The International School of France, or Ermitage, is an international day and boarding school in Maisons-Laffitte, just outside Paris, France. The school, which was founded in 1941, offers a French / English bilingual education up to French Baccalaureate / International Baccalaureate level. This 5 and 7 day boarding school, Ermitage focuses on children from all around the world, not just France and neighboring countries. In 2009, the school began offering the IB Diploma Programme. Enrollment is 1100 students.Ages range from 2 1/2 (TPS) through 19 (Terminale, or 13 in Great Britain, grade 12 in the U.S.)
Out of the rubble of WWII, Ermitage founder Anne Marie Thommeret creates a small school to welcome the children of Maisons-Laffitte. From its very beginnings, Ermitage demonstrates its commitment to intercultural learning by sending students to Austria, England, Ireland, Spain and the USA. Under the leadership of Christopher Hunter, Ermitage further develops its international ethos and implements bilingual education throughout the school.
The boarding section of Ermitage has been a home for hundreds of students throughout the years. They have all had the chance to live and learn in a safe, cozy and supportive environment, where every student is given the attention they deserve. Boarders have the privilege of living in a beautiful town, only 20km from Paris, surrounded by acres of forests. The historical buildings that make up the school and Maisons-Laffitte are a constant reminder of the cultural and historical background of the area. We encourage all our boarders to become part of our family and also active members of this community.
Both 5-day and 7-day boarders live in charming, historic homes, surrounded by gardens, forests, and always a stone’s throw away from the school's classrooms and facilities. Each home is unique and equipped with kitchenettes and study rooms, with bedrooms shared between 2-4 students, depending on layout.
Maisons-Laffitte offers our students an opportunity to explore everything they could need for a wholesome lifestyle; culture, sports, and fun!
Paris at your doorstep… Museum visits, movie nights, shopping, and sightseeing will be offered to students during weekends. This gives students the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful cities in the world while building team spirit. Maisons-Laffitte also has many dance and music studios, keen on welcoming our boarders in the evenings during the week or on weekends.
The Lower School
Lower School (from Kindergarten to Grade 5) builds a solid base in the areas of both student competence and school life experience. Throughout the curriculum, the child is immersed in a multicultural environment that favors an open-minded approach. Bilingualism is at the heart of our teaching. The acquisition of a second language, while at the same time progressing in one's mother tongue, is the key for tomorrow.
The Middle School
The Middle School marks the intermediate stage of Ermitage’s comprehensive international education, which provides a bilingual curriculum from Pre-K through Grade 12.
International community welcomes children from all over the world to build on their achievements both in the classroom and beyond school walls. Some students have joined Ermitage recently but many have been with us since Maternelle (pre-K). All of students present varied levels of experience and approaches to learning English.
The Middle School years include 6th grade through 8th grade (6ème to 4ème)*, ages 11 – 13. For grades 6-8, our offerings include:
ü A curriculum based off of the French curriculum.
ü Instruction in English integrated into the classroom.
*For 9th grade (4ème) our students attend the Upper School to aid in the transition and preparation for their intended diploma track (Baccalauréat français, OIB, or IBDP). Similarly, students who prefer learning in English and want to pursue the IB Diploma, can begin in our International Studies Program beginning in 8th grade.
International Studies Program
The International Studies Program was created and inaugurated in 2009 with accreditation of the International Baccalaureate Organization as an IB World School. Blending innovative teaching styles and international partnerships, the International Studies Program includes Foundation Years 1-5 and the IB Diploma Program Years 1–2. The ISP at Ermitage has more than 150 students in its program representing more than 40 nationalities. The school is currently a candidate for the Middle Years Program (IBMYP). The Diploma Program (IBDP) has seen very honorable exam results and university placements since its inception.
Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Rugby, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Handball, Badminton
Golf, Horse Riding, Tennis, Table Tennis, Track and Field, Zumba, Fitness, Yoga, Weight Lifting, Swimming, Rowing, Kick-Boxing, Thai-Boxing
Ermitage students participate in a variety of artistic and performance opportunities each year, developing their talents and confidence. Art is offered at all levels, including high level academic art projects and exhibits for Upper School students. Various ateliers from cooking to crafts, Irish dance and more are also offered. For those interested in music, classes are offered depending on age and program, and students are invited to participate in the following productions:
Since the early 1990's, Ermitage students have showcased the "American musical" in France. The most recent student productions have included Grease and High School Musical.
Annual Talent Show
Students bring their individual talents to the stage through the Annual Talent Show. This highly anticipated event allows musicians, dancers of all kinds, acrobats, and even yo-yo-ists to entertain the school community. Discovering the (sometimes hidden) talents of their peers is an enriching and entertaining experience for all involved.
Maisons-Laffitte is a thriving, historic town located just 17km west of Paris. In combination with the other main Paris suburbs, there is a population 550,000, with a large number of English-speaking expats who commute into Paris daily. A variety of specialty boutiques and restaurants are available throughout town, with very quick access to Paris via the train or bus.