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SCHOOL SPECIAL FEBRUARY 2012
Know your schools The Riviera Times gives you an overview of what's on offer in the PACA region
ne of the most important decisions a parent will make is choosing an education institution for their child. Thankfully, there are excellent international schools in the region, some long established while others are quite new to the scene, and each offers something unique. As part of our School Special this month, The Riviera Times gives an overview of the most respected in PACA (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur). The International School of Nice was established in 1977 for children aged between four and 18 years of age. English is the primary language and French is taught as a second. The co-educational school offers the world-recognised International Baccalaureate Diploma for graduates as well as the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). According to former student Anna Neetson, the school "instils certain
values in its students that underline curiosity, acceptance, and critical thought." Anna went on to complete a postgraduate masters degree at the London School of Economics in Politics and International Development. Mougins School welcomes students aged three to 18 years and teaches the British curriculum, adapted to international students. Created in 1987, it is one of the longest established international schools in the region. Sport, art, music and drama are important parts of the curriculum, proudly promoted by the institution. The campus is located near the Sophia Antipolis technology park and the picturesque village of Mougins. When the building programme is completed in 2013, the school will have a capacity of around 500 students, compared to the current 450. According to Mougins School, this number is "large enough to provide a stimulating environment and
small enough to retain a caring family atmosphere." Students take IGCSE, AS and A-Level examinations. In 2011, the pass rate for A-Level was 100 per cent. Sainte Victoire International School opened in 2011 and is situated amidst the prestigious Sainte Victoire Golf Club near Aix en Provence. It caters for middle and high school students and uses an individual approach, based on learning languages early and daily sports sessions. The building was designed on the principles of Feng Shui and the school aims to create a positive mindset in its students. A boarding option is also available. The basic curriculum is taught in two languages, French and English. Students have the choice of sitting the International Baccalaureate examination in English, as well as the brevet (general certificate of secondary education) and the Baccalaureate series L, ES and S.
Montessori schools are renowned for creating independent, confident and happy kids. Les Colibris Montessori school is the only bilingual school in the region using the Montessori method, and it is located in Sophia Antipolis. The pedagogy focuses on whole child development (psychological, emotional, intellectual, social) of the senses, and sensitisation to an education for peace. Taking into account the sensitive periods of children's learning, each child advances at his
own pace and enjoys learning. The school welcomes children from two to 12 years of age. As the mission statement of The International School of Monaco reads, it aims to "enable students to become academically and personally successful people who are internationally minded and motivated to become lifelong learners and caring citizens prepared to take effective responsibility in an ever changing world." The school opened in 1994 with just 34 students and now has 520 students. It inaugurated a new Centre for Performing Arts in March 2010. The school welcomes children from three to 18 years of age, and offers two internationally recognised programmes - the IGCSE course (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and the IB Diploma Programme (International Baccalaureate). International Bilingual Schools prides itself on the
fact that French and English are taught equally across the curriculum by native speakers. There are four campuses in the area: Nice, Cagnes sur Mer and Pegomas, offering a high standard of education in a multicultural, stimulating and cheerful environment. The French and English curriculums offered prepare children for the future world and promote self-esteem and respect for each other. There are 600 students from the ages of two to 15. There are many reasons for sending children to an international school, and preparing them for a diverse, changing world is one of the key advantages. As Anna Neeteson says, "attending an international school gives students an additional advantage in our globalised era. You are more open to the world and adaptable to new environments, and you learn to communicate across cultural and social barriers.”
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Dining out in the canteen
SAMPLE MENU Monday Cucumber with yoghurt Fillet of fish with a lemon sauce Buttered haricot beans Pasta Fruit Fruit puree Petit suisse (soft cheese) Tuesday Open tuna sandwich with fromage frais Mince beef with tomato sauce Carrots Lentils Fruit Fruit puree Natural yoghurt Wednesday Grated carrot Roast turkey Courgettes Bulgur Fruit Fruit puree Fromage blanc (creamy soft cheese) Thursday Green salad Lamb curry Pumpkin Rice Fruit Chocolate crĂŠpe Natural yoghurt Friday Beetroot salad Asian-style fish Stir-fry vegetables Semolina Fruit Fruit puree Petit suisse
Why school meals in France are more than just feeding time
n France, school lunches are serious business. The savoir fair philosophy of balancing pleasure and food begins at the ripe old age of three years at school. Throughout their education, students - like adults - are taught to savour their meal over the course of one or two hours. They also know what a leek is. While the World Health Organisation classifies childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century, France continues to have some of the lowest childhood obesity figures in Europe. There is no denying that eating trends at a young age set the tone for future habits. Forget sending your kid off to school with a hastily made sandwich and an apple in this country. No, home-made lunches are not allowed. Children may go home for lunch or stay at school and eat the lunch provided by the canteen. And with strict requirements on what must be included in each meal, no wonder the rest of the world is
amazed at what our kids are eating here. From primary school to university, each cafeteria must serve up an appetiser, salad, main course, cheese and dessert, and water for the beverage. The costs are shared between the school and parents, and vary from region to region, but generally costs around 3 euros per child per day. Balanced menus by law Menus for the month are posted on school notice boards and websites, and also sent home, so parents can plan appropriate evening meals. The guidelines date back to 1971 and were amended in 2011. They state that at least 45 minutes must be allowed for each meal, which must contain a minimum nutrient level of protein, iron, calcium and fresh fruit. That means kids get a starter, a main dish, a side dish, a dairy product and a dessert. The main meal has to include either meat, fish, eggs or cheese, and the number of meals with more than 15 grams of saturated fat
or more than 20 grams of sugar per serving are limited over a 20 day cycle. We've provided a sample menu for schools in Grasse to show exactly what's on offer.
