France - Saturday School is Out

Old Nov 1st, 2007, 06:18 AM
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France - Saturday School is Out

forever French primary schools will all shut on Saturdays, at least for regular instruction but could remain open for extracurricular activities

Currently the departements have different school schedules and some don't have Saturday classes and the move is to introduce a more uniform school calendar

80% of parents and 59% of teachers support such a move according to polls. But parents also (and probably NOT teachers) support a move to shorten summer holidays to make up for the lost Saturdays.

(I thought some schools did not have classes on Wednesdays so could make up the day then but not sure?)

Similar reforms may soon be made in the secondary school calendars.

Studies show French students put in 936 hours/yr vs 800 hours in the rest of Europe (BBC report) - so I guess French students are better educated than their non-French peers?

(Capsulated from News from France, free newsletter available from French Embassy in U.S.)
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 06:51 AM
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I wouldn't equate quantity with quality across the board.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 08:41 AM
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Presence in the classroom has a tenuous relationship with education at the best of times!
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 08:43 AM
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As a former high school English teacher i can certainly attest to that - but they always think the more hours the better when in actuality fewer with less boring down time could be better IMO
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 09:40 AM
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PalenQ - I am relieved to hear they are still open for extracarricular activities. I am a parent of a very priveledged son who attended two of the best schools in South Africa, namely Cordwalles Preparitory School for Boys and Hilton College. (Anyone interested can go to their websites) and can only add that Saturday school is wonderful. It allows the pupils to relax from formal duties and just have fun! At Hilton Saturdays were sports orientated and parents came along for support and a jolly good lunch! It also gave us much longer holidays than the government run schools which, when travelling overseas, was a fantastic boon to travelling time.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 09:55 AM
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Yes good to have Sat IMO as a fun day at schools

and i think the French families may also appreciate having the whole weekend off for short ski trips, etc.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:03 AM
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and i think the French families may also appreciate having the whole weekend off for short ski trips, etc.

The problem is not about short ski trips (4 months at best for people who can afford them or live close enough to the mountains to consider them) but about what's good for the kids.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Proy - what do you mean by what's good for the kids?

curious - i for one think that having two days off school may be good for the kids and families can do, if not ski trips, trips to museums, events, etc. whereas now they just have Sundays and that day in France still often seems devoted to a family Sunday meal (which i think is great)

spaces and come back with more vigor
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:26 AM
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Dutch Primary school children, so from the age of 4 to 12 must receive 7520 hours of lessons over the total, which works out at an average of 906.25 hours a year. The youngest children, 4 - 7 years old have Friday afternoons off usually, and all primary school children have Wednesday afternoon off.
At secondary school they must receive 1040 hours a year from 12 - 14, and 1000 from 15-18. In the year they take exams they must still receive 700 hours of lessons.
No need for Saturdays at school, no matter what age the child, they need the weekends to relax and socialise, just as adults do.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:27 AM
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Proy - what do you mean by what's good for the kids?

Good for the kids whose parents have the week-end off. But lots of parents don't and will have to find 2 babysitters, one for Weds one for Sats.

curious - i for one think that having two days off school may be good for the kids and families can do, if not ski trips, trips to museums, events, etc. whereas now they just have Sundays and that day in France still often seems devoted to a family Sunday meal (which i think is great)

Lol.. Sundays meals are an endangered species in France unless you belong to the 70+ crowd

spaces and come back with more vigor
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:32 AM
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Many parents have finigled (sp?) their bosses to let them take Wednesday off (the kids are home)and work on Saturdays, since the kids are at school. Now they're going to change back to another type of work/days off. The bosses won't be too happy.

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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Proy - good point i hadn't thought about that many French yes do work on Saturdays.

Still though if schools were to be open for fun activities it would be the same as being in school regards child care, which i thought was free in France for workers?

But good point about Saturday being just another work day for many
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:45 AM
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Child care is not free; not even crèches (for under-kindergarten age kids). There are no free child care organizations for "older" kids except after school-day (called "étude)
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 11:16 AM
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and i think the French families may also appreciate having the whole weekend off for short ski trips, etc.

You bet.... take a family living in Paris. The parent who is free at the time picks up the kids after 5 pm on a Friday and rushes to the station together with the impedimenta (skis, ski boots, ski outfits, sandwiches and drinks) Meanwhile the other parent meet them at the station. They board the train and travel to the Alps which they reach in the middle of the night or at dawn, depending on when they left Paris. They then rush to the ski slopes and ski merrily. The next morning they rush to the ski slopes and ski no less merrily until 5 pm on Sunday. A good night's sleep and ski until Sunday afternoon. Then board a train on Sunday evening, get to Paris in the middle of the night or early on Monday morning and send the kids to school right away...
If they take a car, it's no better.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Where i live there are ski resorts about a 4 hour drive and many families do go on weekend trips

but i understand that this is in this country where folks don't bat an eyelash at such a drive

i do understand the French and Europeans think this type of get away is daft.

so perhaps i'm applying American expectations to the French culture but come to think of it all the folks i know in France - in-laws, etc. would indeed never do that type of get-a-way.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 06:31 AM
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PalenQ :
I was thinking of the poor souls who happen to live in Brest
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:28 AM
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Surfing holidays?
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 09:34 AM
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In winter?
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