Tag Archives: school

School PE – Is anyone else scarred for life?

Urgh! The mere thought of PE lessons at school is enough to fill me with dread.

Primary school wasn’t too bad.

But secondary school – OMG! Scar central.

I don’t know what was worse – the obligatory uniform PE knickers (they had nothing on Bridget Jones’s big pants) or freezing in mid-winter trying to avoid playing sport I absolutely detested, namely hockey.

I get the whole “children need exercise” that is rammed down our throats, to make us feel better that we are being forced to play something we:

a) clearly have no interest in

b) are absolutely no good at whatsoever

c) would prefer to be doing pretty much anything else but

BUT surely over the years the educated bods in education might have actually cottoned on to the fact that not all children like all sports.

So why are thousands of school-kids still being put through the torture of having to endure sports lessons in sports they have absolutely no desire to play?

Most secondary schools these days (or maybe it’s just the ones where I live) have had shed loads of money thrown at them to build state-of-the art Gym blocks – complete with fitness gyms, dance studios, etc. But yet, they still insist on making the students do the bog standard crappy sports subjects of old.

I applied for a job in Australia a while back (wishful thinking, one day I’ll make it down under … do you think I could claim asylum? Nah, didn’t think so.)  Anyway, I thought I’d better check out schools for SC, just on the off-chance Lady Luck was smiling down on me.

And frankly, they seem to have nailed the sports thing.  One school I checked out offered the children a variety of sports from which they could choose what they wanted to play during the winter and summer seasons.  So boys weren’t forced to play football or rugby – they had a choice from football, rugby, basketball and hockey (I think) – and similarly in the summer they weren’t forced to run around a track or play cricket but again had a choice from cricket, tennis and swimming.

Surely, this might be a more sensible option for secondary schools in this country to adopt.  After all, they have a huge number of PE staff and not all teachers are teaching every lesson.

And if the students were given a choice as to what to play, maybe they might actually begin to enjoy PE instead of having this looming sense of dread every time a PE lessons sails into view on the timetable.

So were you left scarred by your PE experience at school or did you enjoy it?

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Who has made an impact on your life?

As the song from the musical “Wicked” goes:wicked

I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.

And it’s also true that until we learn the lesson we are meant to learn, we will keep making the same mistake.

Something SC said to me this morning struck a chord.  He mentioned a friend of mine he had met once, for only a couple of hours, with such affection it got me thinking.

So, I think it just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who we meet in our journey through life, some people will always make an impact for better or worse and whether they are in your life for a long time or a short time.

SC has made a positive impact in my life in more than one way. For him to grow up to be the person I want him to be, I have to be that person myself, so he has forced me to do a lot of soul-searching about positive ways to live my life and be happy, so he can grow up to be a confident young man.

My headmaster at junior school made a big impact on my life. It was him who helped me develop my love of all things numerical.

I credit one guy (I can’t even remember his name) with making me realise what I wanted to do with my life. After watching a movie, which I spent several minutes dissecting (as is my want sometimes), he turned round and said to me “acting’s what you want to do, isn’t it?” Up until that point, theatre was something I just did. I’d grown up dancing and having drama lessons as a means of working off energy and developing a clear speaking voice. But that one comment made me realise that, yes, that’s what I did want to do. Writing it down now, some 20 years later, still makes me dream. Yes, I went to drama school and did a bit of professional stuff. Nothing major, but I never lose hope that one day … maybe 😉

So, who has made an impact on your life, in a positive or negative way?

And I might as well finish with another quote from that amazing “Wicked” song, and, yes, I confess this is the point in the show where I am blubbing like a baby into my tissue, and just reading the lyrics makes me well up – so if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave you with the lyrics, whilst I go and find a tissue (sniff, sniff)…

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me
Like a hand print on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you’ll have rewritten mine
By being my friend.

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea.
Like a seed dropped by a sky bird
In a distant wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

 

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Religion

When picking SC up from school the other day, his teacher beckoned me over.

Gulp!

The she proceeded to tell me what had happened in RE that day.

Apparently, the class were discussing what it meant to be Catholic.

Cue, SC putting his hand in the air.

“I’m not Catholic. I’m a Christian!” he pipes up.

His teacher thought it was hilarious, especially, as she added “I’m not either!”

Then, the other day when we were walking out of school with some friends he suddenly turned to his friend and asked “Are you Catholic or Christian?”, to which his friend (being a year or so older) replied “both!”

SC was a little puzzled to say the least. It would appear that in his world you can either be Catholic or Christian, you cannot be both!

Maybe we should have a little chat…

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Rewards

I got asked to see SC’s teacher after school the other day.

GULP!

“Oh, what’s happened now?” thought I.

His teacher explained that SC had done something he (the teacher) never thought he would.

Cue for more internal screams and panic about what he had done…

Apparently SC took it upon himself to add a few extra house-points to his name, as he thought he deserved more than he had 😉

When I was told, I must confess, I laughed! To be fair, the teacher wasn’t cross either and saw the funny side (thank God he has a teacher with a sense of humour!).

On this little venture I believe SC has a great future as a creative accountant!

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – “I Don’t Want to Grow Up!”

SC’s had a pretty rotten couple of weeks. He has been having a little trouble at school – some of it of his own making I admit.peter pan

Anyway, he was in the car the other night after a particularly horrendous day and he blurted out, “Mummy, I don’t like life!”

What, it transpired, he actually meant was that he didn’t like school – so obviously I had to tell him that all schools would be the same and that there would be nice children and not-so-nice children, just like where he is at the moment, but they would just have different names and faces. (Whilst I was saying it I was having a memory flash of my mum saying exactly the same to me, when I wanted to move house and change schools!)

