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 Post subject: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 12:42 
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I know in ‘Changes’ when the school move is announced, it’s said that no one under twelve could go to Switzerland, (lower IVa, I believe), but by the time we get to ‘Excitememts’, the winter sports scene early on mentions juniors and form IIa.
I’m guessing these kids would be lot younger than twelve..... is this an EBDism, or does it specifically mention in an one of the intervening books when the juniors were accepted out to the Platz?
It only about three ish years isn’t it, between ‘Changes’ and ‘Excitements’? Why the quick change of policy?


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 12:50 
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They start getting juniors in the third term (A Chalet Girl from Kenya); I think it's mostly third form at first, but we see second formers later. The starting of the kindergarten is also explicit; it starts in Ruey Richardson, Chaletian, and is discussed in detail in A Future Chalet Girl.

Which makes me wonder why there was such a big fuss over the triplets being a special case, and joining the school the first term at age ten. It would have only been two terms at the main school, and they could have joined with a more age appropriate form.

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 13:13 
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I don't think we're ever told why that changes. Ailie, Janice, Judy and the rest of their gang play a big role when they're juniors, in Trials, but the younger girls don't really feature until then.

I don't know why EBD made the rule in the first place. OK, parents might well have been reluctant to send such young children to school abroad, but the same could have been said of the Tyrol years when people like Amy Stevens were at the school aged only 8. It just caused unnecessary complications with the triplets.

Maybe she was originally planning a book about the juniors at Carnbach, and then decided that she wasn't going to bother - she set up the finishing branch, wrote one book about it, and that was it! - and decided she might as well have them all in Switzerland. There's no actual mention of a change in policy, though, AFAIK.

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 14:39 
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Not having Juniors never made any sense.

The School is specifically going to the same place as the San. In the past they have had many children with San "contacts", who are there precisely because they have a relative receiving treatment. One of the obvious functions of the School will be to do exactly the same in Switzerland. Yet the assumption is that no patient at the San will have a child or children under 12!
Ditto for ex-pat. staff. It's hardly useful if you have to tell potential staff that their young children will have to either go to a local school (operating in a language they don't speak) or back "home" to boarding school.
In fact, there is MORE call for a junior school than for a senior school.

I can see that the School might not be keen on having under-12s whose parent/guardians are in the UK so isn't going to "take" under-12s from the existing school but they ought to have provided for under-12s from the start.


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 15:12 
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I've literally just read this! It's announced in Does It Again.

After Margot is pulled out of Lake Lucerne, she goes to a local hospital with Dr Courvoisier and Lesley and Prunella. During the discussions with the adults, Dr C says that he has a patient for the San who has two daughters and the youngest is 11. Rosalie and Hilda discuss it briefly afterwards and Hilda says they will start taking juniors. It's implied but not stated that they want to cater for the children of San patients.


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 15:18 
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Ah, thank you - that makes sense :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 21:43 
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Thanks for the replies. I only own 'New Mistress', 'Excitements', 'Coming of Age' and 'Ruey', so couldn't check properly when the juniors did actually go out to Switzerland.

It would make sense to have juniors out there though, expecially as the school went with the san and presumably would have had to cater for the younger children of staff / patients.


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 04 Jun 2018, 10:20 
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Alison H wrote:
Maybe she was originally planning a book about the juniors at Carnbach, and then decided that she wasn't going to bother - she set up the finishing branch, wrote one book about it, and that was it! - and decided she might as well have them all in Switzerland. There's no actual mention of a change in policy, though, AFAIK.


It would have been really interesting to have the starting up term of the English branch and the teething problems it experienced.

But she had taken all the good established characters like ML, Joey, the triplets, Miss Annersley etc to Switzerland. I suppose she could have done something with Doris missing her gang and having to make new friends, Cherry Christy going sulky again when she realises that the friends she made have all gone and something to do with the Dawbarn twins, but she would also have to create a whole new cast of characters to make it work.

With the Oberland book she had the well-known Peggy and her friends as the nucleus of the book to work with.

Mia wrote:
Rosalie and Hilda discuss it briefly afterwards and Hilda says they will start taking juniors. It's implied but not stated that they want to cater for the children of San patients.


The reason given was that parents might not want to send very young children out of England to be educated.