School lunches in France teach kids to respect food and meal time
There was a bit of an uproar in October 2011 when protesters (and Sir Paul McCartney) argued that the amended rules discouraged schools from serving vegetarian food. However the government was
quick to say that children with specific needs - including vegetarian and nut allergies can request special meals. France also made headlines last year for announcing that school children were only allowed ketchup and mayonnaise when they ate french fries. Meanwhile, the U.S. was debating whether tomato paste could be considered a vegetable, thereby making it easier for pizza to stay on the school menu. Cultural gaps Indeed the differences in school meals throughout the modern world are incredible. A study conducted in 2010 and involving over 1,000 Michigan junior high students in America found that students who ate school meals for lunch were significantly more likely to be obese than those who didn't. In England, a 1999 survey by the Medical Research Council showed that despite rationing, children in 1950 had healthier diets than their counterparts in the 1990s, with more nutrients and lower levels of fat and sugar. In
France, childhood obesity has remained relatively low over the past 20 years at less than 10 per cent. But it's more than just dictating what children will eat at school. Setting a nutritional standard for school meals was just one of a threepoint plan revealed last year by the French government. The other two included educating children about taste and valuing French produce, and ensuring that sharing food at meal times remains part of the French culture. Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire says he knows school meals in France are not always great, therefore emphasis must be on quality and origin rather than on securing the cheapest price. Clearly, the love affair with gastronomy in this country is ingrained at a very early age, fuelling a respect for food, its origins, and the pleasure of sharing a meal with friends and family. No wonder the French take such long lunch breaks. Cassandra Tanti
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SCHOOL SPECIAL FEBRUARY 2012
Is this the kind of tutoring we’ve all been waiting for? The Khan Academy is the latest online education tool that has some teachers changing the way they do things
tep aside teachers and make way for an innovative online teaching wizard that is threatening to change the face of education - Khan Academy. It’s a website that aims to allow anyone to "learn almost anything - for free," according to its tagline. It gives people online access to 2,400 video master classes, during which the site's founder, Salman Khan, chattily discusses theories of maths, science and economics. With over two million viewers logging on to his blogs each month, it appears the Khan Academy is really taking off. The idea was born when, in 2004, his 13-year-old cousin no longer wanted to receive maths tutoring over the telephone. What she wanted was recorded videos instead. Why? So she could review the clip as many times as needed, fast-forwarding the boring bits she already knew. The principle behind the Academy's success is based on a simple theory: Khan has adapted the video blogs to
how he feels children learn best - drilling and rewarding. Khan's idea of "masterybased learning" has been fitted to the material, requiring students to prove they've conquered material before advancing. The Academy's website also offers software that generates practice problems and rewards good performance with video game badges. The site also automatically recommends new topics to kids to allow them to advance a level. Unexpected force The impact the website is having on students' abilities has shocked some teachers, who thought that the Khan Academy would simply be a helpful supplement to formal education. Teachers are now replacing their own material with Khan's videos which students watch at home. Then, in class, they focus on working out the problems together. The idea is to change the dynamics of a class routine, so that lessons are watched during the child's own time and homework is done during school hours.
