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Teaching and Learning

What is the difference between IB, OIB and BFI?

The IB programme is designed for children aged 3-19 and more than 3900 schools around the globe have chosen to teach it. The International Baccalaureate diploma (IB) is a school leaving certificate awarded for the successful completion of a two-year educational programme primarily aimed at students aged 16–19. The IB is an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education.

The OIB is a school leaving certificate combining the French baccalauréat with extra subjects taught and examined in a foreign language to the same standards at university–entrance level as their country of origin. To obtain the OIB, candidates must pass specific papers in language, literature and history & geography (or mathematics in the case of the Chinese OIB) in addition to their chosen programme of the French baccalauréat.

Click here for the 2021 UCAS OIB assessment.

Click here for more details on the IB and OIB differences.

The last cohort to take the OIB will be in Terminale starting September 2022.

You can find more information about the BFI in our news section.

What teaching programme do you deliver?

The programme is based on the English National Curriculum and is adapted for the needs of bilingual pupils within the French school system.

At Primary school level you offer a choice between an integrated programme of English lessons or a programme of lessons once per week on Wednesday afternoon. Do you offer this choice at secondary level?

Yes, we now offer collège weekly classes (6ème, 5ème & 4ème) every Wednesday afternoon between 1.15 and 3.45 pm at Collège Victor Hugo. If you are interested please find more information on our secondary page and fill out our inquiry form.

Is the English 31 scheme a substitute for the French educational system?

Not at all. English 31 works in very close partnership with its host French schools. Apart from English and history Geography, all subjects are taught in French.

What examinations do English 31 pupils take?

At the end of Collège, English 31 pupils take the Brevet International. At the end of the first year of the Lycée they take IGCSE English Language (Cambridge International Examinations Board) NOTE: Starting 2024, Seconde students will no longer take the IGCSE. They will take the Cambridge C1/C2 level test in Première. At the end of the final year of the Lycée, they take the new Baccalauréat Français International or BFI.


Our plan is to offer all our lycée students (not simply students coming from our collège’s International Section) to sit the Cambridge C1 Advanced in the Autumn term of Première. This is a high-level language qualification that is widely recognized by universities and employers.

Our reasons for the change are covered in the following video which we encourage you to watch

It is important to underline that this curriculum change will not have an impact on current 3ème students who will sit their iGCSE exams in May 2023 and will be the last cohort to do so. It is also crucial to emphasise the fact that this curriculum change does not involve any fundamental
shift in our approach to teaching and learning. We are committed to a meaningful and enriching curriculum that suits all learners, whether they are first language speakers, or students with more complex language profiles.

What is the additional workload IN PRIMARY?

In integrated primary, the English 31 programme is merged into the French timetable. Students are also given English 31 homework, and this clearly represents additional workload for the student, requiring the full support of the students’ family.

In the weekly programme in primary, the Wednesday afternoons are outside the standard French timetable, but this means students are studying English on Wednesday afternoons instead of doing other, extra-curricular activities.

Is the BFI a recognised qualification?

Yes! The BFI are officially part of the standard Baccalaureate in the French educational system.

Furthermore, the BFI programme is practise in international schools throughout the world and is recognised by all major universities and higher educational institutions.

Who are the teachers?

Our teachers are all fully qualified practitioners with experience in teaching English and History within a bilingual context. Most are British, but we also have American and French colleagues. All are fluent in English and have been especially selected because of their commitment to the teaching of English in an Anglo-French context.

Does English 31 offer English language classes for adults?

No. English 31 specialises in providing English language, literature, history and geography lessons to children ages 6-18 who attend the French school system.


Is there an application test for entry to the British Section programme?

Yes. Applicants are required to take written tests and/or interviews in order to establish their ability in English.Click here to read more about it.

Do I have to live in Colomiers to be in the English 31 scheme?

Not necessarily.

Can pupils who do not speak French join the scheme?

After applicants get tested on their level of English, they have to arrange for their level of French to be tested by Enaf. Call This is arranged with Education Nationale.

Do you offer boarding?

No, we don’t have a boarding house.

Billing and Fees

How much of the costs go to front-line education?

Over 90% of the revenues of the association are directed to give front-line benefits to the students. With over 500 students in English 31, we now have 3 full time and 1 part-time employees managing the administration of the association.