Saturday, 15 June 2013

First Big School Visit

This week has seen us going to visit Big School for the first time together.
PJ has been so very, very, excited.
I can't believe that after all the preparation I have done in trying to find the right school for PJ and after the school admissions process, that the transition to big school is finally starting.
I began searching for schools as part of my competency file that I compiled ready for approval panel!
I can't believe that PJ, having gone through transition to Nursery since she came to me a few month as ago, now faces another transition: to Big School.
We keep talking about going to big school soon and I often tell PJ that in September we will be going to big school, hoping that as we go through the months of the year whilst chatting about where friends birthdays lie, that some semblance of time will take place for her.
I started talking about our first visit to big school the day before.
She stood on the bed the night before, on tippy toes with her arms out stretched above her head, saying: and in the morning I will be really, really big.
Being big for big school, sounds like a big plan to me, I thought.
In the morning, the first thing she called to me after she called out: Mummy, was - I am really big now, aren't I?
Then she paused for thought and added: but I'm still only a little girl, aren't I.
Yes, you are PJ.
You are big and brave, actually PJ.
In she walked, excitedly, to meet the teacher and sat down so well and sensibly with 15 other children, who would be her playmates for the next hour, and who will be part of her class in September.
The teacher looked on her list and asked PJ who she was, and then quietly added her "birth surname" -  I quickly and quietly interjected her new surname back to the teacher - as hopefully the adoption order will all be through by then, so it will be her legal name - the teacher asked if I wanted all her books to have that name on and I said yes - she has been using her new surname for everything except dentist and doctor since placement and gets distressed when she is called by her birth surname now.
I assumed that the teacher had made the connection and knew more.
But she didn't.
More on that later!
I had chatted with PJ about whether I would stay with her for the hour that she would be at big school, or whether I would leave her during this first visit. I told her the teacher would decide - rather than say that it would depend on whether she would cry or not!
As she sat with her peers, no one said a word.
Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, said PJ to the teacher.
Can the Mummy's go now, please?
She meant me, particularly, I knew. Everyone else just thought she was being cute and was eager to get on and play!
We dutifully left our precious charges, at the teacher's dismissal and then all my fears kicked in.
Will she be OK without me?
Or will she become distressed or controlling?
Does the teacher know anything about her?
I went for a coffee armed with my mobile and returned at the given collection time.
Mummy, she said and beamed and ran to meet me.
Come and see my beautiful new room!
We went back in the classroom and had a quick look round together.
The teacher chatted to a few of us parents so I asked her if it would be easier for me to pass on to her PJ's PEP that is being written now, ready for our next LAC review.
Yes please, she said and I left, thinking, great. The system works.
Then at the Information evening for parents, the teacher came over to me and said she was sorry about not understanding what a PEP was but that she had done her research and wanted to start our conversation again. We shared a few brief sentences about me adopting PJ and agreed that after the next visit to Big School next week that the teacher and I will arrange to meet up again separately.
I asked if they had had any information passed on and they said that all they had were names and dates of birth.
So, we have a lot to catch up on!
I had assumed that the admissions team would have passed on all that was written as part of our school admission application... nope.
At least we have from now until the end of term to get up to speed with background, triggers, positives, areas of need.
One step at a time, for this process of transition to Big School to begin.
Deep breath...


  1. Eeeek! Big changes! Disappointing that all the effort that you have put into the paperwork doesn't seem to have translated to anything useful in the classroom so far. Hopefully it will get sorted out before September.

    1. I was gutted - and then felt guilty that I had made some stupid assumptions and felt bad I hadn't talked with the school directly - seeing the head this week - so will catch them up to speed

  2. Sounds like she did great at the new school! Jonathan begins a new school in September and we've already had name confusion due to him entering funding under his birth name and now us changing it. It will be interesting to see how things unfold!

    1. it is so hard isn't it with all the confusion and the name thing is only the start! It will be really interesting to see how it all unfolds.


Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment here. Your comments are valued and I will reply.