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September 4, 2014

First day of school

My youngest daughter starts primary school this week and, as I was labelling countless items of school uniform earlier this week, I started to reminisce about my own first day.

First day of school - Jo and her SchultutenMy first day of school was in Holzgerlingen, a small town in Germany just south of Stuttgart. Germans start school aged six, most don’t wear a school uniform, and they start their day much earlier than us; usually at around 8 o’clock if not before. Another key difference is that the school day finishes before lunch time.

One of my main memories of starting school was the ‘Schultüte’ (school cone); a brightly coloured cone that my parents filled up with sweets. This is a very common tradition all over Germany - Schultüten have been given to German children on their first day of school since around 1810 - and parents fill up their children’s cones with sweets, little presents and useful stationery. Cones vary in size but my overriding memory was that it seemed to be nearly as big as me!

I hope everyone has a great first week at school!