Saturday, 21 July 2012

Mini's first year at school


Well we made it through Mini’s first school year.

And what a year - he’s been in the school nativity, excelled at numbers and problem solving, learnt to read and write, made a lovely group of friends, become more creative, been on a trip to the zoo, demonstrated his skills in assemblies, grown a bean, made gingerbread men, learnt to retell stories, held an Olympic Torch, and he’s become more confident in his own abilities.

It’s not been easy but we’ve made it to the end, and my little boy is no longer in reception, but looking forward to moving up to Year 1.

I’m looking forward to it too. I hope that the instability that Mini has had in reception will disappear as his new teacher won’t have the same ‘other commitments’ as Miss U. His new teacher is not only new to me and Mini, but she’s also new to the school. I had hoped to speak with Mini’s new teacher – Miss P – before the end of this term, but because she doesn’t yet work at the school, and was teaching on the only day she was there (moving up day) she hasn’t returned my calls. 

But I talked to my lovely parent supporter who went straight to Mini’s school, spoke with the head teacher (a woman I find intimidating, but I am told is the best infant school head around), and took photos of Mini’s new classroom and classroom assistants.
The parent supporter is more used to working with slightly older children, those who have problems at school because of issues they have at home, and she regularly puts together transition books for those moving from junior to high school. She’s going to tailor one to Mini for this move and bring it round in the next few weeks. 

Mini has also had an extra transition day with some of his classmates, and had another with just the head teacher who is very willing to support him any way she can.
She appreciates (although I’m not sure she fully understands) that Mini needs someone – a stable adult - at school that he can build a relationship with. He had that with Miss U but then circumstances made it hard for that relationship to remain stable, which is when our problems started.
Head teacher seems keen to be that stable adult if needs be, although I’m keener for it to be someone who will be in his class i.e a teaching assistant who is more likely to really know him. However, it’s really helpful and a great support to know she’s on our side, and is prepared to help out.

CAMHS have been reluctant to get in touch with school, so I’ve asked our post adoption support worker to get in touch and he’s agreed. Just a brief letter explaining Mini’s problems will be a start and will enable the school to engage with post adoption support, perhaps with a view to getting some training for themselves. And, I think it’ll come better from them because at the moment I’m worried I’m coming across as a paranoid mum, especially as Mini is seen as fine/perfect/model student at school.

For now though, Mini is looking forward to his 6 weeks off school. And he’s even looking forward to writing a diary of his summer activities to show to his class in September.

In other news, we had a visit from our post adoption support worker who shared the results of our assessments with us – I’m still trying to get my head around the conversations we had with him, and will blog about it as soon as I can order my thoughts. So watch this space!

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