Friday, 15 November 2013

School's In

This attractive terracotta roof finial is on the Preuilly Primary School.

Preuilly is lucky in that it has a reasonable sized school. Many of the villages around here operate one teacher schools and every year there is a campaign to save them. Every year Preuilly announces that it may have to drop a class or amalgamate two classes. The small villages guard their right to a school of their own jealously and see Preuilly's (modest) size as predatory. If the village schools closed, this is where the kids would come.

I had a conversation recently with a school mum from a nearby village in the same situation as Preuilly. Thanks to some strong political will, their school has absorbed the surrounding villages' pupils. It has resulted in children being better socialised and having access to more resources. She feels it has been a completely positive move.
A la cuisine hier: Pizza, with tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms and onions.


  1. A cuisine... aujourdhui.... Pizza!!
    Pauline bought some cheese for alligot that is meant to be good on pizzas, so we are going to have a try... the alligot was lovely, btw.

    That lovely finial reminded me of Sadie [our friend who died suddenly the other week]....
    for our local 2CV groups meetings, from time to time, she used to set "walking treasure hunts" around Leeds...
    always very difficult and you needed to look up [and look down] for many of the answers...
    you really appreciate the "architexture" of a city like that...
    on one occasion the answer was at our feet, literally...
    she had guided us to a point where we were standing on the answer!!
    Happy memories!! Ta!

  2. I take the point anout larger schools being slightly better resources with economies of scale etc. Also that having more than one teacher can lead to greater flexibility and adaptability in the teaching staff.

    However, I think I see it slightly differently. Those villages who lose their schools also, in time, run the risk of losing families with young children. The lack of a school can become a barrier when people are looking for houses.

    From experience I know because we live in what was formerly the village school built in 1858. We bought the school in 1982 and converted it to a house. Our own children needed to travel to school and there have been very few young in our village. It's now a bit like a retirement complex and any houses which come up for sale are bought by older people.

    I suspect the issue in both France and the UK is more complex than this.

  3. In Charnizay we have school share scheme with the next village up the road: St Flovier for early years/primary.

    All the children from both villages of early years age come to Charnizay and all the primary age children go to St Flovier [7km between the 2 villages].
    It means that both villages 'keep' a school and children can socialise properly.
    Once they reach secondary age they go to Preuilly.

  4. Gaynor: I got the impression most of the kids bussed anyway, whether to the village school or to the bigger school, so from that point of view it didn't make much difference to them.

    Antoinette: I think LPG must have something similar, because the age range at the school is slightly unusual. It seems to be older primary and junior high. I'm a bit vague about it all. Not being a mum means none of this really affects me so I don't take much notice.

  5. And teaching friends in France tell me there is a ritual dance of parents moving their kids from the public school to the private offering and vice versa which makes forward planning extremely difficult!

  6. Fly: I think that happens everywhere -- it certainly does in Australia and the UK to some extent.

  7. A beautiful school in our street in Blois which is on the outskirts of the town has just closed this year. When you see the building, you can understand the expense but it's such a pity.