Today was the day. Tink had her first transition morning at her new school. As I said in my previous post, I had a few worries about her starting a new school in September. After a rather sleepless night (part anxiety, part Tink), this morning, I feel much more reassured about it all!
We talked to Tink yesterday about how we would be going to see her new school, and about how she’d see her new classroom, meet her teacher and new friends. She mentioned the name of the boy she plays with at Nursery. “No, he won’t be at your new school.” “Lottie?” she asked. “No, Lottie won’t be there either. You will play with new children there.” We took her lovely Teaching Assistant with us too, to help with the transition (but also so she could have a nose around the school!). Tink was very excited about it.
When we arrived, Tink was eager to get going and could barely sit down while we waited with the other new children and their parents. I took this as a promising sign. Eventually, we all went into the hall where we found a pack with Tink’s name on, containing lots of forms and information. There were also biscuits. Guess which caught Tink’s eye?
After a brief introduction from the chap who is the executive head of both the primary and the high schools, the children were extricated from their parents to go off to their new classrooms with their new teachers. Tink needed no extricating. She skipped off merrily without so much as a backwards glance.
We didn’t see her again for almost two hours, when she emerged back into the hall, still happy, still looking for cookies.
Meanwhile, we had the chance to listen to the head teacher talk more about the school. I also had to fill in eleventy billion forms for different things. If I have to write Tink’s name, my name or our address again anytime soon, I won’t be impressed!
However, all the information and form-filling has left me feeling much more secure about what we’re embarking on. I really am feeling confident that this is the best thing for Tink. She will be exposed to some fabulous experiences that she just wouldn’t get if she’d stayed in mainstream school. She will have access to music therapy, holistic therapies, speech and language therapy, sensory rooms, a trampoline room for rebound therapy, help with her diet and any medical issues that may arise can be discussed with the on-site school nurse. She will also have weekly social training lessons, where the children go out to different places in the community such as supermarkets, parks, cafes and shops. This learning of life skills is one thing we were very keen Tink should be able to access and we feel is as important as academic learning.
There is such a wonderful, nurturing feel about the school. The staff all seem very friendly and you can tell they love what they do. The children are adorable and appear to be very happy and I hope that Tink is able to make friendships with some in time.
She has another transition session in a couple of weeks. That time, we’ll leave her for two hours. Am I worried? Not any more!