Testing in schools and all that

I have been reading a lot of discussion on Twitter about the governments announcement this week on testing times tables for 8/9 year olds in all schools in England in 2020. Once again I am frustrated by yet more standardised testing of our children particularly as my son will be the year in which this happens. He has already ‘failed’ his phonics test in year 1 due to not liking made up words. He scored 20 which coincidentally is the number of real words in the test. He is also by the way reading fluently and at gold level which in my understanding is more usual for the year above him – and this is a summer-born child. He can happily count up and down in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s but as yet has to get the leap to understanding this to be his times tables. Learning by rote as I did is not coming …..

Continue reading “Testing in schools and all that”

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My current working environment. Sqk decided today was the day to be sick at school … so I am marking third year exam papers laid on floor in our lounge… taken Jan 24, 2018 @ 13:46
My current working environment. Sqk decided today was the day to be sick at school ... so I am marking third year exam papers laid on floor in our lounge...
Our newly decorated lounge including new paintable paper after at least 21 years. Just in time for us to move – hence neutral colours. taken Jan 26, 2018 @ 17:05
Our newly decorated lounge including new paintable paper after at least 21 years. Just in time for us to move - hence neutral colours.
Bathroom also had its first coat of paint since we moved in so I think will be 15+ years (brought off my parents) taken Jan 26, 2018 @ 17:07
Bathroom also had its first coat of paint since we moved in so I think will be 15+ years (brought off my parents)
This sofa is getting crowded …. taken Jan 31, 2018 @ 17:46
This sofa is getting crowded ....
My current view in caravan…. taken Feb 03, 2018 @ 17:47
My current view in caravan....
Don’t think our house has looked this tidy in a very long time … decluttering for photos on Thursday taken Feb 04, 2018 @ 19:11
Don’t think our house has looked this tidy in a very long time ... decluttering for photos on Thursday #housemove

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Drone lady has joined today to go with yesterday’s helicopter. taken Dec 18, 2017 @ 17:57
Drone lady has joined #legocityadvent today to go with yesterday’s helicopter.
Today in snowboard boy is joined by chainsaw man taken Dec 20, 2017 @ 08:16
Today in #legocityadvent snowboard boy is joined by chainsaw man
Snowboard boy admiring the angel who has appeared in taken Dec 21, 2017 @ 08:09
Snowboard boy admiring the angel who has appeared in #legocityadvent
Drone lady now has a powered snowmobile to get around Snowboard boy is impressed…. taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 08:00
Drone lady now has a powered snowmobile to get around #legocityadvent Snowboard boy is impressed....
Well that is cake iced – T admitted last night he preferred royal icing so that is what we have. Now to let it dry then it can be finished if I can find stuff for top …. taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 11:00
Well that is cake iced - T admitted last night he preferred royal icing so that is what we have. Now to let it dry then it can be finished if I can find stuff for top ....
Running Sqk – out for a walk on first day of his holiday. No chance of wearing him out but he is pretending Henry-dog is with us taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 12:25
Running Sqk - out for a walk on first day of his holiday. No chance of wearing him out but he is pretending Henry-dog is with us
Nails done for first time in a year taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 22:38
Nails done for first time in a year #selfcare #adoption
Snowboard boy getting excited in by the arrival of a sleigh but where is the big man himself? taken Dec 23, 2017 @ 08:32
Snowboard boy getting excited in #legocityadvent by the arrival of a sleigh but where is the big man himself?
Lily & Sqk are finally making friends it seems…. taken Dec 23, 2017 @ 13:11
Lily & Sqk are finally making friends it seems....
Hear rustling behind me as wrapping presents. Look to see Lily happily ensconce herself in bag I used to get presents to dining room floor taken Dec 23, 2017 @ 14:33
Hear rustling behind me as wrapping presents. Look to see Lily happily ensconce herself in bag I used to get presents to dining room floor
The big man has arrived in to the delight of snowboard boy. taken Dec 24, 2017 @ 09:17
The big man has arrived in #legocityadvent to the delight of snowboard boy.
One very content Lily-cat….. taken Dec 24, 2017 @ 22:33
One very content Lily-cat..... #catsofinstagram
One happy Sqk this morning – snowman building later he tells me…. taken Dec 29, 2017 @ 08:54
One happy Sqk this morning - snowman building later he tells me....
Fire-bathing Lily-cat…. taken Dec 31, 2017 @ 22:30
Fire-bathing Lily-cat.... #catsofinstagram #catlife

