Tag Archives: school

So here we are in August…

… and in the shops you can see amazing bright coloured cardboard cones everywhere.

Starting school in Germany

Like a Christmas stocking on the first school day

These are essential accessories for every child starting school for the first time. Their parents fill the cone with sweets and little gifts (often school related, like pencils and crayons) and the child takes it to school on the first day. At the end of the first school day, they are allowed to open it and have all the contents. Of course school-life goes downhill rapidly from this glorious start!

Of course the end of August is the right time for these cones to be in the shops.

I was rather less enthusiastic to find the first flush of Christmas Lebkuchen clogging the aisles though.

German Christmas biscuits

Premature Christmas Fare...

I know the weather’s been chilly… but surely nobody thinks it’s Christmas yet?



Filed under About Germany, food, German festivals, Life in Germany

Don’t take your child to school by car in Germany

School started again in Northrhine Westphalia this week – and as usual the local papers are exhorting parents not to drive their children to school by car.

Doing the school run by car exposes children to multiple dangers in Germany it seems. Not only will your child miss out on vital daily exercise, which would be incurred by walking or cycling, but also their social development will be impaired. Making your way to school independently is a first key step in developing independence and responsibility.

But more than this, the sheer volume of traffic around the school gates when parents insist on using the car, means that other children are endangered by having to negotiate busy roads and distracted drivers.

How different this is from the UK where many primary school children are not allowed to cycle to school or even make the journey on their own because of parental fears of abduction or bullying.


Filed under About Germany, children in germany, Life in Germany

All the fun of the circus

At last! The photos are here from my youngest daughter’s circus project week. Here are some of the highlights… just see what a set of primary school kids can achieve in a week!

Roll up roll up!

Ribbon dancing in ultraviolet light…

Lion taming…

Clowning about….

Trick cycling…

Trapeze artistry…

Tightrope tricks….

Tightrope gymnastics…

Bed of nails…

Fire stunts….

Exploding heads… no sorry, fire eating…

…and one happy set of kids!

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Filed under Life in Germany

A very special circus…

Last week was Project Week at my daughter’s school. The whole school set itself the project of putting on a circus.

Working together with a small circus company the children had a week of learning to be clowns, acrobats, tightrope walkers, fire-breathers, fakirs, dancers, magicians, jugglers, uni-cyclists and trapeze artists.

Together with lots of parent volunteers, they erected a big top on the school playground.

They practised all week… and on Friday and Saturday they put on an amazing performance for all the parents (and grandparents and brothers and sisters…).

Not only was it really professionally done – but it was wonderful to see how ever the most shy children really shone in their roles. All of them learned to do something really amazing – something that made their parents’ jaws drop – something they’d never have believed themselves capable of. Whether it was breathing fire, or lying on a bed of nails, or walking on a tightrope.

The sense of personal achievement and pride which came across from each child was wonderful to see… and their faces were shining with excitement.

The whole week was videoed as a documentary, as well as the performances. I can’t wait to get my copy of the DVD.

Oh… and here is my Circus-performer, fresh from the show. She’d just been dancing in the dark with long streamers under fluorescent light… an amazing effect. Oh… and holding the hoops for the circus ponies to jump through (well, children dressed as ponies).

Oh… and I suspect this may be a model of me at the school gate….at least, she seems to be drinking my beer….


Filed under Life in Germany