Just been reading the tales of how Lorraine‘s school were not doing the best in terms of her early education, and made me think of a story from my early years.
When I was little I went to school in Germany for 5 years, at a German school and not at the international school which was where a lot of kids went, and where I suspect I would have learned to speak American *shudder*. No offence to those on the other side of the pond, but I’m not a fan of US accents.
We moved back to the UK when I was about 10, and because of the difference between the German and UK school systems, I went from being the youngest in the class in the second year of secondary school, to one of the oldest in the class in the last year of primary school. The age group of the people that I was therefore spending my time with changed considerably, and there is a completely different ethos in the two tiers of the school system.
Then, my teacher decided that at primary school level, I should not be using joined up hand writing, like I had been doing for years, but should instead be spelling things out using individual letters. This was something that I never got the hang of, but I did try. The result being that to this day, my hand writing is a scrawled mess, a combination of joined up and single letters that I’m sure my secretary rolls her eyes at every time I ask her to type something up.
My settling into the new school wasn’t helped by the fact that shortly after I arrived, my class all went of on a week long field trip and left me behind, sitting in the corner of one of the younger classes, because I hadn’t joined early enough for them to book onto the trip.
I had also gone from doing regular home work, exams and detailed history and geography projects to making beach scenes out of bits of fabric and copydex, in a classroom with no walls and no disciplin. And I’d just hit puberty.
Suffice to say, I didn’t particularly like my months at that school. Come September I was looking forward to going to secondary school, but because I spoke German, my parents wanted to encourage this by sending me to a a school a few towns away which classed itself as a European school, and specialised in languages. A school to which no one from my current school was going to. And so begins the process of making new friends all over again. My confidence was definately lower than it used to be.