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School absence for France Trip

(20 Posts)
Verbena37 Tue 07-Mar-17 16:30:44

Hi,
DD has the chance to visit and stay with a family in France however, they can only do dates (a week) during our term time.
One of the weeks is the first week in July, so only three weeks before term end.

Is it likely do you think, that the school will let dd pop off to the south of France for five days to immerse herself in the French language for a week?
She is in yr 10 and struggling a bit without much chance to speak in class.....I can't believe they don't use language assistants anymore.
Compared to where my French class was at the same point, what they've learnt so far is pretty poor and lacking and she isn't confident speaking aloud.....and she is the best in set 1....except for a boy who is actually French!
Has anybody sent their child abroad in term time with the school's permission?

PatsyMount Tue 07-Mar-17 16:34:47

Every headteacher has their own view on this. Ask the School.

2014newme Tue 07-Mar-17 17:56:46

I doubt it. They would argue your dd can go to France and immerse herself during the 13 weeks of school holidays.
But you could let her go anyway as unauthorised absence.

Merlin40 Tue 07-Mar-17 17:58:46

It isn't 'exceptional circumstances' so I highly doubt it would be authorised, but it depends on your school.

Verbena37 Tue 07-Mar-17 18:33:30

Ok thank you.
It's such a shame they don't do better, more language based trips, rather than a two day trip to a Belgian chocolate factory and a quick bit of shopping. Hardly immersing them in French.
I'll check if the family can have her earlier than summer then instead.

2014newme Tue 07-Mar-17 22:29:04

To be honest, I work for a French company and all business is conducted in English. I studied french at uni but never use it at work. Apart from handy holiday vocabulary it's a bit of a pointless language to learn. Coding is the best language for kids to learn now.

2014newme Tue 07-Mar-17 22:30:40

And yes I went and stayed with families and was immersed. It was fun but ultimately pointless from a language perspective.

Verbena37 Tue 07-Mar-17 22:40:09

I know but as she is taking her GCSE French exam next June and school haven't been great at getting them to where they want to be, we think a week of non stop speaking will at least give her a better appreciation of accent, correct formation of sentences in real life better listening skills.

At the same point in my gcse French, I was pretty fluent and already being given a level work by my teacher....and that wasn't just me....that was pretty much half of the top set.

meditrina Wed 08-Mar-17 06:51:43

Schools can only authorise for 'education offsite' once you have named the provider of that education, they have a had a chance to validate the level of education provided, that it keeps an attendance register and meets safeguarding standards.

If you enrol her in a French school, then you stand a reasonable chance of making a good case for authorisation. Family holidays, even in a place where a relevant language is spoken, just won't count.

fairweathercyclist Wed 08-Mar-17 09:33:24

Just take her out of school. It doesn't matter if it's unauthorised, you won't get fined for one week, fine start after 5 days.

2014newme Wed 08-Mar-17 09:34:27

Could you hire a French speaker to do some conversation sessions with your dd instead? Try local uni or circle francais..

PatsyMount Wed 08-Mar-17 09:34:37

OK so you have made your point that you and DD are super duper at French. hmm

As i said up thread, ask the school. Perhaps you could shoehorn in your opinions on their standards of teaching. That will go down well. If you are so keen to push her in this subject why not get extra tutorial? Move to France and 'immerse yourselves in the language'.

I am afraid you are coming across as one of those parents who wants a super cheap holiday and is dressing it up as a home schooling experience.

As PP has said - DCs get 13 weeks holiday per year.

Polyanthus Wed 08-Mar-17 10:01:13

Slightly different view here. Obviously much better to do this in school holidays but this could be really helpful to her improve her French. I spent just ove two weeks with a French family the summer after GCSEs. I didn't exactly enjoy it - They spoke no English at all to me and at the time I was really quite homesick. But looking back it was a great experience and it really did do wonders for my French and I acquired a "ear"'for the languAge that I didn't lose. I went on to get a A* at A level and found it so much easier than I had previously. However, I know this would not have happened from a 2 week holiday with my parents or if my host family had spoken English to me,

Verbena37 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:03:54

blimey patsy....you've totally read what I said in a completely different than I meant. I didn't mean to come across how you said.
I'm also saying how super dupa dd and I are at French....I was just meaning the level at which they're being taught for a top set is way below where I presumed they'd be the year before GCSEs....compared to years ago when I was doing the same gcse at a much higher level.....that wasn't being boastful......I was just saying how the level of taught French is lower than it used to be.

Firstly, this is not a family holiday.....dd (15) would be flying out on her own and staying the week in their home.
Enrolling dd in the son's school class for a week is a great idea though.

Secondly, I won't need to shoe horn my opinions of the school in because I don't intend to tell them anything negative about their teaching.
In fact, it's not so much their teaching as the new curriculum and the way that they don't have a French curriculum before 7 anymore....plus, it's the fact they don't have specialist French teachers at primary school.

Dd could have me tutor her and I do help her a lot but trying to tutor your own 15 yr hot headed child, isn't always conducive to learning grin.

The reason why we aren't paying off tuition is because we are currently paying for another subject....in a subject where the teaching really is letting the children down.

Anyway, it's only a week and dd isn't going to bring it up quietly with her French teacher this week and get a feel for how she thinks the school might react.

Thanks for your advice everyone.[smiel].

Verbena37 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:04:26

im also NOT saying how sups dupa that's supposed to say!

Polyanthus Wed 08-Mar-17 10:06:16

Also meant to add, i also found reading French magazines, listening to French radio and watching films v helpful to keep my ear in when I got back. Our school had a subscription to Paris Match but you could get any French mag. (Probably loads easier on an iPad than in the old days of paper copies ).

My children do Spanish rather than French but find the duo lingo app quite helpful for practical speaking and vocab

Verbena37 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:09:46

Exactly polyanthus.
I was lucky enough to go to France every year on holiday with parents who could speak barely a word of French and so I had to do all of the speaking. That helped me massively and when I was 14, a year younger than my daughter, we all went for tea with the gîte owner and the town mayor, where they quizzed me all about England and the royal family for two hours! I really enjoyed it although it was daunting at first.

I want dd to become better at paraphrasing.....something which she is a bit scared to do currently but which will really help improve her French and staying with a French family and going to a French school will really help with that.

Verbena37 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:11:54

Thank you.....that's a great idea....I'll buy her some French copies of Marie Clare and Top Santé an yes, some French movies.

Verbena37 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:14:12

Sorry, just realised there are loads of iPad errors in my long post above.
Dd is quietly going to ask her French teacher....
Etc.

LillianGish Wed 08-Mar-17 10:23:40

I think it sounds like a great idea - especially in the exchange type situation you have described. The best way to learn and improve language skills is to immerse yourself yourself in it. What will your DD be missing at school that she can't catch up on? It is a great opportunity - I can't see why the school would say no. My kids are at school in France at a school which has fantastic exchange programmes with Germany. Some children spend three months in Germany living with a German family and going to school there. They have to catch up with work they've missed which is pain for them of course, but those who go judge it a small price to pay for such a great opportunity to improve their fluency.

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