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 Post subject: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2017, 23:02 
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This week’s discussion book is Changes for the Chalet School, first published in 1953 and covering the summer term following Bride. This is the last book set on St Briavel’s, as the school makes plans to split, with the greater part of it moving to the Bernese Oberland and the smaller part moving to Glendower House just outside Carnbach. We also have the return of the Russells and Maynards from Canada, and the establishing of the friendship between Margot and Emerence.

N.B. This book includes a Foreword by EBD which people may also wish to discuss:
“I have been asked by so many people who wrote to me about the books to give some information about old friends from the Chalet School, that I have devoted one whole chapter mainly to that purpose. I do hope this will please everyone who wrote and tell them what they wanted to know. Later on, further news may come to hand; but at present, the Old Girls of the Chalet School are, like the rest of us, spending their lives in hard work, as much play as they can manage, and carrying the banner of their school into the outer world, whether they do it unconsciously or not.” – Elinor Mary Brent-Dyer

Notable events:

Commander Christy drops in on Miss Annersley and Rosalie Dene with the intention of giving them notice to quit, as the pirate booty of his ancestor Dai Lloyd (see Shocks for copious details) has at last been discovered thanks to fine weather allowing some excavation work to go on during the Easter holidays. There is enough loot to make the Christys massively wealthy, and therefore able to afford the upkeep of Big House once more. They also intend to fund a couple of scholarships for the school.
Miss Annersley informs him that the school were intending to leave at the end of term anyway, as Jem has bought a derelict hotel on the Görnetz Platz and is doing it up to turn into a Swiss branch of the San, Tyrol still being out of the question. A large part of the school (but nobody under twelve allowed) will be following suit to cater for San patients, with a small portion of it remaining in Wales and joining up with St Agnes at Glendower House.
Term begins, and Bride, arriving late due to the Bettany car breaking down, is besieged by questions from the other prefects on the rumours that the school is moving again. She has heard nothing on the subject so far and tells them so, but does reveal that they are certainly not returning to Plas Howell, as Gwensi wrote to Daisy to say that it has been sold to the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Miss Annersley sends for Bride and tells her that Diana Skelton is not returning to school, as she had lost a lot of money gambling, which she tried to pay back by stealing two of her mother’s rings to sell. Another girl at the school, Sylvia Peacock, knows what happened, and Miss Annersley is afraid she will let slip to the others about it, which is why she wants Bride to know so that she can put a stop to any gossip. Bride is shocked and disgusted, but agrees to stop any gossip she encounters.
After Abendessen, Mary-Lou informs her gang that her mother and Verity-Anne’s father, Commander Carey, have fallen in love and are getting married in July, and they will all live at Carn Beg.
When they are summoned to Prayers shortly afterwards, the Head announces to the school that a large part of it will be moving to Switzerland next term, with Miss Edwards and one or two other staff remaining behind at Glendower House. Mary-Lou asks how they are getting there, and when she is told by train, she disappointedly remarks she had hoped they would fly. When Miss Annersley asks if she knows how much it costs, Mary-Lou promptly replies not a sausage, sending the school into gales of laughter.
The next day, the girls are told that on Wednesdays which are usually English days, they will instead speak French during lesson time, and German on Saturday mornings, as the staff feel their languages need brushing up. At Prayers, the Head also announces that due to the Swiss move, there are no new girls that term, nor will there be a half-term – although there will be an expedition for Madge’s birthday – and term will end ten days earlier than usual.
The prefects have a meeting to discuss dividing up the libraries, sports equipment and various other articles between the two branches of the school. Tom is feeling rather blue as her parents can’t afford to send her to Switzerland, therefore she believes she will spend her last year at Glendower House. The Head sends for her at the end of the meeting, however, and tells her that Jo has offered her first dibs on the scholarship she funds, which covers all expenses. Tom dashes back to the prefects’ room to tell the others, only to find a letter awaiting her from her father to say that he has been offered a really good living by Bess Herbert’s father, who is a Dean at a cathedral and an old friend. As this means they can now afford to send Tom to Switzerland themselves, Tom dashes back to the study to tell the Head that Jo can give the scholarship to someone else.
Jo, freshly returned from Canada, drops in on the staffroom with the news that the Maynards will be moving to the Platz in August, as Jack will be heading the San there, and the girls are to go to the Swiss branch, the age rule notwithstanding. They are giving Pretty Maids to the National Trust and will let out Plas Gwyn to Ernest and Gwensi Howell, as Mr Wallace is leaving the Howells parish to go to a London one and Ernest will be taking his place.
