We had a visit from the Head of Year and the Learning Support Coordinator from the school that Oscar is going to in September. They usually go around the primary schools where pupils are coming from so it was good to get our own visit. They were really friendly and the visit helped bring home to us that this is actually happening. They gave Oscar a year book/diary that is similar to the one he will be using and he has read it from cover to cover telling me all the zillions of facts and figures that diaries have in them! He did say though that he found the section on punishment weird and there is certainly plenty about the whole thing that I’m finding weird. More than half of me is beginning to wish that I’d just talked him out of it all right from the beginning although that would go so against the grain of what we do that I don’t think I could have done it no matter how firmly I believed. As it is, much as I don’t believe in school as an ideal, I can see what has drawn Oscar to the idea and who am I to say that it won’t work out for him? I’m not him.
At the moment though I’m finding it very difficult to see anything good that could come out of school. I feel I’m seeing all the negative things. I can’t even think of any positive things. I worry that although we are following what he wants to do, I know that I could talk him out of it and wonder if I will end up wishing I had. Frankly if he had the chance of getting in at 13 or 14 instead, or if we could afford to offer him the chance of going to Sands at that age, then we would certainly put it off until then because I think he would be fine with that.
If he doesn’t like it and chooses to leave – fine. But what if he has a difficult experience and his self esteem takes a dive or if he doesn’t enjoy it but doesn’t feel he can turn his back on it because he feels the failure to “like it” is his fault? I worry about the finding friends part of it too, and the being accepted. Apparently about 60% of them all know each other before they start. It’ll certainly be quite a challenge that’s for sure.
He has an induction day in a couple of weeks and then we’re all going to a “Fun evening” with an “It’s a Knockout” tournament which would have been torture to me but his eyes lit up. I just hope he’s not disappointed and we all come through in one piece.
Please someone, somewhere – please let me know that school can work out OK!