This has been a big year for my big boy. He’s started school and he’s become a big brother again. I would like to say he’s taken it all in his stride. I suppose, other than a few initial hiccups and some little bumps in the road along the way, he probably has.
Today was his last day in primary one and this has made me look back and reflect on this last year, his first ever experience of primary school and how he has coped with it all.
There have been a lot of new experiences for him, a lot of ‘firsts’.
- He had to wear a school uniform with a shirt and tie.
- He had to spend a full day in school instead of his mornings in nursery.
- He had to meet new people and make new friends.
- He had to learn to sit in a group or at a table and
- He’s had to learn to follow routines and rules.
In adapting to school life he’s also had to sit for assemblies, walk sensibly in his group for outings, eat lunch in the dining hall and learn to try to feed himself.
The major difference I have seen is his ability to sit on the stage and take part in performances. He has participated in two main shows this year and a daffodil tea performance. I never imagined he would be able to cope with doing this. Getting him to sit still in the house, other than at feeding times, is a difficult task. He enjoys roaming around and is almost always moving or stomping around. At his Christmas show in December he lasted part of the time before he got too distressed and his assistant had to help him leave the stage. We watched his end of year performance as part of a whole school show last week and the difference was amazing. He came on with his class, his assistant was able to sit behind him instead of having him on her knee and he lasted almost right until the end (when he spotted me in the audience, despite me hiding at the very back!) He even joined in with a little bit of the singing and actions.
In a relatively short space of time he has come a long way. For him these little achievements are major milestones. He’s a big school boy now and he’s happy to be there. He definitely does now take it in his stride. Each morning he runs in to play with his friends and waves bye to my mum as she leaves. He bounds out at night happily, waving and saying ‘bye’ to every member of staff he passes. They all smile warmly and wave back, returning his greeting. He’s thrilled by this and so am I. The staff in his school are wonderful. They are full of positivity and it’s such a welcoming place to be. Everyone is greeted with a smile and the staff work very hard with the pupils to help them to achieve their potential. I am reassured that he is happy, safe and well looked after when he is in their care. As any parent will know, maybe more so parents of pupils with additional needs, it’s great to know that the people who work with your child throughout the day are genuinely caring and warm people.
I love visiting J’s school and feel uplifted each time I do. I feel that he is well supported, nurtured and encouraged. He gets lots of opportunities to take part in many activities and outings. He’s included in what goes on and his achievements are celebrated. He has had a wonderful start to primary school and we are very grateful to his school and all of the staff there for making it so special. Thank you!