Emerence, slipping out to go for a quick run before prep, is the first girl to encounter the triplets and Josette, and believes they are new girls. On learning who they are and that they are waiting to hear what forms they are going to, she begins to take a shine to Margot. Miss Annersley appears and sends her off, and tells them that Josette is in Upper IVA, Len in Upper IVB, Con in Lower IVA, and Margot in Upper IIIA. She warns Margot that unless she works steadily and gains her remove, she will have to go to Glendower House regardless of what Jo says, as Lower IV will be the lowest form on the Platz. Margot is horrified at the idea of being separated from Len and Con again, and they console her that it isn’t that hard to work steadily.
Margot and Emerence strike up a deep friendship which nobody is pleased about, given their reputations for mischief and the three year age gap. Jo and Biddy discuss the friendship – during which we also learn that Simone has had a second child, a son called Pierre, after more or less resigning herself to Tessa being an only child – but Jo admits there is nothing she can really do about it.
Margot and Emerence concoct a plan to get into the same form by Margot working hard to get her remove, and Emerence slacking off so that she stays in Lower IV. The staff notice the difference in work, and Miss Slater works out what they’re up to. The Head decides to put a stop to it by warning Emerence that she will not be accepted at the Swiss branch if she doesn’t pull up, and Margot is already under threat of being left behind if she doesn’t get her remove. She also asks Rosalie to have a chat with Margot and try to get her to see that she has to work steadily and learn her foundations, not have sudden spurts and then slack again.
Rosalie takes the triplets out for a walk and reminds Margot what will happen if she slacks off. Margot tries to appeal to Jo about being left behind, but Jo says she was wrong to say she wouldn’t be parted from any of the girls again, and backs the Head up. Margot and Emerence therefore give up their plans to get into the same form, but remain friends outside lessons.
The Games committee holds a meeting to decide on the Tennis Six, and their picks succeed in winning their matches, with the cricket First Eleven also winning their first match and getting the season off to a good start.
The Junior Middles go on a trip to Brandon Mawr and Vendell as Kester Bellever’s guests, and he shows them around. Priscilla Dawbarn causes a sensation when she falls into the marsh while gathering flowers and is covered in mud from neck to toe, and has to go back to the school wearing a spare frock of Cherry Christy’s handily left over from a previous visit.
By halfway through the term, most girls know whether they will be going to the Platz or staying on in Wales. Doris Hill of Mary-Lou’s gang is disgusted to learn that she won’t be allowed to go until she is fifteen, and Gwen Jones is dismayed that her father won’t allow her to go until she is seventeen, splitting her up from her friends Catriona Watson and Christine Vincent. Jo, coming over on a visit, overhears them complaining about it and tells them that if their friendship is strong then being parted won’t make any difference.
Jo then heads on to the staff garden, just in time to hear Miss Slater informing Rosalie, Mlle, Biddy, Peggy Burnett and Ruth Derwent that she isn’t going to Switzerland with them, partly because she doesn’t like foreign languages, and partly because she will be Head of maths in her new job, and wants to go on to a full Headship eventually, which she knows she won’t get the chance of at the CS.
Jo in her turn announces that Gillian Linton – now Gillian Young – has had a son, Robert Clement, and we also learn that Joyce had a second son the previous autumn. Frieda has had a fourth child, another daughter, and Jo will be godmother. They have asked her to pick a second name for the baby and Jo sent them a choice of Anna, Simonette and Carlotta. Furthermore, it is revealed that Phil Graves and Frank Peters are joining the Swiss San staff and both families are moving there in the next couple of weeks, and Phil’s sister Helen is going as well as Matron.
Three trips are organised to celebrate Madge’s birthday; the Juniors go to Pembroke Castle, the Middles go to Cheddar Gorge, and the Seniors go to the Bourneville chocolate factory near Birmingham, where they go on a guided tour and are given free samples.
The school spends a day dividing up the library, games equipment, art materials, and so on in preparation for the move, and the prefects, having just finished the library, are delighted when Jo and Madge come for a visit.
Exam time arrives, and the night before they are due to start, the Head asks the prefects to set up the desks out in the garden as it is too hot to work indoors. Julie Lucy is filling inkwells and telling a story when the table she is leaning against collapses, drenching her in ink.
Priscilla Dawbarn overhears some remarks by Mary-Lou and Co. about there having been no major rows so far that term, and Vi Lucy remarking that it was about time the Dawbarns grew up anyway. Fuming, Priscilla urges her twin, Primrose Trevoase, Peggy Harper and Carol Soames to come up with a good lark to end the term.
The girls see some pigs belonging to a local farmer being herded into the Old Orchard as a temporary home, as a tree has destroyed their usual domicile. Primrose suggests they have a midnight feast in the orchard that night, and the girls agree with delight. They contrive to sneak their remaining tuck out of Matey’s cupboard and have their feast, only for Prudence to trip over a sleeping pigling and rouse the entire school. Miss Annersley punishes them by putting them in separate dormitories and banning them from form picnics and competing in the Regatta.
The Regatta is held, but is cut short before the final event – the tub race – as fog comes up and everyone only just makes it back to the school in time. Madge presents the prizes and Bride makes a last speech as Head Girl.

