Those of you that read this blog regularly may remember POD wasn’t offered a reception place at the local school. We felt the right decision at the time was to appeal even though deep down we knew it was unlikely we’d get the outcome we wanted. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if we had our time again, we wouldn’t put ourselves through that. Not without a good reason anyway. POD joined the school she was offered a place at in September 2015. She didn’t have the best start but by January 2016, she’d finally started to settle. She ended her reception year with such a glowing report, I think I cried in the second sentence! POD had not moved from fourth position on the waiting list the whole time she’d been in reception but she was happy and that’s what mattered.
The transition to Year 1 four months ago was a smooth one – a different teacher of course but the same school and the same friends. But that seemed to change fairly swiftly as POD started to show reluctance at going in. This was out of character as she’d grown to love school and has bags of confidence. We discovered not long afterwards, she was being bullied in the playground by an older boy – mostly verbal abuse but some physical. Each incident was reported to her class teachers and while they were excellent, the bullying began to occur more frequently. In December, it reached Head level and was promptly dealt with with processes put in place to ensure it stopped. But when POD returned after the Christmas break, the bully was back – this time on a daily basis. It was obvious the situation was having an effect on her, more so because she’d been assured it wouldn’t happen again. She was second on the waiting list for the local school that first week of January.
On Wednesday 11th January a letter arrived addressed to my husband (‘the POD Father’). Nothing unusual about that of course but the address on the envelope looked very familiar. So much so I was convinced the letter was for both us. But I don’t open my husband’s mail so the letter remained unopened the entire day. That was until curiosity got the better of me. On first sight, you could see it was from school admissions hence the address looking so familiar. Given POD had only moved two places on the waiting list for the local school over an 18 month period, and I’d spoken to school admissions just days before, it didn’t even register it might be a place. I can’t tell you how much I hoped it would be and for some reason I sat down to read it.
I took a sharp intake of breath when I skimmed the first line. POD had a place at the local school and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was so shocked I read the opening sentence about eight times. Then I checked her name was on the letter and our address was right. It sounds silly but when you’ve waiting so long for something to happen and it does, it’s quite hard to comprehend. I’m not sure what happened after that, a combination of happiness and relief perhaps, but I sobbed. Really sobbed. I don’t think I’ve done that in years! Finally, POD would get to walk to school every day and she’d see a few of her closest friends at break time too. Plus of course it meant we could get her away from the bully.
The following day was a complete whirlwind, bear in mind too the news totally hadn’t sunk in. We managed to see the local school on the Thursday afternoon and we were informed there was a place for POD on the Monday. We wrote to her current school on the Thursday evening and she said her goodbyes on the Friday. While we thought the turnaround was too quick initially, it was actually the best way as it caused POD minimal upset. So Monday will be her first day in her new school. Instead of sitting in traffic for up to two hours a day, we’ll be walking. We’re so happy for her, we could cry. Again.