Walking to school with the blog title overlay
Discussions,  Personal posts,  School

The longest of them all – Spike’s first term at school

So we’re through the long one. The longest term of the school year – autumn term. It’s been a learning curve. There were ups and downs, a parents evening, a lot of parenting guilt and more. I thought I would share a bit of our experience with you all.

New routines – leaving the house

Spike started school this year, so it was our first full term. We got to grips with the school run quite quickly. Or at least we did. We know exactly what order everything needs to be done in for it to be done before we need to leave. Spike is still getting to grips with that. But we’re getting there. 

Making friends 

Spike has always been weary of new places and people. She takes a good half an hour or more to warm up to a new place. She wont really speak to others before they talk to her. It’s a bit of a pain when you know she is on her own in a new situation. However she’s talked about people in her class and playing with them. So I think she’s managed it, hopefully!

Birthday parties

So far since the start of school she’s had 3 invites for birthday parties. I think the first two were whole class invites. But it confirmed that she’s made some friends, as she went off to play after a little while at both parties. The third hasn’t been yet but she’s super excited for it. It’s the first one of someone she’s talked about playing with too, which makes it more exciting.

Parents evening 

Spike’s first parents evening was a little daunting. We had a 5 minute slot with two teachers and weren’t sure what to expect. We arrived with decent timing and managed to look through her class books when we got there before we went in. The two teachers told us about how lovely Spike was, how well she was doing, especially with reading and how she has gained some friends she seems to play with regularly as a group. It eased the worry a bit, but it was a bit of a rush job! 

Learning at home

Spike’s school doesn’t appear to do homework like many others do. They appear to be leading us in gently with it. Spike had 1 piece of homework the entire first term. That was to draw a picture from her favourite book. She gets a couple of reading books every week that she has to read, but thats all. The school have just sent us a letter saying they will be changing the books going forward with 3 books a week to read. So they are increasing it, but slowly. 

Phonics and reading
Spike pointing out her phonics words

Spike’s school splits the two reception classes into 3 groups to learn phonics together. Spike seems to be doing well and this week came home with ‘Tricky words’ that we’ve put on the fridge. This is so she can tell me what each one says as and when she sees them. It’s not homework as such and the school dont set it, but they advise that you go through these with your child. I much prefer this attitude to home learning. 

A whole new attitude 

Spike is around many different people now. She’s at school with a lot of big personalities and I can see the way they have reflected on her. Not all of them are good personalities but with a little reminder of how the nice way to behave is, we’re learning the best way to deal with those ones… I think because Spike goes to after school club, and is sometimes the only Reception pupil there, she’s learning from older kids too, which is not something she’s had for a while. And that can be both good and interesting… 

After school club – every evening

At first we struggled with After School Club. Spike goes every day and its not something I thought we would struggle with. She was at nursery 7.30am-6pm most days so I thought it would come natural to her. However she noticed early on that she is the only kid that goes consistently every night. The parent guilt was big when she realised. We’ve talked about it and I picked her up one night early, as did Tony so she had a couple of random days where she didn’t go. But she knows that its not something thats going to change. She’s been a lot better about kids club recently so I think she’s starting to find her groove there. 

Confidence 

Spike has, in some respects become more confident having been at school. She’s more confident in her speech and story telling. She’s still not super confident around new people, but she is getting used to new people an awful lot quicker I think. School has brought her out of her shell a little and I’m hoping it continues. 

The downsides

There are bad days, I think there always will be. Spike still doesn’t want to leave the house, even though she knows she needs to. We’ve had days where she’s said no one has played with her. Days where she’s told us a class mate has been mean to her and made her cry. And PE… Don’t mention PE day around her. She loses it every time she notices her PE kit out the night before. But all in all,  we got there. We got through the longest term and the start of the next. Here’s to February half term!