Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Summer Rain - No Thank You

Today was the last day of school for my son in his class of CE1 - I think it stands for Class Elementary, what a terrible parent I must be by not knowing the translation of his class title. However, I know that he started in CP, progressed to CE1, should be going on to CE2 but instead is jumping a year and as of September will be starting his new academic year in CM1 (class middle). We are very happy parents because he's worked terribly hard and we feel that he more than deserves to jump an academic year. I suppose it would be very easy to gloat and say well our boy is intelligent hence the reason he's being transferred but he's been finding his class for the last two years not overly challenging but the flip side is of course he will be losing the social group that he's known for the last 3 years - so it was a tricky decision on our part to say least. I guess we'll find out the real result in the fullness of time.

Education here is, from my limited experience of one school, very, very good. Our boy attends a private French Catholic school. Sounds very hoytee poloytee but the fees are nothing like a British private school - less than 200 Euros a month and that includes a canteen school dinner most days! It's considered quite elitist to pay for education in France consequently, the parents of most of the children at this particular school are from professional backgrounds. Surgeons, Doctors, Professors, Teachers, Business professionals etc. In our fast changing world I believe it's not necessarily what you know but who you know therefore paying for good quality education and mixing with families who make the wheels of the system turn hopefully gives you a distinct advantage throughout your life. This is my personal opinion I have to stress and I appreciate that its a tender topic for many people.

I never had a private education but I do recall good old school dinners and the super huge trays of spotted dick and anodised battered jugs of thick lumpy custard - mmmmmmm now they were deserts to die for. I know that my son's canteen doesn't operate in the same fashion with the same traditional stodgy puddings + creme anglais (as the locals like to call it) but they do have a varied menu and my boy likes the food.

So a big congratulations goes out to our son as it was made official yesterday and his classmates learned about it today from the headmistress of the school. Here, the temperature continues to hover around 28º to 32º and we don't have any rain, unlike the UK. I know that the land doesn't need it and feel confident in stating that the locals don't want it so we're looking forward to a damp rainy week on the South Coast of the UK and then returning to Montpellier for a sweltering hot summer.

Of course the flip side is - I will most probably have to install that Air Con system once it gets ridiculously hot, as I mentioned before.

Chin, chin and bottoms up for Wimbledon - doesn't look like any chance of finishing on time this year...