Reuben's first week at French school

Reuben has just finished his first week at French school! I was so nervous the first day. He'd never done a full day at school before and 9am to 4.30pm seems a long day for a 4 year old. How would he cope with the French? Would he eat his lunch? Would he be confident enough to ask to go to the toilet? We'd been to look round the school before so he knew which toys he was going to play with first. We'd literally been building up to it all year and after a summer of mainly adults to play with I think he was after some kiddie company, he was so excited to go!

He went in on Tuesday morning smiling and my only hope was that he came out smiling when we went to pick him up...and he was! He told us bits about his day, he had played with the cars, had tomatoes for his lunch (which he would never usually eat at home) with yoghurt for pudding, and had some interaction with other children in his class. That evening he said that his new school was brilliant! He took out 2 French books to read at bedtime and informed me that if you don't understand what someone is saying in French you just say 'pardon!'

Reuben starting school was a big factor in our decision to move out here. Although we haven't had a choice of school here (kids just go to their local village school,) the Parisot village school is a lot smaller than any he would have gone to in London. He has a male nursery teacher Arnaud, which is a rarity in London, who has his guitar set up in the corner and is introducing Montessori methods into the classroom which Reuben is familiar with. Having two boys I think it's important that they have good male role models in their school and home life. The school is so close we can leave the house at 8:58 and still make it in time for the 9 o'clock bell.

Reuben's 3 course lunch menu!
School life in France...
To sign Reuben up for school, our first point of call was the mairie (mayor's office.) We filled out a registration form with our basic details. We were given details of what we would need to register him fully and the number of the headteacher who we arranged to meet the last week in August. We gave her...
  • a copy of Reuben's birth certificate
  • a copy of all his vaccinations
  • proof of our address
...and that was it, he was in! Kids at Parisot school attend for 4 and a half days a week. The day starts at 9am and finishes at 4.30pm. On Wednesday they finish at midday and then he's home for lunch and the afternoon. We pay for Reuben's lunches, 2€90 a day, and we bought tickets in bulk. We then give the teacher every Monday meal tickets for that week with his name and dates on the back. The lunches are amazing, it's like being in a restaurant with 3 course meals, but with water instead of wine!

We had to send Reuben in with a box of tissues and wipes for communal use throughout the year. He also has to take a cup, a change of clothes, and a daily snack box with fruit or bread and cheese, which they state very clearly is not a substitute for breakfast! He was also given a notebook which the teacher and parents use to communicate with each other. There have been various letters and notices stuck in it throughout the week and we've had Google translate out every evening. There have been parent detail forms, do we allow our child on school trip forms, when was their last tetanus injection, even though we'd already given them a list of his vaccinations with dates. It's been the first real test of my French!

We hope that Reuben continues to enjoy it, we will keep you updated about his French school journey. Have you had a child start school or nursery this year? How did their first day go?

Becky x

1 comment

  1. Hi Becky, stumbled across this, lovely to hear how Reuben got on in French school...I'm Irish, married to a French man, living in Australia with 2 little girls...we might find ourselves in France some day...nice to hear all this! Thanks! Una

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