After a year in kindie, my little daughter, aged 4 ¾, started school, proper school, (so she is now called a schoolie) just over three weeks ago. Specifically on the 26th January after the long 8 week summer break. Weird huh, summer holidays over Christmas. Takes some getting used to.
It’s just like going back 20 years – and I love it! Why do I say that? Firstly, she has to wear a school uniform and a hat. In fact, as far as I’m aware, pretty much every school in the country requires that you wear a school uniform and a hat.
I was driving into the city the other day when I drove past a senior school during lunchtime. All children must wear hats when outside during the breaks. It was just amusing to see about twenty 15-year-old kids playing football, with their hats on.
What is even funnier, and it’s probably only funny to us English folk, is the sight of a six foot two, strapping 16 year old lad, with the beginnings of a beard, walking along the road wearing school uniform with the standard issue grey shorts, blazer and wearing his school hat.
Secondly, they have assembly, not every day, just on Mondays. They call it Parade and they start by all the children stating aloud the “School Pledge”. It goes like this…
Australia, land of freedom and sun
We as your youth now speak as one
We pledge to you our loyalty true
Wherever we go and in all that we do.
Then they all sing the Australian National Anthem. It is not a religious assembly, more a celebration of their pride in and allegiance to Australia. That pride must stick, most Aussie adults are proud of their country.
Most of the schools I have seen are just stunning to look at. They are all surrounded by fields the like of which have long since been sold to developers back in England. It’s not a good idea to take pictures of schools here, someone is likely to question your motives…
I think it’s probably OK to take pics of a school when it’s shut. But I’m not taking any chances.
So here’s a picture of my little girl at school instead…
However, she has asked me to preserve her privacy too.
It’s just such a cute school, 25 to a class and we think about 600 children in all. My daughter has started in one of the four “prep” classes, which are optional. So we could have started her next year instead of this. My wife was tempted, but my daughter over-ruled her.
They actively involve the mothers too, asking for volunteers for all sorts, they like to get every parent involved. My wife could have helped with reading in the lessons or with art but she chose to help out in the tuck shop. There must be an angle there somewhere.
A Quick Weather Update.
I don’t think I talked about the weather this much when I was in England. I just wanted to add this, then I’ll leave. Promise.
Late last night, a bit bored, I switched on The Weather Channel. To soothing music, they showed some stats for rainfall around the country. It’s easy to see why north and south have suffered as they have…
Rainfall Statistics for February to date, as at the 18th.
Actual rainfall Melbourne 1.5mm Average for the month 47.2
Actual rainfall Adelaide 0.6mm Average for the month 19.0
Actual rainfall Coober Pedy 0.0mm Average for the month 23.4
Actual rainfall Perth 0.6mm Average for the month 15.3
There is an area of Australia the size of Germany that hasn’t seen rain all month!
Now up tut north….
Actual rainfall Darwin 432.0mm Average for the month 354.0
Actual rainfall Ingham area 800.0mm Average for the month 600.0
All rather worrying. Al Gore might make another film!