This weekend was so busy, there was no time for blogging. So my standard posts are a little late…as for my monthly music post. Let’s just say, I think it might not happen this month! Good job the linky didn’t take off.
But back to my school days post. It’s been another good week at school, although some angst with his best friend.
Settling in sessions
Our parents evenings aren’t until after Christmas. To me that makes sense because there’s plenty of time for the teachers to get to know the children, for proper work to have been started, and hopefully for the children to have learnt something and be progressing.
Instead, a month or so in, our school does a 5 minute settling in chat with the parents. This is so parents can meet the new teacher, and check how the children are settling into their new classes.
I have to say that once I get chatting, there’s no way we’d get much said in 5 minutes. Luckily my slot was near the end of the day, so I did get 10-15 minutes with the teacher. N’s been settling in well as I expected. He says ‘Good Morning Mr H’ every time he sees his teacher around the school (highly amusing to me, when usually he’ll not dream of saying hello to people, but there is a bit of hero worship going on). And he’ll do what he’s told and is pretty good at listening.
The first half term they don’t start phonics or any formal learning. While they have the letters and numbers around the classroom and they’re mentioned, mostly the half term is about getting the children’s ears tuned into sounds. Any types of sounds, but getting them to focus and listen. I guess it’s a bit like my private 6th form, where we didn’t start studying any set texts until after Christmas. The first term was spent reading lots of Chaucer, Shakespeare and other books to get us used to reading that type of prose or poetry. It worked for me, I got an A in my English A level, so hopefully the method will work for N.
I was also pleased to hear that the teacher recognises that however good friends N and his best friend L are, that they need to be taken apart from each other to have time out. So they don’t sit together at lunch (apart from Fridays when there’s no set seating if the children have eaten nicely the rest of the week), when they have group learning with the teacher and TA, they’re put in different groups, and it’s meant that they both need to mix and play with other children as well.
I’ve found N saying recently that he’s been annoyed because he doesn’t always want to play with cars like L does, and sometimes he feels followed around when he wants time away so it’s good that the school’s recognised that they need to be kept apart sometimes. Hopefully the pair of them will wind each other up less when they do get to play together and are less obsessed with each other!
The school also had an open morning straight after opening one day. It means the children’s books are all set out, and parents can drop off children, and stay for a bit to look at the work they’ve been doing. I only stayed a couple of minutes because I needed to get back to work. N was rocking around the place, really hyper about being in school, but was a bit oblivious to why I was there. He seemed surprised afterwards that I looked at his book. Unsurprising given most of what they do is practical at the moment.
There were 3 pictures, and a couple of attempts at writing a letter and numbers in his book. They’ve been learning about sea creatures, so N had drawn quite a realistic picture of a jellyfish and written a number 4, with the explanation from the teacher that N said ‘jellyfish have tentacles as big as 4 buses’. I never knew that!
Each new reception child has a buddy from an older year group, to help them settle into school, and as far as I can make out, to come and collect them to go to assembly.
N and his buddy couldn’t be more different. For starters she’s a girl. Then there’s also that she’s from town while he’ll probably never live in a town (if he’s anything like his father and never leaves the farm to live – I hope he does at some point to live a little!). She’s also one of the very few Asians in the school, while I think the nearest we have to any foreign blood is maybe some cornish via my mum’s maiden name and Scottish godparents).
N takes the differences very much in his stride, or more like he’s totally oblivious. I don’t think he’s even noticed that most of the other reception children (if not all), have a buddy of the same gender.
He has noticed though that she’s not been around on a few occasions. He made a point of telling me that F didn’t come and pick him up for assembly, and that a boy came instead. He also noticed she wasn’t in church for Harvest Festival (it’s a C of E primary school), although he does say that sometimes she comes to play in the reception playground. I’m not sure on the latter, I think he’s getting confused on that.
Maybe he is becoming a bit more interested and empathetic towards the people around him.
Our school certainly have a lot of occasions for parents to get into school for some reason or other. The latest was for target certificate assembly.
Each year group have targets for the core subjects. In reception they’re for maths and literacy, with the maths one being a bit more realistic for N to achieve at the moment with a long list of tasks for him to achieve, e.g counting to 10, recognising the numbers, counting items correctly, being able to take away or add one and various other number oriented activities. The literacy one will take him longer – probably the whole year if not longer, e.g knowing the phonics, being able to end prose with the correct rhyming word, writing his name etc. There’s more on the literacy side than there is with maths.
Over the year, they have to show they’ve done the task 3 times to tick it off, and then there’s different levels of achievement, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. When they reach a level, they get to collect their certificate in the target assembly.
Last week was the first certificate. All of reception got their certificate – for basically settling in and following the school motto, while some children in other years received theirs for reaching their first target.
I couldn’t go to the assembly (I don’t think N even realised it was happening luckily), but N came back with his certificate, and a friend has sent me some photos that she took of him receiving it and standing in line with the rest of the class. It’s so sweet, and I’m so pleased he wasn’t too phased by going and standing up in front of everyone in assembly. Poor N though, our surname means he’s always at the back of the queue and last. Very different to me in school where I was quite often near the front.
Friday was also the first day when there was a change of plan for pick up for him. Fridays are my only day I pick him up at the end of school, the rest of the week he goes to afterschool club. But I needed to get my car fixed, and they’d surprisingly managed to get a part for it before the weekend, so I had to get N’s aunt to pick him up instead. She was at the assembly to watch her son as well, so I’m sure N was pleased to be picked up by Auntie J!
So it was a busy week and Monday came around quickly. N always seems pleased when it arrives though, which is great that he’s still so excited to be going into school.
How was your children’s week?