Its been a year since Spike started school. A year since we upped sticks and moved to a new city. We threw her into a place she knew no one and had no friends. But she’s coping pretty well I’d say.
A Year On
What a year its been. Spike has always been slow to make friends, and school was no exception. She was just starting to really make friends when the sh*t hit the fan and school closed its doors for what, at the time, we thought would be an extended Easter break in March. 4 months later and Spike has set foot in her school three times. She’s back at kids club, which is going well. But can’t remember some of the names of the children in her class. Year 1 is going to be like starting school all over again.
Our school’s new normal
We’ve been told about what will happen come September. There will be staggered starts for each school year. Spike will go straight to her classroom where she will be all day, even for lunch. Other than break times, which will be taken in the play area which is going to be split into 4 areas for the children to stick to. Break times will be staggered too. Its going to be strange for her. But it seems as safe as it can be.
Preparing for year 1
Last year I went all out. New everything to start school. This year I know better. There were PE jumpers that were never worn. Her PE plimsols also got worn twice and still fit her. I won’t be buying any more until I have to. She needs new cardigans but I may go for one with a badge and the others plain to save money. Its not the end of the world if she doesn’t have the school logo showing. We don’t need a new lunch box and her drinks bottle is still fine – though a little dented.
Buying the essentials
As a bit of a minimalist household it seems like a bit of a waste to go out and buy new everything again. I know a lot of parents who go out and buy new lunchboxes etc every year but ours are fine, so we haven’t done this. The only reason she’s getting new cardigans is because she’s actually grown since last year.
Back to school haircuts
One of the things I’ve realised though is that School gives an ample reason to pursuade Spike to actually let the hairdresser near her hair. It had got so long and easy to tangle during lockdown. She didn’t like the idea of getting it cut but as soon as I told her it needed smartening up for the return to school she was fine with it. We ended up getting a fair bit chopped but it looks so much nicer!
Things I’ve learnt after the first year of primary school
5 white polo shirts will never be enough. I bought about 15 throughout Spike’s reception year… and I expect to again. There will be unneeded items on the schools itinerary. As mentioned above, the PE Jumpers never got worn. And I never even picked up swimming stuff – though I wonder if they were meant to do swimming after lockdown happened?
Preparing Spike for year 1
As I say, Spike is back at kids club, but we’re talking to her a lot about the transition from Reception to Year 1. I would have been having the conversations about the changes even without Covid being an issue, but its even more important now I think. There will be a lot going on and a lot of uncertainty about things when she starts and I’m hoping she feels prepared for it. At least the long summer days at Kids Club is going to help with the separation anxiety! Not every kid will have had that I’m sure!