And because he is just like me, in pretty much every aspect, it has obviously been playing on his mind. He woke up very early this morning (and when I say very, I actually mean stupidly early, like 3am!) complaining of tummy ache.

He said the tummy ache came and went, and “it feels like I’m going to vomit, but I’m not!” (translate to mean “I feel nauseous”). By 6am he was doubled in pain, so I called the doctor and made an appointment (very panicky mum thinking it was appendicitis – it wasn’t, it was just stress – he did exactly the same as I do, sore tummy, throw up bile, feel better!)

As he lay in bed cuddled up to me with a hot water bottle on his tummy he suddenly, out of the blue said “Mummy, I don’t want to grow up!”

“It’s OK darling,” I said, “I didn’t either. I always wanted to be 4 for ever. We can’t do anything to stop it unfortunately, but we can always be young in our hearts and minds!”

Growing up is tough, being a grown up is tough, but at the end of the day it’s all a journey!

It would be nice to live in Neverland though 😉

 

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Friday Poem – Please Mrs Butler!

In honour of schools starting back this week, this one is my favourite poem by Allan Ahlberg, called “Please Mrs Butler”school

Please Mrs Butler

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps copying my work, Miss.
What shall I do?

Go and sit in the hall, dear.
Go and sit in the sink.
Take your books on the roof, my lamb.
Do whatever you think.

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps taking my rubber, Miss.
What shall I do?

Keep it in your hand, dear.
Hide it up your vest.
Swallow it if you like, love.
Do what you think best.

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps calling me rude names, Miss.
What shall I do?

Lock yourself in the cupboard, dear.
Run away to sea.
Do whatever you can, my flower.
But don’t ask me!

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How do children learn to bully?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?

Children must learn it from somewhere!

And how young do these bullying tendencies appear?

Now, I know that no child is an angel, my own included, and that at some point they will inevitably make mistakes, and push and shove their counterparts. But, what is it that turns that innocent push into a relentless tirade of physical and verbal abuse?

Why do children bully and where do they learn it?

The first part is easy to answer.

Bullies bully out of jealousy! Pure and simple, jealousy is what it all boils down too.

So the person that puts you down and says you are no good at what you do, is saying it because they are jealous that they cannot do what you do.

The big kid that picks on the new kid on the block does so to prove they are top dog, but underneath there is a jealousy that maybe the new kid has more loving parents than they have, or the new kid has better clothes, etc.

I was bullied. I cannot remember minute details, but the scars have run so deep, I have no memories of secondary school at all.

I was bullied because I was different. I went to an all-girls school and because I was preferred the Arts to make-up and boys, I was easy prey. Looking back, it was probably out of jealousy because I wasn’t ‘one of the crowd’, I wasn’t ‘a sheep’, I had my own mind and stuck to it, did not bow to peer pressure.

But how do children learn to bully?

Is it from parents, the television, media? What?

That’s the bit that I don’t understand.

The reason for this question is because SC is having a bad time at the moment. I’ve written before about how he’s been hit, kicked, pushed, punched, etc pretty much every week since he started school. But in these last few weeks, he has not wanted to go to school, at all!

Every morning he wakes up and states “I’m not going to school today!”

Every time I ask why, he says it’s because people are unkind. I hasten to add, after further questioning, it is not everyone, but merely 1 or 2 children that seem to have it in for him.

And it’s always the same 2.

Now, I have spoken to another mother whose son seems to back up SC’s claim, and that 1 of the children involved is particularly vile to everyone (to look at him butter wouldn’t melt, but then isn’t that always the way?), but is especially vile to SC.

I have no idea what to do?

I certainly don’t want SC hating going to school – at the moment he is well above his peers in his level of learning (this is probably the underlying root of the problem), and has admitted he is also bored at school, “it’s too easy!” – but the more he says he doesn’t want to go to school, his reaction will be to shut down, switch off, and then all his potential (of which he, and every other child, has an enormous amount of) will be gone. He just won’t want to learn.

I have sniffed out the possibility of him going to another school, but I don’t want to make a knee-jerk reaction.

I know, more than anyone, that there will be nice and nasty children at any school, they will just have different names and different faces. And I have said as much to SC.

Yesterday, he was adamant he didn’t want to go to school and sat in bed shouting “I don’t ever want to go to that school again! I want to go to School X” – he even told 2 boys that he was leaving school, and then they went and told the teacher (snitches!). When his teacher asked him about this SC said that “mummy said I could!” (oops!)

So there is obviously a problem, but schools don’t like to admit this, let alone do anything about it.

I know a lot of parents tell there kids to fight back, however, I have a big problem with this.

a) if SC hits back, he is no better than the bully, and more likely the bully will go running of to the teacher and tell a pack of lies, so SC gets into trouble.

and

b) violence escalates. If I hit you, you hit me, I get a stick, you get a stick, I get a knife, you get a knife, etc. Where does it all end?

My advice to SC has always been, just walk away. Don’t let anyone see you are upset, just walk away. If you walk away and don’t react, the bully will get bored.

I don’t like violence, I don’t want to bring SC up to thinking the only way to get out of a situation is to use his fists. There are other ways.

Bullying was bad enough when it was me. How do I protect my son? I don’t want him going through the next 12 years of schooling afraid of being himself. I want him to enjoy learning and going to school, not hate every single minute so that all his childhood memories are warped by the horridness – if that makes sense.

So I ask the questions again how do children learn to bully?

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