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Thoughts on 2018

Somewhat late as we are 2 weeks in but life is life at moment. This year is shaping up to be interesting as we have made the decision to move close to where I now work which is next city over. Walking distance is what we are hoping for as will bring many benefits to all three of us. T & I will get more time with Sqk and we are hoping to reduce the childcare needs down to 4 days in holidays and 3 after school sessions a week. Big difference from 4 before & after school as we are at moment. Our house should be going on market very early Feb after we have had the lounge re-papered & painted along with bathroom so we have it looking good for photos. Mum & I do not know how long current paintable wallpaper has been on but was on when they moved into house in March 1997….

I have opened up communication with two schools close to campus and am hopeful over our preferred one as had contact from SENCO directly. This is a school that attended AdoptionUK conference in November and specifically mentions attachment in pupil premium document. Hoping to visit it soon and if I get a good impression and indication they will accept Sqk to submit in year transfer form with aim of Sqk starting in September. Even if we haven’t moved I work so close we can manage…. prefer to avoid move early in new school year due to my own issues with that.

We are looking at houses and have a viewing arranged at one in a fortnight – yes early but really to look at space as often one on market so gives us idea of whether that style will work or not. Hoping it will as about 5 minutes walk from my office – I have been taking a lot of lunchtime walks as part of the #AdoptionFitClub on Twitter which seem to have been exploring area round the campus.

I am typing this laid in bed in our caravan which is on a early seasonal pitch which is about 45 minutes from T’s work. Doing lots of stays in it here and in its next seasonal pitch to get Sqk secure in the new caravan before we up end his secure home base. We are dealing with on/off wobbles over moving which we expected and are coping with. Still waiting to see if LA are going to assess for an EHCP but as SENCO said yesterday 6 weeks tends to be ignored so although request went in 6 weeks ago could be a wait yet. One thing I will discuss in visiting the potential new school as well…..

So 2018 starts with us in one place with Sqk at one school and will hopefully end (if our house sells) with us in another place entirely. I know this is the right decision for so many reasons but I do have a real connection to our house and indeed the town (with village mentality) where I have lived for the majority of last 26 years. Even when I spent 3 years in my first house in other side of city I came back regularly to see my parents. Will miss the closeness of family when we move – my parents now live ain’t the same place and both my siblings are local as well. We are only moving 10 miles but still….

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Playing with first item out of Lego City calendar taken Dec 01, 2017 @ 08:55
Playing with first item out of Lego City calendar #legocityadvent
Happy Sqk this morning…. first item out of is a train….. taken Dec 01, 2017 @ 08:56
Happy Sqk this morning.... first item out of #legocityadvent is a train.....
Skating boy joins the party in taken Dec 02, 2017 @ 09:44
Skating boy joins the party in #legocityadvent
It appears that my advent calendar has a new feature… taken Dec 02, 2017 @ 10:18
It appears that my advent calendar has a new feature...
Looking like Christmas is coming …. taken Dec 02, 2017 @ 20:07
Looking like Christmas is coming ....
Snowboard boy warming up by the fire in taken Dec 03, 2017 @ 09:10
Snowboard boy warming up by the fire in #legocityadvent
Snowboard not entirely sure what to make of yesterday’s …. taken Dec 05, 2017 @ 16:15
Snowboard not entirely sure what to make of yesterday’s #legocityadvent ....
Snowboard boy admiring his gingerbread house taken Dec 05, 2017 @ 17:53
Snowboard boy admiring his gingerbread house #legocityadvent
Snowboard boy wandering about latest addition to Seems a bit small to him …. taken Dec 06, 2017 @ 20:58
Snowboard boy wandering about latest addition to #legocityadvent Seems a bit small to him ....
Snowboard boy admiring the new sled in taken Dec 07, 2017 @ 08:12
Snowboard boy admiring the new sled in #legocityadvent
Snowboard is happy as pizza Granny has arrived in taken Dec 08, 2017 @ 20:21
Snowboard is happy as pizza Granny has arrived in #legocityadvent
Snowboard boy & pizza Granny discussing today’s addition to taken Dec 09, 2017 @ 12:06
Snowboard boy & pizza Granny discussing today’s addition to #legocityadvent
Snowboard boy & pizza Granny admire the latest drone to land in taken Dec 10, 2017 @ 12:45
Snowboard boy & pizza Granny admire the latest drone to land in #legocityadvent
Snowboard boy showing pizza Granny the snowman he has built in taken Dec 11, 2017 @ 17:49
Snowboard boy showing pizza Granny the snowman he has built in #legocityadvent
View out of the office window this morning. No snow but it is cold ….. taken Dec 12, 2017 @ 07:59
View out of the office window this morning. No snow but it is cold .....
Pizza Granny has definitely decided the mug of festive drink is for her not snowboard boy taken Dec 12, 2017 @ 18:17
Pizza Granny has definitely decided the mug of festive drink is for her not snowboard boy #legocityadvent
Yesterday (busy day for us) in skiing Mummy arrived for snowboard boy taken Dec 14, 2017 @ 08:25
Yesterday (busy day for us) in #legocityadvent skiing Mummy arrived for snowboard boy
Snowboard boy is not sure what has arrived in – a boat maybe? taken Dec 14, 2017 @ 08:26
Snowboard boy is not sure what has arrived in #legocityadvent - a boat maybe?
Today snowboard boy is pleased with his toy fire truck in taken Dec 15, 2017 @ 08:22
Today snowboard boy is pleased with his toy fire truck in #legocityadvent
Today in Snowboard boy is Happy with his toy car. taken Dec 16, 2017 @ 13:35
Today in #legocityadvent Snowboard boy is Happy with his toy car.
Snowboard boy not entirely sure about the helicopter addition to today … taken Dec 17, 2017 @ 16:19
Snowboard boy not entirely sure about the helicopter addition to #legocityadvent today ...

