Tenth Grade (Seconde)
American Curriculum (25% of school time)
As of Seconde, all American Section students (approximately 60 students) are based at the Lycée International campus. Students have literature (ENL) five hours per week and history/geography three hours per week (ENH). However, the history program is shared with our French colleagues, who teach the subject for an additional two hours a week. All other subjects are taught in French.
Literature (five hours per week): The Seconde curriculum is based on the intensive study of American literature (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Toni Morrison, Tennessee Williams, and others); students also read a full Shakespeare play. Students work intensively on poetry analysis and creative writing in a variety of genres. Oral and close reading skills are also a focus, with the skill of writing a coherent, well-developed literary essay firmly in place by year end. Teachers often bring students to the library to encourage and support reading for pleasure, an essential habit for success in this program. Students also learn to write compelling text commentaries and to produce a comprehensive essay on a single American poet. The year’s focus in ENL is to introduce all of the skills required for the exam administered at the end of Terminale.
Standardized Testing: In the fall, all American Section Seconde students are required to take the PSAT.
History (three hours per week): Seconde history is a survey course of the United States from the Revolutionary War to the turn of the twentieth century. Themes of the class range from America’s economic development and political challenges, to its changing role in world affairs, and the history and myths behind our perception of America and Americans. Throughout the year, students are preparing for their entry into the Première BFI history program by honing their skills in essay writing, note-taking, assuming responsibility for their own learning, and incorporating analysis and synthesis in their written work. In keeping with the French national curriculum, the course covers two important units in geography: sustainable development and urban design. Seconde is a year that aims to develop a student’s interest in the study of history with the goals of encouraging intellectual curiosity and nurturing the growth of academic maturity.
Class Field Trip: Seconde students take a two-day field trip at the start of the academic year. On this experiential outdoor orientation trip, students hike, mountain bike, rock climb, kayak, and enjoy team-building exercises — all with the goal of creating cohesiveness between students as they enter their Lycée years. Past trips have seen students participating in outdoor adventures in Brittany, Auvergne, and Normandy.
Advisory: An important and developing element in the American Section is the formalization of our pastoral care program. Secondes meet with an advisor three times or more over the course of the year. Advisory is an opportunity to meet and converse with an adult outside the classroom about subjects ranging from academic challenges to social issues.
French Curriculum (75% of school time)
In Seconde, students continue following the French national curriculum with the additional eight hours of class in their international sections. For more on the content and skills developed in French during the year, please visit the website of the French Ministry of Education.