School – One Year Down.

I’m in a little bit of shock right now because I’m sure it was only yesterday when my biggest boy started school and then all of a sudden it’s the last day of term before duh duh duh SUMMER!

Like most parents of school starters around the country I took a picture of F on his first day looking proud and pristine in his new school uniform. A lot has changed since then, he’s in trainers because he’s ruined two pairs of shoes, the t-shirts are all greying and covered in strange orange stains and yeh, I don’t really do any ironing except a half arsed go over with my straighteners if it’s all looking particularly crumpled. 

He looks scruffy, but who can’t pull off scruffy with a cheeky grin? The cheeky grin reveals he’s happy and melts away all the worries I had about him starting school at just turned 4.

If you were to ask me how he was getting on it would be a tricky one to answer for I have, for the most part, absolutely no idea what goes on between the hours of 9am – 3.15pm; apart from Power Ranger/Ninja Turtle battles which i’m assuming (hoping) happen during break time. One of the longest conversations I’ve ever had with him about an event that happened at school was this:

Me: So did anything exciting happen at school today?
Him: Yes.
Me: (EXCITEDLY) Ooh what?
Him: There was a poo in the playground!
Me: Oh right… like a bird poo or something?!
Him: No like a boy poo. A boy did a poo in the playground!
Me: Lovely.

The only other info I get out of him on a regular basis is who has crossed who off their birthday party list. It seems the way to rise to the top rung of receptions social ladder is to get on and stay on as many lists as possible. It doesn’t matter if your party is next week, 6 months away, or if you had it last weekend – getting crossed off can happen frequently and is the ultimate screw you!

Plus I’m not even exempt myself! I am constantly getting uninvited to the party that I will have to pay for. Go figure.

So anyway if you’ve been following this rambling post so far school is all about poo and party lists; but somewhere in those lost hours they are meant to be doing a wee bit of learning too, so I was interested to get his end of school report for a little more insight into how his teachers felt he was getting on both academically and emotionally.

As I scanned though the categories I saw he had met the expected level in the majority of areas, except the ones most people would describe as ‘the biggies’ (literacy and maths) where he is ‘working towards the expected level of development’. This is no surprise to us, he’s just not interested right now and on the schools advice we haven’t pushed it. They have said he will get there when he is ready and I’m sure they are right.

As it turns out it’s the comments section that stops me in my tracks, it says so much more to me about how my boy is doing…

‘He has a brilliant imagination and the creative capability to turn anything into a game.’

He’s engaged. 

‘He demonstrates good speaking skills and has the confidence to share his knowledges and interests with both children and staff.’

He’s confident.

‘He loves talking about his interests such as Ninja Turtles and Lightning McQueen and shows great engagement when doing to.’ 

He’s happy.

‘He has the ability to take risks when trying new things and is beginning to realise the importance of persistence when learning from his mistakes.’

He’s trying. 

‘He really impresses me when he uses the construction toys to make little cars and transformers and describes in detail each part of his model and what the function is.’

They have a class of 30 kids, but his wonderful teachers, they really know him!

‘It has been an absolute pleasure to teach F this year. He is one of the politest little boys I have ever met! Thanks you and well done F!’

My face… it’s leaking.

He’s the youngest in his class and hasn’t yet turned five, but none of that has seemed to matter. He gives school two thumbs up and therefore, so do I. The little pre-schooler who used to knock about by my knees has blossomed into an independent know-it-all and I feel prouder than I ever have before.

What next year holds? I don’t know. In year 1 the learning and requirements will step up a gear I wonder if the pressure will start to affect him and how that might impact on his happiness?

But let’s forget that for now because I think somebody just rang the bell for summer and we are going to make sure it’s a good one :)




P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


17 thoughts on “School – One Year Down.

