First steps to starting school

Today has been what is probably the biggest day of N’s life so far.  His settling in day where he’ll be starting school in September.

First steps to starting school - Bubbablueandme

I thought he’d be fine, given he’s been at nursery since he was around 1 year old.  He’s always settled well at both nurseries he goes too, making friends, loving the teachers, and just generally enjoying life the way he always does.  I also knew he would be starting school with around 7 or 8 children from his nurseries, and will also come across children who used to be at nursery with him and went to school this year.

But there’s always the worry about whether the size (even though his new school is only around 100 children) will be overwhelming and whether he’ll still remain stubborn and independent over doing writing and drawing only when he wants to do it.

His school do one day (or morning depending on what the child and parent wants to do) for them to settle in when all children do their transition day up to their new classes.  So today off he went to school.  Along with one of his best friends who’s now going to the same school.

I was worried because I was seeing so many parents sending their children in in school uniform.  So far I have 1 sweatshirt handed down. But no trousers – I’m struggling to find some that will fit him in September, lasting longer than a month, but not absolutely drowning him…oh and that don’t feel horrible and stiff.  I didn’t want N to feel like he was standing out as being the only one not in uniform, but it was fine with a few of them not wearing uniform. It didn’t bother him anyway. He just said he wanted to wear nursery clothes, and then pointed out his other friends also in nursery clothes.

We met some other parents walking in and off the kids went, dumping their bags and lunchboxes in the cloakroom area, and straight into the classroom to put their water bottles on the side.  No fuss, no worry.  N did come back for a cuddle, and then that was it.

A relief.  But almost wanting them to need you more.

I’ve tried to instill in N my belief that everything that hits him will just be a next step to something new. I don’t think he still really has a concept of what school is about. To him, it’s just big school where his cousins go and some friends go, and that he’ll be going there in September.

Parents were able to go back after lunchtime to speak to the school lunch company, and also look at uniforms, and try them out.  I was hoping that N wouldn’t want to then go home after seeing me, but he came in so I could hold up uniform sizes against him (refused to try them on though), and then was back off outside.  There was mention to the children that some would be going home…to which N said ‘no I’m staying’ and went back off to play.

I have to say that my expectation that I’ll be buying enough uniform for one set a day and a spare is accurate, going on the state of N today.  I sent him in to wear trainers outside, and then his sandals inside (because his pumps are too tight for him to put on and take off himself).  When I saw him outside in the drizzle, he’d stripped off his coat and hoody and was in his shorts, t shirt, socks and sandals.  Of course he was playing in the puddles and mud, mopping the muddy water all over the place.  His legs were filthy, his shorts show he was sitting in something muddy at some point.  He’d obviously had a great day.

So at 3.15 I did my first school pick up.  Meeting up with other mums I knew, some of whom would have children staying in the reception/Year 1 class again next school year.  Queuing and finding my way, locating N’s bag, lunchbox, shoes and coat strewn on the floor (let’s hope he makes use of the drawer and peg he’s given when he starts in September.

Then waiting for him to be let out.  And waiting.  And waiting.  Because he was standing next to his new teacher whilst all the other children came out.  I wondered whether he was ever going to come out! Eventually he did, came and gave me a hug while clasping his water bottle.

Before we left, he then turned and gave a hug to his girl friend who lives opposite us. She goes to after school club at nursery, and there’s usually just her and N, so they hoon around together.  It was really sweet, although she looked a tad surprised.  I wonder how long it’ll be before he stops giving hugs out to all and sundry.

So, one successful day at school under his belt.  He did look a bit shell shocked on the 3 minute drive home, but recovered enough to go straight back out to work with his dad on the farm!  I don’t know where he gets his energy from.  I thought he’d have flagged and not wanted to go back out, but luckily he did which meant I could get back to work again.

I’ve not got much information out of him as to what they did.  Lots of outdoor play.  Story time ‘before going home’. And they sat at tables and did something for the teacher.  I have no idea what because N said he couldn’t remember.  Here’s hoping once he starts school he remembers enough to remember what they teach him.

He seems to have grown up in just a few hours.  And although he doesn’t say whether he is or isn’t looking forward to school, he did ask me this evening when September was.

Now I just need to work out how I’m getting him to school in the mornings and work out how I can manage my hours to still agree at least one pick up.

Do you have a child starting school this year?  What type of settling in sessions have they had?

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13 thoughts on “First steps to starting school

  1. This is so exciting! I understand how you feel! A whole new chapter of his and your life starts as he goes to school! I went through this last year when my daughter went to school for the first time. With us the pressure and the stress was a little bit more because we moved house in the summer and we were in a new house, new city and she was feeling miserable. Now everything is fine. She has her friends and everything is great! Good luck!

    1. Ooh moving house and not being with friends is really hard. A colleague at work has just moved down here from Yorkshire, and they have to apply for a late place for their 4 year old, so they’ve not even got a place yet. Nightmare.

      Thanks for commenting, Rachel.

  2. Ahh bless him he did brilliant. I am so sad that B misses all the events leading up as we know no one from his school and his transition days too being in America still. I hope he is ok. Kids adapt so well though so I am feeling relaxed. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Breakfast Oatmeal in a Jar ~ RecipeMy Profile

    1. It is a shame, but he’ll have lots to share on his return. There’s one child who missed the settling in at school at ours (although bizarrely the parent did turn up for the meeting, wrong way round i think), and one who’s missed everything because they’ve only just had their appeal.

  3. Oh I’m so glad that it went well for you both. I’m so thankful that little man isn’t four until January and so I have another year of him at home before we face this. The school that he will go to has about 350 students though- eeeek! I think he’s a big enough personality though. #brilliantblogposts
    Hannah Atkinson recently posted…What is Croup?My Profile

    1. Thanks Becky. I was surprised at how quickly he went in. Usually he can be a little quiet, an observer, but he was straight in there. The teacher’s quite a softly spoken, quiet guy too, so hopefully he’ll get on well with him too.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this and got a lot out of it. I’ve actually bookmarked it to read again later!

    We are a long way off school but it’s something that I have definitely thought about. Gwenn went into nursery 1 day a week when she was 18 months old. It was a necessity for childcare reasons, but at the same time I saw it as preparation for school. But, like you said, in her nursery there are maybe 20 children there are any one time at the very most; I’m sure most of the time it’s less than that. Going from about 20 to about 100 is huge! And 5 days a week! I don’t think I could do 5 days a week 😉

    x

    #sharewithme
    Betty and the Bumps recently posted…Weight Loss Diary #19 – Maintain, maintain, maintainMy Profile

    1. Ha ha, yes it’s definitely a big step. One of N’s nurseries has 8 maximum on the days he goes, but usually less, his day nursery has around 20 like yours. But they do prepare them well for moving up, and if they’ve got the social and emotion side sorted being away from parents, that’s one step less they need to worry about.

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