school books on table.

School days – November in year 4

There’s so much going on in November with the start of the Christmas run up and various sporting things going on. Thinking about it all makes me tired!

Here’s November school days for our year 4.

School photos

It’s not often I buy N’s school photos. They’re not always great photos of him, and he never really looks that different from year to year. So we had the reception photo, and I assumed I’d buy year 6. But this time’s had a couple of nice photo poses in, so I’ve bought one. It’s a thoughtful pose – N wasn’t keen on it – but the other poses had one where the eyes were nice but mouth weird, while the other had a lovely smile but he was looking down. I’ll probably get one printed off for my in laws for Christmas to add to their grandchildren gallery!

Cross country

Our school always try and enter the cross schools catchment partnership sports events, and this month was the cross country.  Key stage 2 ran on the same day, with N doing the year 3 and 4 race.  N likes cross country and runs in the club at school.  He did better last year than in year 2, coming in 37th, so this year he was aiming for 30th.  He knew 2 boys would definitely beat him from his year group at school, and thought he’d probably come 3rd out of the 4 who would count for the school ranking. But in the end he came 38th.

He wasn’t happy with that and had a right old moan.  He thought he might have actually come 36th because the person handing out placings got a bit mixed up when his was handed out. He was angry because one of his friends pulled him back and ‘used me to boost himself forward’. It made me laugh because his friend ended up over 10 places above him so I’m sure it wasn’t quite like he said. He also said there was a school in blue where they weren’t letting people overtake, and were barging them.  Evidently their school  (apart from 2 who managed to get to the front) were way back behind everyone from the start line.  So he really wasn’t happy.  

He was surprised that a nearby prep school was taking part because they’re not in the catchment or partnership. I did point out that he would have been racing against more people so his 38th was better than last year. He was pleased that he did better than his cousin in his respective race.

The choir explanation

I’ve mentioned before that N dropped out of choir at the start of the year along with 3 friends. He’d started before then, but what he didn’t tell me was that they’d all started back again, and it was only him who quit for good.  I finally got an explanation out of him why he stopped. Because back in the summer when their class had a trip and missed choir, they missed having new song sheets handing out. N asked for a sheet and was given handwritten words he couldn’t read.

He decided this meant the choir mistress set him up to fail and he didn’t want to not know the songs, so left choir. This despite the fact one of his friends didn’t have the words either, but has still gone back. Sigh.  I wish he’d just asked again, or asked to borrow someone else’s to ask school to copy for him.  Now he’s missing out on choir that he really enjoyed for the last 2 years, but he’s refusing to go back.

Swimming changover

N’s year is too big a year group for them all to go swimming all year, so each half term 3 children sit out and instead of going swimming, they join class 4 (year 5s and 6s) for PE.

N isn’t doing swimming this term, so he’s been enjoying gymnastics with his tennis coach who is also a gym instructor. They’ve done forward rolls (would have loved to have seen that as neither N or his cousin are any good at those!) and balance beam.

Children in Need

N dislikes fancy dress, but usually it’s pyjama day and he likes that. This year the school council decided on odd socks and ‘wear one school uniform item with non uniform’. N wasn’t impressed. He refused to wear it, and had said he was going in full uniform as usual. By the morning, he’d changed his mind and did go in school trousers and other top half.

school books on table.

VIP and star of the week

N wasn’t sure why he was VIP or star of the week this month. Star was evidently for showing bravery, but other than cross county, N couldn’t think if anything else fitted that.

Alternatives to Christmas play

N refused to audition for the key stage 2 Christmas play this year because in the summer he was bored being in the company where there wasn’t much for them to do at rehearsals. So instead of doing drama, those not in the play get to do music with the external music teacher who comes in.

N is really inspired by her (not so much to return to choir, or try a musical instrument), but they’re back playing recorder sometimes. The rest is learning about music history, theory and genres. Evidently the teacher knows ‘everything about music’, and the latest I had to find on Youtube was ‘that spanish bullfight music that they skate to in the Olympics’. No, not Carmen, but Ravel’s Bolero. All 17 minutes of it, and he was telling me all about the story behind it and how the drums have to stick to the same rhythm all the way through the piece.

He won’t listen to classical music when I have it on at home, but give him an explanation behind it and he’s there putting it all back in his memory.


N shouldn’t have an issue with handwriting as he’s right handed, not left handed like me. His writing with a pen has improved again – when he’s confident about his writing. Not when he’s thinking all over the place, that’s when it’s scruffy. I think his writing is quite neat when he’s concentrating – it’s all one direction, generally one height (except he insists on doing too high i’s). But his teacher says he slants it too much. For a right hander it does slant forward a lot, but I think it is quite neat and does looker older than an 8 year old’s writing.

But then I am comparing it to mine which as a child went forward one day, back the next, and upright another day. Now it’s a mess.

Morning club and detentions

Morning club has always been ok for N. He’s never moaned about it, and the children seem to just get on with playing. I expect it can get a little busy especially if some of them want to get out balls etc to play.

This month there was one day when N came home very upset and angry because of an episode at morning club. Evidently there was a lot of Lego building going on and a pair of brothers got a bit loud. Instead of just those involved getting hauled in, all of the key stage 2s were there. Even those who weren’t standing anywhere near at that point were included in the punishment, yet the key stage 1s weren’t.. N was not happy as he’d been elsewhere in the room with another friend.

The next day they all had to stay in at break and write a letter to the head explaining how they’d been involved. And at lunchtime write an apology to the morning club teacher that day. He wasn’t happy at missing both breaks that day, or that they’d all got punished. Still it’s out of the way now and hopefully the same won’t happen again.

PE and Games

They’re really lucky at their school because they get to try so many sports. Including random ones that they’re unlikely to ever play once they leave the school. N has played hockey this month, and I think he’d like to play more of it. It’s great playing lots of sports, but they never play them enough to get decent skills (well, except for football and N would prefer not to have to do so) or really understand the game.

What’s been going on with your school children this month?

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