As featured in Parentdish

Friday, 17 June 2011


My son starts school in August and the school had an afternoon event last month for the children to meet their teachers and find out what class they were in. I can’t decide if D’s teacher has been very bad this year or very good as many of the kids in her class of next year are right characters. How she will keep a straight face I just don’t know.

I asked one mum if her son was looking forward to starting school. She replied yes but that she doubts he will be top of the class. “Who cares” I said. She then told me about a couple of mums who were telling her how advanced their children were and how their little darlings were reading and writing and doing sums already.

Now the mum I spoke to is very, very intelligent. Much more intelligent than I am. So I don’t think she has anything to worry about.

I also suspect that the other mums knew this too. How sad that they felt the need to boast so much and try to make her feel inadequate.

And how sad that these parents are obviously pushing their children so much at this stage when there are more important things to be doing, when their children should be spending their days splashing in puddles and pretending to be Ben Ten.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

End of term

End of term

A few years back I visited a school in England where children where put up a year once they had sat their SATs. I wrote a piece on it and was very impressed by the system. It meant kids were not wasting the last couple of weeks of the summer term bringing games into school and when they returned in September they hit the ground running as the term goes.

This year we are taking our children out three days early to go to France. So instead of playing their Nintendo DS in a classroom and waiting for the bell to ring my children will be:

-          travelling the length of England and half of Scotland and no doubt asking us geography related questions.
-          discovering Birmingham – I’m sure we can find some culture there.
-          spending a bit of time in Sussex and enjoying the English countryside
-          learning French (it’s a long journey and they already know quite a bit)
-          asking lots and lots of questions, some of them sensible, many of them not.