02 February 2010

The Next Learning Curve

Now that Anya is attending school, I have been introduced to a whole new level of bewilderment. After living here for over ten years, I generally have the hang of how things are done in Australia, as opposed to the US, but now I am hitting another learning curve.

Kids here don’t catch school buses – their parents usually drive them in, although they are encouraged to take public transport. I think this will be OK when Anya gets older, but at this tender age, we have been dropping her off personally. I rather miss the school bus idea, actually, since you could then be sure that your kid was safe(ish) and set for the day once they got on the bus.

There is something called “tuck shop” available two days of the week, and it’s there for kids who want to buy their morning tea (mid-morning snack) or lunch, also sometimes called “little lunch” and “big lunch.” Today Anya ordered an apple slinky for morning tea and fish fingers and a corn cob for lunch. I had to learn to mark her name, order, and total amount on the outside of each bag which contains the required money; they return them to the classroom with food inside.

Mysteriously (to me), in addition to a requirement that we purchase a particular set of supplies for the year, the same info sheet also specified other things we had to supply, including one box of tissues and two reams of copier paper. I’m assuming these are NOT to be marked with Anya’s name! I didn’t actually notice this extra requirement until today when I was glancing over the info sheet again (we have already purchased the supply packet). Surely there would be some more efficient way of garnering these supplies rather than getting parents to bring them in individually?

Last, there was information about “Voluntary Contribution,” but the exact amount and deadline was specified. I don’t mind contributing, but this just seems like Orwellian double-speak to me...

3-Feb update to this post: Anya has been selected with a few other kids from her class to be moved into a "Prep-One" class combining Prep and Year One kids. The curriculum will be a hybrid between the two levels and generally will be a chance for these kids to go at a faster pace. Wow!

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