So, changes are indeed afoot for the series. Thoughts on the school’s final term on the island? Do you think it was a good time to change location again? Thoughts on the Margot/Emerence friendship and the threats to leave them at Glendower House if they don’t pull up? What about the return of the Maynards and Russells, and the news of the various Old Girls?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 00:09 
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I think it's odd the prefects divvy up the library and exercise equipment. The teachers surely had their own ideas, especially regarding the sports equipment. Don't the prefects also each take a handful of books home to spare the school shipping? A nice gesture, but the school can afford to ship books and would probably rather have them all in one place before the girls arrive.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 09:18 
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I think the school was in danger of becoming like AN other fictional school - the midnight feast and buried treasure are very Enid Blyton! - and EBD, understandably, wanted to take it back to the Alps. The war had been over for several years by this point, but the State Treaty for Austria wasn't agreed until 1955, and there were issues over the fact that Austria had voted for union with Germany in 1938, so she opted for Switzerland instead. She wanted to take the school back to what she'd intended it to be: its USP was that it was in a beautiful, "exotic" location, and that they spoke three languages and had fancy bread twists for breakfast and all the rest of it :D . That all makes sense. What doesn't is the fact that it all seems to have decided without parents and guardians being consulted - but, as most of them probably wouldn't have been keen, because of the cost and the distance, I'm not sure it could have convincingly been written that way either!

I do think EBD complicated things, though. I think she was trying to be realistic by saying that a branch would stay open in Britain because not everyone would want or be able to afford to send their girls abroad, and that the cut-off age was being set at 12, but that immediately created an issue with the triplets, and also meant keeping a branch of the school which never featured again. But, as with not consulting the parents, it wouldn't have been easy to write it convincingly a different way either.

Pam Slater not wanting to go is quite understandable. How many of us would agree to moving abroad and doing our jobs in three languages?! Especially when there's little chance of promotion, and there's no suggestion of a pay rise to go with the move. I really don't like the way the others mock her: Joey does well when she intervenes.

I like the Margot/Emerence pairing. There aren't many best friend twosomes in CS-land.

But I hate the fact that Madge and Jem are left behind! I think they were probably much happier in Howells and then Llan-y-Penllan than they'd have been stuck on the Platz, and I understand that EBD didn't want too many people involved, but they were the ones who founded the School and the San and it upsets me that they're shoved out of the picture. Robin goes, as well. It becomes all about the Maynards. I miss Madge and Jem :cry: .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 11:39 
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It's an interesting book, but I don't know why, yet again, there has to be such a last minute scramble about the move. Surely the plan could have been explained at the beginning of the year? I would have liked the new CS in the Alps to have been brand-new, purpose built. EBD would have adored describing it in loving detail. The setting up for the exams is a long, dreary chapter and a new duty for the prefects. I will never understand why the Middles chose an orchard full of pigs as a venue for a midnight picnic when they had the whole island - why not the beach? They have to be caught though as EBD does not approve of mid-night feasts too greedy and worse it is a slur on the CS cuisine. Poor Len in Upper IVB aged 10 - was that wise or necessary? ML starts in Upper Second aged 10, is considered wonderful to gain a remove to Lower Third, but Margot is scolded for being put in Lower IIIA and told she must work hard.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 17:09 
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I am not a great fan of this book if only because I think it was mad that the parents should have had so little notice.
The fees/expenses for the Swiss school must have been an absolute fortune.

