Some of you may already know the story (or some of it), of why and how we ended up moving Kye, mid-term from his last school to his current one.
Most however, don’t know the full story, and I have rarely told it.
I couldn’t tell you what stopped me really-I think it was a mixture of things; not wanting to rock the boat; I know people who’s children still attend the previous school-and I know there’s a loyalty there. I also think a lot of my reasoning, was sheer stubbornness-I didn’t think I needed to share our reasons for changing something so huge in our Son’s life, because we knew we were doing the right thing for him-and no explanation was needed for that.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago, when I was sat on a bus wondering what I was going to come up with for when this day came around-a full year since we moved our Son to his current school, that I wondered if it was the right time to explain it all now….a thought that was clarified during a conversation with a friend, who agreed with me that moving him was the best move we could’ve made, after I explained everything that had happened to her.
*disclaimer before I continue; no school names/teacher names will be mentioned in this blog-I know those who know us will already know these details, as will the people being spoken about, so there’s absolutely no need for me to “name and shame” effectively.
May and June are notoriously busy and hard for schools, but especially for year two children.
Those months roll in, and so do SATS-which in my opinion are completely unnecessary for 7 year old children (but that’s a whole other rant for another day!)
We were told that our children didn’t need preparation for these tests-that they were plainly to see which level they were at, and that they would be taken part in a really relaxed, easy-going setting. The children wouldn’t be under any pressure, and they would be fine without parents involvement.
(I later found out, that these tests aren’t really to test the children to an extent-they’re more to see what quality the teacher has been teaching the children at-so basically a test for the teacher more than the kids.)
On the run up to these “tests”, and really, during the majority of year two, I’d noticed a massive change in Kye. His amazing year one teacher had done wonders, building his confidence and keeping him learning at his own level-something that had always worried me, as he’d been held back before, waiting for other children to catch up.
He entered year two, and something changed. They’d mixed the classes up, so we thought maybe losing some of his friends had something to do with it-but he had a close relationship with one or two of the children, so we weren’t sure whether that really was the issue.
There were a couple of disruptive children in the class-both of which could be physically and verbally aggressive-both of which had nothing done about them, and both of which Kye tried to keep a wide berth from.
He’d also been left out of a lot of the party invites (clearly a parent issue rather than giving their children the choice), and he wasn’t the sort to want to go on play-dates with friends-he lived for the weekends, and if he was unwell, he wouldn’t even try to go into to school and get through it.
The SATS came and went, and we didn’t make much of a fuss-after all, we’d been told the pressure wouldn’t have been too bad for the little ones, and he’d never really given us cause for concern during SATS week.
The following two weeks were genuinely horrific-a previously well behaved child (an angel in comparison to his Sister), moods and tantrums that weren’t even there before, suddenly appeared, and we spent two solid weeks, wondering what on earth had got into our little boy.
On the second weekend, following the SATS exams-everything came to a head. He flipped on the Sunday afternoon, throwing things-screaming-I genuinely thought something serious was wrong with him.
He had become so angry, we couldn’t have him around his Sister, and so I dragged him, kicking and screaming to his bedroom to cool off-it took hours. I sat in his doorway, calmly speaking to him and trying to stop him flying off the handle, while he kept screaming and crying.
The calm came-and he sat, opposite me, across the room, with his puffy, red, tear-stained face, and his throat hoarse from screaming.
We chatted about things that were possibly bothering him-I went through a list of things I could think of-and then it happened. I asked him if it was to do with school-had something happened that he needed to talk to me about? He nodded, and once again the tears fell.
This time, it wasn’t tears born from anger-it was genuine tears from sadness.
I kept asking him, was it about this child, or this one? Had someone hurt him? Each time he answered no, he’d cry some more, and then calm again.
I asked him, is it to do with a teacher? He nodded and cried again-and I knew (well I thought I did), he’d been told off, and he was just worried about telling me about it!
After asking him if that was the case-he nodded, and I breathed a sigh of relief that I could have this conversation, to tell him that I wasn’t angry-but that he should try harder. Then we could get back to normal.
It turned out, that my small conversation didn’t happen-because, although he thought he was in trouble, he wasn’t-and that small issue suddenly became a much bigger one.
Two weeks before, during his SATS exams (that weren’t pressurised remember), his teacher had walked around the children at their desks, answering their questions. At the end of the test, she’d collected the papers, told him and another boy to stand, and told them both that they should be very disappointed and ashamed at their efforts-that she’d seen their answers and they’d hardly got any right. These words were spoken to me through my Son hyperventilating while crying-it was too hard for him to explain.
For two weeks, my 7 year old, had sat on this information, half worried he was going to disappoint me and his Dad and make us angry, but also worried that he’d failed his tests, and made his teacher angry.
To say I was angry would’ve been an understatement-I was angry at her, and I was cross at him for keeping this from me-I knew after a fortnight (and after previous attempts at sorting issues within the school) I wouldn’t have been able to go marching in there Monday morning to fix it-I made him promise to tell me if he ever had anything bothering him again, and I told him I’d sort it out.
By Monday afternoon, I’d secured an appointment with the headteacher of another school in our area-the best school in our area according to any recommendation I read, and especially according to their OFSTED report for that year. We were on the last week of term, so we fronted it out, and hoped that our appointment would go well.
To cut the next part short-we viewed the school, fell in love with it, and begged the headteacher to let us bring our Son there.
During the first week back to school following the half term, we received a phone call, asking for him to start the following Monday-we obviously accepted, dropped a form in to confirm, and bought the uniform over the next 48 hours.
We collected him from school on the Wednesday and told him the news, we told the school he was leaving on the Thursday, and sent him in on the Friday with a shirt for his friends to sign-it was only then most people knew he was going-they never knew why.
Several times over the weekend, myself and my Husband would just look at each other and speak about whether we were doing the right thing-but I just couldn’t think of him spending another day somewhere that made him so unhappy, and that had already taken so much of him away from us.
The Monday came, and we took a very nervous boy to his new school-I’ve never been so scared for him in all of my life.
6 hours later, we walked into the playground for the first pick up-and out of a class door, came a beaming 7 year old-his smile couldn’t have been bigger. His teacher (who Kye now calls his “first favourite teacher”) came to tell us it was like Kye had always been there-he’d made friends straight away, and he’d been amazing. As we left, children were waving and shouting goodbye to him-like they’d known him for months.
Today, is one year to the day, that Kye started at his current school. You can see above, the worry and nerves we had about making this massive change to our Son’s life-it wasn’t a decision we made lightly (contrary to others assumptions).
I was asked a lot, when people found out we were moving him, why we were doing so-and my round-about reason wasn’t good enough really-it always came back that it was made out I was doing it on a whim.
The real reason, aside from the story above-is that, like every parent out there-we wanted the very best for our Son, not just academically, but socially and mentally too.
In one year, we have said goodbye to the 7 year old that couldn’t find happiness, confidence or friendship-and we’ve welcomed a now 8 year old, that can’t wait to get to school every single day, that has more confidence than I could’ve ever imagined him having, that has friends-not just one or two, but according to his current teacher, an entire class-ful!
Overall, we now have a happy child-a bright, beautiful little soul, who reevaluates to us, on a daily basis, that we made the absolute right decision for him and his future.
In September, his little Sister will join him-and we know she’ll be in safe hands-with the people that helped us save her Brother, and change his life for good.
*Make sure you’re following me over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, because, alongside the link to this blog-you’ll get to read an extra special dedication post to those that brought my boy back to us.