Motivated by Mougins

A British-style education on the Côte d’Azur

Terminal 1 at Nice Airport isn’t exactly Platform 9¾, but on Friday, as a thick blanket of snow descended on Europe and planes from and to all destinations were either delayed or cancelled, your correspondent’s roving eye happened to pick out, amid the hustle and bustle of the airport departures lounge, a Hogwarts-like school-bag emblazoned with the school crest, and underneath, the words ‘Mougins School’. Never one to lose an opportunity, this seemed as good a time as any to politely ask the family if they minded being interviewed on their experience at this independent school which offers a British-style education on the Côte d’Azur.

The word that sprang immediately to the lips of all the children was ‘motivation’. This is clearly the key to what they consider one of the most advantageous and beneficial schoolings to be had on the French Riviera. The teachers are always positive, said one of the boys – always prompting you to do better. And the children – who spoke excellent English without a trace of embarrassment – not only enjoy the atmosphere, but are also used to good teaching and learning.

Of the school’s extra-curricular activities there were equally favourable comments: a house-based system such as that familiar to generations of English public school boys – both real and fictional (think Tom Brown or Harry Potter) – generates competitive spirit within a co-operative framework. There was a great deal of pride for the older brother in the family as he spoke of his house winning this term’s sporting event.

The kids were also very polite and well-mannered – and – a real thumbs-up – spoke with great enthusiasm about school food! With a good variety, and plenty of salads, the school obviously caters well for the physical as well as mental requirements of its charges.

And what of the parental experience? Sending children away to school, especially as with this family, all the way from Germany, can prove costly in emotional as well as financial terms. But mum was in no doubt: if it made the the children happy, she was all for it. And the children were evidently content and enthusiastic about their experience – even taking into account that it was the first day of the holiday!

Children who talk proudly and in an uninhibited way about their schooldays are fortunate indeed. Intelligent, articulate and mature in their approach, these lucky kids may be far from home, but they’re clearly having a great time.

A visit to the informative school website suggests this is a school with a future: state-of-the-art facilities, plenty of activities and trips, and an exciting partnership with a local English-language theatre company. Further details on Mougins can be found by clicking here

Alex Went
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