I read through various messages on this site before our move to Brussels in February and they have all been very helpful.
We decided to opt for the local maternelle for 3 year old (very near our house, so v handy).
He has been in there since March and although full immersion in a french-speaking school has had lots of tears, my husband and I thought we would persevere and it would get better.
However, we have heard such horror stories from other parents about the school ( hospitalisations from pnuemonia when children left to nap in a water filled room (for months), cuts, fingers bitten to the bone etc etc, teachers obviously never witness anything). The children also seem out of control.
Our son has now come back with various scratches from 4 boys who are hitting/kicking and scratching him during his breaks.
Last night he had them above the pant line and he said they used their shoes, as their nails were not sharp enough to scratch.
The teacher seems to have finally intervened but to tell him how to say 'stop' in French + 'not tell his mummy!?'
Ok, so, obviously furious. I'm going to try and cause hell with them next week but more then likely he'll obviously be leaving the school end of this year.
Does anyone out there have any good local schools in WSP that are tried and tested for deuxieme next year??
This sort of thing could happen in any school, honestly it can. It is very hard to stop children hurting each other, it could happen in a private or a public school. I'd judge a school more on how they deal with any problems, you can't blame school fully for children who are aggressive, of course it helps if there is more supervision, but a school which deals with problems is a school worth staying at.
I've known parents jump in immediately and say they are going to remove their children when they've had their children in local schools, in fact know someone who pulled their children out after 2 days, yet children follow them and have no problems at all. It's horrible when it's your child who is hurt, but think about the alternatives and will they really be different, before changing schools.
Have you seen where the children sleep? How come it is filled with water?
I've known 2 children with pneumonia recently, I wouldn't say either of them got it from school Pneumonia is quite common amongst children who spend longs periods with other children, ie go to school together, it's not caused by cold, though that may increase risk slightly.
Without knowing which school you're talking about, cannot suggest any others.
The problem is really with the lack of supervision, rather then the boys running riot, which is completely natural when left unsupervised/few staff.
As I mentioned above, it was the teacher telling my son not to tell me that was worrying, and he said they're always too busy talking to each other to help out when he was getting a good kicking.
I have written to the headmistress at the end of this school year and she called to say they will try and stop the problems next year, he is also in the class of probably one of the best teacher in the school, so fingers crossed that's the end of it.
We are going to give it until Christmas, depending on his injuries, and see how it goes. The school is Ecole du Chant d'Oiseaux.
Hi again your son was at quite a disadvantage last year 1) he arrived with less than half the year left 2) I assume he wasn't in creche here so hadn't experience institutionalisation and expectation for children to be independent at an early age and therefore left to it in the playground 3) I assume lack of French
Chant d'Oiseau is highly regarded, as are all 3 WSP school in that area. There is almost zero chance of a place at Bémel and ND des Graces which is the most popular. Paradis des Enfants is also well regarded but twice size of Chant d'Oiseau even, AR d'Auderghem is also known to be good.
I only know 2 children ever removed from Chant d'Oiseau, one is back there now, they were both pulled from the same class, although neither parent knew each other at the same time, it was an extra acceuil class added in April in the basement with a new teacher in a room not equipped with anything, one child was immediately moved to another school and stayed there and moved next to it, the other went back the next September, both pulled out because of poor conditions of the classroom and set-up, not because of anything which happened in the playground.
Supervision and hygiene are probably the 2 most common negative points of local schools here. Complaints of course are justified but it's lack of money to an extent which means it's hard for schools to respond.
good luck for September, I hope you'll find your son is more settled, now he'll be older, hopefully has more French, more used to fending for himself in the playground.