The Old School is an Independent International School providing an English language education to UK standard, GCSE and A Level.

We are a co-educational day school providing English curriculum studies for students aged 10 - 19 years. To complement the classrooms we offer sports facilities, theatre / stage space and recreational areas on our extended campus within the village.

The Old School aims to provide a positive and supportive learning environment. With a commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence, attaching a high value to creativity, imagination, and the quest for knowledge and understanding.

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The Old School is an independent international Collège and Lycée hors contrat, recognised by the Academie de Bordeaux RNE 0471040A.

The Old School specialises in positive education outcomes for children, young people and families.

The qualified specialist team at The Old School place equal share on maintaining academic achievement and the development of emotional intelligence, personal and social education. This approach underpins the professional strategies to assist children, young people and families when making the transition to France.

The Old School is not just about academic success, although it is a high achieving school. The focus is on the holistic needs of the learner. An underlying philosophy is happiness in education. An open and transparent approach, where staff work for, and on behalf of, children, young people and families. This cooperative and empowering professional relationship enables success and high achievement.

Whilst the teaching is in English, The Old School is committed to social cohesion and is fully embedded within its local French community. This unique opportunity allows meaningful and real cultural experiences, assistance from reliable sources to enable successful relocation, language development and genuine cultural experiences.

True education empowers the individual to effect positive change. Education challenges prejudice, hatred, and enables empathy and positive emotional intelligence to achieve success.

The Old School is an approved Edexcel examination centre, with facilities for external students to take iGCSE, GCSE and A level examinations whilst in France. We are proud of our consistently excellent examination results.

The Old School is an independent international Collège and Lycée hors contrat, recognised by the Academie de Bordeaux RNE 0471040A.

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The Old School was featured on TV.
France 3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine reports on the activities and success of our school

read more on Our News page

Comments from parents and former pupils:

  • I was looking for a possibility for my daughter to prepare IGCSE in art and other subjects, as her professional project is to enter Glasgow Art School. Being French and living in Normandy I was looking for a home education solution not involving her to go to a British boarding school.

    As soon as I had Joel and Julie on the phone, I didn’t hesitate. I found the help, care, and support I was looking for to help my daughter through her project. Thanks to Joel’s art teaching skills and kindness, she really enjoyed this new experience.

    She finally passed her IGCSE in Art with a 9, which is why we keep driving all the way from home once a month to attend the art workshops!

  • We are only too pleased to recommend the Old School France [‘OSF’], to prospective parents. The OSF is a unique educational environment, and we, and our daughter, look back with fondness on her OSF days.

    Our daughter attended the Old School France for her senior high school years, from 2013-2015, where she studied for her A-levels in English Literature, History and French. We were very impressed with the caring and supportive approach of the OSF, particularly its Principal, Joel, and Administrator, Julie, who take a holistic approach, treating each student, in their care, as an individual.

    The OSF showed great flexibility in accommodating and working with, our daughter’s particular needs at the time, which arose from some health problems which inhibited her academic performance and, more importantly, her confidence. We were also very gratified by their inclusive approach: we, along with our daughter, were kept well informed and were frequently consulted, regarding her progress. She was, and we were, delighted when she achieved her A-levels at a level sufficient, to gain her an early place in the competitive Bachelor of Medical Science, at the Australian National University [‘ANU’], which is rated 1st among Australian Universities, and in the top 20 of Universities worldwide. On completion of her A-levels, she had also gained entry to a European university, before deciding to return to Australia to pursue a medical career in her home country. She has, this year, been accepted into the 2nd year of the new Bachelor of Health Sciences, which is a ‘fast-track’ degree to the ANU’s Medical School.

    We wonder whether she would have had the confidence to pursue this challenging goal, without the nurturing years at the OSF, and are very relieved that she had that opportunity.

    Melissa & Max Emanuel
    Formerly Lauzun/Gardeleau, now, Canberra Australia

  • The Old School has been a huge part of my life over the last 3 years. Since moving to France in 2010, I have been studying in the French system but was worried about my dropping level in English reading and writing. I therefore took up an online GCSE English course and was told I could complete the exam at a school not far from home.

