We’ve had the results of Ruadhrí’s évaluations nationales (national evaluations). He’s in CM2, the final year of primary school. He was last assessed officially at the end of his CE1 year in 2009 when he was at Nouzerines school. In previous years the national results have been published on this site, but there’s nothing for 2012 yet. I’m actually not 100% sure that they are going to be given out. There seems to have been more emphasis on giving parents a detailed breakdown on how their child did this time round. We didn’t get anything so itemised last time round.

He was tested in French (60 items) and maths (40 items). I mugged up beforehand and found out that each answer would be given one out of five possible assessments:

réponse attendue – correct, the expected answer

réussite partielle sans erreur – partially answered along the right lines

réussite partielle avec erreur – partially answered, but incorrectly

autres réponses – ‘other’ answer i.e. a nice way of saying wrong

absence de réponse  – no answer given.

However, when I met with his teacher, she seemed to have used a different system with 4 boxes alongside each question, containing the numbers 9, 4, 0 and one I couldn’t see. I think kids got the 9 if they answered completely correctly, 4 for a good stab, 0 for wrong, and what the other one was, if it was there at all, your guess is as good as mine. I had my wrong glasses on (I’m at that annoying stage of needing reading glasses as well as my help-me-see-anything-at-all pair, plus I was trying to read upsidedown, so anyway, I did my best.

Here’s a glimpse of the sheet explaining Ruadhri’s maths marks to me. He was assessed on 20 different skills in the five broad areas of numération, calcul, géométrie, grandeurs et mesure, organisation et gestion de données – numeracy, arithmetic, weights and measures, organisation and management of data. Crikey, he’s only ten!

He’s done very well. French went well too although he was tripped by his accords. This is the agreement between noun and adjectives. In English we’re lucky. We can just say  ‘the yellow ducks’, or ‘the big black cow’ but in French it’s not so straightforward. You have to bear in mind how many objects you’re describing and if they’re masculine or feminine. You have to say the equivalent of ‘the yellows ducks’ in the first case, using the masculine adjective plural form, and ‘the big black cow’ using the feminine singular form. Oh for ‘it’ in French! Apparently French kids find accords just as tricky as non-Francophones, but I guess it’s that little bit harder to grasp for the latter group if their first language is one such as English that doesn’t have this element to it.

For French, Rors was tested in 19 assessments on lecture, écriture, vocabulaire, orthographe, grammaire – reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling and grammar. Going by last year’s results, he’s above average so we’re very pleased with our little bilingual Irish boy.

For more about the rationale behind the national evaluations, see this website: