Starting school is quite frankly scary for all involved. I know I’m not ready for him to go to school (but I am at the same time, why is parenting so full of conflicting emotions!) cub is excited but anxious at the same time. It’s the unknown isn’t it. I have to keep thinking how I felt when I recently started a new job. I was full of anxiety and nervousness. So I thought I would quickly let you know all the things I have read and thought about to prepare us both for school.
Firstly our children are the same but different. So there needs to be some extra thought into aiming for a smooth transition into school.
The virtual schools (which not many people have heard of) seems to be amazing, they appear to be Hampshire and the IOW based but I don’t know if they serve other local authorities or if other local authorities use their guidelines. I haven’t contacted them, but nearly did. However I found this information which I found really useful...
I then looked into what my son was entitled to. This was important for me so I know what I can push for and what is just good practise. I feel being armed with knowledge gives you power. But how you handle that power is vitally important. You need to build a good relationship with school in a firm but caring way. This is something I found hard to start with, but I’m so glad I handled it in a calm way otherwise relationships would be strained before they have even started.
This statutory document was great in finding out what I could ask for...
A bit of background about our journey so far into school.
We originally chose a school close to where I was working. It was a gorgeous little village school who had fab communication regarding adoption.
Fast forward 7 months and as the school list came out my job had changed and I was now working in the opposite direction by 50 minutes. So that lovely village school was no longer an option. Our local catchment school, which is where we both went as kids and wanted him to go to (although keeping him close to me seemed the right option at the time) was now where we needed him to go. So we went through the late applications process. At this time the school weren’t overly helpful. Telling me he was “just the same as everyone else” wasn’t what I wanted to hear. So I went and found the document above and started putting together a plan.
I wanted a meeting with the head / SENCO just to go over my concerns / transitioning. This proved difficult to start with so I asked nursery to arrange a meeting. Which they did. I gave nursery the documents above and highlighted the sections relevant to cub so they also were armed with what he was entitled to. The meeting was very successful and I feel that because I wasn’t there for this initial meeting emotions were left out and facts were discussed.
After the meeting between school and nursery things have looked up, I had a phone call from the Head Teacher to say that a meeting between the Inclusion teacher, and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children will take place on Cubs first settling in session (In hindsight this should have been done on the day when I didn’t need to be there as it was obvious that I was the only parent to leave him settling in on his first session. Luckily he coped with this and got to know one of his teachers well which was good).
The meeting was very helpful and I discussed my concerns and ways in which I would like any behaviours delt with. Thankfully they have been amazing and they are very therapeutic in their approach.
Time will tell come September whether he settles in well and school do what they say they will, but so far so good.
I definitely feel better knowing I was armed with information to help me get what my child is entitled to and may or may not need in the future.
Hopefully this helps any new school starters for years to come.