It is a shame that Madge and Jem went out of the series at this point. I always think this is when EBD went out of control with Joey. Don't we even have EBD saying Joey stayed in the background to give Madge a chance? So many people had gone, or were about to go, we were left with no "outsider" but Jo and nobody to tell her where to get off.

I think Biddy was SO confident for a relatively new mistress. I liked her after she left the school but as a mistress she was full of herself - at the beginning anyway - and really talked down to Miss Slater.

I still like Bride and her group and I absolutely love the visit to the chicolate factory and all the details about the company who were so good to their staff. It was also interesting seeing the CS girls mingling with the Bournville/Cadbury staff some of whom must only have been about the same age but working for their living and happy with and proud of their jobs.

I am not sure if it was in this book or Bride Leada that after one of the evenings we have Bride saying "We must have the Queen" and them singing the national anthem with "full throats". The book I am thinking of was published in 1953 (I was born Christmas of that year) and it is obvious that when EBD was writing Elizabeth II was a very new queen. Reading EBD's words now, approx 65 years later, it is so poignant that the new, glamorous, young queen is now an old lady of over 90.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 21:21 
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Not one of my favourites and yes I'd love to have heard more of Carnbach branch.
The Cadbury trip is a particular hate of mine!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 00:25 
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I feel very sorry for Margot in this book. She's in an age appropriate form - she's actually a form higher than Mary-Lou was at the same age. She's also been away from the CS for two full years, studying in a different school system, and it's well known that she's impulsive and has trouble concentrating. But she's told outright that it's shameful that she's not in a form with girls much older than her, and that if she *doesn't* manage to be two forms above her age level, she'll be left behind in Canada in disgrace, and exiled from her family for at least a year. And Margot has been sent away from her family for a year already.

Including the triplets in the new school is favourtism, though, and chosen with Joey's desires in mind, not what's best for the girls. They're almost a year and a half younger than the next youngest girl in the school, and in a form with girls two years older. That means that not only are they academically advanced, but they're also subject to the same rules as much older girls - bedtimes, supervision levels, expectations about behaviour. That would be a strain on a regular ten year old, but on Margot, who is bright but immature, it's really setting her up for failure. Like in the Lake Lucerne incident - in the full school, a just turned eleven year old would have been on a separate half-term expedition, with stricter supervision than 14 and 15 year olds. It would make much more sense to have the girls at the main branch for another year (or really, two terms, as the school starts taking juniors in the summer term). If the school had stayed in England, and Joey were at Carn Beg, she would only see the girls at holidays anyways, rather than having them next door.

The logistics of the whole move make no sense. They've got a couple of months to turn a recently purchased hotel into a school, while supervising extensive renovations from another country. They need to purchase a full set of school furnishings and dormitory fixings and set them up, arrange for custom uniform get-ups, arrange all the logistics of supply and staff, international business and financial matters, work visas, and everything else. And they're giving one term notice to parents that they're moving the bulk of the school (including most of the experienced mistresses) to a foreign country, at a much higher costs. At this point, pretty much all of the Austrian-related students have moved on, so the school consists almost entirely of UK local families who joined the school in the UK - going back to Europe was unlikely to be their dream goal.

Other than that, the book is one of those slice-of-life stories, like Exploits or Excitements, where there isn't a major new girl or big event anchoring the story, but more the routine of a school term.

I found the chocolate factory a big info-dumpy, but was kind of excited when I went by the factory on a train on vacation in England.

I also like Joey's intervention with Miss Slater - her decision to stay in England and move to a new school was totally reasonable from a career and personal perspective. With Biddy, I think that she regarded coming back as a Mistress as coming home - she saw herself as a well established family member, not a new mistress who needed to settle in. Which admittedly, would be jarring to newer staff who didn't know her.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 08:30 
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So, if the Trips had stayed in England, would we have had an English based term/year at the new site, written by EBD?

