Today we went to complete school registration for the kids at collège in a nearby town.  Gratefully, there was an English teacher available to translate for us, and we were able to get all of our questions answered:

  • To start the kids will most likely have one teacher for several periods, who will take them individually and teach them the basics of French.  The kids are a little bummed they only get to have one real class for a while.  They told us last year they had a Spanish kid and a Portuguese kid, and this was the method they used.  I was just happy there was a method!
  • Another option is for the kids to go for a half day, learning French and then I will bring them home and do the other subjects with them.  We will know more once we meet with the principal on Wednesday.
  • School runs from 8:20 to 5:00 every day but Wednesday, when it goes until 12:20.  School starts this Wednesday.  This is muuuuuuch longer than they are used to.  I think the half there half here day will suit them better, we’ll see.
  • Kids here do not bring their own lunch, they eat in the cantine.  Only 10 kids out of 500 at this school go home for lunch.  I. wants to eat lunch at school, and B. wants to come home.  When B. asked if she could bring her lunch, they were 100% puzzled, like why would someone bring their own lunch?  If they stay all day, I think I will probably pick them up and bring them home for lunch and a rest, and then take the back at the end of break.  It’s up to them.
  • They will be in what is know as the 5th year.  The years work backwards, next year they would be in 4th year, etc.
  • Maths (I love that it’s called Maths and not Math), French, History/Geography, English, SVT(?) Edit: SVT is life sciences, PE, Technology, Arts, Music, Physics and Chemistry are the subjects that all 5th years take.  4 periods before lunch and 3 periods after with a lunch from 12:20-2:00.  I. actually said, “YAY!!! Physics and Chemistry!!!”
  • We will need to get school insurance, which we buy at the bank.  This seems weird.
  • Middle school or collège is 4 years, from ages 11 to 15, but they said next year it will be three years, as all of France is making a change.  I wonder which direction, more years of elementary, or high school?
  • B. asked if there was a dress code (no bare stomachs girls, no short shorts boys).  She wanted to make sure it wasn’t a religious school, and she didn’t want to wear a uniform.  No worries, on both counts.
  • I. asked if there were robotics or chess club (maybe to the clubs, definitely robotics during technology class).  There was cheering.

Everyone was friendly and welcoming to the kids – the school manager and the school secretary were helpful and courteous.  The English teacher gave us her home phone number to call her if we had any questions, which I thought was kind.  She told the kids if they needed anything they could come to talk with her.  So far, looks like a welcoming place.



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