About Cousteau, The French International School of Vancouver
Cousteau is a unique school in Vancouver. Being an Eco-School, we integrate eco-awareness in our curriculum and school activities. We follow the France curriculum and the BC curriculum in order to increase academic excellence. Teaching is done in French with certified teachers in France, but some lessons are also in English with BC certified teachers.
We believe that bilingual teaching wires the brain differently and prepares our pupils better for a multicultural world. Our Eco-School program inspires them to make a better world.
How would you rate Cousteau, The French International School of Vancouver?
We were thrilled when we found this hidden gem of a school for our daughter when she was three years old. After a year of lengthy daily commutes, we decided that Cousteau was undeniably worth the relocation to North Van. This is our 7th year at Cousteau, and our son now has been attending the school since he was two and a half years old. Both kids are extremely happy in this multi-national community.
They enjoy their after-school clubs, after-school care, they are stimulated academically, and they feel loved and supported by all their teachers and the staff. (So much so, they cannot wait to return to school after any holiday.) They’ve become bilingual and have cultivated strong friendships with other kids of various ages and cultural backgrounds.
There is no better fit in BC for our children.
Our two daughters attended this school for 12 years. Overall, they made many great friends, and were taught by dedicated and wonderful teachers. They graduated fully bilingual, and if the school offered grades 10-12, they would have stayed for these grades as well. This is an outstanding program and school!
Our four kids attend this school. we have been part of the community since 2011 and we are firm believer of the bilingual dual program and it's benefit.
Cousteau makes you love going to school.
More than 25 nationalities, amazing experienced loving teachers and most of all inspiring, a super extra-curricular program from sports to stem to theatre in French and English that makes each day at school a more special and enriching day. Not to mention that it is the only certified eco school in Canada which has a stupendous influence on everyday's behaviour of our kids towards their environment....the list is long !
I recently recommended this school to a mom because we really believe in the school and what it has to offer, and she mentioned this review... I had to read it and now I have to respond to it, as I don’t want a child to miss a great education opportunity.
I am sorry for the family and the child who had such negative experience, but it is certainly not the Norm. My child started at Cousteau last year when turned 3 with zero French, and now she has conversations in French, and I have no idea what she is saying. When comparing Cousteau to other preschool/day care programs in North Vancouver, I have to say that you cannot. What is offered at Cousteau is far more. here are some of the reasons why we choose Cousteau for our child:
The children are exposed to Native French speaking qualified teachers, this is amazing where your child is exposed all day in an environment where every teacher is speaking their native language, and that is all the child is hearing ******
The Curriculum, class lessons, activities, set up of classroom, and the daily routine, it all has a purpose and it is to set up a child with a solid academic foundation that is just beautiful
The hours are set up to lead the child and prepare the child for KG
The staff are just super supportive and helpful, they spoil you, they are quick to respond to calls and emails
Cousteau offers the best before and after care services, with amazing and enriching afterschool clubs
It’s a community and you build your network within that community, it is what you make it, we have friends who speak French and families who do not speak French at home, and there are families that do both, you choose what works for you, but it is what you make it
All communications are in French and English
Through an app you are in touch with what is happening at school within your child’s classroom
These are just a few that came to my mind as I am writing this, am not saying that the school is perfect, but they are open to suggestions, they are always in the process of improving their classrooms, their library was recently renovated, they made changes to the parking system that was not working, they encourage and welcome parents to get involve with the school and I am a hard parent to please and I question everything.
Am just saying all this because I don't want you to miss the opportunity, visit the school, attend the open house, and ask questions and decide for your self. Cousteau may not be a school for every child, but if it is for your child, it will be the most amazing experience they will have.
After extensive research about private schools, we registered our 3.5 years old son to the pre-school program at Cousteau.
Unfortunately, we experienced difficult times at Cousteau and got the minimum support from the school.
Firstly, I would not recommend the school if neither one of the parents speak French.
Although they tell you that 75% of parents do not speak French at home, but many know French and they just do not speak at home.
Further, please be aware that there are teachers at Cousteau who barely speak English and communicating with them is so hard if you do not speak French.
Our son has suffered tremendous amount of stress in the classroom.
His teacher could not communicate with him well.
Secondly, the system is very strict and our son claims he has been physically punished.
From day one, he claimed that his teacher squeezed his finger backward to stop him from crying. He showed us exactly how the teacher did it.
A concept that he never seen before and it was not a scenario that he could use his imagination to create!
We approached the school and they did not address our concern properly and they claim our son has problem adapting to the system and he is possibly imagining the teacher doing this because he does not like the school!
We hired a child psychologist to understand the situation. We came to conclusion that the school fail to help him adopt to the system and the system is very strict. We feel that the system is designed to normalize kids and the disciplinary methods are very harsh for this age group.
The pressure was sever on our child that he started biting on his figures.
According to our paediatrician and private counsellor this was due to the stress he was experiencing at his school.
We got the minimum support from the management team of the school about all the issues.
They kept pushing us towards the idea of our son has issues adopting and get away from the fact that the system failed to support him!
Further, I picked up my child twice with scratches on his body and none of the teachers knew what happened to him at that time. Apparently they left unsupervised in the class and could not explain us what has happened.
I am very disappointed with Cousteau. My son attended the school for only 3 months and it had very bad effect on him. It has been 3 months that our child does not go to Cousteau, still before he goes to bed he tells me "mom, my teacher hurt me at my French School and it was so painful.
He is going to a new school and he truly enjoys the place. He has adapted very well to the new environment and he loves his classmates and his teacher.
I am sharing my experience with you because I do not want you to experience what we went through not to mention the financial loss in thousands.
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