Lower School (1st-5th)

With an emphasis on play-based inquiry and connection to nature, the Lower School (1st-5th Grade) follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme in a French immersion setting. The IB is used as a framework for teaching the five pillars of the French curriculum.

  • Language to think and communicate
  • Methods and tools for learning
  • Personal development and citizenship
  • Natural systems and technology
  • Understanding the world

From early preschool for 2 ½ year-olds in Early Childhood/Maternelle through 5th grade, all teachers are native speakers with master’s degrees. They collaborate with specialists across all subject areas to help students develop strong relationships with others, build communication skills in both French and English, and prepare for more structured, systematic learning in Middle School.

1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade (Cycle 2)

Lower School female student with colored pencils


In Cycle 2, students learn to communicate in both French and English, with expanded English instruction beginning in 2nd grade.

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4th, 5th Grade (Cycle 3)

5th Grade Classroom


In Cycle 3, students reinforce, consolidate, and expand their knowledge across the curriculum.

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Field Studies

Lower School Field Studies


Field studies provide 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students with the opportunity to observe and experience real world science processes in a natural setting.

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Language Immersion

Prekindergarten story time in the FAIS Library


Language immersion is more than learning another language. French International uses language as a lens to help students understand other cultures, think with a global perspective, and navigate the broader world around us.

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International Baccalaureate

Lower School science class in the FAIS Forest


The IB is a worldwide network of schools committed to creating a better and more peaceful world by developing inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people. French International uses the IB as a framework for delivering our French-based curriculum in a language immersion setting.

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Stories from French International Families

Grandmother with granddaughter


The reasons our families love French International are as broad as their backgrounds. We hope these firsthand experiences help capture what it’s like to be a member of our community, from parents and grandparents to students and alumni.

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Questions? Want to learn more?

Finding the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

Whether you’re beginning your journey with preschool, prekindergarten, or kindergarten…or weighing your options for middle school…let’s explore how your child would flourish in our community.