If Joey was prepared to make Margot stay in England, why did the three HAVE to join the school in Switzerland? Other mothers would have been waving bye-bye to their kids after all.

Wouldn't the move have been easier without the trips? Were the boys at school in England?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 08:52 
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scrabble wrote:
Were the boys at school in England?


Yep, they're to be packed off to prep school straightaway. So it's OK for little boys of 8 to be sent abroad to school instead of going to a local Swiss school, but not the girls...

(Are we ever told where the Maynard boys go to school? I know Rix and I think David go to Winchester and Jackie to Dartmouth, but I don't remember anything about the Maynards)

I don't know why EBD bothered to create the age rule at all if she was just going to break it immediately. It really does look like Maynard favouritism, and only two books ago she was making a point of not making Bride HG for fear of favouritism.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 09:15 
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David, Rix and Jackie originally went to the HerefordArmiford Cathedral School, where they wouldn't have been far from Madge and Jem. Rix and David went to Winchester when they reached public school age. I assume it was Jem's old school :D. And it wasn I'm not sure when Dartmouth stopped taking boys at 13 - I know this gets discussed a lot with Antonia Forest books :lol: - but I think Jackie did go there.

We aren't told where the Maynard boys went. I vaguely remember a comment somewhere about one of the Lucy boys being a master at their school, but I might have imagined that. It would probably have been a Catholic school. It would be nice to think that their prep school was somewhere near either the Bettanys or the Russells, but AFAIK it's never mentioned.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 10:12 
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NanaG wrote:
The Cadbury trip is a particular hate of mine!


Oddly enough, it's my favourite of all the expeditions!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 10:57 
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Alison H wrote:
Pam Slater not wanting to go is quite understandable. How many of us would agree to moving abroad and doing our jobs in three languages?! Especially when there's little chance of promotion, and there's no suggestion of a pay rise to go with the move.


AND she's going to a much bigger school with a promotion! Who would say no to that? I would have given Biddy a bit of a bitch slap for her 'teasing' or maybe a simple "jealous?" would be sufficient.

Quote:
But she's told outright that it's shameful that she's not in a form with girls much older than her.


One of the few times I felt sorry for Margot. She's being asked to work at a level three years above her actual age and for some reason the fact that she can't, is wrong. What if she genuinely was unable to work at the same level as Len and Con and makes herself ill trying?

Not to mention that it was Joey's fault. We are told Margot was very ill as a child so Joey said she wasn't to be pushed to work hard. But now she is better, she's expected to just turn around and stop slacking. What child would be willing to do that?

And I like the Margot/Emerence friendship. But EBD uses almost romantic language to describe it - the instant attraction, falling for each other, wanting to be together.

Cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 12:42 
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I don't own this one, but I think I need to track down a copy, since I pass Bournville every day!

I always wondered how Emerence and Margot found each other, so it will be interesting to read that, and it's good to find out how the triplets ended up on the Platz a good two years ahead of any of their contemporaries.

As a child I never really picked up that Len and Con were in classes so far ahead of their ages, but looking back I wonder how they must have felt. I know when I was at school there was a massive focus on how 'developed' everyone was - who wore a bra and who was still in vests, who had 'started', who had a boyfriend etc. I think it would have felt pretty rotten being so far the youngest, shortest, weakest etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 19:01 
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One part of the logistics that is troublesome is the Glendower House end of the School.

This has been Kindergarten so it's suddenly going to need fixtures and fittings suitable for older girls. Its staff have been people used to (or prefer) teaching younger girls - it is likely to have more generalists and fewer specialist staff and certainly not staff used to teaching to School Certificate/ another national exams. So that's recruitment of a significant number of people who do not have CS backgrounds.

Then there's precisely who is going to be going to Glendower House. We know that the CS will not under-12s, so we can assume that Glendower house will take in all pupils up to that age - but the classes above that must have been sharply depleted. So the school has a major imbalance towards the junior end of the School
The only members of the 6th form who come close to staying are given scholarships - so Glendower House has no 6th form at all.

