Ros must have caught up fairly quickly. Wasn't there extra coaching to bring girls up to the level of the others in their form?
Given she has to learn two new languages from scratch, I hope she got some extra coaching! It makes my heart quail at the thought.
Coaching is definitely arranged for Iseult to help her catch up, so the CS does organise it if necessary.
But Ros does find it hard because ages later she tells Len she wanted to learn the violin but wanted to be up to date with the basic schooling first. This was several years later so it took her that long to feel she was even on par with her classmates.
Alison H wrote:
Part of the problem with all of this is that the rules are not made clear.
...There's an ongoing attitude at the CS that people should know all these things automatically, which is fine if you join the school at 10 and are not used to anything else, but not if you join the school at 14.
I think Joan is given a raw deal on her very FIRST night when the girls look at her sideways for her dress and hair and for wearing makeup. As you say, she had no idea what the dress code was so she wore what she was used to wearing in the evening.
But we then see the contrast with Rosamund who understood instinctively what was right or wrong. While Ros does get a few things wrong including her speech and using incorrect grammar, these are seen as small things which can be fixed.
Whereas Joan's faults are regarded as much more deep seated and therefore a 'part' of her. And more over, she doesn't see a need for or want to change as we are told that her classmates like Jo Scott still feel she is an outsider even years later.