Tuesday, 2 September 2008

La Rentrée

Just two words, but of such great significance here and in France. It is funny, as we don't seem to make such a big deal about it in the UK. But here, all the girls have spent hours having their hair beautifully put into tresses, usually with extensions. The boys have been shaven and shorn. New shoes, new clothes, new bags...the shops and news can't talk about anything else!

Unfortunately, we never got a letter from the Mairie about LissaLou's school; nor are we very organised! So LissaLou set off to school this morning missing a few essentials. Ah well! On our shopping list are umbrella, raincoat, trainers. Oh, and enroll at a doctor!

Her school is La Maternelle, for 3-6 year olds. School is not obligatory until 6 here, but everyone goes anyway. The hours are 8am till 11.30 and then 14.00 till 16.30 - no tardiness please or we get suspended for a week! It is quite a big school with three classes in each year. LissaLou is in Section Moyenne, class 7. I was a bit concerned about her and the teacher, as Bertie warned they can be less strong on the pastoral side here, but hers seems very nice and friendly. The headmistress was here when Bertie was 30 years ago! Apparently she is very stern!

We turned up at 9am today and joined the chaos of parents filling out forms. We were rather embarrassed at all the blank spaces on ours, but the teacher didn't seem to mind too much. Another thing they have here is assurance scolaire which appears to be obligatory. We paid the school €45 but you can get your own too.

LissaLou was delighted to see a home corner and it was a very pleasant classroom. There is lots of space to run around outside. And we can see the school, in fact her classroom, from our bedroom window!

We left her to it, sad but not crying like a few others. Heartwrenching to see them in tears, or trying hard not to cry. Bertie picked her up for lunch and she said that they sang some french songs and she made two friends whose names she had forgotten. She seems to have understood everything but it's just the speaking that lags behind a bit. Unfortunately she wasn't so pleased to go back this afternoon (I left it to Bertie as she is less likely to cry with him!). We will see how it goes. I could have signed her up for the canteen and not disrupted her day, but that would have meant a very long day for her so I hope she will enjoy coming home and going back again.

It is pouring with rain today. All the windows are shut to keep it out!


Anonymous said...

The poor wee mite!

Judith said...

Have just caught up on all your news since leaving London. Glad that things are settling down. Will post you a parcel soon for your b-day. Love to you all, Judith, Aidy, Matthew and bump.