Tuesday, 18 September 2012

My little stars, back at school

It feels like forever since I last wrote a post just about the children and it's probably time I rectified that.

Both children were excited about going back to school. They don't tend to see their friends outside of school  as we are relatively far from it. Giddiness of the highest order ensued on the first day back, with Missy Woo running round squealing and flinging her arms around her friends that she hadn't seen for all of six weeks. Monkey, of course, was as cool as a cucumber about seeing his friend but he was happy to return.

Monkey's main reason for looking forward to the new term was having a brand new teacher to the school as his class teacher this year. Of course, for him, it's a big step as he has moved into Year 3 and therefore into the juniors. After his first couple of days, he started mentioning Mission Impossible and we ended up "singing" the tune on his way home. I wondered what it was and last week, I finally found out. His new teacher invited all the parents to sit in on a lesson at the start of the day. As the children were settling in for the day, the teacher suddenly set a recording off and the children went hither and thither putting things away. It's his way of getting them to tidy up! The aim is to do it quicker every time, and they are all disappointed if they don't do it quicker than last time. I am seriously considering downloading Mission Impossible for use at home! Looking around the class, I realised how much they have grown up in the 3 years they have been at school and their new teacher has them eating out of his hand. He's going to have a fantastic year.

On the curriculum for him this year is learning the ukulele. A teacher comes in once a week to teach a whole class. Monkey brought his new* (*second-hand) ukulele home for the first time last week. He'd had the sum total of one lesson. He thought he was an expert and proceeded to share his new-found talent with all of us. I sent him upstairs to play instead but that didn't do much - we just heard "strum, strum, strum, strum" all the time. He's quite keen - I keep coming downstairs and finding the ukulele out of its case on the floor of the living room - but I'm dreading all the practice. Don't laugh - apparently, ukulele lessons are becoming increasingly popular in schools, so it could be coming your way soon. Oh well, at least it is not a recorder.

Missy Woo is, however, the one who has amazed me. During the school holidays, she suddenly decided she wanted to write a poem so she set about doing so. She asked for little bits of help with spellings and words to use, but on the whole, I left her to it. As she prepared to return to school, she insisted on making sure she took her poem in to show her new teacher (who was, of course, Monkey's teacher last year).

After her first day back, she told me that her teacher had said she could read out her poem at the next celebration assembly they have on Friday afternoons, and asked if I was going. Thankfully, I was as the first one was after their first full week and as a parent with children in both infant and juniors, I can basically go whenever I want. She told me she would have to write it out neatly as the teacher had said.

Come the assembly, both children took their certificates in from the summer reading challenge they had been doing at the library over the holidays and after they showed them, the headteacher held her back and started explaining about the poem that Missy Woo wrote.

What I didn't know was that Missy Woo had learnt her poem off by heart to recite to the whole school. It was her own idea and I have no idea when she did it, but she did. Not only that, my little 6 year old girl (OK, not so little - she looks at least a year older, if not two) stood there and recited in a clear and confident voice, the whole of her poem and  received a huge round of applause from all the children, staff and present.

I don't think I've ever been quite so blown away by her. I had no idea she'd learnt it off by heart - of course, she wrote it so should know what's in it but all the same, she was fantastic. And for that, she was unsurprisingly awarded the first Star of the Week trophy of the new school year. I was so proud of her.

And just so Monkey didn't feel left out, his class was class of the week too, so we had double the reason to celebrate. As we were going away straight after school, we ended up lugging the trophy to Coventry with us - and Missy Woo took it upon herself to show the trophy to just about anyone who was passing, let alone ask what it was for.

Summer holidays already feel like a month ago. Routines have been re-established, friendships rekindled, reading books grudgingly read and avoided where possible. We are definitely back at school, with lots of exciting things to look forward to.
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