It’s no secret that Yuri’s current school now was not our top choice when we were initially school-hunting. I didn’t really not like this school — it’s just that I wanted to try something new because almost ten years of my life was spent inside this very campus.
Then again, life rarely goes according to plan, and we found ourselves enrolling in the very school that I voted against! We had to consider the logistics and the practicality of doing so — it’s just the most ideal choice at the moment considering those factors. Buuut after a couple of weeks of going to school and parent orientations, one being the first PTA meeting for this school year, I think I’m realising the merits of the decision.
1. No heavy bags for the kids
I recently read in Mommy Fleur‘s blog how her daughter has to deal with a heavy school bag every day. I remember doing the same as a child; all my books (an average of 5-7) stuffed into my backpack together with my notebooks (8-10), pencil case, and other school stuff. And we haven’t included the baon yet.
I was pleased to find out that I didn’t need to buy Yuri a huge bag for school. The young children at school, from preschool/kindergarten to 2nd grade, all have lockers where they keep their books and notebooks. I’m not sure about the graders, but for senior kinder, they also have cubbies inside the classroom where all their stuff — art materials, toiletries, extra clothes — are hidden.
We’re only required to bring home the kids’ books and notebooks every weekend, so for the rest of the week, they don’t have to bring anything save for pencils, some supplies, and their baon.
(In fact, during the PTA meeting last Saturday, the teachers reminded the parents not to let their kids use huge stroller bags anymore because they didn’t need to!)
2. Little homework (so far…)
Okay, it’s too early to speak about homework, but so far, we’ve only received one homework. A one-page assignment that my son completed in 20 minutes (with water breaks in between because who doesn’t do homework without taking unnecessary breaks). I hope I won’t have to eat my words! 😀
3. Basic curriculum
To be honest, I am not 100% sure of what takes place inside the classroom because Yuri is not big on giving out details. I did manage to squeeze out some information from him. Twice. Since school began.
So I’m kinda relying on my feelers for this one. Based on their books and notes, though, I think the curriculum is more literacy-based. There are perhaps 4 subjects dedicated to literacy, and I’m happy about this because I believe literacy is the foundation of knowledge (we did choose to enrol Yuri in Eye Level’s English program as his pre-school preparation). Then there’s Math. I like that there are no unnecessary subjects! Of course, there’s art, PE, and other minor subjects, but I like how they focus on subjects that are the building blocks of knowledge.
(For reading, I like that they teach letters in phonetic order. Instead of A, B, and C, it’s A, M, S, and so on.)
4. No junk food
Twenty years ago, I was a young kid who transferred to ACD from another school. I was shocked because junk food was not allowed inside the campus! There were no junk food sold in the canteen (which looked way different than how it looks now), and even the drinks were natural fruit juices without sugar. So I grew up without a thing for junk food (carbs is another story).
I’m glad to know they are still implementing this. The food sold in the canteen has no preservatives, added sugar, or MSG. Drinks are still natural fruit juices, bread freshly baked right inside the campus. All my life, that’s the normal canteen food that I have known, and I took it for granted, but I guess it’s a different thing when you’re a parent. After a couple of weeks of schooling, Yuri is now more conscious of what he eats. Even though he likes candies and the occasional chips, he knows they’re bad for him and, get this, requests for healthy snacks only. Amazing!
Kindergarteners must bring baon with them because they can’t really buy their own food yet. Aside from junk food, they’re also discouraged from bringing sugary stuff. As much as I would like to bake bread from scratch for Yuri’s baon, alas, it’s beyond my powers. So what I usually pack for him are sandwiches, cookies, ham, cheese, and fruits.
5. Zero waste policy
Here’s a new policy that we didn’t have when I was still a student. Apparently, aside from the no junk food policy, the school is also implementing zero waste policy now. You shouldn’t send your child with baon e.g. crackers still in its packaging. Same goes for boxed milk or juices or virtually anything that comes with a wrapper. Parents are encouraged to remove the wrappers at home and use food containers instead. If a child does bring something with a wrapper, the wrapper is put inside the child’s bag instead of in the trash can. As they say, uuwi kasama ng bata ang dinala nyang basura.
As a neat freak, I don’t have anything bad to say about this policy at all. I am in full support of it! When I started packing Yuri’s baon for school, I didn’t even know about this policy yet. I just really dislike trash and even though Yuri knows how to throw his own trash, I was worried he might forget in a setting where there’s distraction everywhere. Also, food rearranged in a container looks a lot more appetising that something that’s still inside the packaging!
6. No gadgets allowed!
Gadgets are allowed but only for the bigger kids, like from Grade 4 and beyond. For small children, gadgets are not allowed not only because they are not exactly the most careful people in the world but also because gadgets distract the children from learning. I really love how there’s no little kid holding a screen in sight when I’m inside the campus. Instead, everyone’s running and sweating and panting!
What do you like about your school?