Ruadhrí starts at collège (secondary school) in September and the paperwork is already arriving. I filled in something a few weeks ago – I think it was his official acceptance form. Now I have the catchily named ‘Fiche de Liaison en Vue de l’Affectation en 6ème dans un Collège Public (1) – Volet 2’ to fill in.  (Public here means ‘state’ so we’re talking about state schools and not private ones, which is how ‘public’ schools are defined in the UK.) Rors revealed this form’s existence to me about one minute before we left the house this morning to cycle to Nouzerines. Last night I’d gone through my usual mantra of ‘Have you got any homework? Is there anything for me to sign?’ etc but received negative replies. Big sigh. Luckily it’s not hyper urgent, although it has to be in after the weekend.

It starts off easily enough with name, addresses etc. Then it gets tougher. What languages does Rors want to do? There’s a choice of Anglais and Allemand as LV1 (Langue Vivante – living language), but we have to say what Rors want to do as his LV2 (second choice foreign language). However, having had Benj and Caiti at collège, they didn’t start LV2 until 4ème (third year at collège). I have successfully confused myself. So we’ve put Allemand as LV1 and Anglais as LV2. It’s best to avoid doing English at school for as long as possible since it avoids run-ins with anti-anglophone English teachers, of which there seem to be plenty!

Now we have to fill in what ‘Formation’ he wants to do and we have a choice of 6ème, SEGPA, 6ème Musique or Autre Formation.  You what? Well, Rors doesn’t want to do a music-focussed curiculum or any other sort of specialised course, so that just left SEGPA to investigate. The form didn’t come with a helpful explicatif so it was off to the Internet to. The French love abbreviations but aren’t too good at actually ever telling you what they stand for. The first set of SEGPA related sites I came across refused point blank to elucidate me. So I tried again with ‘que signifie SEGPA’ in the search box. After sifting through a few more sites I found the explanation. SEGPA is sections d’enseignement général et professionnel adapté which boils down to a course specially structured for kids who need to take things a bit slower. That’s not for Rors so I could at last tick the 6ème box, confident I’d got that bit right.

The final section wasn’t relevant. This was the Demande de Dérogation i.e. a request to go to a state  collège other than the one you’ve been assigned to from being in its catchment area. You’re allowed ten reasons to demand this, ranging from special physical needs, the need to follow a certain type of course not available at the nearest collège, family organisational reasons (where parents work, transport needs) and also, interestingly, bilingualism. Perhaps in some areas there are state schools that provide extra help for non-francophone kids? And there is also ‘Autre’ – other – in the list of reasons, at number 7! I’d have expected it to be at the end in the ‘if all else fails’ position.

So, the form is filled, ready for Ruadhri to hand in at St Marien on Monday. Still plenty more forms to come I imagine …