  1. Gemma

    My son Finlay is a Summer born, he’s not even turned 5 yet and I’ve been worried about him but turns out I was more worried about how it reflected on me! I’ve also not pushed the reading (those books are so dull I wouldn’t want to read them either) but got him some Lego Batman phonics books which he flicks through sometimes. Finlay is either expected or ’emerging’ (nice word) in the 3 biggies too, reading, writing and maths – but the things I loved in his report were how happy and fun he is to teach – that to me is worth so much. 4 is so little be sitting and listening anyhow – and don’t get me started on homework in Reception – it’s ridiculous I think. Good luck for Summer entertainment – loving your Blog as always, good to know I’m not the only one! xx

  2. Tim

    Great to hear F is doing well. It’s such a worry when they move up to ‘big boy/girl school’, doubly so I imagine when you have a child who is young for their year. Our middle one has just completed Foundation 2 having started the year with some speech and enthusiasm issues (he *really* didn’t want to leave behind his preschool mates). But to get a positive report from his teachers made us glow with pride/ :-)

  3. Carie

    Oh that’s wonderful! I’m so glad he’s happy and it does sound like his teachers have really got to know him well. Phew and hurrah and on with the summer!

  4. Sue

    My elder son turned five after his first year of school had finished. I worried too that it would be a disadvantage but he’s just finished his first year at university and will be 20 next week. Doesn’t seem to have done any harm at all. Loving your blog and your take on motherhood.

  5. Carina

    we’re 5 today, the last day of term! I found it really hard at the start, the lack of info for someone who is an organiser was hard but she has really enjoyed her time there once she got into her stride and has learnt loads and made a lot of friends. Onwards to Year 1, who says summer babies will lag behind! Enjoy your summer, I shall, with a sleep in till at least 8 tomorrow! :)

  6. M Baker

    My son Finlay has just finished Yr1 and won’t turn 6 until the end of August, he has however also finished his second school having spent the last half of this term at a new school (we are a mi,Italy family). he too is engaged but did however fail his phonics test. This I believe is due to his immaturity and often I wonder if I’d delayed his school start would he be as advanced as his much older peers (some 51 weeks older than him)
    Well done to your F on his achievement though

  7. Morag

    Great to hear of such a positive Reception year. My daughter has just finished too though in a v informal setting, part of a Foundation Stage school so we’re all new to uniforms and bookbags come September…

    Also lovely to hear such trust of the teachers in your post – though with reports like that, you can tell they know their stuff. I’m a primary teacher and it’s very much the style in which I write my reports, so v pleased to hear they’ve gone down well!

  8. LauraCYMFT

    That’s a brilliant report. It sounds like he’s really enjoying school! You really do get to know the children very quickly or so I’ve found from doing my school placements and I always think, as a parent, it’s nice to see a personal touch or mention in a report. Enjoy the summer holidays!

  9. Meryl @ Simple Family Home

    What a lovely report! Well done mama, sounds like you have a happy clever little boy. For what it’s worth none of the other parents I speak to have any idea what goes on in class between 9-3 and nor do I. We’re in New Zealand so clearly this is a worldwide phenomenon! Every day I ask “What did you do at school today?”
    Miss 5 – “I can’t remember!”
    Me – “You must remember something.”
    Miss 5 “Home time!”
    Hope you enjoy/survive the holidays :)

  10. Adele

    This is lovely to read. So glad he found the first year ok but having late summer borns it is so wierd to think they don’t turn 5 until after the whole first year has finished and will be the same every year and I do feel it should be made easier to start them a year later if needed. It’s something I’ve considered with my still 3 year old who is starting school in September. Intelligence wise I’m not worried as she’s very bright, though naturally she will be behind those who are half a year to almost a year older and I don’t want that to worry her. I’m mainly worried about her emotionally and physically as she gets very tired and it feels like a whole year less of freedom for her! I’m going to have an emotional break down when she starts but reading this has really helped me feel a bit better. So glad to see your little boy enjoyed his first year xx

  11. Hannah

    I’m so pleased he has done so well. Don’t worry about year one its not as big a leap as it sounds and I reckon he’ll settle just fine :) his report sounds fab have a great summer!x

  12. Donna

    This is us next year and I hope LP does as well as F. She doesn’t turn four until the very end of August but you have given me hope that she’ll do just fine. Thanks lovely. You must be so proud of your gorgeous boy! x

  13. Sarah Pylas (Grenglish)

    My son is the youngest in his year too! Now he will be starting Year 2 in September and it feels like I only just dropped him off on his first day as a new 4-year old. If anything, think the transition to Year 1 was easier than starting in reception. Am hoping Year 2 will be just as smooth too. They all get there in the end lovely x

  14. Chloe (Sorry About The Mess)

    Ah, what a lovely post (and report for F). That’s one of my concerns about school, I think, that amongst so many children in a class, the teachers won’t really KNOW my children as their preschool does.


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