Category Archives: school

You can not be serious! Anyone for tennis?

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Every term, flyers come home from school detailing class being run in the town as part of the Active Kids programme.      Every term, M looks at it, and says there is nothing he wants to do.     This term though it was different.

M wants so much to be part of what is going on at school, and yet he has such difficulty understanding the social nuances that are required to be part of groups.       Last year, he joined the Scottish dancing club which was run in the school hall for half an hour immediately after classes.   He loved the sessions, and would come home showing us what he had learned.   Then some of the older kids started getting annoyed with him because he didn’t always understand the instruction, and therefore appeared to be playing about, and so he wouldn’t go again.    It was so sad that as much as we tried to talk to him about asking if he was unsure or us saying we would talk to his teacher, he had made up his mind he just didn’t want to go back.            He joined Cubs, because he had seen a television programme about it and thought it looked really interesting, learning about nature and the wider world.   The reality was, there was a room full of scream kids and they were being spoken to about things, and not getting the chance to experience them.    He didn’t want to go back, and when asked why he said he didn’t want to spend time out of school with the boys who made life difficult at school – sad that being bullied isn’t something you can switch off once the teacher says it has been dealt with.

We had therefore been looking for something M might enjoy doing.    He loves his dancing at the weekend but there was nothing along those lines at any other time, and peer pressure had told him boys don’t do proper dance lessons!       I just think any possible situation that he can maybe learn to experience teamwork has to be a positive influence on him, but really he needed a team activity that he could do by himself!

This term, his class are doing a social community project, and basically it means the children are learning about what goes on in the town they live in.    When the note came home about it all, M was SO excited.     The class were going to the golf club, to have a go, they were doing a traffic safety day, they were going to the beach to look at the rocks, they were going to the pond to look for wildlife, and they were going to the tennis club to have a go.      M was talking about all the things they would be doing this term, but he was most interested in the idea of going to the tennis club.    I am not sure where that comes from as we aren’t big fans in the house so don’t watch it on the telly for him to have seen any of the big names.       The tennis is of course the last thing on the list of activities, so he has a long wait.

Then the note came home with the active kids programme.     One of them was tennis coaching.    He didn’t even give me time to read what he was handing me, but instead, just said he wanted to take tennis lessons.        It was a six-week block and it would take place in the school hall immediately after school on a Monday.        When he had calmed his excitement, we talked to him to make sure it was what he wanted to do, and he was desperate to take the lessons.    I therefore booked him in.

Monday was his first lesson.     His teacher was asked to remind him that he needed to go to the hall and not home after school, but still I waited for a call to ask why he hadn’t been picked up!     None came.

When he came out, he was asked if he had liked it, and he said “no”.    My heart sank, as I thought here we go again with something else that hasn’t lived up to his expectations.   Then he added, “I totally loved it, it was awesome!”         Hooray!        There was nobody else from his class going, but a couple of boys that are 2 years ahead of him, that often say hi to him are there, and so there is someone familiar.      He has already asked for a racquet, and has been told if he sticks with the classes and wants to continue, we will happily get him one.

It is such a relief to find something he wants to do that is extra curricular.     I hope he can stick with it, and find something to enjoy.   I remember when we were little my brother and I often went to the tennis courts in our local park for a knock about, and it was great fun.

So when the next John McEnroe steps onto centre court and  starts screaming at the umpire in total meltdown, it might just be my wee man!

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The school fayre.

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There are few things in a year that the kids value above all else, Christmas and Birthdays are of course at the top of the list, but closely behind them is the social event of the school calendar – the school spring fayre!     It is so important for all the children that there is no keeping them from it.    Last year, M was poorly and couldn’t make it, and it really was an end of the world moment for him.

The fayre is always held at the beginning of May, and it is the major fundraiser for the year.     The money the PSA raise at events goes towards helping for the extras for the school, I suppose you might say the fun stuff rather than the nitty-gritty day-to-day life of the school.     While I often complain about the amount of notes that come home for the kids to take in money for this or that fundraiser, at the end of the day, it is for the kids to have a much happier experience of school, so ultimately worth it.

A couple of year back the fayre was on Hubbys birthday, and as he doesn’t really enjoy the event, he was loathed to go, but the boys insisted and he was bought a burger by the boys as his birthday treat!!!!

Because everyone connected to the school attends the event, as do many in the wider community, we have to pick our time carefully, so it isn’t too busy – not that there is ever a quiet time from the moment it opens to the moment it closes.      We were therefore at the school on Saturday in time for the opening ceremony at 10am.     Usually at a weekend, the boys are up usual time, but it can still be hard work getting them into clothes in time to leave the house to get to dancing at midday, but this week they were mythering to go out from about 8:30am!

The fayre is a mixture of local traders with their wares, as well as things like tombolas, and toy stalls, all of which the kids were encouraged to take things in for during the preceding week.    They actually had a brilliant way to get donations for the chocolate tombola, and that was to have a dress down day, and they didn’t ask for money, but something for the stall!   Needless to say the amount of chocolate at the stall was obscene!    But it was ok, as both boys won on two out of their three tickets!

