Tuesday, June 22, 2021

No mollycoddling here

As I mentioned last week, Léon is finishing the equivalent of s4 here, which means leaving middle school and starting Gymnasium (a three-year senior high school where he will study from 16-19). From back home, I fully remember how school trips were policed. Teacher friends are often expected to follow older pupils' movements using iPad tracking or similar, and younger ones were never let out of their sight. Here, however, they are more into empowering and trusting kids by this age. Today is a good example of that. The plan had been for the whole of Léon's year to go to Berlin for a week to celebrate this transition, but Covid of course put the kibosh on that. Trying to find a nice way to celebrate, they compromised on a day trip to Copenhagen (190km away) leaving by bus this morning at 7am, returning at 10pm with a number of exciting stops in the capital plus some alone time to discover it by themselves. Then tomorrow they have a day of water sports planned around 25km from home. For the first trip they were given the instructions 'Be at school by 7am, because that is when the bus is leaving... if you miss it, find your own way to Copenhagen (a bus and train) and ring us when you get there and we'll meet you. The bus home is leaving at 8:30. Again, if you miss it, find your own way back to school, you're big enough. And for the second trip - the instructions are simple - it's only 25km away so find a bus, or cycle and meet us there are 10am! I can't imagine a Scottish school telling 15 and 16 year olds this, and meaning it, but what the kids get out of it is a sense of responsibility for themselves and an ability to get themselves out of a jam. These are both traits they'll find useful as they leave childhood behind. And better still, Léon has actually texted me from the bus so I know he found his way back to it on time. Result!

No comments: