Principal Michaël Montoya on what makes the school one of the best options for your children in Sofia
All parents are eager to provide their children with the best education available. Those who choose French Lycée Victor Hugo of Sofia are beyond satisfied with the quality of education and the doors to future success that the school opens to its students. French Lycée Victor Hugo of Sofia counts over 800 students aged 3 to 18, from 26 different nationalities. It is accredited by the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) and provides public educational services for both French families living abroad and international students. Lycée Victor Hugo promotes the study of French language, as well as an in-depth understanding of French culture and values. This year, the school got new management. We talked to the school's new principal, Michaël Montoya, to learn more.
What are the goals of the new management of French Lycée Victor Hugo for the new school year?
Our school is part of the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) network, which coordinates and supports a unique network of 535 schools in 139 countries. This means we are both accredited by the French Ministry of Education and under the supervision of AEFE for the implementation of the French educational programmes and values.
Following the steps of our previous principals, our new management aims to maintain a dynamic relationship with the agency's projects as well as to encourage a more thorough partnership pattern.
How do you plan to achieve this?
The new management will continue striving to create unique opportunities for our students to benefit from a large and lively community and participate in a great variety of projects on a world scale.
Additionally, the new management is about to set in motion a new school trajectory by setting up a new school programme. The latter will promote teamwork and an open minded and harmonious work environment to benefit both students and teachers.
What makes French education one of the best in the world?
In the French educational system, we place an immense effort on creating a generation of analytical thinkers, able to tackle the issues of the world today and those that are to come. We implement an interdisciplinary approach to our curriculum in order to foster creativity, social awareness and an overall open-minded yet critical approach to the world.
What defines the learning and educational experience for students at French Lycée Victor Hugo?
French Lycée Victor Hugo implements the curriculum of the French Ministry of National Education, while remaining open to the language and culture of Bulgaria. Our system values cultural openness and provides a multilingual learning environment.
The philosophy of the French educational system is essentially child-led in terms of the natural rhythm of the students. School starts at the age of 3, and we follow a specific academic calendar where the school year is split into 5 periods of approximately 7 weeks each, with regular short holidays.
The period from 3 to 6 years old is very important to us, as this is when children learn the language basis and social behaviour that will determine the success of their academic endeavours. They primarily focus on listening and speaking, while also learning how to write letters, numbers etc, which is essential to the development of their fine motor skills. Furthermore, students at our school are actively engaged in the study of a number of languages. Upon graduating, our pupils have already mastered at least 3 languages. This is due to the rigorous linguistic programme which is implemented since the beginning – year 1 of kindergarten, Petite section de « Maternelle ». This concerns English and Bulgarian language. At a later stage, our students get to choose to study either Spanish or German. A further addition to our linguistic programme is the opportunity that we provide to learn Latin.
As a part of our educational system, we also propose a whole set of extra-curricular activities on a daily basis such as theatre, digital learning, creative and sports activities. We believe that the access to a variety of additional activities is complementary to the creation of well-rounded, open-minded individuals.
What are the advantages of the education provided by French Lycée Victor Hugo?
Our educational staff is nearly exclusively composed of French native teachers qualified under the French Ministry of Education, and all our teachers receive regular training. This guarantees a high quality of education.
Academically speaking, we prepare our students for the General Certificate of Education – Advanced Level (Baccalaureate) – a key diploma to any high school in France and abroad. We also provide training for the acquisition of the Bulgarian diploma.
A great number of our former students attend the best grandes écoles and universities in France and abroad (Switzerland, Belgium, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, etc). This is certainly the best illustration of success.
How are you prepared for work and study during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Covid-19 has certainly been a challenge for the education system worldwide, and it has brought a lot of positive changes. In terms of online educational trends, we can already state that this crisis has urged us to step into the future. We have been constantly improving our use of new technologies. The school is now equipped with a new software platform, the ENT (Virtual Work Environment), a safe, collaborative solution that has fast become essential to our community and allows us to ensure pedagogical continuity.
However, following the recommendations of the French Ministry of Education, we try to keep a balance and use ICT wisely. When our students are studying at home, for instance, we keep a balance between online classes and individual work. After all, keeping our students healthy, active and creative is our priority.
Sofia, 110 Simeonovsko Shose Blvd
+359 2 963 29 64, 963 21 19
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