I had the chance to look around L’s school for an hour while lessons were on last week. She knew that I’d be coming and we’d had the jokes about me jumping up and down and waving at her… she’d rolled her eyes at me but also giggled a little bit. I did, of course behave myself 🙂
It turned out that L was in an exam and I got to look in and see 300 year 7’s in their exam. We only looked in right near the end and through a small window.. I didn’t want to put anyone off!!! Couldn’t see L amongst the mass of backs of heads.
A friend came with me and there were a few other parents there too, we were given two year 9 students to show us around, and we went into several classes while they were running.
We were also there at lesson change over and the start of break time. Certainly different from my memories of school, there was a calm feeling to the school, and space, not huge numbers of children shoved through narrow corridors. There was art work everywhere and displays and information, and it didn’t have that school smell that some schools have!!
The children and teachers we met were great and the overall feel of the school was nice. I only broke out in a sweat when we went into a science class and the teacher was giving out detentions… he seemed pretty stressed out. I’m hoping we didn’t add to that too much… it was also a reminder of how children can be spoken to at school… which could have involved a lot more respect.
The other classes we went into felt OK, and the kids seemed fairly engaged and happy. They certainly have lots of lovely activities and events and very much focus on being a community. It would be good if there was more overlap within the local community too… perhaps we’ll work towards that while L is there. She did get her class involved in the library campaign by writing postcards which her tutor helped to sort out. So it is a good place to start from. Having tours like that also help, I was surprised more parents didn’t go along.
Although I am very pro home education, I have always tried not to run schools down. I was aware that one or both may like to try school at some point, and we’ve always given them that option if they wanted to. We now have one in school and one home educated. Both are happy and also engaged in learning… so I’m happy with that.