One teacher from a Californian elementary school says it makes more sense to do it this way: "Most kids can sit there for hours, struggling with homework topics and are most likely in need of someone to discuss their difficulties with." Teachers and parents can also see exactly when and where children get stuck on tasks. This allows targeted help when needed. Khan's videos are also a breakthrough for frustrated teachers, who complain about teaching the "middle" of the class. Hours of standing at the whiteboard trying to get 25 or more children to learn the same material at the same pace is fast becoming outdated. Advanced pupils get bored and tune out while the lagging students get lost. Pretty soon half the class isn't paying attention. Khan's videos are anything but fancy. He recorded many of them in a closet at his home, where his voice sounds muffled. Despite this, many of his fans believe that Khan has stumbled onto a secret to
solving a puzzle of education. Most notable among them is Microsoft big boss, Bill Gates, whose foundation has invested millions into Khan's site. Gates says, "I'd been looking for something like this, it's so important. His approach can be truly customised, with each student getting individual help when needed." And Gates isn't the only one noticing Khan's efforts. As the project relies solely on donations for funding, Google announced in September 2010 that it would provide the Academy with 1.5 million euros to support the creation of more courses. Cautious local thumbs-up The response locally is also quite positive. David Johnson, from the International School of Nice, says the Khan Academy is something their institution is familiar with. "Most of our teachers use 'blended resources' from a variety of different providers, ranging from iTunes University and Tedtalks to BBC Education." Johnson says there are many online courses on
offer to students, giving them additional exposure to cuttingedge technologies and resources via the internet. Learning by rote But not everyone is enamored with the Academy. Critics argue that the videos and software encourage uncreative, repetitive activity, leaving children staring at screens instead of interacting with teachers. Although Khan himself acknowledges that he is not an educational professional, he feels one-to-one is the best way to learn. He manages to conduct lessons with a casual air, keeping the viewer engaged. Others have said that the Khan Academy caters to the dismal trend of 'joyless testprep factories'. Lack of interaction Sylvia Martinez, president of Generation YES, an organisation focusing on teaching technology, says flipping the classroom isn't an entirely new idea. "If they can't understand the lecture in a classroom, they're not going to grasp it better when it's done through a video at home."
Nicolas Wattel, Director of Colibris Montessori School in Sophia Antipolis agrees, "the strategy behind the Khan Academy is interesting. However, it seems too focused on the academic field of studies. It doesn't allow room for emotional development. I see this more as a compliment to other teaching resources rather than something that would change the structures of a classroom entirely." Log on to find out more: www.khanacademy.org Louise Kirby
Nanny service FINDING A GOOD nanny can be a very daunting process. Not so with Principality Nannies, a company that offers bespoke placement services for families residing in Monaco and throughout the Côte d'Azur. Each nanny holds a valid paediatric First Aid certificate, is CRB checked and has a minimum of two years experience. No registration fee. For more information see the website at: principalitynannies.com.
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Tutoring for all Carfax services include “real life” French courses for adults
comfortable rooms. "We offer one-to-one tuition in English in all academic subjects, for university and international exam preparation (including A level, IB, TOEFL, SAT, GMAT, GRE and LSAT). Language tuition for all ages and in all languages is also available," says Director Grisel Damgaard. The organisation also offers impressive "real life French courses" created for adults who have very little free time and want to learn French quickly. "We do this without delving into the more com-
International Schools & Universities AIX-EN-PROVENCE IS Aix-en-Provence 9 cours des Arts et Métiers Tel: 04 42 93 47 90 www.is-aix.com École Privée Val Saint André 19 ave Henri Malacrida Tel: 04 42 27 14 47 www.valsaintandre.com International Bilingual School of Provence 500 Petite rte de Bouc-Bel-Air Tel: 04 42 24 03 40 www.ibsofprovence.com Sainte-Victoire International School Domaine Sainte Victoire, Fuveau Tel: 06 47 00 76 72 www.svis.fr Université Paul Cézanne 3 ave Robert Schuman Tel: 04 42 17 28 00 www.univ-cezanne.fr BEAUSOLEIL Do, Ré and Me Escalier de la Riviera Tel: 08 99 54 88 57 Cefoliac 5 Impasse Gustave Eiffel Tel: 04 93 54 32 25 Ecole Internationale Waldorf Steiner 403 Moyenne Corniche Tel: 04 92 98 19 08 CAGNES-SUR-MER International Bilingual School Pain de Sucre 43 chemin du Pain de Sucre Tel: 04 93 73 70 41 The Alphabet School 11 bis rue Fragonard Tel: 04 97 10 01 91 CANNES Collège International 1 ave Docteur Alexandre Pascal Tel: 04 93 47 39 29 MARSEILLE Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille II 58 bld Charles Livon Tel: 04 91 39 65 00 Université de Provence 3 place Victor-Hugo
