The girls return to school

The obligatory back to school post.  The start of September is the start of the academic year in the UK and thus the, seemingly never-ending, summer break comes to an end.  The girls’ school broke up a little earlier than many of the schools, with inset days tagged on the end of term.  Their last day was therefore the 18th July and today, 48 days later, the girls returned to the academic life.

The summer holiday may have seemed like an aeon but oxymoronically it only seems like five minutes that they both began their academic journey.  The 2017-2018 academic year should be fairly straightforward change for Éowyn as, unlike last year when they mixed the classes around, the classes move as a whole to year 4.  She will just have to find her feet with her new teacher (and teaching assistants).  The girls’ school is quite large with around 90 pupils per year divided into 3 classes.  The school currently has a policy to mix these classes up between years 2 and 3 and then again between years 4 and 5.  I can understand the philosophy, but it can cause some worry and anxiety for the children, as Éowyn experienced last summer.  Thankfully, that was not a problem this summer, for either of the girls.

Amélie, on the other hand has a bigger change.  She is moving from year 1 to year 2 and thus changes campus to be on the same site as Éowyn.  She has gone from being the biggest (quite literally – she is head and shoulders above many of her peers) at one campus, to being one of the smallest at the other.  In addition, her day will start a little earlier, with door opening at 08:45 and will finish 20 minutes later at 15:20.  That is a significant increase in hours when you are so young.  We will have to see how both of those changes affect her.

Coupled with the move of campus and the additional hours, Amélie will also have to cope with the absence of her best friend.  Amélie’s best friend since the first week of reception has been Sofia, unfortunately she has now moved schools and so Amélie, will need to find a new best friend in school, although we will definitely keep in touch out of school.  She already has a good friend that she met at nursery that she regularly sees, even though they went their separate ways at the start of their school life. Éowyn also has a best friend that she met at her first primary school, who she regularly sees, so it is easily done, especially in this world with its many forms of communication.

With both girls on the same campus, it should make drop off and, more importantly, pick up relatively easy, if one ignores the fact that their classroom are at either end of the playground.  Nevertheless, I was rostered off for their first day at school, so I stood with Éowyn outside her classroom while Lucinda took Amélie along with Ezra and her childminding wards to wait for Amélie’s teacher to welcome them in.

Neither of the girls took a backwards glance before heading into their classroom and a new academic year.  That is the way it should be, however a wave would have been nice.

With no nursery pick-ups it was a little strange that we did not need to leave the house until after 15:00.  Again, I stood outside Éowyn’s classroom to wait for her, while Lucinda took Ezra and her childminding wards to wait for Amélie.  Éowyn came out of her class and apart from show us her new ‘Pupil Planner’ book (a great idea – it has lots of good information and resembles a contract between the parents and the school – I’m not really selling it, but at first glance I am quite impressed and we will see how it works in a real life situation), there was the usual shrug of shoulders that greeted the questions of how her day was and what she had been doing.  I will take that as a good thing, as that was the usual response last year and she enjoyed Miss Gage’s class.

Amélie, wasn’t as over enamoured with her teacher as she has been with past teachers, but it is early days (day!).  This may be due in part to the fact that Amélie’s class has the only male teacher at the school.  The head teacher is male, but the only male teacher that actually teaches a class is Amélie’s.  Obviously, after one day we are not concerned and are confident that it is just one part of the many changes that are happening this year and she has had to cope with today, but we will keep an eye on it.

With both girls now on the same campus, they share the same playground at break times.  We are not that naïve that we would expect them to play together at these times as they both have their own circle of friends that they will be playing with.  Nevertheless, it was nice to hear from Amélie that Éowyn looked out for her at first break to make sure she was fine and gave her a reassuring kiss before the bell went to signal the return back to class.  What a fantastic big sister, we were very proud of her, especially since it was Amélie that told us and not Éowyn blowing her own trumpet!

Both girls had reading homework so we are quickly back in the old routine with reading after dinner, and no doubt there will be literacy and maths homework, if not this week, definitely next.  It doesn’t take long for the summer holiday to become just a memory.

And, as one would expect from the obligatory back to school post, here are the obligatory children in school uniforms standing in front of one’s front door photos.  Expect another tomorrow for Ezra’s big day.

Peace and Love