Saturday, September 13, 2008

Swiss School Info

Here is an excerpt from the Exapt Moms listserv regarding school. It looks like Niamh and Rowan will be a year apart in school.

In Morges (Vaud) the cut-off date is June 30th (i.e. they have to have turned 4 before that date in order to enter ecole enfantine that same year). School here normally starts the last week of August. The first two years ("ecole enfantine") are non-obligatory (although this will likely change in the future) and obligatory school - "ecole primaire" - starts when children are 6/7 (i.e. two years later).

In Morges there is flexibility with regards to admission if the child is born between May 1st and August 31st (you can present a request to have your child put 1 year ahead or behind) although rules are likely to become stricter in the future - in fact, this option may already no longer exist (I am not sure). On very rare occasions, children who do extremely well may go on to "proper" primary school after just one year, whilst those who don't do so well may be kept in ecole enfantine for a third

In Morges, the fist two years of ecole enfantine have no real syllabus, and no formal assessments are made. The education of the children seems to be at the discretion of their teacher. They are quite reticent to teach reading & writing skills because, in the light of the small minority of children that do not attend school until it is compulsory, they want to avoid their pupils becoming "ahead" of the peers that will join them later on. However, in the view that in Morges, at least, virtually all children attend the first two non-compulsory years, they do seem to teach these skills.

Children have the same teacher for the two initial years. In Morges (and probably elsewhere) children from the first year share the class with those of the second.

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