Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).
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22 September 2017

Secondary School Hunting and Genius Mrs. Amazing...

OMB!
Secondary school is looming.
Boy10 and Team Parent (yay!) have already started looking around secondary schools.
His days at primary school already dwindling.
My little boy is about to start getting bigger a lot quicker.

Boy10: 'Why am I in a box?'
<Sat on the box> You are in a box, to help you stop growing up anymore!
Boy10: 'OK. That's seems a responsible, albeit extreme, response and plan to stop me growing up'
Boy10: 'Kind of touching really...'
Glad you think so...
...
Hang on! STOP BEING MATURE IN THERE!
<Bangs on box>
Stop growing up!!!

(Right that’s your daily minute… Get those hands back in the box…)

Due to the unique way our local schools work.
They have all have decided that two weeks into the Boy10's final year of primary school (I believe it is for all children, not just Boy10). During the evenings. That! is when they should have all their Open Evenings.
Which feels a bit mean on us parents who have just adjusted to everyone being back at school again, after the summer holidays.
And are finding the ropes a bit slimy and rotten, and keep tripping over them.
And on the children who are in new years, new classes, getting used to everything and then being dragged out late (for them) at night to see secondary schools.
But hey ho.
Pawns that we are.
<Swims for it>

Off we went to the first school.
A probably-not-going-to-go-to school a bit too far away. That is an Academy (sponsored by a business) and strive for excellence.
Well they all do. It's just during the talk they said that about a million times.
And did you know the results they got last year? I do. Verbatim. Over and over they said it.
One of the best in the county!
So... not the best though.

We obv. were late getting there.
A mix of traffic and we left late. Skills.
We did hope to catch the 6:30 talk. We made the 7:30 talk. Which was lucky for us.
But I do feel sorry for school staff and kids that had to endure the same talk three times.
I barely made it through one. I did manage to find a canteen and get a round of teas in. And then giggled away with some friends all the way through the whole talk.
Really showing Boy10 how to behave.

The school was full of first years.
Which I think in new money you call year 7. Or for simples, the kids were eleven.
The year 7's were there to walk us around the place. Answer any questions. Be the hosts as far as I could tell.
Yet as they were year 7's that meant they had only been at the school two weeks...

So... <Thinking of something to ask> ... er...
In the two weeks you've been at this school, what has been your highlight so far?
Year7: 'We got yesterday off to make up for being here tonight!'
I see... <Gives Mrs. Amazing look>
... interesting...

Why don't they fill the school with fifth years?
Er... year 11's... (sixteen year olds) children that have been there a long time?
Are they worried what they might say?

And what's has been your highlight so far?
Year 11: 'The fire'
What fire?
Year 11: 'The fire when all the children rebelled against the odious teachers regime and rose up and took back our freedom!!!'
Year 11: <Breaks out into Vive Le Enfants>
<Entire room of children start singing along>
<Team Parent (yay!) quietly back off>

(Vive)

Still it was a nice evening.
We didn't get back until nine in the evening. Which meant Boy10 was pretty nuts and wired for bedtime. Funsies.
But it was good to show Boy10 what a secondary school looks like.
Obv. he loved the science labs as they were setting stuff on fire. Making stuff explode. Magnets. Lasers. Death rays etc...
All excellent stuff.
Open night for Science teaches must be a doddle. They merely have open their big books of 'Awesome showoff experiments' and choose.
I feel sympathy for the R.E. teachers. The geography teachers. The languages...

GeogTeacher: 'And this rock is blue'
<Silence from the crowd>
GeogTeacher: 'And forty billions years old! Oooo!'
<Silence from the crowd>
[BOOM from the science labs]
<All the adults check their watches and start shuffling out>
GeogTeacher: 'Er.. and this rock is green... No wait... that's the same rock...'
<Everyone runs>

Maths and computing knew what they were doing too.
Robots out in the computer labs. Roboting about. Cool.
Fun puzzles in the maths rooms. Really. Fun ones. With sweets as taking part prizes. Boy10 got well involved with those.
I'm pretty sure sweets from teacher wasn't something that happened too often whilst I was at Secondary school.
Maybe they did. It was three four millennia ago.

So every week. Ish.
There is now a school Open Evening to attend. Until the end of October, when we have to decide which school we want. And submit our forms.
Which is pretty hard core planning ahead for me. I was hoping we could do it a week before we start.
Mrs. Amazing: <Shakes head at me>

And each Open Evening means we need a babysitter.
But that can't be helped. It would be hard to get time off work to go during the day. And then the schools really should be teaching stuff. Not trying to woo us.
And woo us is really what they were doing. It was a bit strange.
Like they wanted us to buy into their vision.
Meh.

We already know neuftyneufy percent which school Boy10 will go to.
As he will be able to walk there. Which is a huge bonus for Team Parent (yay!).
We would only have two monkeys to deliver in the mornings.
And because...
...
...
well
...
...
we know which school we want... <Shuffles foot on the ground>
... and that the school is OK and checks out with us.
Because. Mrs. Amazing is an evil genius.

Last year.
When all secondary school thoughts were a clear year and a bit away. Mrs. Amazing made a genius suggestion. As the school we most want to see is last to have their Open Evening. Which would give us very little time to decide.
Why don't we just... er... sneak along to their Open Evening a year early. They are ‘Open Evenings’?
<Is gobsmacked and impressed>

(Me and Mrs. Amazing…
Hang on! Does that make me Pinky??? WHAT!!!
<Mulls it over>
Suppose it's better than bald, fat, old man...
<Gives Boy10 a look>)

Which is what we did.
Now we get to see all the other ‘maybe’ schools already knowing what our favourite is like! #Win
And we get to check up on the school two years in a row. In case it was a fluke first time. #WinWin
Genius (Mrs. Amazing is) (not me) (I’m pink).
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