Yesterday was the first day of the school year (well, technically Monday was, but this region had a holiday (regional anniversary day) then, so it was Tuesday instead). We started school with a Maori welcome ceremony for the new teachers (2 of), and new students (just us yesterday, with 2 more today). Afterwards we had to shake the hands of everyone in the school - good thing it is only tiny :)
Everyone was back at school after their six weeks off for summer (and Christmas). Our school is very small with only 30-40 students over years 1 through 8 (primary (yr 1-6) plus intermediate (7-8)). Matthew is in year 8, and Kathryn is in year 7. That means high school next year for Matthew (high school is years 9-13).
To get to school we have to walk out the end of our part of the town, and past the cow paddocks, with the beach on the other side of the road, and into school.
Our school has a uniform - school shirts (which we had to buy when we got to school the first morning, and then change in the bathroom), black bottoms, and shoes are optional - except on Tech days. Every second week on a Tuesday a bus comes to the school to pick up all the year 7 and 8 students (or intermediate age) and take them to another school with tech rooms - where they will all do metalwork, woodwork, cooking, and sewing.
Our school pool wasn't quite ready for swimming in on the first day, we have to take our togs (swimsuits) every day for swimming, and the pool should be ready before the end of the week.
We are both in the same classroom - we only have two classes at school - the juniors (yr 1-4) and the seniors (yr 5-8). We start school at 8.50am, and finish at 2.50pm. We have interval/morning tea (recess) for 20 minutes in the morning, and a 40 minute lunch break where we get to eat our home-made lunches outside and then play. There is no school cafeteria.
We can spend our free time playing on the play equipment (mostly for the younger kids, the older ones tend to break it so we aren't really allowed on it). Or playing on the school fields and court (the rugby field seen over the back of the cow paddock, and the netball court in front of the swimming pool).