Friday, June 27, 2008

School's Out

My eldest was told that school was essentially out from yesterday. This is because the pupils of troisième were sitting the Brevet. I have just realised that this is the French version of O'Levels. Or rather, it's a series of exams you sit at the end of four years of collège, just before you go to Lycée, but they don't determine what you go on to study for the Baccalauréat.

There are three exams over two days : French, History/Geography/Civic Education, Maths. These combine with continuous assessment in other subjects, and you can gain extra points by doing an optional subject such as Latin, Greek, a regional language or foreign language. There's also a new computer/internet component where you have to prove you are competent to use a computer and use the internet. I doubt many kids would fail that. My eldest assures me he spends much time on the computer working towards this very test. Practice makes perfect, he says...

Funny how he applies a different attitude to the electric guitar...

Despite the fact that collège officially finishes next Thursday, the kids have been told they can just not turn up from now on. Cool! What with strikes and ill teachers, it's a wonder they got taught anything at all, but I heard from a woman on the parents association that his class was considered a very good one and they finished the programme with time to spare. That says more about the lightweight nature of the programme than the intellectual level of the class in my opinion. They've basically had no homework since April which of course means no marking either...

To celebrate the end of the year at my youngest's école, we'll be going to the kermesse tonight where various games are laid on, you can buy cakes and savouries, and generally let off some steam. My youngest and I made a boiled fruit cake last night which we'll take along. It smelt so good I had to severely restrain myself from digging in, mind. True to my dissolute mummy nature, I'll be going with a cooled bottle of wine brought by my pal C so we can enjoy the evening with a chilled apero.

We created a bit of a stir when we did this at the end of year show the other week too. I brought along cushions as we were sitting on concrete blocks in an exterior amphitheatre, got the bottle of 'water' out and poured some lovely cool white wine that we sipped, and nibbled on olives and peanuts. We did enjoy the show. It was such a civilized way to watch our little darlings perform as ferocious conquistadors with their charcoal 'five o'clock shadows'.

It'll be interesting to see next year who has the same brilliant idea. Maybe we'll have started something. Or maybe we'll just be branded as Irresponsible Mummies and ignored jealously. No skin off my nose, I never talk to anyone anyway!

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