I just thought I’d drop you a little update following my rather frazzled post on Tuesday and the worry about the High School induction.
I’m pleased to say things are all a little calmer here at the moment. I have taken a step back from all my work and other commitments this week. I still haven’t got my head around how I’m going to organise myself and I’m still feeling pretty lousy, but we can at least relax for a little bit about the High School nerves.
The induction evening went really well. We arrived and B found his name on a
class tutor group list and immediately headed to the appropriate table with no obvious, undue signs of anxiousness. I asked if he had seen any other names he recognised on the list for that class tutor group. He had, one of his small group of friends whom he’s known since nursery – cue first sigh of relief. We were then greeted at the class tutor group table by a familiar face. One of my Sister-in-law’s friends works at the school, and she said Hello and re-assured us and B. That was nice, because I knew this lady used to work there, but I hadn’t realised that she was working there now. – It’s always nice to see a welcoming face and have someone speak to you.
We left B to wait with his future classmates and we were ushered up to the school hall where we were seated in specific areas according to the
class (I will get it right eventually) tutor group the children were in. Again this made it much easier for D and I to link up with familiar parents from primary school. Cue second sigh of relief. It turned out that 5 of the boys in B’s class TUTOR GROUP are boys he is currently at school with. After various speeches from the Head Teacher, Head Boy, Head of Year etc, in which they spelt out the school’s ethos, discipline code, values and academic and other success stories, we were ushered off to meet the teacher.
On the way from the Hall to the classroom we walked through what the school call ‘the quad’ and there were our children. – 240 boys lined up in 8 neat straight lines, one behind the other in absolute, total silence! At the head of each line, facing them was one of the older students also facing the boys were a few members of staff. What – a sight – I really wish I could have taken a picture. Most of us parents found the whole thing slightly amusing. Descriptions of the scene varied from ‘a military parade ground’ to ‘a concentration camp’ . It really did look as though they were lined up facing the firing squad!!
That description doesn’t make it sound very funny, but it was – probably a ‘you had to be there’ moment! A couple of parents remarked that their Sons looked a bit worried by this. Of course D and I couldn’t see B, but we did have a little giggle to ourselves that B would probably be quite enjoying the peace and order of that experience.
So, we met the
teacher tutor. He seemed like a nice enough guy as far as first impressions tell you anything. He is reasonably experienced, but still young, so hopefully a good mix of being in touch with young people and experienced enough to keep order. B’s class tutor group room is in the English department, which is nice for B as his cousin attends the same school and will be in Year 8 next year. His tutor group room is also in the English Department, so there is quite a good chance that the boys will see each other regularly, which will be re-assuring for B at the beginning.
The school also has a ‘house’ system. So when the boys start in year 7 each tutor group corresponds to one of eight ‘houses’ the boys remain in that ‘house’ for the whole of their high school career and there are various ‘inter-house’ competitions, sports events etc. The boys also remain in the same tutor group with the same tutor as they move through school, which, I guess, has advantages and disadvantages depending on whether or not you get on with your peers and the tutor! Anyway, B is in Trojans, which is the same ‘house’ as his cousin, which is another nice little extra that they will be cheering for the same teams etc and any ‘house’ events organised for Years 7 and 8 will basically be for B’s tutor group and his cousin’s tutor group.
So, all in all, it was a positive evening. B came away feeling quite relaxed. We met the SENCO (Special Needs Co-ordinator) who chatted to us and assured B that they would sort out the arrangements for him to store his lap-top and charge it up. She also introduced B to a couple of teachers in the Special Needs base and re-assured him that if he needed to go somewhere quiet at lunch or break times that he could always go and sit in there and do his homework or read or even eat his lunch in there if he needs to. – Cue huge sigh of relief from us.
The following day the boys spent the whole day at the school. I haven’t heard all the details, but B didn’t seem to be phased by it. He was a bit ‘mouthy’ last night showing off and putting other people down, which is a bit hard to deal with, but I’m guessing that some of that ‘I’m better than you’, ‘you’re a baby’, ‘you don’t know anything’ attitude is sadly more a typical growing 11-year-old boy reaction than it has to do with asperger’s anxiety.
So, next stop is school uniform buying on Saturday and then that’s it until September. We are all feeling a little bit more relaxed about it at the moment, but ask me again at the beginning of September and it might all have changed.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time 🙂