Aras & Juljia are now in a proper Kiwi school! YIPPEE! This means that Dad now has more time on his hands, in part because he’s not spending nearly as much time playing referee. Which means I now have time to prepare blog postings… J
First off, the schools in New Zealand are a bit more “British” than most American schools. Aras & Julija are now wearing uniforms to school. They’re excited! Other than that, I can’t currently tell much difference between our American school of Stoner Prairie and our NZ school, Waverley Park School. Chaos is chaos worldwide, and smiling students are a sign of joyful learning.
It must be said that Waverley Park School was not Aras’ and Julija’s first choice, but it was Dad’s choice. Their first choice school had geckos in a terrarium in the office, the kids eating lunch outdoors (unfortunately, we dropped by for our visit at lunch time) and there were girls practicing gymnastics in their multipurpose room. Their criteria did not override Dad’s perceptions, so they’re off to Waverly Park.
Everyone at the school has been so nice and wonderful to the kids! When Asta & I dropped Aras & Julija off yesterday morning, the students were taking good care of Aras & Julija, showing them where to hang their coats and backpacks, where to place their lunches and so forth. Waverly Park’s classrooms are very similar to Stoner Prairie’s in that they are multi-age classrooms. The classrooms here are combined 1+2, 3+4 and 5+6.
Harking back to my weather post, the classes tend to more focused on the outdoors, like much that we’re experiencing here. The classrooms have large windows that let in lots of natural light. And, the rooms have two doors – one to an inside hallway and the other directly to outdoors. The exterior door is open much more than the doors in our buildings (more in another post). So, the classroom is a bit cooler than we might be used to, but the kids compensate by wearing a bit more clothing (I hope).
What else? Well, the students have a morning “tea.” This actually means that you get to pull out a snack and nosh it, rather than drink real tea with caffeine – not a good idea for my already feral son. And, there are no hot lunches – everyone brings their lunches from home. I do believe that there may be some type of lunch possibly provided on Wednesdays, for an extra fee. We’ll see. Other schools that we visited had special meals delivered on particular days – one day might be pizza day, while there were a couple of sushi days at another school.
One of the best things, after just one day of school, is that Aras & Julija were actually very excited when they came home. I expect that that will wear off in time, though. But, they were excited about the differences and similarities between their new school and Stoner Prairie. Best of all, since they were excited about school and studying again, that means that they weren’t fighting with each other!!!
By the way, it turns out that the students at Waverley Park also eat their lunches outdoors, weather permitting. Aras’s classroom has a pet bird, a budgie I believe. And, Julija also will get her chances at Waverley Park to work on her gymnastics. So, life is good after all…