My Experience: Our first few weeks of school…

I am very pleased to let you know that Miss NHM is really enjoying school. She is already coming home singing some of the songs she has learnt at school.

We haven’t had as many “meltdowns” as I was expecting although she is a total rat bag at the end of the day. It seems to be Monday and Tuesday when she’s at her worst, which I totally wasn’t expecting. I thought it would be Friday’s but maybe she’s just too exhausted by then to argue! lol.

We had a lot of tears during the first week. She only seems to cry when I drop her off though, she’s fine when Mr NHM drops her off.

I am finding the first few weeks quite difficult. Both Mr NHM and I are missing Miss NHM terribly. I am missing the luxury of being able to keep her home if we need a “rest” day. This is even more challenging as Mr NHM works shift so we only actually have two Saturdays and Sundays a month together as a family now.

Having said that, the second day after I dropped her off, I skipped home, feeling a sudden sense of freedom! lol. It’s very weird. Many conflicting emotions.

Dropping Off

As I said above, dropping off can be challenging at the beginning of the week. Miss NHM gets most upset if I drop her off. She’s not too bad if Mr NHM drops her off.

She’s very tired though and I’m sure that isn’t helping. I’ve specifically ensured that all our weekends in September and October are fairly low key, so she has some down time and time to recuperate from the shock of school.

Three weeks in I can also say that I’m SOOOOOO over getting up EVERY week day morning. Yes, I know this sounds really bad and quite spoilt but only another 10 more years to go. (She can get herself ready for school when she’s 14! lol).

Picking up

Some days pick up has been fine, others it’s been very challenging. I’m already learning that I need to arrive at school with a snack of some sort, just to keep Miss NHM going until we get home.

One thing I am finding hard is that we don’t find out ANYTHING other than what Miss NHM tells us. At nursery there was a chance to briefly chat and find out if there is anything we need to know. At school you don’t get that. I am desperately trying not to plug Miss NHM for information but it’s very weird not to know anything about what your child has done all day, especially when they are still so young!

I do get lots of cuddles when we get home though. She has said that she’s missing us dreadfully too and that’s been hard for all of us.

The Book Bag

Miss NHM has a book bag which contains her folder, a book and a guidance sheet which makes suggestions about what to talk to your child too about that book.

The books are supposed to last for roughly a week and although no one has told us what to do with the book, we make sure we read it every day.

The funniest thing happened on the Monday of Miss NHM’s second week. Before going into the classroom, she stopped her teacher and said “wait a minute please”, took out her book bag and put it in the “replenishment” box. She clearly felt she was ready for her next book! It made me chuckle!

Parent Mail

We get a lot of letters and forms in Miss NHM’s book bag at the end of the day but Parent Mail is the format that is used to communicate between parents and the school.

This is how we find out what the children have been working on in a newsletter each week. There is an App you can download to your phone and a website and you get an email every time there is a new notification.

It’s quite good to see that schools are moving into the technological age but Mr NHM still hasn’t got his parent mail working so he’s fed up with it all already!

Food

This is the one thing that I have been very disappointed with. I’ve been quite horrified by the food that’s on offer.

All children in Infants schools in the UK can have free meals at lunchtime. I spoke to a couple of other experienced Mum’s and they all said “DO IT” because it’s one less thing to worry about.

However, in her first week, Miss NHM has had pizza and for pudding ice cream, chocolate cake and biscuits!! In her second week she’s had jelly, sponge pudding and a chocolate muffin!

She takes much delight in telling us what she’s had for pudding on the way home. She doesn’t respond very well to sugar and I’m wondering if these puddings are actually exacerbating her tiredness.

The irony is, at the end of Miss NHM’s second week we had a letter come home saying that children in YR would be weighed and measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). It included a leaflet from Change4Life. It actually mentions about swapping sugar and eating 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. I did laugh out loud when I saw this letter and leaflet.

