boy and dad on the beach at sunset
Creatively Conscious

B is for …

Just Be…

…Brilliant

….Broken

Bonkers…

…Brutal

Put it in the bin…

This is the second in a series of 26 blogs about our son and how he is navigating the world on a SEN plan.  He’s 5.  The first one is here. 

School reports now and then… 

Yesterday L came home with a mid-year school report.

In my home growing up, school reports were a cause for celebration!!  Perhaps a treat for doing so well.

This might be me slightly looking back through rose tinted glasses but…

The combination of hard work of my mum in reading to us each night, buying us lovely materials to write with, the extra circular activities, trying hard at school.

My reports were ALWAYS outstanding and excellent.

Phrases like ‘highly creative’ & ‘incredible imagination’ were used and I always felt very celebrated.  My chances of success were never pulled into question at any point.

I wasn’t academically as strong as some others in my class (August born too) but this had absolutely no impact on my happiness until I was at University when I was 18.

So what does it feel like to read a school report now? 

Brutal!

The report feels like it has no connection to L’s SEN plan or progress of where he was last year, last month, last week.

School report 101

I’m not sure exactly what I’m meant to do with it…?  Here’s the options I’ve thought about…

  • Do more maths, writing, maths with L at home (we already do around 5 hours a week)
  • Read it to L and talk to him about it (I probably definitely won’t do this)
  • Find out how ‘effort’ is assessed for children with SEND. (This is probably my most emotive place of interest for me) (*update at the end)
  • Book a private tutor. (she’s coming on Monday)
  • Ignore it and put it in the fire/ bin (I think I did this with the last one when he was just four)

Other thoughts… 

Like with anything outside of our control,  we only have the option of how we react, respond and feel about a situation.

I don’t want to take too much on from this report as I find it incredibly negative.

There are so many positives to focus on with L’s learning, progress and journey through life as a five year old.   He’s obsession with wild animals and the environment being one.

I hope this blog feels useful to anyone who is wondering about how we holistically join us with the education system in our country as parents to our climate conscious generation.

Claire x

PS – (*) update – L’s school are looking into the way they INCLUDE children with SEN in these reports and celebrate their progress and efforts!  I used my voice to share my concerns, held space for understanding what the school ‘have to do’ and we have a SHIFT people.  Never question your power in influencing a situation.

2 Comments

  • Sarah Riseborough

    I remember a school report: ‘c’ ‘c’ ‘c’ without comment or encouragement, even the letters were like dismissals. It was never the validation that truly fed me though, but it took such a long time to find the alternative stories that showed me this one, was only one.
    I’ve been doing ‘a thing’ over the winter, whenever I get that ‘done something wrong’ or badly, or felt bad about myself I’ve done something nice. Not compensation, but a reflection of how I can make myself feel good- like having a bath with some dried garden flowers in it. I can only offer, that extra time doing things L revels in, that he shows intuitive aptitude for will be the space where school stops having the power to affect self-esteem and he will look upon education culture with the curiosity and creative thinking he has developed in reveling in what he loves.
    Another thing that occurred to me is how academic high-flyers don’t tend to cope with failure, in some cases even a few marks short of perfection is devastating. In some cases children know love through being ‘successful.
    I remember my youngest going to school. I sobbed in the kitchen. I sobbed the next year, too.
    I can feel him, sometimes when we chat- he’s at uni at the moment. I can see shadows pass over his face, or feel when he’s energised. I am challenged in some ways because his experience in a male body entails being immersed in ways of being I don’t feel equipped to help him with.
    He’s building himself up quite a mythology! both kids are, (I say to myself, when part of me wants to march in, kick some ass and do ‘the mum thing’). I have struggled with how much I can take responsibility for, with both the shadow and the wisdom from my school experiences and with owning that my kids are, like me, here to teach me and for their own learning.
    I’ve struggled to integrate their being in the world in my own mythology.
    I’m very grateful for this time and space of reflection and for your openness.
    X

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