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Enter child date of birth below to calculate year of entry into primary, middle and high school

Child starts school in

[1st Year] in


[2nd Year] in


Grade Level Year of Entry

School Stage Grade Level Entry Year

Key School Information: --

School Characteristic Requirement
Age requirement to attend Moyenne Section 4 yrs old by 31 Dec
Moyenne Section format Full day
Moyenne Section attendance mandatory Yes
Compulsory school age In year child turns 3
School term starts in September

Education System in France

Preschool / Maternelle

Under new reforms announced in 2018, preschool is now part of the formal education system in France. As such education begins with preschool / maternelle which usually starts at age 3, with the first year known as Petite Section and runs for three years until the child is six. In some cases, children can commence at age 2 in Toute Petite before entering Petite Section the year after.

The 2nd year of preshcool after Petite Section is Moyenne Section equivalent to Reception in the UK and Pre-Kindergarten in the US. The 3rd year is Grande Section, equivalent to Year 1 in the UK and Kindergarten in the US.

Primary School / Ecole Primaire

Primary school in France, known as Primary / l'école primaire, commences in the year the child turns 6. The entry age requirements are based on the calendar year the child turns six, and they will enter school in September of that year.

The first year of primary school is known as Cours Préparatoire, which is equivalent to Grade 2 in the UK and other countries such as the UK and 1st Grade in the US. Primary school runs for 5 years in France.

Middle School / Collège

Students enter Middle School, known in France as College, starting with 6th Grade / La Sixième at the age of 11. Middle school runs for 4 years until the child is around 15 year sold.

High School / Lycée

High school in France, known as Lycée, runs for 3 year starting with Seconde 2nde, followed by Premiere 1ere and finishing with Terminal Term. High School studies can be general studies, with some specialty as in languages or sciences, leading to the diploma of Baccalauréat general.

School Age in France

In France students start Preschool at 3 years old. In the first year of Primary school students start the school year at 6 years old.

Students finish Primary school at the end of CM1 8ème / Cours Moyen 1 at the age of 12 years old. Students then start middle school in Cours Moyen 2 (CM2 7ème) at 12 years old.

How Old Are You in Each School Grade?

School Stage Grade Level Student Age
Preschool / Maternalle Petite Section 3 - 4 years old
Preschool / Maternalle Moyenne section 4 - 5 years old
Preschool / Maternalle Grande Section 5 - 6 years old
Primary / l'école primaire CP 11ème / Cours Préparatoire 6 - 7 years old
Primary / l'école primaire CE1 10ème / Cours élémentaire 1 7 - 8 years old
Primary / l'école primaire CE2 9ème / Cours élémentaire 2 8 - 9 years old
Primary / l'école primaire CM1 8ème / Cours Moyen 1 9 - 10 years old
Middle School / Collège CM2 7ème / Cours Moyen 2 10 - 11 years old
Middle School / Collège 6ème Sixieme 11 - 12 years old
Middle School / Collège 5ème Cinquieme 12 - 13 years old
Middle School / Collège 4ème Quatrième 13 - 14 years old
High School / Lycée 3ème Troisième 14 - 15 years old
High School / Lycée Seconde 2nde 15 - 16 years old
High School / Lycée Premiere 1ere 16 - 17 years old
High School / Lycée Terminal Term 17 - 18 years old

High School / Lycée Graduation

Students in the France will usually commence their final year, Terminal, at the age of 17 years old. At the end of the school year most students are 18 years old when they graduate. Use the tool above to calculate the year of high school graduation in France.