Friday, 21 October 2011

England Through the eyes of an American - School

One of the things I am worried about moving back for it school for my children. Here in the UK children start reception, kind of equivalent to Kindergarten, at age 4. For the year before that they go to 1 year of half days in Nursery school. After Reception at age 5 they are in Year 1 age 6 year 2 age 7 year 3. My daughter is 7 and in the equivalent of 3rd grade. Where back in the US she would be in 2nd, we will be having her tested to see what grade they are going to put her in when we get there. Plus the children go to High school at the age of 11 here and finish school for good at the age of 16. Yep, that's different.

Here are a few of the things I love about Primary school in the UK
  • There is no separation between church and state like there is in the US. So the children have something called RE (religious education) where they learn about different religions. At the Christmas plays it is actually about the nativity and at some point you will have a Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.
  • They have after school clubs for children as young as 5 years old. Last year my daughter had French Club on a Tuesday, Craft Club on a Wednesday and Keep fit club on a Thursday.
  • The classes at the schools are small and typically you don't have more than 1 or 2 classes of each grade. My daughter has been in 3 schools here in England the school she is at now has 1 1/2 classes of year year and this is the biggest school she has ever been to.
  • School Uniforms. I never have to worry about what the children are going to wear to school and I know exactly how much their clothes are going to cost at the beginning of each school year.
  • Christmas, Spring and Summer Fair. Three times a year the schools we have been in have a family fun day. There are little carnival rides, Carnival games, and loads of other activities where the families go to and just have a great time. All the money goes back into the schools so that the children can do wonderful things like go to the space museum or whatever other outings they decide.
  • Summer break is only 6 weeks long. Over here school is kind of like a year round schedule. The children go for 6 weeks and then have what we call half term where they break up for 1 week. Then 6 weeks later the term end. The first end of Term is Christmas so they have two weeks off for that. The second is Easter and they have two weeks off then and last term is end of July and they are off for 6 weeks then. I think the 6 weeks is just long enough because they don't get to bored. I love having my children home with me. I'm one of those weird moms so the fact that we have so much time together during the school year makes me one happy mommy.
I hope you've enjoyed my description of the school system here. I hope it wasn't to boring :)

No comments: