Thursday, September 3, 2009

C'est la Rentrée Giveaway!

Bonjour a tout et a tous - c'est la Rentrée!

(Hello one and all - it's Back to School!) Ahh, but really, la Rentrée is so much more than Back to School. It's the time of new starts, new resolutions, new outfits, new decor, new projects... So much more sensible to do all this in September, when the weather is good and the children are off our hands again, than in the New Year, when we British tend to make our resolutions. I can't keep a resolution when I'm cold and miserable...So, in honour of the very important French Rentrée, I have decided to tell you a bit about French education, and have a small giveaway with two prizes - not really big ones, I have to add. Firstly, here are two French school certificates from Lululiz's wonderful collection. She kindly sent me the photos when she heard I was planning this post.
French schools start, at the nursery level, with a few half days a week, aged two. This is the beginning of Maternelle school, which is basically all about socialising and learning how to get on with people - not a lot of formal education takes place but you learn how to be a good little French citizen.

In the year you turn 7, you go into the big school, the Ecole. This is later than the UK but it works pretty well - the children will have learned a bit about letters, numbers and writing in Grand Section Maternelle but basically, in their first term (starting today) they will catch up or even overtake English children of the same age in really intensive reading and writing lessons. They have homework and everything is taken very seriously.

They remain in the Ecole Primaire until the year they turn 11, whereupon they start at College. This is why Son 2, aged only 10 and a half, is now at Big School! He would only be in Year 6 in England! (Gulp.) I am really pleased with the local College. I volunteer as a parent representative on the Class Councils and, although the educational ethos is staggeringly different to the English approach, I am happy with how things are going there.

At the age of 15 they take the Brevet, and passing that allows them to go on to Lycee, which is basically High School. All this, plus their final Baccalaureat exams, is yet to come for us...
So, now on to the Giveaway. I want to award one prize at random. As I did before, you can have up to three chances to win. All followers have one chance. Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will have another chance. And if you copy the image at the top of this post and put a link to my giveaway on your blog, please leave me a second comment telling me what you've done and that will make your third entry!

So, what can you win? I've got a mixture of old and new French schooling and childhood ephemera. This prize includes a lovely old school book, with a beautifully written lesson on how to make a shirt - it's a needlework exercise book. I've added a modern School Year Diary (recycled 'green' version) with lots of excellent info about France and French culture, but perfectly useful in any language... In addition there are some smart French 'etiquettes', used to label school books or anything else you find useful, and some sweet retro pictures and 'vouchers' for nice things for Maman!
The other prize is similar, but the winner will have to do something! In your comment below, please let me know about a resolution of your own. Your comment will then have a chance to win both the prize above, and the one below! Wow, that could be four chances to win! Typical French resolutions for the Rentrée might be to try something new - my choir and my gym class used to double in size each Rentrée, which was always fun. My resolutions are to:

Watch the French news on TV every night.
Keep up my cycling every (or nearly every) morning.
Write in my spiritual Journal every day.
Not take on committments unless I have the time to do them properly (more on that later).

What is your resolution? Let me know and I'lll award this prize to the one that 'clicks' with me! Might be funny, might be serious... I won't know until I read something that makes me go 'Wow!' (help, this sounds exactly like what I say to my pupils about how I award House Points!)... The agenda and etiquettes are similar, as are the retro vouchers for mums. The ephemera are different - two vintage schooling papers and a rather battered but very cute French school picture.
I am actually going shopping in a super Stationery store (in La Capitole, Toulouse) tomorrow, so it's just possible that I'll find something else small to add to these two prizes....

Meanwhile, please do join in by:
Leaving a comment here, hopefully with a resolution attatched.
Joining my list of Friendly Followers if you'd like to and if you're not already there!
Making a link to my giveaway on your blog and letting me know by leaving a second comment.

I'll have lots more Rentrée news over the next few days - the town Forum des Associations is on Saturday, where every organisation takes on new members...

I'll make the selection of my winners next Thursday, September 10th, so you have a week to enter. Best of luck - I look forward to hearing from you!


Pomona said...

