** Warning: Proud Mummy Moment Coming Up**
The Girl took her French A level this year. Nothing unusual in that, of course, except that she's only 14. She has actually spent more time in school in France than she has in the UK and is bilingual but nonetheless it hasn't been easy for her to be in the same class as people three or four years older than her.
Her school has been incredible in embracing the fact that she is bilingual and always going the extra mile to help and nurture her. She and The Boy were both entered for their GCSEs three years early and both achieved A*. She was able to go on to take her A level as she still has French in her timetable. For The Boy, who already had the GCSE under his belt and so wasn't taking it as part of his options, there was no room in his timetable for it. He'll take his next year as an additional A level. If he plays his cards right he may end up with 5 A levels.
She's come up against a certain amount of 'well, it's easy for you' sort of comments but I just remind her to tell them that her journey to being bilingual involved being dumped in a school in a foreign country where she couldn't even speak the language. It's a scary situation to find yourself in at the age of 6.
The school had some reservations about entering her for her A level, not because of the language but because the syllabus is aimed at 17 and 18 year old and requires a level of maturity not always present in someone of her age. She was expected to discuss renewable energy and the cult of celebrity, something that would be quite a challenge in your own language at that age.
In the end, she did really well. Better than really well. She got an A and full marks in all of her papers. I embarrassed her horribly by tearing up and rambling incoherent thanks to her French teacher, who was just as proud of her as I was.
We have been so lucky to get them into such a marvellous school, a blessed relief after her years in school in France where she was forced to take English as a Second Language 'because that's what's on the curriculum, Madame.' The Sixth Formers have taken her under their wing, never once considering her a little upstart. They called her Le Petit Dictionnaire and used her as an extra learning resource, not just with the language but in French culture. I dare say they all have a good line in French slang and swear words. In France they refused to accept that teabag wasn't hyphenated, or that Prince Charles didn't go to Rugby School because that's what their textbook said.
So, at the ripe old age of 14 she already has 275 UCAS points to her name and I feel that something very worthwhile has come out of our time in France.
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