CM1, CM2, 6ème
Cycle 3 links the last two years of primary school and the first year of lower secondary school, with the aim of strengthening pedagogical continuity and coherence of learning in the service of the acquisition of the common base of knowledge, skills and culture.
This cycle has a dual responsibility: to consolidate the acquisition of fundamental knowledge (reading, writing, counting, respecting others) which was begun in cycle 2 and which conditions subsequent learning; to allow for a better transition between primary school and lower secondary school by ensuring continuity and progressiveness between the three years of the cycle.
The program sets out the expectations at the end of the cycle and specifies the skills and knowledge worked on. Teaching must be structured, progressive and explicit. The learning methods must be differentiated according to the pace of acquisition of the pupils in order to promote their success.
For some subjects, the program provides programming guidelines to facilitate the distribution of teaching themes between the three years of the cycle, which can be adjusted according to the cycle’s pedagogical project or specific conditions (multi-grade classes, in particular).
The class of 6ème occupies a particular place in the cycle: it allows pupils to adapt to the rhythm, pedagogical organisation and living environment of the lower secondary school while continuing the learning undertaken in CM1 and CM2.
This cycle 3 programme thus allows for a gradual and natural entry into the knowledge constituted by the disciplines, but also into their specific languages, approaches and methods.
Taken care of at school by the same multi-skilled teacher who can thus work on acquisitions common to several subjects and establish links between the different areas of the common base, the teaching of this constituted knowledge is ensured in 6th grade by several teachers who are specialists in their subject and who contribute collectively, thanks to common themes and links established between subjects, to the acquisition of the skills defined by the base.
Cycle 3 is a consolidation cycle, the primary objective of which is to stabilise and consolidate for all pupils the fundamental learning undertaken in cycle 2.
Cycle 2 enabled the acquisition of reading and writing of the French language. Cycle 3 must consolidate these acquisitions in order to put them at the service of other learning in a broad and diversified use of reading and writing.
Oral language, which also determines all learning, continues to be the subject of constant attention and specific work. In general, mastery of the language remains a central objective of cycle 3, which must ensure that all pupils have sufficient autonomy in reading and writing to enter cycle 4 with the necessary skills to continue their schooling. Pupils begin learning a foreign or regional language in the first year of cycle 2.
In cycle 3, this learning continues in order to reach a homogeneous level of competence in all language activities and to develop a greater mastery of some of them.
As far as scientific languages are concerned, cycle 3 continues the construction of whole numbers and their designation system, particularly for large numbers. It introduces knowledge of fractions and decimal numbers.
The four operations on numbers, without neglecting the memorisation of numerical facts and the automation of calculation procedures, are worked on throughout the cycle.
The mathematical notions studied will take on their full meaning in the resolution of problems that justify their acquisition.
Cycle 3 also introduces all the elements that enable us to describe, observe and characterise the objects that surround us: geometric shapes, characteristic attributes, attached quantities, numbers and units that enable these quantities to be expressed.
In a more specific way, the pupil acquires the bases of scientific languages that allow him/her to formulate and solve problems and to process data. They are trained to use various representations of objects, experiments and natural phenomena (diagrams, observation drawings, models, etc.) and to organise data of various kinds using tables, graphs or diagrams which they are able to produce and use.
In the arts, in visual arts as well as in music education, cycle 3 marks the transition from activities serving mainly expressive objectives to the gradual investigation by pupils, through real practice, of the means, techniques and approaches of artistic creation.
Pupils learn to master the codes of the artistic languages studied and thus develop an increased capacity for attention and sensitivity to productions. They meet the actors of creation and discover the places of creation. The acquisition of a diversified and structured artistic culture is reinforced in cycle 3 by the introduction of art history teaching, which is transversal to the different lessons.
Physical education and sport occupy an original place where the body, motor skills, action and self-commitment are at the heart of learning and make an essential contribution to health education.
Through confrontation with various motor problems and encounters with others, in different games and physical and sports activities, pupils continue to explore their motor possibilities in cycle 3 and reinforce their initial skills.
In all these languages, pupils are encouraged to express themselves and communicate. They are able to reflect on the choice and use of these. The French language and the foreign or regional language studied become an object of observation, comparison and reflection.
Pupils acquire the ability to reason about language and to apply this reasoning to spelling, grammar and vocabulary. They also become aware of how to solve problems.
They are taught explicitly the strategies used to understand and develop metacognitive skills that enable them to choose the most appropriate working methods. Pupils become familiar with different documentary sources, learn to search for information and to question the origin and relevance of this information in the digital world.
The processing and appropriation of this information is the subject of specific learning, linked to the development of reading and writing skills. By becoming more comfortable and confident, and by being able to think about how to learn and carry out the tasks required of them, pupils become more independent and better able to organise their personal work.
Cycle 2 allowed for a first stage of knowledge acquisition which continues in cycle 3 with the entry into the different disciplinary fields. Thus, history and geography make them aware of their place in the long history of humanity as well as in the different spaces they inhabit.
Pupils discover how the historical approach can provide answers to questions and learn to distinguish between history and fiction. Geography enables them to move progressively from a personal and emotional representation of spaces to a more objective knowledge of the world by broadening their horizons and questioning the relationships of individuals and societies with places at different scales.
The aim of science and technology teaching in cycle 3 is to provide pupils with an initial scientific and technical culture that is essential for describing and understanding the world and the major challenges facing humanity.
Pupils learn to adopt a rational approach to the world by proposing explanations and solutions to scientific and technical problems. Situations where they mobilise knowledge and skills to carry out a complex task are gradually introduced.
In the arts, physical education, sport and literature, pupils are encouraged to discover and frequent a significant number of works and to link production and reception of works.
Cycle 3 thus develops and structures pupils’ ability to situate what they practice and to situate themselves in relation to artists’ productions. It guarantees the acquisition of a common physical, sporting and artistic culture.
More generally, in cycle 3, pupils gain access to more abstract thinking that encourages reasoning and its implementation in more complex tasks. They are encouraged to act responsibly and to cooperate in carrying out projects, to create and produce a significant amount of written work, and to carry out all kinds of projects.
Media and information literacy, which has been in place since cycle 2, enables pupils to become familiar with a questioning approach in the various fields of knowledge. They are led to develop a sense of observation, curiosity, critical thinking and, more generally, independent thinking.
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