Plus ca change, rien ne change

The title of our blog putitontheslate has its origins in my first school slate.

My diary from our 1983 year in France records that we went to Mammouth (French hypermarket chain) and bought the slate, some chalk and a pencil case on 12 October in preparation for my use in class. I also had a cahier (exercise book) for school work that needed to be marked.


If you look closely at the top right hand corner of the slate in this picture you will see the annotation of Montferrand-le-chateau, octobre 1983 in Dad’s handwriting!

As an aside, it’s interesting that we only bought the slate in October, and that I only have a cahier for that school term, when I’d been attending school in France since January. I suspect that’s because, not having any understanding of French when I arrived, I did not participate in early class activity. My diary from my first school in Poitiers records that I spent most of my time sitting at the back of the class reading CS Lewis and doing word finds kindly sent to me by my friends…

At the time of the slate purchase I was 12 years old and in CM2 in a small village school. Having suffered through my first two terms of big city school, I finally understood enough to feel confident participating in conjugaison, dictee, expression ecrite, orthographe, and calcul.

When we go to Quillan, Ollie will be 12 and (likely) in CM2 in a small town school. I suspect the cahier will still be needed but the slate will be gone – perhaps in favour of iPads – which don’t look that dissimilar!

Or maybe the boys will just sit at the back of the class reading Harry Potter. We shall see…

One thought on “Plus ca change, rien ne change

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