It's back to school in England today, and I have sent my not-so-little princess back into year 6 - I can't believe that the whole primary school thing is nearly over for me after 15 years!
And my resolution is to remember the lilies of the field and stop worrying about what the future might hold - we are in a time of great change, very soon my husband will not be in paid work, I will be the family breadwinner (gulp!), and this is my way of reminding myself that all manner of things will be well.
And after all that self-absorption, thank you for being so kind as to do a giveaway - just the thing to cheer us all up!

Pomona x

claire said...

Oh I have just switched on to start a post about New Years Resolutions, I really do feel that September is my 'new year'.
I resolve to be more organised around the home, more routine (pah! I hate that word but its a necessity with such a large family!!)
To utilise my time to ensure a fair mix of housework, play with the small children, and frivolous sewing time.
And....more but I'm stumped, perhaps a coffee may make my brain work better!!
Lovely giveaway xxx

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hello Floss
What a fab post telling us about the French education system. Being a teacher I am fascinated by the education of other countries. And your giveaway items are delightful!
Resolutions: I love that you've referred to this, as Autumn is the best time for making changes and centuries ago this is when everyone made changes, so I guess the January resolutions are more modern inventions to keep us all happy after Christmas!
My resolutions are based on 3 parts of my life: The first is to be more physically active on a daily basis - walking mostly, but also regular swimming and yoga. For my relationships, my resolutions are to save Sundays for rest days to be spent with loved ones. The final resolution relates to my role in the wider world and it is to find more ways to be 'in nature' whether it is through paid work or through my creative work.
I could ramble on, but fear you may have nodded off.....!
Have a great week
Denise x

summerfete said...

Cest tres joli cadeau tu donner! Tu es tres generoux.
Ma resolution pour moi est a vivre heureusement!
Et je devrai apprendre a parler le francais!

Je suis desole, mais mes francais est terrible!!

Clare x

Elizabethd said...

Happy Rentree, Floss!
One of my resolutions is to actually finish some or all of my works in progress, cross stitch, patchwork etc.
The other is to be far more particular about when I read my Bible, not just when I'm tired or just awake, but to read it with more purpose..

Anonymous said...

Hi Floss - what an interesting post! Since Rianna is starting school this year (11 days from now! eeek!) I am finding the whole education system much more interesting than usual! Chris and I had recently been discussing the difference between his schooling in Australia and mine here in the UK - they start later there too, about 6, but don't leave our secondary or high school equivalent until they are 18, when they go straight onto uni - if they want to!

You are very kind to have a giveaway!

I have set myself so many "goals" (do these count as resolutions?!)for when I get "me time" back. When Rianna is off learning at school, I will also be learning! I am re-starting my driving lessons (third time lucky I hope!), and continuing with the degree studies I had to give up when I was ill at the beginning of the year. So I am hoping that this time next year I will a) be the very proud owner of a driving license, AND b) half way through a business degree :-D - it would also be nice to add "lose a stone" onto that, but hey, there is only so much any of us can do, I may as well at least pick things I have SOME hope of doing ;-)

Good luck to everyone for the prizes!

Rose XXX

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hello Floss

Your post has taken me back a few years to when I used to go to school in France. The system does feel quite different to the UK. When I moved to UK when I was 14, I found it hard to settle in to the English system at first. My sister and her 3 children (9, 11, 13) moved to France last month. Today was their first day at school. Waiting to hear how they got on on their first day!!!
Very good resolutions! Mine, well, I have so many.. This is one of them:
To be better organized with my time.
I hope that your children have enjoyed their first day back.
Take care

Pomona said...

I've just managed to put the link on my blog, too! Hooray - I'm getting the hang of all this techie blogging stuff!

Pomona x

Serenata said...

This is a brilliant idea and I am going to think about mine over the next couple of days and then post them. I prefer to think of them as goals rather than resolutions ;-)

I have grabbed your button and put it on my blog thank you.

Mami said...

what a nice posting!!We make resolution at the 1st January of New Year.But also september is beginig og second term at school,so i used to decide to study hard though.

And now my resolutions are;
Keeping smile.studing English more actially,practicing the ukuklele,organization some previous things at home...and so on.i can imagine many things.
thank your giving us thinking time at the tunning of the year.
Take care and have a nice day!

Sarah said...

