Reflection on Reception Class Year at School

Once again time has passed very quickly and I can’t believe we are already two terms into reception class year at school. That’s two-thirds of the way through, past the halfway mark and some.

At the start of the year little did I know he’d be starting a new school all over again for term two. He loved his first school very much and I was worried about the change unsettling him all over again but he coped really well. He did a great job of just getting on with it, and is as much a part of the class as any of the other children. Even adjusting to a shirt and tie rather than polo t-shirt was thankfully very easy!

Parents Evening –  We had a parent evening at his old school as well as one at his new school very recently. I was such a proud mum when the new teacher explained how well he is doing. All I have ever asked is that he tries his best with all that he does. It doesn’t matter to me if he’s not top of the class, it doesn’t matter where he comes or how long it takes him to complete a task as long as he tries his very best. He is doing really well though with his reading and writing. I used to worry that being an August baby would leave him lagging behind his peer group, I don’t need to worry at the moment. I’m proud that his teacher thinks he’s very ready for year 1 and some much more serious learning. I don’t get thought why the fun and the playing have to stop when they leave reception. I’m sad that he’ll be much more classroom based, he loves learning outdoors, what a shame that the government targets mean that all of a sudden after reception class ends it’s time to sit down all day instead of stepping outside to learn.

As this week a whole new cohort of parents will learn of their child’s school placement, there will inevitably be some tears as well as much happiness I think back to this time last year and can’t believe how far he’s come. Although he will always be my baby he has grown up in so many ways. Ways I hadn’t even thought of. He’s independent and becoming more confident each day. As his teacher pointed out he still struggles with friendships but seems happy playing alone and she thinks it may be that his vocabulary is a little more advanced than his peers so he prefers the company of older children than those of his own age group. If she’s not worried then I’m not either. I’d love for him to have some close friends to grow up with but I’m sure this will come in time.

If I had any advise for those parents that will this week learn of their child’s school it’s to cherish these last few months before school starts. Cherish them as they are now and before they change. Cherish the time that you have with them as once school starts they do change as little people. Little people who grow up all of a sudden very quickly!

So now as we face the start of the summer term, the last term in reception I will probably be sat here this time next year thinking about how once again my little boy has grown and changed. Time once again is speeding by and I will try to cherish every single day.

Reception Class

First day at new school (pre-glasses!)

Let's Talk Mommy

My beautiful boy has been in school for a week tomorrow. My lovely best friend and buddy has started school and its been an emotional start for him.

The boy is a very emotional little person, he always has been and it’s just him. It’s part of his personality and I love him for it. He shows empathy to other people who are upset or sad. He is very sensitive to being told off. On the odd occasion he would do something not quite right at nursery he’s be distraught if he got told off, even hours later when I’d pick him up he’d cry when the staff would tell me. He’s very tactile and tells me when he’s feeling sad and needs a hug. He’s just a perfect and gentle person (on the whole!) So I knew starting school would be hard for him.

At nursery the staff understood him and how emotionally sensitive he is, they’d hug him when he needed it, I know at school teachers can’t do that. They have too many other things to do and all the other children to consider.

He’s been going into school fine in the morning with no problems but it’s the evenings when the strain on him is showing. Everyday after school once we are home there have been tears and sobbing. It’s been breaking my heart to see him so upset. I’ve tried talking it out with him but I don’t think he has the words to explain it at the moment so just says he doesn’t know why he’s so upset. I love this little guy so much but I don’t know how best to help him.


(First day, after school shot – hence the untucked shirt!)

I have to remember he’s only just turned 4 (he’s an August baby) and school is a massive change for him. Even though he’s used to long days at nursery, school is a completely different environment and peer group.

I hope dear sweet boy that you can make some friends at school and that you start to enjoy it. I’m sure you will, it’s just going to take time to adjust to everything. It’s a new environment, new peer group and new adults to care for you, new routines, new rules and new lessons to learn.

For now though as always I’m here for you, to hold you and hug you and wipe those tears away. We can get through this together xxxx


Well that’s it’s now the application is in for my baby to go to school.