The even bigger irony is, if you read the letter about what you can and can’t include in a packed lunch (it’s very dictatorial, as expected) you can’t include anything with chocolate in! Yet they are giving chocolate puddings as part of the free meals!!!

Apparently the meals are supposed part of a healthy diet but I still have concerns. I get that children need more calories when they are at school because they are running around more, but the choices that are on offer are clearly not healthy at all! No wonder we are a nation of fattty’s!!

Labelling

I asked a question on NHM about what labelling system NHM Readers recommended and have a post half drafted about this which I will publish soon (when I get my act together!)

We have gone with a combination of iron on labels, the stamp from Stamptastic, and the “white pen” from Stamptastic.

Having said that, Miss NHM lost her expensive, logo’d cardigan on her second Monday, so it doesn’t matter how much you label things, they still get lost! I have already learnt that Miss NHM will only be wearing her remaining logo’d cardigan when it’s photo day at school! lol.

Only another five weeks till half term!

I am already “living” for half term. Thankfully we’ve all got the week days of half term off and are hopefully going away to the New Forest for a couple of days to rest and recuperate. Normally we have our “Summer holiday” around now and I am already desperate for a break! lol.

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Summer born children (those born between 1 April and 31 August)

Louise sent me the details for this as it doesn’t seem to be well known, even though Hampshire is one of the most flexible counties.

I really wasn’t aware of this, so thank you very much Louise for the details!

I’m sure it will be useful to a LOT of NHM Readers.

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/education/admissions/ad-guidance/ad-summerborn.htm

There’s also a Facebook group called “Flexible School Admissions for Summer Borns” if you want to join the community.

Thank you to Charlotte for the following links too: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summer-born-children-school-admission

https://www.hants.gov.uk/educationandlearning/admissions/applicationprocess/changeorlateapplication/summerborn

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Review 2014: Manydown Family Fun

Top Tip 7: Epsom Salts and a Detox Bath

Basingstoke under 6’s

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!

School catchment finder, Report on school admissions and Ofsted Reports in North Hampshire

Following on from the Education posts there are some very interesting links below (Thanks Su for forwarding them on!).  I don’t want to scare anyone but you may be intrigued to see where your little one falls in the catchment lottery for when they start Infants school  in North Hampshire and where they will be allotted for Junior’s and Senior schools:

School catchment finder

The report on School Admissions is a really interesting read, particularly at the end of the report where it is listed the number of children that have been accepted into the school and whether brothers and sisters have also been accepted:

Report on school admissions

If you have a little one starting nursery soon you may also find the following website useful as you should be able to check up on the Nursery’s latest Ofsted report. You can also find Infants, Juniors and Senior schools Ofsted reports from this linky:

Ofsted Early years and Childcare

Sorry if I’ve scared anyone but I hope you find the above useful. It would be great to hear your feedback…

Related Posts

Montessori Education

Home Schooling

Waldorf Steiner Education

Montessori Education in North Hampshire

The only Montessori nurseries/school’s found in Basingstoke are:

Chineham: http://www.abacusnurseryschool.co.uk/index.html – But this nursery is under new management so they may no longer be registered as a Montessori nursery

Near Basingstoke

Overton: http://steventonchildrenshouse.co.uk/

Alton: The Beehive Montessori

Alton: http://www.privettmontessori.co.uk/

Bishops Waltham: http://www.bishopswalthammontessori.co.uk/

Hartley Witney: http://www.caterpillarspreschool.co.uk/

Baughurst: http://www.granthamfarm.org/granthamfarm/

Grayshott: jane.m.fisher@btinternet.com

Winchester: http://www.hartley-house.co.uk/

Andover: magic.tower@foxcotte.force9.co.uk

Alresford: Meon Springs Montessori

North Warnborough: http://www.puddleducksmontessori.co.uk/

What is Montessori

“The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.” Maria Montessori

For more information about Montessori education, please check out the links below: