Tuesday, 26 August 2008

June 2008

The boys have known for a couple of months that we were debating which school to move them to. We tell them our decision. They are upset as they only went through all this last year when we left Manchester, but we explain that they will still see their friends at the international school for playdates, sleepovers etc, and in any case some of their friends might have to leave Zurich as their parents’ jobs might have to move, as that’s the nature of family life at international schools. They’ve already experienced this – C made a lovely friend this year who has had to repatriate to Sweden. They like the idea of making permanent friends, and also walking to school on their own – the height of grown-up-ness and responsibility.

We ask if we can visit the school with the children for the Besuchermorgen (Visitors Morning) and the answer is yes. This is not an open morning as such – but a morning where parents are welcome to go into class and observe a normal teaching morning. We meet both teachers for next year, and they are both interested in the boys and very welcoming. J will have his teacher for 3 years (Grades 4-6) and C his for 2 (Grades 2-3). J meets another new boy who is moving to the village, which is nice.

C gets the hump (not sure if this is just for my benefit or whether he would have done this in my absence) because his class are reading aloud German text from an overhead projector – he’s not learnt to read German yet. So I reassure him that the German they are reading is much simpler than the English he’s doing at his current school, and promise that we’ll try to get some learn-to-read-German books to have a look at during the summer.

The next day I raid the village Post Office bookshelves for workbooks. They have an excellent selection of books to help learn to read in German, and I come home armed with resources to try to help the boys and give them a little confidence before they start.

The summer holidays begin. The boys are nervous about the new school but we’ve explained to them our reasons for choosing to go local, and they are making a good attempt to understand - bless ‘em.

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