Music Mind Games, the Choral
Program and an opportunity for private Suzuki lessons.
Pre-K, weekly music instruction teaches beginning to advanced music
theory concepts, including the musical alphabet, intervals, reading
rhythms, rhythm math, dictation, the grand staff, musical symbols,
tempos, scales, key signatures and chords.
Innate in the Music Mind
Games method is a duel respect for student’s intelligence and
the logical organization of music theory.
Suzuki Program: The
immersion method is Listen and Learn.
The Suzuki method is the
We’re proud to work in collaboration with the Maine
Suzuki Association to offer our students private, on-site Suzuki
lessons in piano, guitar, violin and cello.
Parent involvement is
encouraged for private lessons.
Choral Program: Our school
“Chorale,” comprised of all students, practices weekly
with our Chorus leaders and accompanist.
often performs during our school community events, which are a key
component of the music program.
These community performances may
also include musical pieces from Suzuki students, and general
songs, dances and skits.
Physical Education: Throughout the school
year, all students participate in many activities such as soccer,
cross-country and Alpine skiing, snowshoeing, orienteering, YMCA
swim program, and of course, recess.
Best of all, the surrounding
woods and nearby nature preserves and seashore provide
opportunities for impromptu explorations.
Visual Arts: Our school views the arts as
a fundamental part of cultural and language education.
elementary years, our goals are for the children to be capable of
expression through a variety of techniques in drawing, as well as
in other two- and three-dimensional media.
They learn the
experience of creating, reflecting upon others’ images,
exploring the differences and similarities between works, and
discussing their personal point of view.
We teach skills such as
choosing and mixing materials, mediums and subjects, utilizing the
tools available, and synthesizing instructions with personal
To put techniques into a historical context, we
investigate great works through trips to museums, visiting artists
and events in the arts world.
We teach the children to look for
commonalities and differences between the practical experiences of
the classroom and the varied approaches of artists.
Should a child have a prior knowledge of French before
entering L'Ecole Française du Maine? Our
French immersion program is designed for monolingual and bilingual
It is not necessary to have had prior exposure to French
to enter Preschool –Grade 1.
At the elementary level, (after
grade 1), a child will generally need to have prior knowledge of
French to enter the program.
Exceptions to this rule may be made on
a case-to-case basis based on a student evaluation and interview.
Although you will find that some children at L’Ecole
Française du Maine are already bilingual, most children do
not know French when they enter La Maternelle.
between parents and staff at L’Ecole Française du
Maine is conducted in English for non French-speaking parents,
although we will try to practice French with parents enrolled in
Adult Ed!! Children can always address teachers and staff in
English (by their first names) and parents should reassure their
children that they will be understood and their needs will be met,
no matter what language they use.
What happens to the English language skills of children
enrolled in the French Immersion program of L'Ecole
Française du Maine? Most studies done for the
past 30 years suggest that children enrolled in early French
immersion programs perform as well if not better than their
Exposure to a large variety of linguistic
structures and a wide and diverse vocabulary enriches their own
knowledge of English.
At any rate, children are not going to lose
their English! Research in Canada has shown that reading and
writing skills are transferred from one language to the next during
the primary grades.
In other words, the progresses made in reading
skills in French will be observed in English too.