Grade R Orientation Day Excitement

Last week Friday Logan had his little Grade R party at the school.  I have to admit I was very excited and normally this mean my expectation won’t be met and the whole experience will be kind of mediocre.  So imagine my surprise when I walked out of the school grounds an hour and a half later and I am positively bouncing up and down with sheer pleasure!

Lets start at the very beginning.

  1. We were given VIP parking, I kid you not, in the school grounds, under cover, with a security guard.
  2.  As soon as we got out of the car there was a pupil who greeted us and offered to escort us to the uniform shop, the school hall and or the meeting place for the Grade Rs
  3. We started at the staff room where we purchased and ordered some Grade R t-shirts.
  4. Here we were given a stationary pack – for free!  (no one said anything about his stationary being included)  How awesome!
  5. Logan was greeted by his teachers and entertained while Kobus and I made our way to the cooler school hall
  6. The event started at exactly the time it was said to start
  7. Instead of telling us all kinds of obituary things, like the importance of marking school stationary and clothing items.  The teachers showed an enormous amount of respect to each other and to their profession.  They showed us, in more than just words that their intentions are to set an amazing foundation for our kids’ education.

It isn’t often that one feel 100% confident in the choices you make.  But I can honestly say I know that I know that this is where Logan is meant to be next year and I cannot wait for him to thrive!

P.S.  As much as I love that the stationary pack was included (and am thankful) I am a bit bummed that I don’t get to go to the shops and purchase the stationary from a long list.  The awe of walking through rows and rows of stationary along with the frustration of not finding the right thing according to what is specified on the paper.  That to me marks the start of big school!

“What does your gut tell you?”

Yesterday Logan and I made our way to his primary school in order for him to be evaluated for Grade 1.  On arrival at the primary school, he was shipped away to the Grade R class and I was asked to stay in the reception area.

While waiting for them, my thoughts kept going back to the conversation I had with the school’s admissions administrator on Monday.  When she arranged the assessment, she added that their Grade R classes were full for 2012 and that Logan would need to go to the school across the road.  I was upset and mentioned that she was the person who told me to enroll him in Grade 1 and if he wasn’t ready that he would automatically be allocated a space in their Grade R class.  She was very apologetic about it and promised to make a plan if we needed the space.  Even after her reassurance, a little part of me was concerned that the evaluation would be compromised because of it.

Half an hour later, the Grade R teacher came to fetch me and I was lead to the Grade R class were the assessment was taking place.  What I am very pleased with was the question that followed:  “What does your gut tell you?”  I was completely honest in my reply and told them that I felt another year in Grade R would benefit Logan.

The teachers continued by discussing Logan’s answers with what they teach their Grade R’s.  They felt that Logan has a lot of potencial, however would like for him to have a stronger foundation.  Some of the examples they gave me where as follow:

  • They introduce concepts such as horizontal, diagonal and vertical in their teaching vocabulary.
  • Left and right is used when teaching them to write – when writing the letter “a” you start on the right hand side top corner.
  • The difference between top and above.
  • Instead of only teaching them the different shapes, they teach them the attributes of the different shapes. E.g. when a diamond is divided in 2, it gives you 2 triangles.
All in all I get the feeling that they are teaching them to think, instead of spoon feeding them the abc’s.
I am very happy to announce the school made a space for Logan in their Grade R class without any hassles.  And we have already received a second acceptance letter!

big school issues…

What a little poser!

I briefly mentioned that he is being enrolled in primary school for next year and a big chunk of me is sitting in a pile thinking – surely is can’t be time for that just yet.

I had a little chat with his teacher a couple of weeks ago and actually ended up with a bitter taste in my mouth after hearing her professional opinion.  I realize Logan is the youngest in his class and I realize that he may be a bit behind the rest of the kids in his class.  I am very interested to hear where he needs improvement and where I can help!  Along with all this, I am also very open to the idea of keeping him a year behind if this is in his best interest and will have him tested for school readiness towards September / October.

The little chat I had with the teacher was regarding his readiness for Grade 1.  She thinks he may not be ready for school (fare enough).

  1. Her recommendation was for me to see the principle of the school he will be attending next year to explain our “situations“. [ Because naturally his is the only child who was born late December and may not be ready for Grade 1. ]
  2. Furthermore I needed special exemption from either the Department of Education and or an occupational therapist should I now send him to Grade 1 next year.
  3. And that the school would not accept his application the following year, if I didn’t have this exemption.
Naturally all this had my blood boiling to the point that I was ready to throw her with something (preferably something solid that would leave a decent scar – stapler or a brick maybe?), thankfully on the day Kobus was close enough to drag me away and safe the day!

Fortunately Kobus also doesn’t have time for this particular teacher, so he told me not to have it bother me too much and to just phone the school – which I am very glad I did!  Their story is very plain and simple:

  • Enroll him for Grade 1
  • Once we receive confirmation that he has been accepted, have him tested in a school readiness test (which can be conducted at the school – free of charge or with an occupational therapist)
  • And if he isn’t ready for Grade 1, he will automatically be allocated a space in their Grade R class.
I should really mention, right at this point that his actually teacher – the one who has been on maternity leave will be coming back on the 1st of August.  She is worth her salt!  She is good with them.  She was a Grade 1 teacher.
I cannot wait for her return!