Life at School in Brussels
Public schools in Belgium do not mandate uniforms. Private schools, however, may require uniforms. If so, the school will inform parents of what to buy and they usually have stockists that supply the uniforms. Dress code is quite lax at public schools though a certain amount of modesty is advisable.
Almost all schools are day schools and some provide cafeterias where children can buy food for lunch, though they can also take their own lunch boxes or even go home for lunch if it is convenient. Many children take rucksacks to carry all their school necessities so this would be a wise investment. At schools there are often lockers where children can store their private belongings and access them when they need so the do not need to carry everything with them at all times.
The schools are largely educational, with classes going on all day with little time for extracurricular activities except on Wednesdays and Fridays when classes end around 1pm. On other days, classes generally begin at 8:30am and end at 3:30pm, with a lunch break taken between 12-1:30pm, and a short tea break around 10am. The private schools and some public schools have a less rigid curriculum, giving a greater focus on sports and extracurricular activities. The main sports at schools are athletics, football, hockey, tennis though some may offer some American sports as well.
School attendance in Belgium is mandatory and children can only miss a few days of school a year and need to have parental justification, which in public schools can be reviewed. Many schools have a dispensary with a doctor/nurse on permanent duty. In the event of medical absence you will need to provide a doctor´s note.
Buses are often available to ferry students to and from school from designated locations for a minimal fee, though with private schools the fees can be high.
Teaching levels are generally of a high standard and students are encouraged to be interactive. Students are able to approach their teachers and can often organize remedial lessons either inside or outside of regular class hours with their teachers, if necessary.