Friday, February 27, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


1. The potty training is going well. We made it to Jo Jingles, the supermarket and out for lunch today without any mishaps, though she did decide she had to check out the facilities wherever we went, whether she needed them or not. She is also very proud of her "big girl" underwear, announcing to the two elderly gentlemen at the next table "I'm wearing pants!", much to their amusement.

2. Someone asked in the comments on my GCSE options post about the school day here. Angel's school day lasts from 9am to 3.45pm, and Star's is the same length but runs quarter of an hour earlier (the schools are adjacent and it spreads out the drop offs and pick ups to have staggered start and finish times). After taking out registration and breaks they both end up with five one hour lessons each day. Star has a simple 25 hour weekly timetable; Angel's school uses a two weekly rotation, with a 50 hour timetable spread out over ten school days.

3. I may as well explain the typical English school year too. Most schools work a three term year. The first term runs from early September to a few days before Christmas; the second term from early January until Easter; and the third from after Easter until late July. There are two week breaks at both Christmas and Easter, a six week summer break, and a one week half-term break in the middle of each term, giving a total of 39 school weeks, less a few odd days here and there.

4. Angel made her option choices. She started the week dithering over whether she wanted to study Health and Social Care, and by the end of the week had decided she liked the idea enough to push it up the list to second choice. Her final list in order of preference was (1) Graphic products, (2) Health and Social Care, (3) Physical education, and (4) Information technology, with Geography and Leisure and Tourism as reserves.

5. Some more background ... the English school system usually has two tiers, primary (age 4-11) and secondary (age 11-18). Our education authority is odd in that it has a three tier system of lower (age 4-9), middle (age 9-13) and upper (age 13-18) schools. This was tried by a few counties over the past decades, but I think ours may be the only one left still using this arrangement. Angel's unusually large year group - and therefore unusually large list of options - is a consequence of the three tier system. If the school took kids from age 11 instead of 13, each year group would have to be smaller to keep the school a manageable size.

6. Finally changing the subject (this isn't quite turning into Quick Takes: the School Edition) ... I have a confession. I am an inveterate book cheat. I find it very hard to read a book without flipping from the beginning to the last few pages to see what happens in the end. I used to think it was impatience, but I've decided I actually enjoy the journey more when I know where the book is heading. Having said that, I did manage not to look at the end of the last Harry Potter book in advance.

7. It is Lent. I have given up chocolate. And what do I see half price at the local supermarket? Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which I adore, and which are sadly expensive here (if they can be found at all). What to do? I ended up buying a load of them and giving them to Tevye to hide until Easter.

Read more quick takes at Jen's Conversion Diary. I can't add mine as Mister Linky is hiding ... but I can ask for prayers for Jen, who is booked to have her fourth baby induced on Monday.


Melanie B said...

I'm curious about potty training. The whole process mystifies me and scares me.

Oh, that's interesting about peeking at the end of a book. I greatly dislike knowing the end of a book. In college my best friend, Stephanie, would get so angry at professors who talked about the end of a book before she'd got there. She often read ahead so as to avoid that problem. Once I think she even skipped class so as not to have the end of the book ruined.

Super Fun Mama said...

I'm a bookcheat too and like you I prefer to know about the ending. I assume it is because I do not like waiting for things...