Juggling balls
Les Mirandes

Montaut School

Yesterday was open evening at Montaut School to show us the improvements that had been made during the summer holidays.

It sounds grand doesn't it? Well, they have certainly made a good job but it was not an extraordinary feat because the school  is little more than a single room of 8 metres by 5 metres and caters for 23 children.

Montaut is the school that Henner's attended when we arrived at Jean Blanc having previously attended Monpazier.

The greatest single positive about the school is the teacher or Maítre. Henry got on extremely well with him and certainly was a great influence on his development in the last year in junior school. So much so was this influence that he achieved the status of top pupil in all subjects, including French in the year that he was there.

Henry has now moved onto the the Collége in Monflanquin but last evening he came with us and it gave him the opportunity to see his old teacher Francis Rallon again and it with such pride that Francis stood at the front of the school room and explained to the other parents that Henry had come into Montaut after suffering such trauma through the summer holidays with his stomach troubles and succeeding in excelling at school.

It is now Fleur's turn and as Henry left, Fleur moved in after leaving Born last term.

She is less studious than 'H' and finds studying more difficult although she is extremely arty and creative. She is no less a trier but they move in different directions. Henners is like a sponge for information whilst Fleur would rather collect leaves as they fall and arrange them into a picture.

One thing I sensed was the time vacuum. Arriving at Montaut to me felt like arriving at Blackmoor Village Hall in the late 60's early 70's where we used to live.

Long gone are the days when the children walked to Blackmoor into a class of 20-30  and played without care in the small playground outside the neat (actually grand because it formed part of the Lord Selbourne estate) stone school house under the mature Conker tree.

Since that day Blackmoor has almost merged with Whitehill which is now part of the Bordon. The tiny rural school is sadly no longer as pressures on money caused a great gluing of communities to an extent the cultural identity went with it.

France, considering its geographic diversity will probably always remain disparate but I envisage time overtaking little schools like Montaut and the kids being bused into Monflanquin eventually.