Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Schools in the Charente go back this week....
It's a big week in the Downie household as our eldest prepares for her first day at Segonzac college (secondary school) on Thursday and our youngest gets ready for CM2 at Gondeville school (pictured above).
I guess that the step up from junior school to secondary is just as big in the UK but they do seem to take it very seriously here.
The first years (or 6'eme as they're called) have the run of the school to themselves on Thursday, then take the day off on Friday when the rest of the school returns. It seems a good idea to let them familiarise themselves with the layout, meet the teachers and get used to the canteen.
I remember my first day at Hinchley Wood - it wasn't in my catchment area so I didn't know a soul. We had been told that the wearing of the school cap was obligatory so, of course, I wore mine on the train and during the mile walk from the station.
Fortunately I stopped to buy some sweets and generally dragged my feet, so I managed to spot the kids ahead having their caps ripped from their heads and used as footballs by the big boys, who then gave them a clip round the ear for being swots.
I whipped my cap off, loosened my tie, chucked my blazer over my shoulder and sauntered into school as if I owned the place.
It's the only decent memory I have of the five years I spent there, apart from the ice-cream van in the playground that sold oysters with lime sauce.
Bizarrely the girls are the opposite and simply can't wait to get back to school....I know the food's good but surely that can't be natural.