If you were a parent sending your child to boarding school, and expecting them to stay until 18, taking national exams, would Glendower House really sound like a good idea?
I can see a number of parents deciding to remove their children as the Briitsh CS would no longer be a suitable school - and I can see future recruitment being difficult because the upper/lower school balance would remain tipped towards the lower school.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 20:48 
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I liked this book , I liked the touch of Enid Blyton with the midnight feast , also the Miss Slater part where She's seen as this negative figure who doesn't absolutely love the Chalet School blindly, but I thought Joey's attitude towards Her was odd, She overheard part of what She was saying & rushed in saying something along the lines of, 'what's that ass Slater up to now' are the staff not allowed an opinion then or to have a life outside of the school ? for all Joey's deep understanding of girls She doesn't seem to think of another persons POV here.
And yes moving an entire school abroad with a terms notice ahh the freedom fiction gives you


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2017, 23:12 
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Victoria wrote:
One part of the logistics that is troublesome is the Glendower House end of the School.

Then there's precisely who is going to be going to Glendower House. We know that the CS will not under-12s, so we can assume that Glendower house will take in all pupils up to that age - but the classes above that must have been sharply depleted. So the school has a major imbalance towards the junior end of the School
The only members of the 6th form who come close to staying are given scholarships - so Glendower House has no 6th form at all.

If you were a parent sending your child to boarding school, and expecting them to stay until 18, taking national exams, would Glendower House really sound like a good idea?
I can see a number of parents deciding to remove their children as the Briitsh CS would no longer be a suitable school - and I can see future recruitment being difficult because the upper/lower school balance would remain tipped towards the lower school.


EBD says there will be 200 girls at Glendower House and 100 at Switzerland. The Juniors and Kinders make up about 70 girls, so that still leaves 130 for the Middle and Senior School. The Upper Sixth is meant to have half a dozen girls, whilst the Lower Sixth is meant to have a dozen, which is no worse off than the Swiss School.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2017, 02:26 
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Honey&nuts wrote:
Miss Slater part where She's seen as this negative figure who doesn't absolutely love the Chalet School blindly, but I thought Joey's attitude towards Her was odd, She overheard part of what She was saying & rushed in saying something along the lines of, 'what's that ass Slater up to now' are the staff not allowed an opinion then or to have a life outside of the school ? for all Joey's deep understanding of girls She doesn't seem to think of another persons POV here.


Slater starts out as quite nice but she gradually is sidelined as the teacher who the non-math girls dislike. And she's told off for being biased AGAINST the Maynards. How about the massive bias being shown TOWARDS the Maynards. Maybe she was trying to balance that up? :D

Joey's attitude is understandable. She identifies so strongly with the CS that any implied criticism of it is something she takes very personally. But it also means she is incapable of understanding Slater here. But at least she talks to her like a mature adult and doesn't endorse Biddy's behaviour.

Victoria wrote:
One part of the logistics that is troublesome is the Glendower House end of the School.


I think because we 'follow' the school to Switzerland it's regarded as the important branch, but Glendower actually ends up with more students and the Swiss branch doesn't catch up till Ruey when we are told it hits 300-odd girls. But then they start a kindy/junior section there as well. So Glendower House just becomes another part of the CS rather than the 'junior' branch.

jennifer wrote:
The logistics of the whole move make no sense.


To put it mildly! :D

Quote:
They've got a couple of months to turn a recently purchased hotel into a school, while supervising extensive renovations from another country. They need to purchase a full set of school furnishings and dormitory fixings and set them up, arrange for custom uniform get-ups, arrange all the logistics of supply and staff, international business and financial matters, work visas, and everything else.

And they're giving one term notice to parents that they're moving the bulk of the school (including most of the experienced mistresses) to a foreign country, at a much higher costs.


We are told the move has been in the works for a while, so hopefully Madge, Jem and Co has been sorting out things like buildings, purchases, visas etc.

But only giving the parents one term's notice, means they don't get final numbers for dorms, forms and even basic catering, until a few weeks before they leave.

So while it's understandable you would buy a large building and extra beds to cater for future growth, what do you do about uneven forms? It's highly likely in both branches of the school you end up with far too many or too few in several forms, but you can't keep demoting and promoting girls in order to even it up.

