It's coming round to school registration time again. My eldest is automatically enrolled into 'sixième' if his marks are good enough which they should be easily even though he has just done a series of tests he wasn't too happy with. He has been tested this year five times in total; before each holiday. It seems like a lot of testing, but the tests are not national ones and are merely used to ensure the child is keeping up.
My youngest is currently in Grande Section Maternelle so will be going into CP in September; the equivalent of starting primary school. He goes to school in the village next door and has thus the choice between continuing there, or changing schools and going to the local one. Despite the fact that his friends are all there, there is one over-riding Bad Point - they go to school on Saturday mornings.
For this reason, my youngest has decided he'd rather go to the local school where they have school on Wednesday mornings instead. However, because he is changing village schools, enrollment is not automatic, so I popped into the mairie last week to enquire about a certificat d'inscription.
I have to go back with proof of domicile and the livret de famille, then they give me the certificate and I have to go and see the head of the new school. Considering the number of papers they could ask for, it sounds fairly simple.
A lot more simple than enrolling the boys at the summer school, in fact. As I work, the boys attend a centre aeré, and have been going to the one where we used to live. They are now bored of it so I suggested investigating the local one. The summer programme looks pretty good, with opportunities to do such things as learning to scuba dive (75eur for three half days) in Carnon, building a radio-controlled vehicle, learning to rock-climb, and so on. Otherwise they can participate in half-day activities which cost 7-8eur per half-day, plus lunch.
The boys will only need five days' worth as we'll be going off on holiday after that, so I registered them, and came home with a list of papers I need to take back:
Liste des personnes autorisées à venir chercher l'enfant
Les numéros de téléphones où l'on peut vous joindre
N° de Sécurité Sociale
Adresse du centre payeur (du Sécu)
Nom et téléphone du médecin traitant
Autorisation parentale de sortie
Photocopies des vaccins
Certificat médical de vie en collectivité
Attestation du domicile
Photocopies du livret de famille
Attestation signé du règlement intérieur
En cas de divorce ou de séparation, extrait du jugement de divorce concernant la garde de l'enfant.
Plus for the scuba diving course:
Attestation de nage de 25m
I'm surprised they didn't mention the cat!
No doubt, once my youngest is enrolled at school, they'll ask for most of the above documents too. In fact, I may just as well photocopy them all twice. Of course, some, such as proof of domicile have to be less than three months old. I'm sure they used to ask for a fiche d'état civil too, but one of the better moves of the previous government was to stop doing these. They used to be required, dated less than three months' old too, for many things as though the ID card could easily be forged and was thus not reliable enough to prove identity. When the new format cards were brought in, I suppose it made the fiche d'état civil redundent, or what would be the point of the new cards?! Lateral thinking was applied! Amazing!
By the way, for all those thinking of driving in France this summer, the government is cracking down on speeding. You can be caught now for driving 1kmph over the limit and fined 45eur. Be warned, and you won't get away with it just because you are a foreigner either. Systems in different countries are talking to each other and cooperating.
Anyway, I've got my hands full running about sorting out the dossier for the boys so they can have fun in the few days before we go on happy hols, but I'll certainly be watching my speed while I'm doing it.
For those interested in my carbon footprint, you needn't worry unduly. We're going to the UK as usual, on the train. Ryanair can get stuffed with its baggage limit, its baggage fees, its uncivilised return flight time (0605) and the generally unpleasant flying experience. The cost once you include car parking at the airport, and the Stansted taxi is pretty much the same as the train, so we'll be travelling first class, dahhling, and not cattle class.
We are all looking forward to the summer!