Last day at school

We are saying goodbye to another fantastic school, which is always a sad day. But we have all made some great new friends, who we will keep in touch with and, with any luck, we will meet again.


A vampire and a zombie go to school

Sounds like quite a good idea for a children’s book, will have to remember that one.

Yesterday was Halloween and the school had organised a party in the afternoon, and the kids could all go to school in costume. So six thirty in the morning I am applying face paint to my two little monsters to turn them into a vampire and a zombie.









I had a brief moment of panic when we went down to get the bus as the two teenagers were not dressed up but then everyone else arrived in costume. Phew! It was really fun waiting for the bus and we got some really friendly comments from the passing Koreans. Here are a couple of stragglers coming to the bus.


They both had a wonderful time at school and I have no idea if the teachers managed to get them to do any work, they must have been so excited. They had and elementary assembly and some of the grade 5 got to pick the best costume from each class – Gregor won for Grade 1 green! Whooo-hooo. What was incredibly sweet is I was told by a few of the other children when they got off the bus, who seemed really pleased that someone from Skyrex won a prize.

Then it was time for trick or treating. Now back home this is really easy, I come from a very small village called Meikle Wartle, and you know everyone by sight and most to say hello to. There is also an unwritten rule that if there is a pumpkin or other Halloween decorations out then you were welcome and if not then you just passed that house by. But how does it work in a block of flats, where the majority of people are Korean, who don’t celebrate Halloween at all? Plus not everyone wants to get involved. So I thought it would be easiest if I asked the families I know if they were happy for us to call. And then a couple of other families joined in and other people wanted us to call on them and it snowballed! In the end we had about 16 children and visited over a dozen apartments.

We arranged to meet at the playpark, on level 5, at 6.30. Here are my two, looking suitably spooky.


This is the best picture I have of most of them all together (we couldn’t get all of them together at one time!)


We then worked our way up tower 101 first before making a start on tower 102. At one point we knocked on the wrong door, not one previously arranged, and they still had sweets on the off chance that someone would call. We didn’t all fit into one lift, so occasionally we made the older kids run up the stairs (I miscalculated which floor we were on and made them run up 8 flights once, and they still got there before the lift!)

The prize has to go to Natalie for getting into the spirt and decorating her apartment for us and making fantastic Halloween goodie bags.

I am incredible overwhelmed how kind everyone was (big thank you to all the wonderful people in Skyrex), it really made the kids so happy. Trick or treating up and down an apartment block is very different from our sleepy village back home, but just as much fun!


Another new school

We have come to the end of our first week in our new school, the Busan International Foreign School. It is a recently built school on the outskirts of Busan, next to the highway so easy enough for us to get to.

Here is the main through space of the school.


20120825-082823.jpg (sorry about the finger in the way)

We all went for an induction afternoon on Monday and got to meet their teachers. This is them all lining up for the first time (you can just see Katrine’s yellow bobble).


Katrine is in Grade 3 (P4 in Scotland, year 4 in England) I went with her to her class room when Richard went with Gregor to his. He is going into Grade 1 (P2/year 2) and has a male teacher this year, it will be interesting to see how he gets on with this new dynamic.

The school doesn’t have a uniform but does have a PE kit. These are the winter kits,



And these are the summer ones.



This school is the further away option for us but there were two main reasons we liked it. It uses the International Baccalaureate curriculum, which they had last year so minimizes the changes and is similar to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. Secondly, the school offers great outdoor facilities, essential for a high energy little dude.



Tuesday was the first day and I had two very nervous kids to go on the bus.


The bus is the major downside of this school, they have a much longer journey that I would have liked, it takes about 40 minutes. There was some confusion the first day as their are 2 buses from our building and only Katrine and Gregor getting on one, the other is full. This had Katrine in tears, every makes me question if I am doing the right thing and crying children make me feel awful. I spoke to her teacher and got email updates and a very happy Katrine at home time, so I think it was just first day nerves.

We have our timetables and they have a ‘fun’ lesson everyday. They have PE, music and art twice a week each, an hour in the library and three hours of Korea.

They also got to pick their after school electives, it was a tricky choice but they are both going for Taekwondo on Mondays and Fridays, Katrine has little chefs on Tuesdays and Gregor is doing ball sports on Thursdays. I’m worried this will be too much but it is hard to find out of school activities. We will give it a go and see how we get on.