Thursday, 5 July 2012

School's Out

Today was the last day of school and it is traditional in France to bring a present for your teacher. A nice tradition I think. Matilda has two teachers, Véronique and Cathy, and two teaching assistants, Frédérique and... errr (I've never managed to find out). We decided to bake them some raspberry muffins because, although I failed to mention it in my previous post, this is our new favourite muffin recipe.

School has been pretty good this year for Matilda and she is utterly besotted with Cathy, who assures me the feeling is mutual. However, after much deliberation, we have decided to move schools. I had intended to write a long post detailing all my various wibbles on this subject but as the thought of writing it bores me I can only imagine how bored you'd be reading it. So, to cut a long story short, next September Matilda will start at the "carey sharey" (as I previously referred to it) Occitan school, the Calandreta. The pedagogy is based on active learning and Freinet’s methods to accompany children towards autonomy, sharing and citizenship. If you are interested enough to follow the links, you will find that both can indeed be roughly described as carey sharey. Very roughly. The state school kid in me thinks it's all a bit fluffy, but the mum in me is delighted that the Calandreta will encourage my children to be independent, co-operative and down to earth individuals who strive to learn for their own pleasure rather than learning by rote and getting caught up in a competitive frenzy for grades.

The other thing that appeals to me as a parent is that the Calandreta is an école associative. When you enrol your kids you have to join the association which runs the school. They actively encourage (well, demand!) that parents take an interest and participate in the life of the school. I am all for this. I really want to be involved in the minibeasts' education and I felt very much left out by our local école maternelle.

We shall see. No doubt I'll let you know how it goes...

We celebrated Matilda's first year of school (no mean feat) by riding out the exciting thunderstorms snuggled up on the sofa watching classic British kids tv. Bagpuss, The Clangers and my personal favourite, The Moomins. The wonderfully beautiful, strange and haunting 1970s Polish stop motion version, not the terrible Japanese animated version. If you have five spare minutes and you enjoy the beautiful, strange and haunting, you can watch an episode here:

[I do apologise, this post is rather link mad.]

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