And in Barbara we are told the parents are not even informed of the uniform change until the holiday before terms starts. So not only do they need to find the extra funds to send their daughter/s to Switzerland, they now have to scramble round to find the suppliers, buy a new uniform with all the etc as well as dumping the old uniform. My mum would be on the phone screaming at Miss Annersley!

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2017, 03:29 
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The Glendower school is still significantly bigger than the Swiss branch (double the size), but has lost basically all of the mistresses who teach senior/senior-middle subjects. So they'd have new mistresses for maths, geography, science, English, history, languages, PT, art, music, choir, plus a new secretary, new head and new matron. Miss Edwards is in charge, but she and Miss Norman are the only staff members left from the Tyrol days. They would also permanently lose the San connection. And after two terms, they've lost all the old families - the MBR clan, the La Rochelle people, any remnants of the Austrian families.

So I see the UK branch turning into a fairly normal boarding school serving mostly UK students, with an emphasis on languages and a decent education at not too exorbitant a price. But there would be little attention paid to the goings on at the Swiss branch - they aren't even included in the coming of age celebrations, after all, and we see very few students transfer to the Swiss branch (the Dawbarns, Primrose, Doris Hill and Gwen Jones, plus Kitten Lucy are the only ones mentioned).

I figure the old school furniture and fixings would be left in England, and the Swiss branch would buy new. That makes more sense than shipping old stuff to Switzerland and buying new locally.

The form stuff gets really mixed up around this point in the series. In Bride Leads, the influx of new girls results in a major reorganization - some new form subdivisions, and a whole bunch of girls promoted mid-year, which would have been a real headache for the mistresses, particularly when preparing for exams. Mary-Lou and gang are bumped up to Upper 4a, and then proceed to stay in that form for 5 terms, and a bunch of people around Carola and Katharine's age skip up a year permanently. Then in Switzerland, they have Lower 4 a and b, Upper 4 a and b, Lower and Upper V, Lower and Upper VI. Eight forms and a hundred students is an average of thirteen students a form, but the forms seem larger than that. In reality, they'd have probably gone to single U4 and L4, and probably merged upper and lower sixth, as few girls stayed on for the upper year. But that would have put Margot in the same form as Len!

It must have been a significant jump in cost - the higher cost of living in Switzerland, plus travel to and from Switzerland three times a year, plus a whole new outfit with nothing passed down from older siblings, plus skiing and sledding equipment and some fairly fancy half-term expeditions, involving multiple nights in hotels.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2017, 16:33 
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jennifer wrote:
Including the triplets in the new school is favourtism, though, and chosen with Joey's desires in mind, not what's best for the girls. They're almost a year and a half younger than the next youngest girl in the school, and in a form with girls two years older. That means that not only are they academically advanced, but they're also subject to the same rules as much older girls - bedtimes, supervision levels, expectations about behaviour. .


Interestingly, when something a bit similar happened much earlier in the school's life, adjustments were made. When Margia Stevens becomes a senior, she is still only 14 and has to keep to Middle bedtimes. I can't remember exactly which book - is it Exploits - but she certainly comments on something asking for a discussion to be hurried up as she has to go to bed shortly, and EBD explains why this is. I would say that it would be much easier to organise in a smaller school, but actually the CS in its first year in Switzerland probably wasn't any larger than the CS in Tyrol in its prime, and possibly smaller.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Changes for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2017, 16:41 
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Alison H wrote:
We aren't told where the Maynard boys went. I vaguely remember a comment somewhere about one of the Lucy boys being a master at their school, but I might have imagined that.


Are you thinking of Julie meeting and marrying a master at her brother Barnabas's prep school? So far as knowing where the Maynard boys went, it would only have been in the last couple of years that they went to public, as opposed to prep, school at all, and once somewhere obvious like 'Armiford' was no longer in question, I can understand her not wanting to name a prep school. Large public schools are a different matter. Also by that time EBD was so obsessed by the Triplets that the only purpose of the boys was so that Joey could boast about having 11 children. (Maybe that is a bit unkind, but they never seem to mind being carted off somewhere else in the school holidays, even though that is the only time they are at home - Tyrol and Reunion both spring to mind.)

Edited to add : sorry for spreeing, but I was commenting on two different posts!


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