In the end I went with my heart rather than my head. The school we’ve applied for as our number 1 choice doesn’t have the best ofsted in our area but it does have a warm friendly atmosphere when you walk into the building. The staff seem genuinely friendly and welcoming and most importantly the children seem happy. I’ve been round the school a couple of times and both times the older year 6 children have been doing the tours rather than an adult which has been nice because you know you can ask them questions and get truthful answers. The school I thought may have been our number one choice there was no chance to ask the children what they thought. The open evening was mainly based in the hall with a group of the senior staff talking about how great the school was. I’m sure that’s true but I want to see the reality of everyday school life.
The school I have chosen as our number one choice is also our nearest by disgrace which is handy as I picture myself (on the days I’m not at work) walking to and from school for drop off and pick ups rather than having to use the car. I’m also helping the distance will help with getting a place.
In our area (I’m not sure if the same applies everywhere) you have to rank three schools in order of preference, you can choose less than three but three is the maximum. I have chosen three that I would be happy for the boy to attend, with my favourite being number 1 on the list. I now have to sit back and wait until April 16th before I know the outcome. I was talking to a friend the other day who said the results of the application tend to go on just after midnight so it looks like I won’t be getting any sleep that night!
When I thought about having children I didn’t think ahead to school time, I guess I never pictured them beyond babyhood really. It’s seems strange to think that I’ll be that mum on Facebook this year putting on school uniform pictures. I’ll be that mum walking him to school for the first time and walking away from the gate without him. Being an August baby he just seems so little still. Only just 4 when he goes thorough those gates for the first time in September. I hope he copes ok with the transition to school. He does go to nursery 3 days a week so he’s used to an environment filled with other peers. Lately however he’s started not wanting to go each morning. I hope this doesn’t carry through to school. I think he’ll cope ok with the day itself as it’s shorter than nursery. We gave up his afternoon nap almost a year ago so I also think he’ll be ok concentrating during the day. Although he often has a post lunch slump it’s never more than 10 minutes or so and its more than likely the food rather than his need for a nap. He truly is full of energy he really is.
So let the waiting begin, everything is out of my control right now, I just have to wait…..

The school applications have just opened in our local authority area…! How is my baby going to survive school? How am I going to make the right choices for him? What if we don’t get our first choice school? Or even second or third choice?
The boy is an August born baby so is going to be one of the youngest in his school year. He’ll have just turned 4 when he starts. How will I know if he’s ready. What if he gets upset and needs a mummy hug while he’s there?

All mummies and daddies must go through these emotions….right?
In September this year as I was taking Flixster for a walk I saw all the neatly dressed boys and girls heading to school and thought that this time next year it’ll be me. It barely seems 5 minutes since he was born and in the blink of an eye another year will have passed and I’ll be standing at the school gates for the first time waving him off.
One of the hardest things for me to get my head around at the moment is putting my heart into finding the right school for him and then the seemingly long wait to find out if he can have a place. Our nearest school is a lovely church school and I would have been happy to send him there but they don’t have any after school care facilities which we would need as both I and hubby work. I could look at alternatives such a a childminder which I would prefer but it’s not a reliable option as I’d be looking for one now with spaces in Sept 2015. What if those spaces were no longer available when I needed one? I really need him to go to a school with guaranteed before and after school care, then if I can find a childminder all the better but at least I have options if not.

I’ve been to look around another local school today, I wasn’t able to make it to their open day so I had to make a separate appointment. The school has a good ofsted report but I was given a whistle stop tour by someone who didn’t even tell me their name. I thought I was going to really like the school but I’m not in love with it. Should I be looking for schools as I’d look for a house? If I’m looking at houses I want to walk in and fall in love with the place, should I have the same emotion if I’m looking for a school for my son to attend?

I have to make three choices, put the application in, then wait, and wait, and wait.

The final decision will be emailed to me in April, which at the moment seems like a lifetime away. I can imagine I will be obsessively checking my emails on the day they go out. I think I’ll be more nervous than I was receiving my own exam results or doing pregnancy tests! This is about my babies future, its about which gates I’ll be peeping through next September with my heart in my mouth hoping my little boy will be ok.

Expect lots more posts about schools in the next few months as it seems to be always on my mind at the moment.

If anyone has tips for choosing schools please let me know. I’ve never done this before and although I know its just another chapter in the big book of parenting, its one that I’m starting with butterflies in my tummy!