My Timeline on Facebook this morning (and yesterday) was full of the sweetest children all dressed in the cutest school uniforms of all colours, red, green, blue and yellow too and where’s our uniform? Still in the wardrobe upstairs, freshly pressed, labelled and just itching to be worn.
I am very pleased with our choice of school it’s voted Outstanding by Ofsted, we’ve had a couple of visits in July where the children were invited along to ‘class’ with their teacher. I met the headmistress briefly who even gave me a guest post on How to prepare Little Ones for Big School but here we are still waiting to start, drumming our fingers and wishing time away.
I think back to when I went to school and the first day was The First Day and from that day on you simply went to school. I think back to my older kids who went to school in Italy, different country but they went to school on their first day and simply carried on going to school from then on. Even their nursery school (scuola materna) was start by jumping straight in and getting used to the idea. After all the teachers are trained to help settle children in their new environment.
Not at our school, we are being subjected to a namby-pamby induction process ‘to help the little ones settle in’ How does that translate?
School Induction Programme
Week one (w/c 3rd Sept) the entire infant school start but we are invited in for one morning only from 9.15 to 11.30. Also the class has been split over two days so in effect half the class will be missing. Total school for this week 2 and 1/2 hours
Week two (w/c 10th Sept) We sit at home all week and wait for a home visit which, for us, will take place on Wednesday. 20 minutes per child with lots of paperwork to fill in! (sounds like a Labour idea to me – they loved paperwork didn’t they?) I find this a total waste of time and very frustrating. If I lived in the Bronx or a ghetto somewhere I could maybe understand. If I lived in a community of alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves, murderers and other society misfits I could maybe understand the need but I live on a lovely estate with good people, we may have the odd idiot in our midst (hasn’t every community?) but just a quick visit to our school fetes, or the local shops will prove it to be the decent area I’m telling you it is. As much as I will enjoy Mrs T’s (name changed) company on Wednesday I’d much prefer my twins were getting used to proper school. Total school for this week 20 mins
Week three (w/c 17th Sept) Oh no, our induction isn’t over yet, it’s merely beginning! Children attend school mornings only and to be collected at 12. So childcare needs arranging for working parents every afternoon. Total school for this week 15 hours and 3/4
Week four (w/c 24th Sept) yep we’re still being induced. Children can stay for lunch and therefore need collecting at 1.25pm. More childcare needs arranging for working parents. Total school 23 hours and 3/4
Week five (w/c 1st Oct) we finally start school
Now I realise by speaking out I may upset the headmistress or the teachers or the governors and really start the year off on a bad footing but the old fashioned First Day of School worked for years (I’m talking decades) so why change it? I have seen tearful mums shed tears as their little ones start the journey of growing up, I’ve seen over-protective mums anxious to keep control of their offspring, was it their moaning and complaints that got us in this position? If so as a normal mum who accepts time moves on and kids grow up do I get a voice in this or should I just stand back and keep quiet?
Will my outspoken moaning now cause grief for my girls at school? I sincerely hope not. I would hope that the points I make will be taken into consideration for future years, I hope people will read it as the person who stands up at the village hall and dares to speak against decisions made before them.
Let’s bring back First Day of School as it always was and how it should be
P.S Weds 12th Sept – We’ve just had our home visit, post to follow, and it was very enjoyable. Mrs T arrived with Miss A (name changed) the teaching assistant. We went through a lot of paperwork and there was an opportunity to ask questions which I did and I challenged Mrs T as to why this drawn out process mentioning the fact that after an initial visit they then had to wait 10 days to go back. Well, from the teacher’s point of view it it is actually a very helpful process and makes first days less traumatic for the children. So I eat a bit of humble pie and wait for Monday our 1st day