Next Wednesday, Harrison starts nursery (or pre-school, whatever you want to call it!) He will be going every morning from 8.30am – 11.30am at the nursery attached to our local infant school.
I have mixed feelings about it – I’m really excited for him as I know he will absolutely love it, but at the same time I know I am going to be an emotional wreck at the thought of him going to school! I do feel a lot better knowing he is genuinely excited about it, and what makes it easier is that he is going to the nursery (and hopefully on to the Infant school) that my brothers and I went to when we were little. In fact, his nursery teacher taught at the school when I was there 25 years ago!
Since his place was confirmed back in May, we have been slowly preparing him for school. He had an induction session back in July where we spent an hour there, getting to know his teacher and meeting the other children in his class. He absolutely loved it, exploring all the toys and computers. The school is a fairly new build and is a lovely room with a nice big playground that they share with the reception year children. They go outside in every weather, and provide rainsuits and wellies for outdoor play – the teacher was telling me about how one very rainy day they squirted washing up liquid into the puddles to make it all bubbly! I know Harrison would absolutely love doing things like this, and he really enjoyed playing in the sand pit and on the climbing frame and slide.
They sent us home with a lovely little book bag, containing a book for us to fill in about Harrison, a booklet of nursery rhymes, some number cards, a laminated print out of his name, a foam dice, a chunky pencil, some scissors, a glue stick and some activities for him to try at home. I thought this was a lovely touch, and we’ve done all the suggested activities. He’s pretty confident with counting to ten, and can form most of the letters in his name now, which I’m pleased with as he only turned three in June. He absolutely loves ‘writing’ and his notebook and pencil goes everywhere with him, for him to write ‘favours’ to people. I’ve encouraged mark making ever since he could hold a pencil, which I think has helped. He can recognise his name, which is important so he can recognise his peg and his belongings.
This week we have been filling out his ‘all about me’ book. We had to put in some pictures of Harrison, his family and write about his favourite things. Harrison loved cutting out pictures to stick in and writing his name in there! We’ve also been talking about how old he is, when his birthday is and the name of the road we live on, whilst practising writing his name as much as possible. We’ve watched ‘Time for School’ and ‘Wooly and Tig’ on Cbeebies to help him get used to what school is all about, and talked to him about the sort of things he will do. He knows the name of his teacher and keeps asking to put things (photos, drawings etc) into his school bag to show her!
We went shopping last week to get his uniform. His grey trousers, white polo shirts, plain red sweatshirt and grey socks came from Tescos, his pumps for PE (which he has insisted on wearing all day every day!) and pump bag were from Shoe Zone, and his school shoes were from Clarks. I have to admit to welling up a bit in Clarks when we were getting them!! We will be getting him another sweatshirt with the school logo on from the school when we go in. He has his explorer backpack to carry his spare pants and trousers in.
The one concern I did have was with using the toilet. Although toilet trained, he still does sometimes forget, especially if he is distracted or engrossed in a game, especially when it comes to doing a ‘number two’. The school have assured me that it is no problem, just to send spare pants and trousers in and they will deal with it if he has an accident.
I’m not worried about how he will settle in at all. He is a bright little boy, and loves toys, books, painting, playdough – all the things he will do whilst he is there. He is extremely sociable – at the park or playgroups he goes off and plays with other children. He is good at sharing and understands waiting his turn and using his manners. My main concern with Harrison starting school isn’t with Harrison – it’s with Alex. Alex adores his big brother and they are joined at the hip. They rarely argue or bicker, and play brilliantly together. I worry that Alex will get upset at saying goodbye to Harrison in the mornings. I have lots of fun things planned – we are going to go for hot chocolate dates in Costa, for walks to the trains station, play on the swings in the park around the corner, try out a new local playgroup and spend lots of time just playing and chilling out together before baby Ben comes along. Hopefully, that 1-1 attention will take his mind off the fact he isn’t with Harrison 24 hours a day. I think that separation will be good for both of them!
Come back next week to see how his first few days have gone!