It’s the final week of the school year for my ‘kids’ this week and if all goes to plan, the next time they return to school, it’ll just be transitionally as we’ll be packing up and relocating to Canada as quickly as possible. It’s also quite strange too. Not knowing whether they’ll see many of their friends when they return in September is a very odd sensation.
It’s a big year for lots of reasons.
My middle ‘kid’ moves into the ‘Juniors’ (year 3) in September and they get ‘perks’ with such a move. They don’t have to wear a blue top any longer – they get to wear a blue shirt and tie (and a proper one at that – so it’ll test my technique of attempting to show her how to tie one), plus they have the option of buying ‘toast’ mid morning, so she’s very excited at the whole prospect. I just wish she showed as much enthusiasm at our daily breakfast time when we all stock up our supplies for the day and a mouse has a better feast than she often does!
My youngest ‘kid’ is due to start school in Reception class – something she has been counting down to for the last 10 months. She has well and truly outgrown nursery – in all senses of the word – being the tallest by a long way in her nursery class, plus with a birthday early in the school year, has felt ready for school for a long time now. She has resorted to teaching herself how to write letters and count numbers based on what her sisters do for their homework and mimicking their work. She also gets to wear a uniform and I’ve had to cover all bases by ordering her one for her school in England – even though we’re not planning on being here for much longer.
The end of the school year sees lots of key events coming together over the last final weeks. The older ‘kids’ have had music evenings, sports day, toy day (later this week), the summer school fair, the school disco and celebration assembly for all to attend. It’s hectic and the weeks have flown by lurching from one event to the next.
School reports came out last Friday and they are certainly thorough in their content and presentation. My Dad dug out my old school reports just as a comparison – and there really isn’t one. 35 years ago, all I received was 1 side of A4 with a handwritten note from the year teacher saying ‘she tried very hard and was a pleasure to teach’. Not that I’m disputing the essence of the message being conveyed – in fact, my girls now get a very similar one. However, they also receive very thorough observations, evidence, constructive advice and further opportunities for development highlighted throughout the many pages of the report plus the ‘kids’ have the delight of including their individual sentiments for what they feel they have personally gained and enjoyed during the past year. It gives you a real insight into what they value as ‘kids’ and the major events which have resonated with them over the past 10 months.
It is a big year. Moving to Canada, my ‘kids’ will resume their education over there and I’m interested to see how the English education compares to it. I’m expecting a full curriculum – much as they get here – but with a much stronger multi-cultural flavour with wide ranging topics that will hopefully stimulate and really challenge my ‘kids’ into thinking about the world and different ways of living in a completely new way. I’m anticipating a stronger vocational feel to learning along with an academic one. I’m sensing there will be a drive to encourage independence – in thought and deeds, from an earlier age much greater than we do nowadays in England – and that won’t be a bad thing. Harnessing talent, realising potential and building confidence are life skills that I’m hoping Canada fosters in each and every one of them – and in me too. There’s always something each and every one of us can benefit from along life’s great path and I’m also looking forward to a form of ‘education’ and change that affects me equally as much as my ‘kids’.
‘School’s out’ (or nearly anyhow) for this year, but for me and my ‘kids’, our education is just beginning.
Bring it on 🙂