It was only this January six year old POD secured a place at the local primary – it’s been a long wait! The 18 months prior to that were spent driving to another school which was a two hour round trip on some days. While this time in the car enabled POD to perfect her colouring skills, it was also a great environment for chatting. We’d have the usual kind of discussions with a bit (a lot) of silliness along the way. Sometimes though the conversations we had about school were actually quite revealing.
We all want our children to flourish at school and the Premier League has launched a FREE national curriculum-linked initiative to help do exactly that. Premier League Primary Stars is an education based programme designed to inspire children (aged 5-11) across PE and Sport, English, Maths and PSHE (personal, social & health education).
We had the pleasure of talking to Annabel Croft recently. She’s one of the coaches, along with Leon Smith OBE and Greg Ruzetski, involved in delivering the #TennisForKids programme for the LTA. Annabel started playing tennis at nine, late by today’s standards, but went on to become the Wimbledon Girls Champion and the Australian Open Girls Champion at 18. Watching players like her certainly inspired me to take up tennis, much as Murray does today’s generation. Our daughter POD first picked up a tennis racket when she was four while on a Mark Warner holiday. She enjoyed it so much, last year we signed her up for the LTA’s #TennisForKids initiative.
Six year old POD has always been a good eater so we’ve been lucky in that respect. She loves broccoli, peas and carrots especially and there are an abundance of fruits she enjoys like bananas, apples, raspberries, strawberries and melon. Tomatoes and cucumber are also firm favourites too. POD has school lunches during the week with the rest of her meals at home. She gets the recommended daily allowance of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day most of the time. Of course the amount of food a child needs varies depending many factors like age, body size and physical activity. As a rough guide, one child portion should be measured as the amount of fruit or vegetables that can fit in the palm of their hand. But latest nutrition research suggests children should have double that. So how do we make sure our children are getting enough of the good stuff?
We’d not really thought about performing arts until the opportunity to do a trial at Stagecoach came along. POD was really keen to go so we signed her up for the two week trial. She absolutely loved these classes, spending an hour and a half singing, acting and dancing. So much so POD wanted to continue going every Saturday. That was a year ago.
We’re just back from a week in the Canary Islands (more on POD Travels soon) where the climate was somewhat more preferable than the blizzard we left behind. Our James Villa Holidays accommodation had a pool which we hoped would provide POD with the freedom to enjoy the water outside of her swimming lessons. When we weren’t galavanting around exploring Lanzarote of course.
If you missed the news that POD secured a place at the local school, after a very long wait, do read this post. We’re still in shock if I’m honest although absolutely delighted for her. We received confirmation on Thursday 12th January that she’d secured a place and she started at her new school on Monday 16th January so its been a swift turnaround. It worked out well though and caused minimal upset.
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.
When POD didn’t get offered a place at the local school last year, it came as a huge surprise. The school is walking distance from our home so we never imagined we’d have to research other schools. It was a worrying time what with getting our heads round the school admissions process and wanting to give our four year old the best start. As it happens she ended up going to the school she was offered a place at and, despite a rocky start, finished reception with a glowing report. POD recently started Year 1 at the same school and we remain on the waiting list for the nearest school. We don’t know if we’d accept a place if POD was offered one but it would be nice to have that choice.
It doesn’t seem five minutes since I captured POD in her first school uniform this time last year. Much of that summer had been a time of uncertainty after she didn’t get a place at the local school but we went with the flow. As it happens, the school she ended up at exceeded our expectations in that the teachers have been outstanding.