Hello Floss! It's a bit different over here of course. Our girls are ending term 3 in a few weeks and then have another term until the school year ends. But as Spring is in the air I guess it's a good time to be planning new things. So, and this is really hard to say this and you'll have to keep a good check on me, but my resolution will to be to finish my three quilts before starting a new one. Oooo ow that really hurt!! What happens if we don't make it?!!

By the way come over and see my giveaway. And I've added your lovely giveaway picture to my sidebar. I wish I could make something like that for my giveaway.

lou said...

Hello Floss, I really enjoyed reading about the French education. And as for resolutions, I have so many, one was too go back too college, I have achieved that one now. I must learn how to say no to more gardening work and too fit into my slimmer cloths that are all at one end of the wardrobe.

Have a lovely weekend…love Lou xxx

Tilly said...

We are just looking at schools for Nipper as they can start at age 4 now - they're still babies though!
My resolution would be to actually finish one crafty project before starting a new one - but I know it'll never last!

beck said...

Hi Floss, what a lovely giveaway! My husband teaches French to secondary school students here in Australia and would be very interested in the prizes, as would I. Lately I have been aware that I am spreading myself quite thinly so my resolution is to keep enjoying the things I am doing but to also be careful not to overdo it. I love to be busy but the down side is that I get exhausted and that's not nice for me or my family. So, I'm going to pace myself more and really make the most of my wonderful life, family and friends and try not to run around 'like a headless chook'! Good luck to all and thankyou xo

bad penny said...

How lovely Floss - what treasures. I'd like to do a give away or make an award - perhaps for my 100th post. Is it Ok to simpy make your own award ?
My two children would have benefitted from starting school later. We have got it so wrong in England ( grumble )
My resolution now that my children are older is to get some more qualifications myself.... I start an adult education course at the end of September !

TZel said...

My resolution is to teach my daughter well and regularly, and make sure that she has an open, kind mind toward other cultures and people.
I also resolve to exercise more regularly, but that is a bit more mundane ;-)

TZel said...

I forgot to mention, I follow ;-)

Florence and Mary said...

What an interesting post and such a fantastic giveaway you lovely thing.

Victoria xx

robin_titan said...

Oh how nifty! I wish I spoke French fluently but I don't :( I only know a handful of words haha

Lululiz said...

Yoohoo, Floss, I am back! I am so pleased your fabulous giveaway is still open, you have put together such lovely goodies.

I am terrible when it comes to resolutions, you see, I am a head case, lol, my head is full of great ideas and plans for all sorts of wonderful things, but they don't often come out of my head into the real world. So my resolution is to stop just planning and start doing, one new thing a week, errrmm, for the rest of this year. Waaaahhhhh, thats still an awful long time to go, and I bet you gonna check up on me, to make sure I really do stick with my resolution.

You know I follow your blog and love reading all your posts ( even if they do make me homesick for France, lol ), but I don't think I have listed myself on your friendly followers thingy in the sidebar. Must do that, hmmm. Must get one myself as well, lol.

Phew, almost through with catching up on your posts from the last three weeks while I was away. Didn't leave comments on all of them though, sorry, only the one about the standing stones in Brittany. I have soooo many posts from bloggers to catch up on, sigh, but its a great excuse not to do any housework, teeheee. xx

Michela said...

..Hope to be still in time...May I join in your generous giveaway, please?
My resolutions?..I always have lots of resolutions, without discharging anyone, sigh! I'm a Gemini, that's why!

Angela said...

Oh dear, my comment sent a couple opf days ago has disappeared! I love reading your blog [and Elizabethds] about French life.
My resolution- Calls for my services as a supply teacher have been Non existent so far this term - so I resolve NOT to sit around moping about loss of income, but regard it as a gift of extra time, which i shall endeavour to use in serving God. Somehow. He Knows!

LissyLou said...

Great giveawy Floss.
My resolution - to look for the happy things in people and everyday life!! Simple, but i have and will be getting so much out of it xx

LissyLou said...

oh......and i've linked to your giveaway xx

chandlerguera said...

You are so lovely to part with this great ephemera! My resolution is to get my office/art room/junk room organized and under control! I'm such a pack rat and everything ends up in this one room. I will post pictures on my blog when I get this done!