M flitted around from room to room – many of the classroom are used for stalls, and didn’t really want to look at much.    I think even with the event being relatively quiet at this stage, for him the whole thing is wrong.    He got very flappy when we entered his classroom, and it wasn’t how it should be.     It must be a very stressful situation for him to have the familiar changed without him really comprehending it.   I am sure he will have inspected his classroom this morning to make sure it was back how it should be.

D on the other hand was very into it, and had his hand out for money at every stall we passed.      During the morning there were various television and film characters wandering around that the kids could have their pictures taken with for a donation.    D loves all this sort of thing, even though he is happy to tell you he knows they aren’t real and there is a person inside.    The first two characters were Curious Geroge, and Peppa pig.   He was delighted at this prospect, as George is a firm favourite in this household, and not just with the kids.    However, when he saw the Peppa Pig, he was petrified, as it was quite a disturbing costume, and so he didn’t go near George!       The Peppa costume just didn’t look quite right, and yet the George one was perfect!

Having learned in previous years to make sure I can carry everything home, I went armed with a shopping bag, but by the time they had visited the toy stall – more Star Wars and Angry Birds puzzles, and the home-bakes, it was overflowing!

I saw several Mums I hadn’t seen for ages and caught up with a lot of gossip, and new babies!      The weather was dodgy early in the morning, but it cleared up enough for the outside activities such as the displays by the local pipe band, and Jazzercise to take over the playground.

I had spent  a small fortune, but it was all in a good cause, and the boys were happy.      There is a huge amount of work put into an event like this by the organisers, and to be honest I don’t know how they do it, but it is a good job they do because without their hard work, the children would miss out on so many of the fun things, like the pantomime at Christmas, and the end of years trips.        Events like this bring together the community at the school which with the every growing role can sometimes be strained.    It is a great thing.

Kids Party

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Saturday was my babies 7th birthday.   It doesn’t seem possible he’s 7, but he will always be my baby!!!

We had a family day.    He was up before 5 to open his presents, but was so happy with them all, he took the rest of the morning looking at them, and deciding what he wanted to play with.        He received a set of Star Wars Lego, which he sat so patiently with for a good hour, until he had finished it – it was great to see as with his dexterity problems, he finds fiddley work very difficult, but Lego is a great way of exercising his fingers!      Little did we know that Lego Star Wars would become the theme of the rest of his birthday, but I will get to that!

Hubby took the boys to their dancing class, so I could get on and get his cake decorated.   He was having a small football for his actual birthday, and then a Lego cake for his party.

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This isn’t quite the finished article, as I didn’t take a picture when it was totally done!!!

In the afternoon, he went to play with his two best friends, and they had an energetic afternoon.   Hubbys Mum then arrived to have tea with us, and bringing presents – Lego Star Wars!.     D had asked if we could have take-away as a treat, and who could deny the birthday boy when he wants Curry?

He went to bed totally shattered, but happy that night.

Sunday though was the big day.   It was party time.     I spent the morning organising the food, and making sure we had everything we needed.    We had hired a community centre hall with 2 bouncy castles – D had decided it had to be a bouncy castle party!      We arrived about 20 minutes before the guests and set up the crafts on a table – we thought it important to have something quiet to do as well as the bouncing!!      I had also bought a huge collection of temporary tattoos and taken along a couple of flannels to soak them to apply.    They were the biggest hit of the afternoon with the kids getting covered, and trying to out do each other to get the most – one child ended up with 15, and ran out of exposed flesh at that point!!!

The kids all seemed to have a great time, screaming and running around.    D had asked for the food to be served as a picnic so all the kids sat on throws on the floor and demolished sausage rolls, and crisps!

The cake was a huge success, and I was really proud when asked about making it!      The biggest laugh of the afternoon though came when as soon as the candles had been blown out, D grabbed Yoda, and rammed him into his mouth!!!!   I did at that point have to stop the rest of the kids from grabbing the decorations before I could cut it up!!!!

I think the biggest thrill for D though was when about half way through the party his beloved teacher popped in to wish him a happy birthday.     He had told me he had given her an invitation, and I had been trying to give him a million and one reasons why she probably wouldn’t make it, never believing she would actually come!      She stayed for a short time, and I think it says so much about how all the kids love her that they were thrilled to see her!    She even had a tattoo on her hand so as to feel part of it!!    D gave her a party bag when she left, and as we hadn’t cut the cake at that point, he promised her a slice which he took to school with him today!

As the afternoon drew to a close, there were 25 kids who went home shattered as none of them stopped for the whole time!      There were also shattered parents who had been wonderful helping out, with watching the bouncy castles – I believe we only had one pair of knocked heads, passing out pencils and stickers at the craft table, and or course taking turns putting on temporary tattoos – I do believe if any of our kids ask us to do them for them in the near future there will be a lot of screaming  – from the kids when we scream NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

D came home with a huge amount of presents, he is such a lucky boy!      As he opened them it became clear how well his class know him, as everything was either Lego, and/or Star Wars, and what is better is that there was only one duplicate and it was a ship which D tells me they always fly in pairs anyway!!!   I now know what he will be doing every evening for the next week!!

He went to bed that evening knowing he was a very lucky boy, and I think feeling very content that his friends had all had as good a time as he had!

I found it the least stressful of all the parties we have ever done, and that is totally because of all the kind helpers we had on the day.      But, thank goodness it’s just once a year!!!