Our middle school “Collège Victor Hugo” is located in the city centre of Narbonne, a city of 53,000 inhabitants which used to be the Roman capital of Southern France for several centuries. The city is on the eastern side of the Aude département, on the Mediterranean Coast of the new Occitanie region. With its access to the sea, the Aude département has always been a major European crossroads between southern Europe and northern Europe. Agriculture, especially wine-growing, is one of the main resources of its hinterland. However, the département is the third poorest département of France. Locate Narbonne.
Our secondary school is the oldest of the city; it was founded in 1887 and has about 750 students aged 11 to 16 -the age when compulsory education ends in France.
More on the school's history. See [ PHOTOS ]
Our school has 25 classes, but also a unit of 5 Special Education classes called SEGPA (section d’enseignement général et professionnel adapté) for students with learning difficulties (and sometimes behavioral problems) and 2 Special Needs classes - ULIS (Unité Locale d’Inclusion Scolaire) for students with intellectual disability.
Our school also individualizes the curricula of pupils with high intellectual potential (EIP, Elèves Intellectuellement Précoces).
There are also special classes dedicated to music (CHAM) and rugby (Section Sportive), the most popular sport in the region, in partnership with the local music conservatory and the city’s professional rugby team.
All our students learn the English Language from year 7 to year 10. (6th grade to 9th grade)
All our students also start learning either Spanish or German as a second modern Foreign language from Year 8.
We also offer a bilingual curriculum from year 7 (English and Spanish) to students who have generally studied both English and Spanish in primary schools.
Our pupils can also attend Latin or Greek lessons if they want to.
Our staff and students are engaged in some European mobility programs. More info on our ERASMUS + mobility actions
Therefore, our school aims at welcoming and helping the most fragile students as well as providing curricula of excellence for others. Boarding is offered in the school to 32 of them on social criteria.
Most of the students that the collège welcomes are socially disadvantaged. 54% of them come from socially disadvantaged families and 41% receive school grants on social criteria. (Figures: 2017)
Our school also welcomes many students who belong to minorities:
- numerous students come from the Spanish gypsy community who has settled down in the region after arriving from Spain, sometimes for several generations now. They speak both catalan and/or castillan and French. Unfortunately, because of their cultural values, they often leave school at an early age.
- every year, some students arrive from foreign countries but do not speak French. They come from E.U countries (Spain, Poland…) or much further away (Morocco, Ukraine, Russia, Brazil, Iraq, Mali, Liberia Taïwan…). Their families settle down in the region to work or to seek asylum (or both). They sometimes come to join some members of their families who already live here. These students have to follow compulsory classes of French when they arrive: they go to a nearby partner school where French as a Second Language is taught to them between 6 and 10 hours a week. They also follow traditional classes with their age group for the rest of the school week.
- isolated foreign minors are sometimes welcomed too: the SAE (Service d’Accueil à l’Enfance) is the local institution which sends these minors to our school which is the only one in the city to welcome them. Students from Sub-Saharan Africa are frequently received.
Our school aims at including all types of students in order to promote the social and cultural cohesion which is of great importance in our school agenda and in the values upheld by the French Republic and the European Union. Moreover, our school wants to prevent early school leaving among students, and minorities in particular, because they are among the most concerned with this issue.
Our school was awarded with the E3D Label in 2019, as its contributions to sustainable developments is an integral part of the School policy. It has implemented practices and actions that preserve the natural environment.
For example, our school is engaged in reducing the consumption of papers for photocopies.
We do no longer use plastic cups, cutleries and straws. We recycle our food waste from the school canteen (mainly vegetables and bread) to feed horses. We also have a food composter, a rainwater reclamator and a local garden.