This is Antonia. She is 3 1/2 years old and all dressed up for her first day of school in Italy!
What I want to achieve throught this blog is information for others doing the same, let friends and family know how she is getting on and have something that she can look back at too!
As it happens we were a little premature, school starts properly on Thursday, but Monday was registering and picking up aprons and forms, plus we all had a chance to have another look around the school before it became filled with children.
We have decided to send Antonia to a private, Catholic school run by Nuns. The school continues through to liceo level so it is quite a big site! Antonia will start initially in the Asilo and continue at this school until she is at least 7 years old. Then we are going to consider transfering her to the International School here in Florence. This is because we are considering sending her to school back in the UK when she is older and need her to be able to read and write in English. Everything changes, when my son was 3 and starting school in the UK I didn't think he would now be at boarding school, so we shall see what comes along!
The main reason for not using the state schools here in Florence is the difficulty of getting into a good school without residency and after the registration date, which is between January and March. This date applies to the private schools too and we found this school after looking at many and also having problems with lack of space at some closer to us. We don't feel we have chosen second best with this school, it is about 20 minutes walk away, with Antonia walking, so a little further than I would have liked. The reason for the spaces is that it is in a very residential area of Florence, out of the centre, where most people tend to use the state schools rather than pay. In the centre places fill up fast in all the schools but there are higher proportions of foreign children at the private schools as we foreigners tend to live and work in the centre.
With the private schools you literally have to ring them and knock on their doors to find out what they are like. I looked at 6 before settling on this one!
If you have questions please ask! I'll post again once school has started on Thursday.