As I said in Part 1, after much struggle we found a school, Queen of Angels Primary School. Now finally, the first day of school is upon us. We have been in Dublin for almost a full month now and have walked to the school about three times since then. The walk from our current apartment is about 20 mins, mostly because Khaleesi isn’t very fast on her little legs. However, we are quite happy with the proximity. The school was closed for the summer holiday (Lingo points) and just opened on Monday (28th Aug); so we finally got to make contact with the school office. We had no idea what supplies we needed, what further registration information they needed, and what uniforms were required; yes, all the schools require uniforms.
The secretary in the office, Suzanne, was very helpful, and they were expecting us. The greeting we received upon arrival, well you would think we were royalty; they love new students. Suzanne was so helpful and answered all my questions, and I had a lot. There is no school supply list, at least not for Junior and Senior Infants, which is what Maddex and Mila’s classes are called. I pay €100 for Mila and that covers all her books and supplies for the year. I had to go out and buy 3 books for Maddex, a total of about €20, and then I paid €70 to the school for the remainder of books and supplies for him. That’s it as far as supplies go. Then it was uniform time. These are not cheap, though not outrageous either. We needed a collared shirt, tie, pants, jumper (sweater for you Americans J), and black shoes for Maddex’s everyday uniform. A pinafore (what Americans sometimes call jumpers), collared shirt, jumper, black socks, and black shoes for Mila. They each needed a track suit for PE days; those consist of a yellow polo shirt, pants, and jacket all these must have the school insignia on them, as do the jumpers. We were sent to a company called the School Warehouse, they do all the uniforms for our school and several others in Ireland. The clothing that doesn’t require the insignia, we have been able to find for lower prices at other stores in the area. All together we are paying about €400-450 for the kids to go to school. I can attest, I would pay a lot less in the States only because I have a stock pile of school supplies that I buy year-round whenever there is a sale or at the after school clearance; and all our clothes are from Goodwill.
On top of the fees for supplies and uniforms, there is a “voluntary” contribution to the school in the amount of €120 per family. It is not really voluntary, it’s more of a requirement unless, of course, you can prove you are unable to pay it. This money goes toward the overall maintenance and running of the school.
After meeting the office staff, of 2 people, we were given paperwork to fill out and then a tour of the classrooms. Mila got to meet her teacher, Ms. Kane, who was new to the school as well. She was nice and told Mila how excited she was to have her in her class. After seeing the classroom and the school grounds, Mila can’t wait to start school. She is so excited to learn Irish and to make some new friends and to play with the toys she saw in the classroom, particularly the toy castle.
Maddex had not been assigned a teacher the first day we went, but we had to return on Wednesday to turn in our money and paperwork. His teacher is Ms. Hannigan, and we were able to go to her classroom and meet her. She was amazing and so welcoming as well. She already decided that Maddex was going to be her special helper. She said she had some Lego sets and train sets that the other students hadn’t been able to put together yet; Maddex told her he would put it all together for her. Now Maddex is looking forward to going to school as well.
The school hours are 8:50-1:30pm, seems like a short day, but I’m sure they will pack it full of learning. We’ll find out how the kids did and write some posts based on their experience. I’m excited to experience school through their eyes.
Here are some pictures of our supplies and uniforms: