Friday, 15 July 2011

Reflecting on Reception

Last week seemed to be the time for school reports and Little Bear was no exception. A truly fabulous school report, which highlighted all the wonderful progress made this year. I am proud of his achievements in one year, proud of the staff at his school, and relieved that I feel so much more confident about the coming September than at this time last year!

Today is Day 2 of 2 taster sessions for the new Reception intake. I remember taking Little Bear in for this session (he had missed the first one thanks to chicken pox), he was nervous, I was nervous, it was a bundle of nerves. We were met by the smiling lovely face of Miss P the teaching assistant, who assessed the situation in one glance and guided Little Bear in to his first activity. Then I went home, worried for a couple of hours, and went back for lunch with LB in the school hall. He wriggled on his seat, ate very little and we had seats to spare all around us. I was relieved to take him home after lunch.

On the way out of the playground that first time, the conversation went as follows:
Me: "Did you like school"
LB: "It's better than nursery, Mummy, they are going to help me to be good."

They have certainly done just that, but more importantly they have shown him that he is worth the effort, and that there is more to him than the difficult behaviours he sometimes exhibits.

As a parent, I am aware that he is a big mixture of personality, extra needs and complicated history. He is wonderful, intelligent, perceptive, loyal, kind, difficult, obstinate, impulsive, cuddly but most importantly of all he is who he is Little Bear.

As he practised the "good thinking" he was taught, he made friends, and his self-esteem was boosted once again.

So this post is dedicated to teachers, teaching assistants, and other support staff. They are to be treasured, cherished and appreciated. In an ideal world they would offer all children no matter who they are, where they are from, and how they behave the same treatment as Little Bear. Academic learning is so important but for some children a greater need, particularly in their Reception year is the emotional support they receive which enables them to perform to the best of their ability.

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