The maisons d’éducation of the Legion of Honor are modern educational institutions, open to the world, which obey special rules due to their ties with the Legion of Honor. Their education mission involves the perpetuation of the traditions and symbols of the Institution.
Wearing the uniform
Inherited from Napoleonic tradition, the uniform is mandatory for all students. This sign of belonging illustrates the principle of equality, dear to the Institution, by erasing distinctions and avoiding sartorial competition.
The schoolgirls’ uniform at the maisons d’éducation is a navy blue jumper over a white shirt, decorated with a belt over one shoulder in a color that gives each class its name: green for 6th grade, violet for 7th grade, aurora (orange) for 8th grade, blue for 9th grade, nacarat (red) for 10th grade, white for 11th grade, and multicolor for 12th grade. Hypokhâgne-khâgne and BTS students wear a navy blue suit, adorned with a yellow or blue belt at official ceremonies.
The «Legion curtsey» is a discreet and respectful greeting, which consists in taking a step back with the right foot while leaning back slightly. It is used notably with the Grand Master and the Grand Chancellor, as well as at official ceremonies, concerts and prize ceremonies.
The fact that the schools are not coeducational creates a naturally studious environment for the students, at an age where the difference in maturity between boys and girls and the « tribe » phenomenon of adolescents sometimes interfere with the running of classes and the development of the young.
An all-girls-school offers pupils a serene studying environment that enables them to acquire solid self-confidence and fosters simplicity in their way of relating to others.
In the classroom
A classroom is assigned to students for the entire school year. Every year in September, when school starts up, every student is assigned a seat, in alphabetical order and according to affinities.
At the beginning and end of each clayss or study period, the students are to stand up to salute the teacher or school monitor.
The delivery of student reports
Halfway through the trimester, the head of school goes to every classroom to inform students of their grades and level of progress. Every student is given personalized comments, encouraging her to sustain her efforts and show pride in her work.
In addition to the usual system of « congratulations» and « encouragements », the best students are rewarded by mention on the honor roll or by receiving a medal, which consists of a small rectangle of fabric of the same color as their belts.
- Honor roll rewards the students who do honorably well in their studies and/or behavior.
- The medal is a distinction for those students who show outstanding success in their studies and/or behavior.
Beyond scholastic achievements, special attention is given to behavior. A sense of duty, punctuality, politeness and solidarity are important values and are rewarded.
A time for celebration and sharing, the prize ceremony that ends the school year is a pedagogical and educational event of its own. Presided over by the Grand Chancellor, the ceremony follows a precise ritual designed to encourage and reward excellence.
- To begin, the students sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, before they are welcomed by the Superintendent or the Intendant, depending on the class. A guest speaker then gives the traditional speech for the occasion.
- , special prizes are conferred upon the best student in each subject, regardless of grade.
- prizes are awarded for each grade.
- each student receives a new belt in another color, symbolizing the passage to the next grade.
- The parents association and the alumnae association award an education prize and a comradeship prize. Legion of Honor recipients associations also award prizes.
- The Grand Chancellor brings the ceremony to a close, and the students strike up a goodbye song.
The President’s concert
Another highlight of the school year, the President’s concert showcases the importance of a music education.
Every year in the spring, some one hundred members of the choirs of Les Loges and Saint-Denis and instrumentalists of both schools perform in honor of the President of the French Republic, the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honor. The President attends or sends a representative to this annual musical rendezvous.
The students’ sense of civic service and their awareness of France’s historical heritage and the significance of the State are enhanced by participation in various official events. The students are selected on the basis of their desire to volunteer, their good conduct and their academic records.
Students thus attend the lighting of the flame at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe, as well as parades under arms at Les Invalides when the President is in attendance. They are also invited to the autumn reopening session of the Académie Française.
On July 14, 2002, they marched down the Champs-Elysées on the occasion of the bicentennial of the Legion of Honor.