Elementary School

The elementary school is implementing the programs of the French Ministry of Education. The curriculum is enriched by an English program that prepares our students to integrate some of the best colleges and universities in the North American context and allows them successfully pass French and American exams.

The French curriculum is organized in cycles, which allows everyone to learn at their own pace and successfully strengthen skills and knowledge year after year.

The cycle of fundamentals : 1st and 2nd grades

Elementary school begins with a cycle dedicated to learning basic and fundamental skills in preparation course (CP or 1st grade), and basic first-year courses (CE1 or 2nd grade). Its main objectives are learning to read, to write in cursive, to know and understand and write numbers, as well as master the calculation of small numbers.

Oral expression is predominant and applies to all subjects.

The teaching of reading is based on the results of the latest research and allows each student to develop his own skills. The progressive mastery of reading and of the French language lexical allows students to enrich their vocabulary and start focusing on spelling.

During this cycle, students are first exposed to musical and artistic education, science, civic education and sports.

Brochure on entering 1st grade (bilingual)

The cycle of consolidation, in 3rd • 4th • 5th grades

The cycle of fundamentals is followed by the consolidation cycle in CE2 or 3rd grade, CM1 or 4th grade, and CM2 or 5th grade.

As a natural progression of the first years of primary school, this cycle is focused on the mastery of the French language. Verbal and written language skills are a priority with the main mathematical concepts: geometry, the four operations, fractions, the decimal system and problem solving.

A hands-on approach to sciences, music, art history, history, geography, and physical education complete the curriculum for a broad and balanced yet challenging academic program.


In all the grades levels of the elementary school, as well as in all the subjects, students are asked to explain how they found their answer, to explain the logical process and thinking that allowed them to get to their conclusion. Applying their writing skills to all the subjects, Rochambeau students are trained to produce develop their responses learning to always better present their thought process. We believe these slowly developed working skills will be very useful later, in secondary school and university settings.

The English program

English holds an important place in the curriculum at Rochambeau.  Students in the elementary school take classes in English language arts four times a week.  The primary focus of these classes is the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  

The children also benefit from English language instruction in two subject areas:  music and science.  These classes each meet once a week.

See below for more information on the subjects taught in English.


English as a second language

The main focus is on speaking and listening comprehension, although reading and writing gain in importance throughout the year. A wide variety of oral activities provides opportunities for group interaction and other types of participation. Vocabulary and grammatical structures are practiced, and American culture is introduced, through songs, games, poems, and shared reading activities. The materials for this class include age­ appropriate topics in social studies, science, and literature, and help build a solid foundation for oral and written communication in English.

Intermediate English

Students in Group 2 have a wide range of speaking abilities. Whereas some students have recently exited the ESL program in Group 1, others are native or near ­native speakers of English.  Although all students in Group 2 follow the curriculum for this level, we have 2a and 2b groupings.  In CE1 (2nd grade), Group 2a is a smaller class designed for students who need more help with basic reading skills.  Students in CE1 Group 2b have demonstrated more proficiency in using decoding and will focus more on reading comprehension skills.  The CE2 through CM2 ( 3rd  grade–5th  grade), Group 2 students receive continuing instruction in reading skills and intensive instruction in writing skills. Written expression (sentence and paragraph construction, organization of ideas), language mechanics (grammar and punctuation), and spelling are emphasized.  Groups 2a is a smaller class, reserved for students who perform better with easier access to the teacher. Group 2b students are generally more independent and have stronger self-­monitoring skills.


Advanced English

The objective in these classes is to continually develop and refine students’ skills in reading comprehension and analysis, as well as in writing. In the higher grades, students do more creative and expository writing.

French Immersion Program

At Rochambeau, we offer a unique program to extend our bilingual and bicultural advantage to children who do not speak French or have a limited knowledge of the language.

From age 2, non-French speaking children can enter directly into the 1st four years of preschool in our bilingual program, or starting in 1st grade and up to 3rd grade, students can integrate a specially adapted French Immersion program.

The French Immersion program in Elementary school is offered to to group of a dozen students, and is taught by French curriculum teachers focused on providing the linguistic support necessary to bring the students up to grade level French.
Children in French Immersion pursue their formal English instruction and other elective subjects with their regular classmates, and when ready integrate full time into the native-speaking French class. 
French Immersion students are admitted on an evaluation-based process.



Our son began the immersion program as a CP in September 2015, not speaking a word of French.

Five months later, he was comfortable enough with the language to join the regular CP class full time. Monsieur Lozano, the immersion teacher, made academic learning in French fun and exciting. Moreover, the transition to his CP class was virtually seamless, as Gabriele had participated in the Bilingual subjects with the rest of the  class since the beginning of the school year. Finally, we have found the warmth and personal attention of the teachers and administrators at Rochambeau to be exceptional. For these reasons, we have the highest opinion of the program and of Rochambeau. To those parents who are concerned about transitioning into the French system and a new school, we say: the immersion program will be a very fulfilling all-around learning experience for your child.

Mother of Gabriele, CE1 

Bradley Campus
Maternelle • Preschool
7108 Bradley Blvd Bethesda, MD 20817
Rollingwood Campus
3200 Woodbine St Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Forest Rd Campus
Elementary • Secondary • Administrative Offices
9600 Forest Rd Bethesda, MD 20814
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