Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Settled in the new school

After moving from the Montesorri school a few weeks ago (see earlier postings about the transition), Cameron is now well-settled in the Irish International School.  He has reported that he likes it as much as he liked the Montesorri School.  Here are some photos of his school.

It's run like a one room school house in a way with the Primary One and Primary Two classes together (totaling about 20 or so kids).  The curriculum is according to the British system so even though Cameron is technically in kindergarten, in Britain, that would be Primary One.

One of the things I like about the school is that they teach other languages at young ages.  Since human brains code for language sounds at a very young age, I'm glad Cameron is hearing other languages on a regular basis.  Even though he won't be able to speak these languages at the end of one year, hopefully later in life it will make learning of languages an easier process for him.

Cameron has Arabic class several times a week with a very fun male Egyptian teacher and he has French class four times a week with a woman from France.  The French class is normally just for Primary two and up, but since many of the students in Cameron's primary one class are from other countries and are still working on grasping spoken English, the teacher thought it would be fine for him to miss part of the English teaching in order to have the chance to be exposed to French.  I think Cameron also likes being with the bigger kids for this one class each day since he's friends with several of the Primary Two children.

One complaint Cameron has about the school is that 'they don't have any toys... just books.' I think he's got a point in one respect.  This is a sad thing for Cameron since at the Montesorri School, the whole day was freedom to play with a wide range of toys.  But at least the Irish School has a nice playground that he enjoys three times a day.  And he can play with toys when he gets home.  Since with my Rotary Ambassadorial status we were each allowed three large suitcases to check on the plane, we took an entire suitcase of toys and games for Cameron which included his scooter.  Thank goodness for the scooter since it helps us get him to school on time.  The 10-12 minute walk becomes a 5-7 minute scooter ride, with me trotting beside him, to get him to school in time for the 8:30am line-up by the teacher.  (The teacher is the woman standing at ground level next to the front of the line.  Jeff and I both like her and think she's a good teacher.  The woman on the steps is a parent.)

As for books, Cameron is bringing home books once a week as an extra homework since the teacher says he's one of two Primary One children who can already read.  He can read short words, though the books he's bringing home don't just have short words, so they are a reach for him, but he seems to enjoy the challenge.   
Another thing we like about Cameron's school is that they are doing swimming lessons twice a week, for this month and then for a month in the spring.   They load the kids up in a bus and take them to a club with a nice pool and they have swimming class. 

On the playground, Cameron likes to do running games with a few of the other boys and he loves to climb.  

He also likes the trampoline.  His friend on the trampoline with him in the photo is a girl in his class from Sudan.  We like that people in his class come from all over the world: e.g., Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Germany, France, U.S. and Paraguay.

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