But having the children of san patients is the other way round. The parents are already in Switzerland for treatment so going to the school means they don't have to send their children back to England.

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 04 Jun 2018, 18:32 
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I always rather assumed that the ban on Juniors was never intended to be permanent, but just for the first year or so while the school settled in. Then if there was a demand for juniors - as it turned out there was - they could be accommodated later on.


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2018, 09:11 
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I can see wanting the first year to be junior-free, as they work through settling in with the new school. They can establish the best way to get the students to and from England, figure out safe rambles to take the kids on, get settled with domestic staff and so on. Then they can add the younger kids. Adding them in the summer term rather than at the beginning of the school year doesn't make sense, though.

I do wonder what the junior mistresses in England thought of this, particularly people like Miss Edwards and Miss Norman. They weren't given the opportunity to move to Switzerland with the rest of the long-time staff, and half a year later, they're hiring new junior staff there.

The CS school in Switzerland being there for the children of San patients doesn't make a whole lot of practical sense, though. In the Tyrol days, the school's more family-like structure, and emphasis on a decent basic education with culture and health considered meant that new students could be integrated into the school fairly easily, even with highly varied backgrounds, and even part way through the year. Students with San parents (like the Lintons) are taken in by locals during the holidays if needed.

But the Swiss school is a lot less flexible. The combination of tri-lingualism and preparing for standardized exams generally made it very hard for new students to adapt. They don't like taking new girls over fifteen at all because of this. They don't seem to have any provisions for students who can't go home for the holidays. And they don't take day students, so parents have to be able to afford a high priced boarding school in addition to whatever the San cost, or be out of luck. Not to mention that if you had a 7 year old boy who needed education, rather than a girl, you had to send him away.

For a San-adjacent school, it would make sense to have a small, not too expensive co-ed school with a boarding option that would also take day students living on the Platz. Instead of full time art and music teachers, trendy uniforms or exciting half-term expeditions, they would concentrate on a flexible education with an emphasis on individual coaching as needed, so as to handle students with very different backgrounds and lengths of stay.

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2018, 09:59 
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I think that partly reflects the fact that times had changed – it is quite realistic, for once! The days of girls from well-to-do families just "going home" after school had gone, and most pupils were looking to go on to further education. Although they all seem to walk into university or college without even submitting an application form, they would have needed to pass O-levels and then A-levels and or university entrance exams, so they would have needed to follow the appropriate syllabuses (syllabi?!). In the early days, we're told that some girls just come to the school for the summer, and then presumably go to different schools, in Innsbruck or wherever else, in the winter. Something like the triplets not being able to go to Sybil's wedding because it'd mean missing several weeks of school, when they were coming up to public exams, wouldn't have happened then.

There's been some talk in the British media this morning about a report saying that schools don't teach "life skills". I've forgotten a lot of what I learnt at school, in subjects that I wasn't particularly interested in, and I'm sure most people would say the same – but I learnt what I needed to know to pass my exams, to get a place at university, because that's the way it goes.

It's a shame about the lack of choice for people with relatives at the San, though. It's silly that Audrey Everett has to have a year at the Chalet School doing stuff that is of no use to her, when she's already finished her normal schooling and is ready to go on to secretarial college.

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2018, 15:08 
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jennifer wrote:
I can see wanting the first year to be junior-free, as they work through settling in with the new school. They can establish the best way to get the students to and from England, figure out safe rambles to take the kids on, get settled with domestic staff and so on. Then they can add the younger kids. Adding them in the summer term rather than at the beginning of the school year doesn't make sense, though.


The CS school in Switzerland being there for the children of San patients doesn't make a whole lot of practical sense, though. In the Tyrol days, the school's more family-like structure, and emphasis on a decent basic education with culture and health considered meant that new students could be integrated into the school fairly easily, even with highly varied backgrounds, and even part way through the year. Students with San parents (like the Lintons) are taken in by locals during the holidays if needed.

But the Swiss school is a lot less flexible. The combination of tri-lingualism and preparing for standardized exams generally made it very hard for new students to adapt. They don't like taking new girls over fifteen at all because of this. They don't seem to have any provisions for students who can't go home for the holidays. And they don't take day students, so parents have to be able to afford a high priced boarding school in addition to whatever the San cost, or be out of luck. Not to mention that if you had a 7 year old boy who needed education, rather than a girl, you had to send him away.