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Sat in his Njnja costume…. with a sweetie from our bucket taken Oct 31, 2017 @ 18:08
Sat in his Njnja costume.... with a sweetie from our bucket
One Lily trying to work out how to get at cat flap (also locked)… taken Nov 03, 2017 @ 19:45
One Lily trying to work out how to get at cat flap (also locked)... #bonfirenight #catsofinstagram #fireworks
Glad these two were in when we got home – getting distressed by fireworks at Rugby Club. Thanks to Mum who came round and shut cat flap for us taken Nov 04, 2017 @ 20:03
Glad these two were in when we got home - getting distressed by fireworks at Rugby Club. Thanks to Mum who came round and shut cat flap for us #bonfirenight #fireworks #catsofinstagram
Approaching campus – I love my work location taken Nov 10, 2017 @ 08:06
Approaching campus - I love my work location
Two fire bathing – Lily & Sqk taken Nov 11, 2017 @ 19:56
Two fire bathing - Lily & Sqk
Need both of these …. been a good week in the end…. taken Nov 17, 2017 @ 18:54
Need both of these .... been a good week in the end....
My current view from my bath….. Lily is an odd cat 🙂 taken Nov 19, 2017 @ 16:56
My current view from my bath..... Lily is an odd cat :)

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Getting Toothless from where cleaners left him…. taken Sep 26, 2017 @ 18:50
Getting Toothless from where cleaners left him....
Unexpectedly last night in this caravan. DH done 120 mile round trip to get his car as A1 closed next weekend so easier to take to back to storage tmrw and then over to trade in next Sat. taken Oct 07, 2017 @ 20:37
Unexpectedly last night in this caravan. DH done 120 mile round trip to get his car as A1 closed next weekend so easier to take to back to storage tmrw and then over to trade in next Sat.
All hooked and ready to depart after our last night in her…. new bigger caravan next weekend taken Oct 08, 2017 @ 11:45
All hooked and ready to depart after our last night in her.... new bigger caravan next weekend
My current view – sat on floor with Sqk watching the washing machine which is on cleaning cycle taken Oct 10, 2017 @ 17:50
My current view - sat on floor with Sqk watching the washing machine which is on cleaning cycle
I love working through documentation for validation events – said no academic in my experience:) At least I am at home and have my comfortable computer setup. taken Oct 13, 2017 @ 12:12
I love working through documentation for validation events - said no academic in my experience:) At least I am at home and have my comfortable computer setup.

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4th Family birthday

Four years ago at this time we were sat on our settee with my camera on its tripod taking our first photos as a family having picked Sqk up from his foster carer’s house at around 9.30am. Following 12 bizarre days as we went through Introductions we brought home a little boy who was to become our son. Now the little toddler is a happy confident year 2 school boy – although he reverts to baby at times. Particularly as his childminder (of nearly 3 years) in August started looking after two babies. Continue reading “4th Family birthday”