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.
POD has always been a climber. If memory served me right, she climbed before she learnt to walk. I’ll never forget the time she scaled a chair and pulled herself onto the kitchen table all ready to launch herself off it. She’s always been a fan of climbing trees and she asks if she can do Go Ape at the Alice Holt Forest every time we go there. Last weekend we were at Center Parcs in Longleat with some friends, a prime opportunity we thought for a treetop adventure.
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.
Although I look back at the years we spent in London with great fondness, I love that we have access to so much green space in Surrey. It’s the best environment for five year old POD who has grown-up loving nature’s playground – especially climbing every tree in sight! But that’s not always the case with a new study from Homebase revealing 51% of children will spend most of their summer holidays playing computer games or watching television.
We’ve worked hard to help POD lose ‘the fear’ over the last couple of years. We saw an exciting development last summer and she started 1-2-1 swimming lessons in January which we hoped would help build her water confidence. We’ve seen tremendous improvement since then – she’s even put her head under the water a few times! Having turned a corner, we couldn’t wait to get to Alton Towers with Konfidence to see how she got on.
When I was a child we existed in a largely technology free world and spent much of our time outdoors. Whether it was playing games, skipping or attempting cartwheels, we were always active. Much has changed since the days of flares, big hair and sounds of the disco but a recent study has revealed some shocking statistics.