For a San-adjacent school, it would make sense to have a small, not too expensive co-ed school with a boarding option that would also take day students living on the Platz. Instead of full time art and music teachers, trendy uniforms or exciting half-term expeditions, they would concentrate on a flexible education with an emphasis on individual coaching as needed, so as to handle students with very different backgrounds and lengths of stay.


I agree.

The reality would have been that pupils would usually have come for short periods of time and would have been returning to their countries' school system. The school needed on the Platz was something with lots of small group or individual teaching.
Moving an "English" school (however trilingual) wholsale made no economic sense whatsoever.
Sadly, EBD also missed the opportunity to return to the family atmosphere of the original School - and the "new girl at the CS" who is the main character in one book and then seems to disappear into the background would have made more sense too!


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2018, 15:45 
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I think she could have made more of a family atmosphere by involving the other families living nearby, but that doesn't happen - possibly because she was so desperate to involve Joey in everything. Hilary, a former Head Girl, former mistress and best friend of Nancy Wilmot, and Biddy, a former pupil, former mistress, and one time sort-of-ward of Nell Wilson, could have had a big role to play, but they're pretty much ignored. Daisy and Grizel are barely even mentioned after moving to the Platz. Nor is Phoebe: she isn't even involved in the storyline about her old friend Reg's pursuit of Len. Frieda isn't that far away, in Basle, but we never see her. There's no sense of community - there are no local people involved, either.

There are mentions of Sixth Formers visiting Alix Rutherford, and of Con befriending Leila Elstob, but only brief mentions.

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2018, 08:51 
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Alison H wrote:
It's a shame about the lack of choice for people with relatives at the San, though. It's silly that Audrey Everett has to have a year at the Chalet School doing stuff that is of no use to her, when she's already finished her normal schooling and is ready to go on to secretarial college.


Wasn't it Evelyn Ross who was 17 and thought she'd left school? I think Audrey was a few years younger.


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2018, 09:05 
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You're right - it was Evelyn!

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2018, 11:35 
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Still bonkers, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2018, 04:02 
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Alison H wrote:
You're right - it was Evelyn!


My mind is full of useless trivia like that! You were nearly right, both names have EVE in them.


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2018, 13:17 
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And they both run into problems with the CS system. Evelyn is basically doing a very expensive, nearly useless year of school - my understanding of her exam status is that Va is repeat work for her (albeit in three languages), and she's not interested in university, so she's just biding time until she's old enough to go to a business college. And Audrey spends a summer killing time on the Platz because the school doesn't have room to accommodate a bunch of San-related students. Even after she gets a scholarship, her youngest sister can't take advantage of the kindergarten for a couple of years, because the family can't afford the fees.

If they were serious about serving San connections, you think there'd be needs-based scholarships for students who had to be at the Platz to be close to parents, rather than having them unable to attend school at all.

I think, though, in the late Swiss days the school was too large to recapture the homey feeling and community engagement of the Tyrol days. With 450 students plus staff, they likely outnumber the local community, and at that size, you need a fair bit of regimentation to keep things manageable.

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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2018, 21:44 
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I was not keen on the Everett gang in Tricks and Rosalie was quite right to tick them off over using matches, but lately I have wondered if the CS crowd could have been a bit more sympathetic towards them.

They had all been uprooted from their homes and more or less left, at first anyway, to run wild as their parents/relatives were too concerned worrying about sick relatives to bother with them. The sick relatives must also have been a worry for the girls, particularly Audrey who was a bit older.

Win, I think, was a horror.


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 Post subject: Re: Juniors in the Oberland?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2018, 22:04 
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jennifer wrote:
I think, though, in the late Swiss days the school was too large to recapture the homey feeling and community engagement of the Tyrol days. With 450 students plus staff, they likely outnumber the local community, and at that size, you need a fair bit of regimentation to keep things manageable.


If, instead of moving the senior school from England "wholesale", they had set up a new branch, primarily aimed at catering for children of patients at the San, child patients at the San and children of staff at the San plus locals on a day basis (which the original school took) then the school would have been much smaller.

They seem to have been able, in England, to have local contacts and be involved in local things. In Switzerland, they aren't, even at the beginning when the school was much smaller than it had been in England.


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