    The moment I walked into The Old School I was surrounded by warm and friendly faces and knew I wanted the school to be a bigger part of my life. I therefore took up as many subjects as I could, to fit in with my French timetable, and would make the trip to the school every Wednesday afternoon.

    The school has offered me so much more than a handful of GCSEs and Alevel's though, I immediately felt at home in the school's happy bubble and formed a strong bond with teachers and students alike. The kindness and reassurance they showed was my sole motivation to try harder at my French Lycée and made me think of a much brighter future than the one the French system seemed to be giving me.

    Thanks to them, I managed to get offers from universities in England that I wouldn't have ever dreamed of applying for and only wish I found the school earlier. I will be very sad to leave.

    — Amy

  • The Old School is a very important place for me. Between the first day and my last I changed immeasurably.

    The Old school taught me how to think and act as an independent and responsible individual and to this end encouraged me to take initiative to better my academic skills. It brought me a solid understanding of political and historical knowledge and has improved my linguistic and analytical skills immensely.

    The new perspective I have adopted has enabled me to see the world as a web in which we are all connected and linked to in some way. The essential realization that we do not live as isolated individuals has brought me a stability I had not known before. Along with this understanding I have improved my diplomatic skills and recognized the true value of empathy.

    The high standard of teaching and the ethos of the school that values pedagogical positive reinforcement, combined with my own resolve to improve, has transformed me completely. I now feel confident to face the challenges of University.

    — Claire

  • From Jessica Seedwell, about to graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University, in July 2018.

    I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Deirdre Duffy, for her guidance, encouragement and advice that she has provided me, not only through my dissertation, but throughout my time as a student, and without whom this dissertation would not be possible. I would also like to thank the other members of staff at Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire for their help throughout my studies.

    And finally, I would like to thank my Secondary School/Sixth Form Headmaster, Joel Bailey, my A Level French Teacher, Danièle Birchall, and my A Level English Teacher, Elisabeth Bolshaw and the other staff at The Old School, a Community Education Project in France, for their hard work and continuous support through both my transition from French Education to English Education, and my A Level and University career

    Without The Old School, I would never have achieved my dream of going to university.

  • Thank you Joel and Julie and all staff at The Old School. There is a friendly atmosphere in the school and all teachers and staff are just amazing, helpful and passionate. We feel that they always care about students and try to make the school better.

    Arriving in France with children is daunting for the parents as well as students and here you find a place where they have experience to make education happen at whatever level your child may be at. We have lived in France for 10 years and have two boys at the school; our eldest was one of the first pupils starting with Art and then English. He also attends french lycée and together with The Old School we have managed to dovetail his dual education so he has achieved the French Brevet and 5 iGCSEs. In September he will begin his final year of the French Baccalaureate at Lycée and 3 A’ levels at The Old School. He has high hopes of achieving the best grades for entry into a Russell Group university in the UK. None of this would be possible without the dedication and skill demonstrated by his teachers, staff and supporters at The Old School and of course his attitude to study.

    Our youngest son has been to most french schools and special schools in the area. Whilst very bright his ASD makes it hard to place him in the right educational environment. After he turned 14 it was the right time to try maths lessons on a one to one basis with Barry. Not knowing what he could do in the beginning and starting slowly; the joy we all have now in seeing him grow in confidence and ability has led us to name these sessions "Magic Maths”. Three years on and he is ready to take iGCSE maths which is something we couldn't have imagined when we started. Thank you Barry from the bottom of our hearts.

    Although nervous at first he has also recently joined a small class for English and Maths which he now enjoys going to and is a committed and valued member of these sessions. This is the first time as parents of a special needs child that we can drop both boys off and drive away confident that they are safe and being taught in a creative learning environment. We thank you for this too.

    Wishing you all the success in the future.

