Tuesday, August 24, 2010

la Rentrée

In August, major sectors of France slow down or close up shop completely. It's the sacred 'vacances'. School is out, of course, the government is more or less AWOL, and many restaurants and other businesses are closed as well. Therefore, many French people are on vacation for all or part of the month, which means that la rentrée, in September, is more than just students and teachers going back to school; it's also everyone else returning home and going back to work, returning to normalcy.

À la rentrée ! is a valediction, similar to bonnes vacances ! (have a nice vacation), a way of saying good-bye and an acknowledgement that you'll see the other person when you both re-enter the real world after your prolonged vacation.

You can also use à la rentrée as a reference to that point in time, to explain when something will happen, as in Je vais acheter une nouvelle voiture à la rentrée - I'm going to buy a new car in early September / when school starts back up.

The French Ministry of Education has published its list of recommended items ahead of la rentrée and the return to school.
Les essentiels de la rentrée is a collection of everything from books to pens through to sticky tape and school bags.

Many of the prices for the products have been agreed upon between the government and suppliers with the majority of them the same as last year.

The list features items for the three different school ages, école élémentaire, collège et lycée, and look out for the words 'essentiels de la rentrée' and the logo above when stocking up in the shops.

Here's the list in case you're interested :)

Grand cahier 96 pages (21 x 29,7 cm)
Dos agrafé, 80 à 90 g/m2
Grand cahier 96 pages (24 x 32 cm)

Dos agrafé, 80 à 90 g/m2
Petit cahier de 96 pages (17 x 22 cm)

Dos agrafé,80 à 90 g/m2
Feuillets mobiles perforés (21 x 29,7 cm)

70 à 90 g/m2
Copies doubles perforées (21 x 29,7 cm)

70 à 90 g/m2
Cahier de musique de 48 pages (17 x 22 cm)

Classeur rigide (21 x 29,7 cm)

Cartonné recyclable
Classeur souple (21 x 29,7 cm)

Protège-cahiers (17 x 22 - 21 x 29,7 - 24 x 32)

Pochettes transparentes perforées (21 x 29,7 cm)

Lot de 90 à 100
Rouleau de plastique pour couvrir les livres

Stylos à bille

1 bleu, 1 noir, 1 rouge, 1 vert -
pointe moyenne
Crayons à papier

H.B. - bout gomme
Pochette de 12 crayons de couleur

Pochette de 12 feutres de couleur

Lavables, sans solvant, non toxiques
5 tubes (10 ml) de gouache - 5 couleurs primaires

Peinture à l'eau

Stylo correcteur

Bâton de colle - lot de 2 à 4

Non toxique - sans solvant
Rouleau de ruban adhésif

Sans dévidoir
Porte-vues - 21 x 29,7cm - 40 à 60 vues

Matière plastique ou recyclée

Fournitures supplémentaires pour le primaire

Cahier de textes

Pochette de papier dessin à grain 180 g/m2

21 x 29,7 cm
2 porte-vues - 21 x 29,7 cm - 40 à 60 vues

Matière plastique ou recyclée
Cartouches d'encre (bleu)


2 porte-vues - 21 x 29,7cm - 40 à 60 vues

Matière plastique ou recyclée
Cartouches d'encre (bleu)


Pinceaux de tailles différentes -
lot de 3 - n° 6, 10, 14 ou 4, 10, 16

Poils naturels
Kit de traçage 3 pièces :
- Règle plate en plastique - 30 cm
- Rapporteur en plastique - 12 cm
- Équerre en plastique - 21 cm - 60°


Paire de ciseaux (scolaires) 12 à 13 cm

Bout rond, acier inoxydable

À réservoir plastique

Fournitures supplémentaires pour le primaire

Cartable solide et résistant, inférieur à 1 kilo

Fournitures supplémentaires pour le collège

Sac à dos solide et résistant, inférieur à 1 kilo

Fournitures supplémentaires pour le lycée


Wow when I went back to school we were only required to have 2 pens and three pencils!

Cara - Tuesday

PS I'm going to catch fellow blogmate Tim Hallinan this Sunday at M is For Mystery on tour for Queen of Patpong...


  1. I bet French school children aren't any better than American children, or German, Brazilian, or Japanese children, or children anywhere at knowing where the things are that they need two weeks after school opens.

    One of mine never knew where her shoes were. She could only find one of any pair that she had. Somehow the bags we checked after homework was finished managed to be emptied by gremlins during the night.

    I do not miss the litany every morning just before they left: do you have lunch money, pencils, crayons, calculator, homework, permission slip for the field trip, etc. There was always a mad scramble for something.

    I also don't miss drilling them for spelling tests.


  2. My children are both in preschool for the first time this year, and I am stressed enough over it. Imagine a list like that and REAL school impeding on our lives--without the vacation!

    I am definitely behind the U.S. adding August 'vacances' to our lifestyle/calendar.

    Emily Dickinson biographer on SouthernCityMysteries

  3. LOL Beth, those gremlins hit our house too!

    Bon courage Michele - two preschoolers,dressed, fed and out the door is a major feat in itself!
    I had trouble with one!

    I remember one September near the Bastille poor mothers lining outside a stationary shop, kids in tow, consulting lists and begging the shopkeeper to stay open five more minutes so they could finish the list 'fait accompli'

  4. OOOOOoooooohhhhhhh, Cara!

    Can't wait to meet you. I'll be the one who isn't Wendy Hornsby.

    Thanks in advance.