My eldest daughter is incredibly academic and conscientious. Her school reports for both attainment and effort are always really high marks – except for one subject – PE. She is definitely her mother’s daughter in that department – and just as in my 1980s school reports, she doesn’t get the best grades for physical education. But hey – you can’t be good at everything, right?!
Today was a Year 9 athletics competition against their rival school (co-incidentally the one her younger brother attends!) and she’d been selected to compete in the javelin and shot put. Interestingly I remember also being allocated the shot put during my school days – and back then, I didn’t resemble a Russian shot putter in stature, that’s been 30 years in the development …..
Her opening gambit as she got into the car after school was ‘Mum, you won’t believe it, I didn’t come last in the javelin or shot put’ – and I was suitably incredulous – this was excellent, if somewhat surprising, news.
She added that she’d thrown the javelin without killing anyone – which is always a bonus – and out of 8 throws had only had one disallowed (this harks back to her Year 8 sports day, when her Dad and I were both busy at work, and so couldn’t attend to watch her compete in the long jump. I’d felt the suitable working mother guilt until she confessed her 3 jumps had all resulted in foul jumps – so I hadn’t missed much!!!)
She also now has a sporting nickname – something I could only ever aspire to – although this is based upon her Brummie accent in a school where most people are from Worcestershire not Birmingham – she’s now ‘the chav with the jav’
I’m not sure she’s quite the successor to Jessica Ennis-Hill – but all in all, a great sporting day #shedidntcomelast
The eldest daughter, about whom this tale is based, is mortified I’ve sent the below email – and her younger brother is embarrassed even though he goes to another school! So what do I do??
Blog about it to see what everyone else thinks! I think I’m totes hilarious (which clearly is part of the problem for the teenager!!)
To set the scene, she started a new school in September in Year 9 (where most of the rest of the year have been there since Year 7) and has been put in the 2nd of 6 maths sets. She has always enjoyed and been good at maths (definitely one of the many reasons it’s evident she’s my daughter) and is keen to do further maths GCSE – which you have to be in the top set to be allowed to sit.
So here is an extract from my email to her maths teacher – embarrassing mother award to me or what?!?
“We were delighted to hear that D had done so well in the recent maths test (although will be asking her to explain the 6 of the 117 marks she lost!!!)
As we mentioned to you at parents’ evening, D is keen to do further maths at GCSE, but you said that was only possible if she was in top set. I understand from D, which admittedly is only anecdotal evidence, and only from a small sample of the top set, that her result in this test far exceeded some of those in top set. I also understand that in recent tests for the 2nd set, her results have been significantly higher than the mode, mean and median for the set!”
Today is piglet number 3’s first day at school! Well, I say day, it’s actually 2 hours and 20 minutes – but it’s her first proper foray into reception. Here she is looking very grown up and proud:
She has the same reception teacher who taught the older 2 – and the teacher is in for a bit of a shock – as she is very different to her elder siblings!! We can look forward to our first parent’s evening (unfortunately at our first parent’s evening with the same teacher for the boy, the teacher was bent over in a cupboard as we walked into the classroom – husband commented ‘nice arse – shame about the face’! Yep – I was really proud that evening……..)
But back to reception starting – and the big difference for number 3 child, is that she is entitled to the new Government scheme of free hot meals for all. Lots of people have been chuffed with this – saving them the £2.20 per day it would otherwise cost (or the faff of making packed lunches each day) – but I have to say I think it’s ridiculous. We could easily afford the cost – and surely there are better things that the cash strapped local authorities could spend money on? I realise that some children don’t eat properly – and addressing that is fine – but the broad brush of ‘everyone’ seems a bit mad. My daughter? Kai Rooney? Harper Beckham next September?! My husband was entitled to free school meals as a child as his parents didn’t have much cash – and then, as now, there could be a stigma attached to this – so maybe extending the scheme to more people would have been sensible – but everyone?? Perhaps people claiming child benefit (although let’s face it, that is also a controversial cut off – but a line has to be drawn in the sand anyway!)?
As well as the fact that people who can afford dinners are being given them for free – there are also the practical issues for the schools – many don’t have the canteens to make the food, or the space for all of the children to sit down to eat them – so we will see how they cope.
For me it was seen as a vote winner and is political posturing that hasn’t been properly thought through at all.
It would appear that my poor 3rd child’s start at school has been hijacked by me having a rant – but then with the title of this blog being ‘This Price is Usually Right’ I’m just surprised it hasn’t happened sooner!!
So – in the next few days we have 3 of the 4 children starting new schools – all a bit of a new school daze here!!!
Today children 1 and 2 have their ‘first days’. For number 2 this shouldn’t be too much of a stress – he’s moving from First School to Middle School which is in the same building, and all of his friends are moving too. Some other First Schools feed in, so the classes will be bigger (yet more potential girlfriends – he is his father’s son after all!), but it shouldn’t be too much of a change. I am slightly concerned that he’ll now be responsible for his own homework / planning etc – and even getting him to do his reading in First School was a battle – but hopefully he will rise to the challenge – we shall see!
(And looking at the photo of his first day at First School – it was buying that first pair of his school trousers that caused me to weep in M&S in Redditch and decide we needed more children! It was them that caused the vasectomy reversal and extra 2 children!!!)
For eldest daughter it’s all a bit more complicated. Husband had wanted the kids to go to private school from day one – but I have dug my heels in saying I would prefer for them to go to the village schools, where we can walk to school and they can build a friendship group of people in the village. This is totally what’s happened – and the support network to us all as a family of other village families is fabulous, However, I’d always said we’d reconsider at 11. In our bit of Worcestershire we have the Middle School system – so she could have stayed in the village for another 2 years – but this was the best time to move her, if that was to be the plan. She did AMAZINGLY well in all of her 11+ and entrance exams – passing for the local grammar school (where I went, and husband’s first wife went, there’s a whole other post in that one day?!), the high-flying academic private school in the middle of Birmingham, got a scholarship for another all girls private school in Solihull – and in the end is going to a small all girls school in Droitwich. The dealings we’ve had with them so far have been great – and everyone I know with girls there is really happy. She can go on the train every day (eek!) and be more independent. She is beyond excited.
How quickly they grow up…………
(It was the boy’s idea to recreate this – honest!!)
This post is for this week’s ‘The Photo Gallery’ topic of school over on The Sticky Fingers Blog. Pop across and see what other people have posted (and weep at their photos too!!)