After lots of hassle getting my son into school (you can read the original story here) he finally started his first day at school in September 2009. Though the biggest shock came a couple of days before when we saw the list of things he needed to pay for prior to his first day at school it was massive!
Worst of all some of the terms in the portuguese list we were presented with was in local slang so even converted it didn’t make much of a difference to us.
The kind of things he had to take with him was everything from printing paper through to glue for when he is doing his lessons in the classroom. These were all the kind of things that in England the school would provide for you. So it seemed strange not to have it thrown in for free. I think in total the whole cost for everything came in at around fifty Euros.
The problem with the local school is that if you are not born and bred Portuguese they just assume you know everything when you clearly don’t which can be a real frustration.
We had provided everything at the start of the year so we couldn’t understand why they were asking for them now. It turned out that everybody else had started the year with them and we hadn’t even been told that we needed them.
But there was worse to come….
We soon realised that we had to order the books and it was another month before he had them to take to school.
It was a real shame because if they had pointed all this out or wrote it down on the list of material we would have been able to send him for his first day at school with everything he possibly needed.
This is a big lesson that you need to learn – information will not be given to you straight away and the system is very slow so don’t expect it all to run smoothly all the time.
Thanks for reading