    Kindest regards,
    Chris and Sue Fellingham

    Also wanted add about Art and what a privileged it was for Benjamin to attend Joels art classes and do his Art iGCSE and exhibition. The level of teaching and passion on the subject was thrilling and to be able to spend 5 hours painting in the peaceful french countryside with no wifi or interruption is something to treasure.

    Also the understanding and support of bi-lingual students is unique. The teaching in french schools of maths and history for instance is different and this is understood at The Old School and included in the classes if the students need this extra support.

  • Both our sons have attended The Old School.

    Our first son was a complete failure in the french system and totally negative. But after 3 years at the school he is now in Uni In London and is positive.

    Our other son has successfully completed his french education but supplemented it with iGCSE English and Maths at The Old School and has now secured a place in Winchester university. It has not been easy and it has a cost but for us it was a price worth paying.

    Robert Sorrell 11 June 2018

  • We cannot praise The Old School France enough. All 3 of our children have attended. Having been in Collège and passed the Brevet, both of my sons decided (at different times) that Lycée wasn't for them. For the eldest it was a real worry as we needed to find a workable solution to enable him to continue his education, and preferably in France. His particular strength is art, but this isn't mainstream in our area of France. What a relief it was to find The Old School (and Joel!) just at the right time. My youngest son, having seen how well his brother was progressing, subsequently made the decision to start at The Old School too. Both of them passed GCSE`s and A Levels with very good grades.

    More recently, our daughter attended The Old School in tandem with Collège. She started school in France aged 3. She passed 4 GCSE exams over the course of 2 years, one of which was English. Having passed the Brevet, she started at Lycée Magendie in Bordeaux in September 2017 and is in the OIB Américain section. She had to sit an entrance exam, in English, as competition is fierce. The Old School France enabled her to achieve her ambition of going there as the opportunity to take GCSE exams proved to be invaluable.

    The staff are friendly, caring and professional and know their students well. Each student is treated as an individual when it comes to assessing their personal needs and requirements but there is a real feeling of camaraderie and cohesion within the school.

    For all 3 of my children, their time at The Old School has been enjoyable, positive and productive. The Old School is unique and encourages students to believe in themselves and their capabilities.

  • Our daughter had been to a nearby international school for GCSEs having been in French schools until the age of 13. She wanted to study an eclectic mix of maths, science, languages and most importantly art and design. She hoped to get into a top art school to study design after secondary education.

    We chose The Old School after a lot of research which included maintaining the status quo close to home, sending her back into the French system to do CAP (like City & Guilds) and UK boarding school. Julie and Joel bent over backwards to make it work for us. All lessons were scheduled in 3 working days so our daughter was only way 2 nights. Lessons could have been taken by Skype but we only used Internet lessons on the rare occasions when inclement weather stopped us driving to school.

    Joel taught her to think big and bold, design technique and she matured under his care. I felt part of the Old School family and instead of sitting in the car or B&B for hours I soon found myself fully occupied volunteering within the school.

    The end result has so far been fantastic. Her grades were great. She spent a year in London on her own which was a sign of her maturity. She studied jewellery design and craftsmanship on a fully sponsored elite programme at the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths where she won a national award for her work. She pondered whether to do an apprenticeship but with universities trying to snap her up she chose to go to university straight into 2nd year.

    I know she wouldn’t be where she is today if it weren’t for Julie, Joel and the fabulously supportive and committed team at The Old School. The exam results, university places and careers taken up by the former students are exceptional, especially given that many of them have suffered setbacks before they arrive. The Old School takes in students of all levels of ability and truly give them every possible chance to succeed.

  • We did lots of research on schools in SW France prior to starting our year sabbatical. With a 11 and 13 year old to consider, it was important that our children felt supported, part of a community and able to thrive. The Old School didn’t disappoint, the children made life long friends, the teachers were supportive and engaged and Joel and Julie receptive to our needs. We as parents became part of the old school family too, and have also made life long friends with some of the other parents. So happy with the choices we made, and wouldn’t change a thing.

