Sunday, October 25, 2015

School Days

Tonight is the eve of Half Term, which means the kids have a week off of school.  When we arrived last year I was a bit confused as to how the school schedule works here since it is very different than what we were used to in the U.S., but it's actually not as confusing as I first thought!  

Basically, there are 3 school terms:  Autumn, Winter, and Summer.  (Anything called Summer Term just sounds so wrong!)  Halfway through each term there is a 1-week break from school, and between the Autumn and Winter, and again between Winter and Summer, there is a 2-week break.  The Summer Holidays lasted 7 weeks for us this year.  There are a smattering of Bank Holiday Mondays scattered throughout that schedule.  Bank Holidays are public holidays when the bank (and lots of other businesses) are closed.

I know there were several places in Alabama that tried the "Year-Round" Schooling method at one time, which seems to me very similar to the school schedule here.  My general thoughts after experiencing it for the past 10 months are that it does feel very strange and wrong to be in school during June and over half of July, but on the other hand, it also feels nice having so many week-long or more breaks that come up before you know it.  I did a quick comparison of school days and number of holidays earlier in the year with a friend, and I think it turned out that the school schedule here has about 15 more days in it than the Alabama schedule.  And as for uniforms?  I'm a fan at this point.  It makes getting dressed so much easier, and Ella thrives on knowing exactly what she's going to wear.  James does as well.  One of my favorite comments of the year was just before the first day when James asked if I had his "costume" ready, and as I pulled his school shirt over his head, "I love these clothes."

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