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 …..

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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….

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”

4 years ago….

  1. We had just met you …. now it feels like you have been with us forever
  2. You made a beeline for Daddy …. now ‘Mamma is best Mamma’
  3. We were strangers to each other ….. now you are claiming us all the time.
  4. We knew little about your likes & dislikes …. now we know you love trains and much more.
  5. You talked lots but mainly were not understandable … now you still talk lots but now are understandable unless you are being a baby.
  6. You had little imagination in your play …. now you join together stories from everywhere and can make all sorts of things come alive.
  7. You were an active 2 year old …. now you are an active 6 year old.
  8. You wouldn’t look much at books …. now you love reading & being read to.
  9. You had few friends …. now most of your class want to be your playtime buddy.
  10. You loved looking at photos of you …. this hasn’t changed much at all…

4 years ago today we met Sqk for the first time having read about him, and talked about him with various people. He is very much our son now even with all his issues which are minor in adoption terms. I cannot imagine life without him and he has brought so much joy to our life.

Coming up to 4 years

At the end of July we reached the 4 year anniversary of our approval panel – having a fortnight earlier had the third anniversary of the celebration hearing. Appropriately given I am Yorkshire born as well as living in Yorkshire our ADM approval was on Yorkshire Day. So another year of being parents is almost over – this time 4 years ago we were anxiously waiting for our link meeting.

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A starting diagnosis

This week has been interesting for many reasons. Second emergency visit to GPs resulting in a drive to the Children’s Assessment & Treatment Unit (CAT) in the main hospital in the next city over. This was at 1840 on Wednesday so managed to catch T who promptly cancelled his hygienist appointment and came home to meet Sqk & I. I had already been on phone to my other Brownie leader apologising as having planned the meeting left her with the Brownies by herself with 20 mins notice – didn’t even have chance to pass material over. Once in hospital waited a while to be seen (busy evening for children’s surgery team) and then there were various other hiccups which resulted in Sqk having bloods taken (& cannula inserted) at nearly 0100 before we finally moved to the ward after 0200. He had managed to fall asleep on me at about 2100 and then moved to bed once T got back with stuff for us both. The blood test was not fun as he was woken up, moved and then sat on Daddy’s knee while a cannula was inserted into his hand. He did scream a bit but then fell back to sleep on CAT bed.
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I wrote on Twitter yesterday about how much both T & I feel we have reconnected with Sqk during this week and a bit away. Sqk and I travelled to train station at Escape in Castleford on Maundy Thursday to meet T after work. Having eaten we then drov north to a caravan site north of Richmond where our caravan is pitched on a seasonal pitch. We stayed here till Easter Monday and then went a bit further north to a site on the cliff to close to St Mary’s Lighthouse in North Tyneside.

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Sensory Assessment

We have been lucky in getting a PASW who gets things moving relatively speaking. From first meeting Sqk in January she got us places for sensory assessment and applied to ASF for funding – and this was all within a couple of months or so 🙂 We attended a training with Sarah Lloyd (local specialist occupational therapist & play therapist) a week and a half ago for a full day on Wednesday. Was us, our PASW and Sqk’s afternoon TA – usually it is SENCO from school but she had been to the training in January due to us going to the same person as @TwoBoysandUs has with her Boyo and the boys being in the same school. So we took TA instead who found it really rewarding – her comment was she wishes she had known a lot of this stuff 3 years ago when Boyo started (she has worked with him as well as Sqk).

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