    Many thanks,

  • Dear Julie and Joel,

    I wanted to take a moment to write to express my thanks. When I was a student at the old school I was struggling immensely with my health. You both went out of your way to help me. As a result of all your efforts I was able to graduate from the Old School with grades high enough to allow me to enrol in the University of Canberra.
    Upon my return to Australia, bolstered by my success at the Old School, I decided to pursue study in the sciences, a subjected area in which I had always been incredibly interested. I enrolled in a bridging course, a Diploma of Science, in preparation for tertiary level science study.
    At UC I began to thrive, my grades allowed me entry into the Australian National University. I have been studying at the ANU for the last 3 years, achieving highly in a Bachelor of Health Science degree. This effort has paid off in spades, as I was recently offered a place in the ANU Medical School for 2021, a place which I have accepted.
    I am ecstatic at having received an opportunity to become a doctor, something I had dreamed of since I was a child, that my poor health had appeared to preclude for many years. I decided to attempt to apply for Medical School upon my return to Australia, fearing I would regret it if I did not.
    In the wake of this news I have been reflecting on the last seven or eight years, seeing how unlikely this outcome would have been so many years ago. I have been struck by a deep sense of gratitude for those who have helped me get here.
    I have been working very hard for the last four years to be in this position, and yet none of this would have been possible without your efforts during my time at the Old School. When I came to you in France, I was on the verge of dropping out of school and giving up on my education all together. I had had terrible experiences at school in Australia, feeling isolated and left behind. You showed me a kindness that no one else had. You helped me study what I could, supported me through the exam process and allowed me the resources I needed to achieve to the best of my abilities at the time. At the same time, you helped to restore my faith in the educational process and the good people that can help you along the way.
    I am grateful to you, and all the teachers and the Old School, for trying to help me when I needed it most. I honestly believe, without your help, I would not be in the position I am today.
    Thank you.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kaitlin Emanuel (March 2020)

Life after The Old School?

Where do our students go to?:

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True education empowers the individual to effect positive change. Education challenges prejudice, hatred and enables empathy and positive emotional intelligence.

Joel Bailey

From April to August 2017 we brought together fifteen children aged 8 to 15 years old, to exchange language, make puppets and create great fun together.

Amongst the art workshops, we got to know each other, enjoyed fabulous meals
together and we played rounders in the sunshine!

Joel Bailey, Headmaster of The Old School and Jean Marie Lenzi, Maire de
Montignac de Lauzun, coordinated the activities with the emphasis on improving English for the French children, community cohesion and inclusion for everyone involved.

Huge thanks to Royston Seedwell for his professional puppeteer skills, his infectious sense of humour and his immense kindness shone through, to all that took part.

Special thanks to all of the parents and helpers who participated in the coaching.

Watch this space for more bilingual activities coming soon...

Distance learning programmes

For students already enrolled in College or Lycée, who wish to supplement their Brevet and Baccalaureate studies.

The Old School, with teachers based in France and the UK, opens up new opportunities for English-speaking young people wishing to take GCSE or A-Level exams as part of a home study programme, with the guidance of experienced teachers following a UK curriculum. Courses are accessed via the on-line classroom and optional in-house workshops.

Subjects currently offered:
English Language
English Literature
Double Science
Art & Design

For more information and details of fees please contact us on 05 53 64 24 97 or email

British in France

We are a member of BCC

The British Community Committee (BCC) represents the British Community in France. It acts as the umbrella organisation of British associations in France at national level. Founded in 1937 the BCC was first registered as a Loi 1901 association on 1 July 1939.

More details here   

Boarding Opportunity
We have limited places available to those wishing to board
Monday to Thursday, with local vetted bilingual families

Examination Centre


As an Edexcel approved examination centre The Old School will be running IGCSE/GCSE and A level examinations in May and June and would like to invite external candidates to access these examinations without the need to return to the UK.

Edexcel centre number 90241


47410 St Colomb de Lauzun
05 53 40 60 54

The Old School : College - Lycée
Etablissement d’enseignement secondaire privé hors contrat RNE 0471040A

website by: Abbey Hill Studios