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Thinking ahead: Summer ideas

Here are a few ideas for your children – big or small – this summer BEGINNING JUNE Boarding school 7-17 3 June – end June/beg July £850+ = 1 week Family + day school, Ireland 9-13 June : 2-4 weeks 1,500€ = 2 weeks Film school, London 18+ 4 June : 1 month...

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Décalage scolaire

A short guide to the difference in the organisation of year groups between France and Britain. 1               A child’s year group is based on the child’s age on: France – 1st January Britain – 1st September* 2               Public exams: France 3ème (Y10) Brévet...

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The Blues

“Oh, London is a man’s town, there’s power in the air; And Paris is a woman’s town, with flowers in her hair; And it’s sweet to dream in Venice, and it’s great to study Rome; But when it comes to living there is no place like home.”* My...

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The summer season

THE SUMMER SEASON 2017 Royal Windsor Horse Show  10 – 14 May The UK’s largest outdoor horse show with international competitions in 3 different equestrian disciplines. Glyndebourne  20 May – 26 August A festival which is as much about the opera performances as...

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Country Life

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”  Samuel Johnson* There is no disputing that London is an...

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what, where, who, when, why?

WHAT     Family + day (state) school WHERE  Ireland WHO      8-13 years WHEN    June WHY       Total immersion in English, friendly families WHAT     Sailing school WHERE  Ireland WHO      14-17 years WHEN    June, July*, August WHY      Off the beaten track, with...

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Can’t see the woods for the trees?

Are you lost in a sea of possibilities for your child this summer? Too much choice? Don’t know where to start?   May I suggest the following: 1)         Consider your priorities- eg. dates*, activities, prices**; 2)         Take a look at a selection of ideas...

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Lost in Translation

Si vous êtes à court de cadeaux de Noël, rien ne vaut un petit film en anglais dans le texte; prenez-y garde néanmoins, les titres peuvent être parfois trompeurs, d’une langue à l’autre La mélodie du bonheur                  The Sound of Music Un jour sans...

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Who read what?

University applications are in full swing in Great Britain. Thousands of Year 13 pupils are polishing off their Personal Statements which they will send off before 15th January* as part of their UCAS** application. Then begins the wait for the replies from the five...

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Mummy, the Cloche is Sonning

“If someone who speaks many languages is multilingual and someone who speaks two languages is bilingual, what do you call someone who speaks one language? Answer: an Englishman”. So goes the joke.* Those people who speak more than one language are...

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British Boarding School

April 2014 “One of the big findings of modern psychology is that wellbeing is a key ingredient for successful learning.” Peter Gumbel MY STORY: 1970s/1980s I was longing to go to boarding school. I had done my homework; hours invested in the pages of Enid Blyton’s...

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Back to School

September 2014 “Mummy, I think I have forgotten something.”  Eustache, 15 We are in the middle of our 800km journey back to school: one frazzled mother, four over-sugared, gangly teenagers, two hot and hairy dogs and several hastily-packed suitcases, all...

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A YEAR AT A BRITISH BOARDING SCHOOL

Spending a complete academic year at a British boarding school allows for a wide choice of options; this is the minimum period many schools will accept.  It also gives a pupil the time to adapt to new surroundings, to make long-standing friends, to perfect his or her...

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La Plume de ma tante

I would like to think I am well-placed to give advice on how to learn a foreign language: marry a foreigner. Yet, even this somewhat radical step does not necessarily bring instant fluency: despite also living in my husband’s country, 20 years on I am still...

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The Summer Term

THE SUMMER TERM I had a slightly worrying conversation with a French mother a few weeks ago. Her daughter is going to spend the Summer term at a prep school in England; this has been organised for some time. In our recent exchange of emails checking up on the...

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Prep school: 101 discoveries

101 THINGS SCHOOL BRITANNIA  FOUND AT BRITISH PREP SCHOOLS (in no particular order) 1.         A strong tradition of history and heritage alongside modern teaching. 2.         Pool tables, ping pong and table football in common rooms stuffed with comfortable sofas and...

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Summer camps

May 2014 Every year, sometime after Christmas, I have a sense of déjà vu as I sit in front of my computer and set down to the task of trying to find a way for my children to improve their German. Every year is the same; I scour the internet, using search words such as...

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