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.
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?