Tel: 04 91 10 60 00 MONACO International School of Monaco 12 quai Antoine 1er Tel: +377 93 25 68 20 International University of Monaco (IUM) 2 ave Albert II Tel: +377 97 98 69 86 MOUGINS Mougins School 615 ave Docteur Maurice Donat, Font de l’Orme Tel: 04 93 90 15 47 École Saint Martin 841 chemin de la Plaine Tel: 04 93 75 51 31 MANOSQUE Ecole International 159 ave du docteur Bernard Tel: 04 92 73 77 30 NICE ABC Primary & Secondary School 72 bld Carnot Tel: 04 92 00 01 23 International School of Nice 15 ave Claude Debussy Tel: 04 93 21 04 00 École le Campus, École des Champs 9 rte du Chateau La Colle Tel: 04 93 54 03 83 Centre International de Formation (CIFE) & Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales (IEHEI) 10 ave des Fleurs Tel: 04 93 97 93 91 Collége International La Fayette 10 rue Clemenceau Tel: 06 09 90 54 47 International Bilingual School Pain d'Epice 23 bld Gambetta Tel: 04 93 44 75 44 Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE) 10 ave des Fleurs Tel: 04 93 97 93 97 www.cife.eu Edhec Business School 79 bld René Cassin Tel: 04 93 18 99 66
Ipag École Supérieure de Commerce 4 bld Carabacel Tel: 04 93 13 39 00 www.ipag.fr PÉGOMAS International Bilingual School Le Pain de Sucre 3 rte de Grasse La Bergerie Tel: 04 93 09 65 56 SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS Centre International de Valbonne 190 rue Frédéric Mistral Tel: 04 92 96 52 00 Ecole Bilingue Internationale Côte d'Azur (EBICA) 80 rte des Lucioles Tel: 04 93 64 32 84 Les Colibris - Montessori school 950 ave de Roumanille Tel: 06 25 93 05 34 Skema Business School 60 rue Dostoïevski BP 085 Tel: 04 93 95 44 44 www.skema.edu Université de Nice Sophia 28 ave Valrose BP 2135 Tel: 04 92 07 60 65 Eurecom 2229 rte des Crêtes Tel: 04 93 00 81 00 www.eurecom.fr VALBONNE École Élémentaire Sartoux 160 promenade la Bouilide Tel: 04 93 12 34 95 VILLENEUVE-LOUBET Cours Chamollion 109 ave des Beaumettes Tel: 04 93 20 89 76 GENOA Deutsche Schule Genua Via Mylius 1 Tel: +39 010 56 43 34 SAN REMO Omnilingua 14 via Roma Tel: +39 018 459 828 www.omnilingua.net
hether it's private tutoring to pass A-levels, or some much-need training in French, Carfax offers a wide range of academic services to pupils, teachers, and parents. Private tutoring is available to students studying for exams or for those who feel they can benefit from one-toone support. Specially adapted language courses are also included in the tutoring schedule. The Carfax tuition centre in Monaco is situated by the port, with well-equipped,
plex aspects of the French language or without having to spend time doing homework," adds Ms Damgaard. So how does it work? "Some clients like running their errands with the tutor, like going to the shops. Others want to concentrate on being able to speak French in everyday social situations. We also have clients who have their tutors come to their offices and help them practice the vocabulary necessary for their work place and their industry." Carfax employs wellpresented, inspirational tutors who hold a university degree in their subject. The Academic Director oversees the entire process, from setting goals, scheduling tutorials, and then tracking progress. Carfax also advises families considering international education in UK and Swiss schools, and British and American universities.
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SCHOOL SPECIAL FEBRUARY 2012
Teens forge career path locally There is much on offer in terms of higher education
igher education in France is renowned for its excellent academia and prestigious status. Finding the right institution can be tough, but for teens living on the Riviera the decision is made easy with a good choice of respected universities and schools that are guaranteed to offer that extra special something. Skema Business School located in the heart of the top European technology park Sophia Antipolis, aims to train and educate talented individuals to become professionals in the 21st century. It provides "an educational programme that perfectly reflects the global economic environment," and caters to 5,000 students offering a diverse range of postgraduate business courses, enabling students to become part of a globalised training community. Graduate Caroline Valent praises the institute, saying: "I have benefited every day from the training I received at Skema." Edhec Business School was established in 1906 and aims
to "train current and future executives via teaching and research programmes geared to the needs of the economy and businesses." The campus is located in Nice and offers students a host of international courses taught in English. Internationalism is one of the pillars of Edhec's missions and therefore it continues to develop its relationships with many leading global businesses. The International University of Monaco (IUM) is the only university on the CĂ´te d'Azur that provides a business education fully taught in English. The institute offers a range of top-class business degrees, enabling graduates to become successful and thoughtful entrepreneurs. IUM aims to "equip students with the ability to become highly skilled open-minded professionals, to stand out as inspiring leaders and excel in a rapidly changing global world." Pigier School is the largest private network of vocational and technical schools in France. The campus, also located in the heart of the
economic hub, offers business, management, human resources and marketing courses. Ipag Business School in the centre of Nice has been providing education in management and business courses since 1965. They not only broaden studentsâ€™ knowledge, but also offer the opportunity to participate in a variety of exchange and international programmes
that are rich in cultural diversity. IPAG also offers a British B.A. (Honours) programme, taught in English and leading to a degree from Nottingham Business School. With a host of leading international institutes on our doorstep, teenagers are sure to find the perfect place to forge their careers. Sarah Lloyd