So we got this pile of paper to fill in for the school. I have to say I managed it quite well with my basic Spanish skills. We also had to provide some papers of our own, like the birth certificate, the vaccination certificate, passport copies and proof of marriage. They didn’t insist these in Spanish, the Finnish ones were enough. Then we got this list of books, which we had to take to a book store where they would order the books. It took a few weeks and we didn’t have to pay anything for them. Then on the first school day in September Luna came with another list of necessities that we would have to get during the first week. The list included work books, paper, different kind of pencils, rubbers, sharpeners, a big plastic box and hand towels to mention a few. For those we had to pay for ourselves. All of these, including the pens, had to have the pupil’s name on them.Luna goes to school from 9 to 14. The parents have to bring the kids to school and also fetch them. The school day starts in the yard, where the pupils go to queues according to their grade. Luna’s classroom teacher is a young woman. I guess the kids spend most of their lessons with her, but Luna says that they switch teachers quite a lot. They have a different teacher in P.E., Music, Environmental Studies and English. The kids have only one break, from 11.30 to 12 and during the break they also have to eat their packed lunch (brought from home). I’m really wondering how both the pupils and the teachers manage with only one short break during the whole day. I used to teach in Finnish junior high and even two classes in a row was really painful…I mean, the concentration on the subject was poor. Maybe they have some more advanced teaching methods in Spain then… Luna’s schedule consists of Spanish, P.E., Environmental Studies, Maths, Music, English, Religion and Arts. When most of the kids have Religion, Luna has something called “Alternative” since she’s not catholic. I have no idea what they’ll do in Alternative, Luna said they did some colouring pictures last time. Luna is also going to have some additional tutoring in Spanish which is going to take some time from the normal classes. After the school the kids can choose to have lunch (costs 4,50/day) and in October start after school activities, such as Crafts, Theatre, English and Sports/Dance. We’ve signed up Luna for Crafts for now, but she’s also shown some interest in the other subjects, so we’ll see how it goes and if she wants more later on. Some of the activities are free, some have a monthly cost around 14 euros.
Luna has now been to school for a week. She really likes the P.E. classes and the breaks. Most of the other stuff is boring according to her because she doesn’t understand what the teacher is saying. The exercises have been really easy for her until now, she says they’ve done the same kind in the Finnish pre-school. So the language problem hasn’t really shown yet. This week they started using their school books. Luna has made friends with a Danish girl in her class who doesn’t speak any Spanish. She’s also been playing tag with some bigger kids during the breaks.