Our first day at the little CIPEC International School located just ten minutes outside Aix on a peaceful road surrounded by beautiful sunflowers. The house we are renting is four minutes away and I’m in heaven as it’s so much quicker than my school run back home. When we first ventured to the school in June for a visit it was quiet, apart from the children that is…… Fast forward to the first day of Autumn term and the quiet road is jammed with international looking cars (i.e. big ones like ours) and the sunflower field has turned into a gigantic car park.
Excited parents and children gather at the front of the school, a short walk from the car park. Our headmistress; chic and petite… emerges to give us all a bienvenue. The girls asked: Do you know anyone Mum? Nope! I replied, but be calm, we will soon enough. We all know that feeling, first day of anything is a little unnerving, particularly with a foreign language involved, particularly if you can’t speak it.
Cool, said the girls. They were standing there, proud in their Converse shoes, (check out the fab site) focal point of new school uniform which involves wearing whatever you want really. Anything!!! How do the shoes look mum? they asked. Great girls they look great!
There were forms to fill out and hand in (I’d forgotten all mine so that was easy), information on books, sports, lunch timetables and teachers to meet. The ‘soon enough on getting to know people’ came sooner than I thought though. Bonjour, Hello…are you English ? Is it that obvious, I thought…….. ok yes, I am from London. Then I spotted two English families Phew! Hello, lovely to see you – you are new too? There’s something so comforting to see someone from your country who has done the same as you. Australians, Germans, American’s all in the same boat and all very friendly. There were BOYS – lots of them jumping about and kicking the dirt; refreshing after the order of girls school in the UK – my eldest looked a little coy!
Then time for the class groups………. and my girls disappeared into the school already chatting in a variety of languages with their new acquaintances. No tears anymore from them (at least not for the moment)……. just smiles and the converse shoes…. we’ve done it we’ve entered a different world centred around international school of Provence and it was fine. It’s going to be fun….. I think?