Staff at St Joseph's College in Stoke-on-Trent welcome French teachers from Besançon

Staff at St Joseph’s College in Stoke-on-Trent have signed an entente cordiale with their French brethren as they hosted a party of five teachers from Besançon.

The trip had been arranged through Keele University to share their teaching experience and examine cross-channel cultural differences in education.

The five French teachers have all been amazed by the cooperative atmosphere in English classrooms.

Romain Tyrode, 23, a physical education teacher, said: “In France there is more of a constant battle between the teacher and the pupil. Here the pupils get on with their work.”

Maxime Gaget, a physics and chemistry teacher, said: “There is a very strict dress code for both pupils and staff in the UK, but in France we all wear casual clothes. I feel as if I have had to dress up to come into class.”

Gugaine Troullot, a physics teacher, said: “It’s difficult to say whether the children are more advanced academically for their age in France or Britain. I think those standards are probably the same in both countries.”

Joris Botton a physics and chemistry teacher, added: “We will know more about comparative educational standards at the end of our three-week programme and seen other schools in Stoke.”

Camille Querenet, 21, a physical education teacher, said she enjoyed city life in Stoke, “I think a party of French teachers is quite unusual so it has been fun to go out and about the city.”

The trip has been coordinated by Simon Jones, assistant head of St Joseph’s College, who said: “Our French friends are proving very popular in class and our pupils have a host of questions about life in eastern France.”