So we're now half way through Lily's first year at primary school and it's been a positive experience for everyone. We've had no trouble from her in regards to going, her teacher gave us a glowing review at the first parent meeting and her reading and writing is progressing well.
I was always a bit different to the other parents around me when it came to taking Lily to school. A lot of them seemed really nervous and some were more upset than the children whereas I was really excited for her to go. Not because I didn't want her around or didn't care, but because she was so excited to go and I knew she'd be fine. She walked in the first day without one look back at us and we just knew she'd be okay and there was nothing to worry about.
It's now January, term 3 has started and half the year is over! Lily has learnt so much since starting school and grown so much that it's hard to keep up with her sometimes. They've worked a lot on reading and writing but also spent a lot of time outside and in their forest school which has had a positive impact on them all in her class and it's something I think all schools should look into doing.
Reading and writing
Lily could read her name, mum, dad and write them when she started school, but thanks to her teachers work on phonics, she can now read a lot more and her writing is starting to come along too. They teach the children to write by sounding out the words so although not always spelt correctly, you can see that she's thinking about how the words sounds and writing that. For example 'Shoe' is spelt 'Shoo' in Lily's head as that's the sounds the word makes. Right now, it's lovely to see that she's interested in doing it and learning and at the moment, that feels like the most important thing.
Her reading is also fabulous, I no longer have to read the story every night and can sit back, relax and listen! I love that we're going through all of the old Biff & Chip books that I had at school. I've been surprised not only by how quickly Lily can now read through them, but how well my memory of them has held up. I turns out that I remember quite a lot of the stories and what happens. At her school, they learn to read by sounding out the words and blending them together (all her teacher's work, I've been rubbish at helping) which has meant we can also help her read books she has at home more independently also. Her godparents made her a book advent calendar and she has had a wonderful time being able to read those stories. We'd read some of them first and there were quite a few nights where I could hear her reading them back to herself which was lovely.
They've also read a lot of class books together which they've then focused on for various activities throughout the week and for their homework at the weekend. For example over Christmas, they read the Jolly Christmas Postman and then focused on writing letters for him to post and counting how many letters were in his bag.
Another great thing about the class stories is that they then explore the story in forrest school on Friday.
Early in the year they read We're Going On A Bear Hunt and recreated the bear hunt through the forest school which all the children loved! They also made potions from woodland materials (Room on the Broom) and followed the Jolly postman's delivery route.
She also loves being outside, they all do. I know Lily loves coming home and telling me about all the things she found, including bugs and she's been talking about the changes in each season. Being able to explore outside of the classroom has proved to be essential for them. I think it really compliments the rest of the work they do.
Other fun stuff
Lily achieved wonderful worker and star of the week during the first half of the year. It took her a long time to get it and we had weeks where she would be so upset she didn't get it. It made her work harder and meant that she was so proud of herself when she did finally get it!
I'm looking forward to our next parents evening though. The first one was really good and it was great to hear how much she'd settled at the school and it would be good to hear more on how she's progressing.
We've also got into the swing of going to birthday parties more! Even though it's a relatively small class compared to other schools, there seems to be another party coming up all the time. It's nice to see the group grow together. We've been to mixed parties and some that are just girls and it's nice to see both the differences and similarities in both setups.