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RFL History

Riga French Lycée was founded on September 21, 1921 at the request of the French government. Its founder and first principal was Marcel Etienne Segrest. Historically, it was located at 29, Elizabetes Street.

In 1923 the School Council approved the motto of the lycée “For fatherland’s honour, vigour and beauty’.

From the very first day of its existence, the lycée was regarded as an educational establishment which provides excellent education due to its creative atmosphere, discipline, high demands, professionalism and responsibility of the staff. Guest lecturers from France have always worked here side by side with prominent native teachers.

The first students finished school in June, 1930. In her book The Traveller Angelika Gailīte, a writer, teacher of the Latvian language, literature and history, characterizes the lycée : “The lycée was a distinctive school, the only one of the kind in Latvia; learning for twelve years in one school the children grew very close to their teachers and educators. A close unity, a true school spirit developed.”

Due to energetic activities of the long-term principal Augusts Leimanis, a new lycée building was built at 48, Valdemāra Street (the present Faculty of Chemistry of Latvia University). In the Soviet occupation time, Riga French Lycée was re-named into Henri Barbusse Riga Secondary School Nr 11. From 1965 it was located at 8, Mēness Street. The lycée re-gained its historical name in June, 1990.

In 1968, during the Second Latvian Song Festival, Juris Leimanis, a nephew of the first principal Augusts Leimanis, became the Chairman of Riga French Lycée. Under his guidance two volumes of articles about French Lycée were collected within the period of twenty years.

In September 1991 the grant of Leimanis was established. Every year it is awarded to the best student of form 12. The grant winners are: Modris Lācis, Dace Stiebriņa, Alise Balode, Laura Rozenberga, Ieva Freija, Līga Ābele, Stella Ankrava, Ilze Kreituse, Andra Liepiņa, Indriķis Sīpols, Una Bergmane, Andris Pirtnieks, Austra Dreiblate, Elīna Brasliņa, Liena Līksnīte, Jānis Šmits, Toms Rekšņa, Edgars Feldmanis.

R.Schuman centre (a library) was created in cooperation with the French Institute in Latvia. Every year different activities during the Francophonie week as well as the professional development courses for the French language teachers take place in the lycée.

Riga French Lycée has sustainable learning traditions. More than once the lycée has won the third place in the Friendly Appeal Award in the grammar school group. In 2012 the school was accredited for six years.

The lycée celebrated its 90th anniversary in September 2011. The culmination of the celebration was the concert in the Daile theatre and the graduate get-together party.