Children generally enter the primary anglophone section in CP at the age of 6. They must first pass an entry test that evaluates their speaking and listening skills in both English and French and their ability to follow a bilingual programme.
The section classes are therefore generally made up of children from families where both French and English are spoken at home, children from francophone families who have spent time in an English-speaking country or who have a particularly international outlook and children from anglophone families living in France and who have generally spent their early years in a French-speaking school. Some children use a third or even fourth language in their lives.
The diversity of backgrounds and, sometimes, language levels found amongst the pupils makes these classes particularly enriching. Through the primary years, the children learn and develop together, achieving fluency in both languages and comfort with both cultures.
When students join the international anglophone section in 6ème, they generally have one of three different profiles. They may have passed the Education Nationale test which assesses aptitude to join the anglophone programme; they may have recently arrived in the area from an English-speaking country or they may have followed the bilingual programme in one of the two primary schools in the area where ASEICA operates (see primary).
Although classes taught in English will initially be structured to take into account the varying levels in ability - from the bilingual to the beginner - students can immediately take advantage of the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of their peers.
Friendships are quickly formed between pupils whose origins are as diversified as Boston and Bar-sur-Loup, Mougins & the United Arab Emirates. They are thrown into a unique educational experience where scholarship and excellence, personal development and awareness of others are actively encouraged, so that their global village may be civilized!
A typical section class in lycée is composed of a rich mixture of students from very different backgrounds. Approximately 50% will be students of purely francophone origin who have been in the section since 6ème and whose excellent level of English now means they can be considered bilingual and attend classes with their anglophone peers.
The other 50% includes a number of students from totally anglophone families. Some of these may have lived in France all their lives while others may have arrived in the area relatively recently or be boarders. Other students come from Anglo-French families and have therefore been bilingual from an early age. Some will have followed the ASEICA program right up from primary. There is also a small minority whose first language is neither French nor English and who are therefore tri- or even quadrilingual!
Whatever their individual backgrounds, the students bring their own particular strengths to the programme and benefit from the group's rich cultural diversity.