** Two English Mums with 28 years experience living in France! **
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Telling you how it is, no rose-tinted spectacles here.

School Meeting

We had a sort of half way through the year meeting with Alicia's teacher today. Alicia if you don't know is 3 yrs old and is in the petite section of the local maternelle school.

I have nothing but admiration for the maitresse and her assistant who manage to juggle 16 little boys and 10 little girls for 5 mornings (less kids in the afternoons) a week. (they still do school on Saturday mornings...) Incidentally she mentioned the boy / girl ratio as she said there was a fair amount of 'rough and tumble' that went on... due to the overload of little lads.

I think she made the mistake of asking for questions or comments right at the beginning and one dad mentioned the cahier that the kids bring home on the holidays for us to see what they've been up to. They put all the photos of the birthday cakes / colourings they've done / exercises they've done... in a ring bound folder that you get to keep....

Anyway, one chap mentioned he thought it was a little tough that the kids got smiley faces and 'neutral' faces (no sad faces incidentally) on the kid's work each time... and he mentioned he thought it was a bit young... considering that later in their schooling here in France they seem to have nothing but negativity in their school days.... she explained that they deliberately didn't get sad faces and only neutral faces when they considered that the kids didn't do as well as they could have done.... which personally I think is fair... the teacher explained that the kids actually ask for the little faces on their work too...

Most of the rest of the questions were centered around what the kids ate at lunch - and that they were made to taste 2 spoons of everything... Out of interest, due to staffing, our school only lets kids stay for lunch when both parents work full time.

She also explained that the main role of the petite section of the maternelle was to teach the kids how to accept rules and learn to live together nicely... they play board games to teach the kids to take turns and learn how to lose. They teach them how to put their coats on and other useful everyday things. They do some sportif activities - little circuits in the playground and little things like jumping like rabbits.
All the kids now can recognise their name written down and can write the first letter of their name...

I think it was interesting that less than half the parents showed too.

We've been very happy with this local school - we'll be very sad to change Alicia this Summer when we move house.


benoit said...

Can't you leave your daughter for the remaining months of the scholar year in your local village even after you'll have moved ? And why so ? Is school really free ? I mean no fees at all ?


Wendy said...

Yes Alicia stays at her current school until the Summer... starting at the new school in September.
Yes both schools are normal public schools - no fees. My hairdresser in this village sends her daughters to the new school and is really happy so I'm much relieved!

Braunstonian said...

Ooooh all this to come then... Rémy was 10 months on the 19th... time is going by too quickly. (neutral face)