Friday 30 September 2016

Open Evening!

It is that time of the year, where all the schools are holding open evenings for prospective parents for the next academic year. I've got away with this for the the last few years, but this year, it was our turn.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my two babies are growing up, and this year sees Miss. D starting her GCSE studies in Year 9  and Miss. L entering the final year of her primary school education. It's scary to think just how quickly the time has passed by, but pass by it has and now we are looking at secondary schools (again).

Last academic year, we attended the local girl's grammar school open evening. Miss. L was suitably impressed and had to practically be dragged away from the tarantulas (yes, you did read correctly - they have live tarantulas). She also enjoyed making a mask (I think it was a mask, it was a long time ago) in the art department. The issue with our Miss. L, is that she is a real tomboy and she and her best friend are more often than not found playing with boys, so I'm not convinced that a girls school would really suit her; added to which, she would need to pass her Kent Test to attend said girls grammar. I'll let you know how that went, when we get the results in October.

Last night, was the open evening for our local secondary school, which also happens to be Miss. D's school. The evening ran from 6pm to 8.30pm. We met up with Miss. L's best friend and her mum and got there for the start, with the intention of being finished nice and early. Since we both have Year 9's at the school already, we thought we'd give the Headteachers talk a miss. Wrong, it was, apparently compulsory. Half an hour later, and our little group comprising of three families, get to start our tour. It's a big school, and when I say big, I mean enormous, covering a mile in length. First stop, construction, with three girls who weren't the least bit interested in the subject. That said, I find it rather exciting and a real asset to the school. I'd quite like to be able to build a wall. Anyway, on with the tour.

We made our way into the main body of the school and visited the dance studio before heading off to Maths and Biology. Miss. L wasn't too impressed with Biology; I am secretly with her on this one, personally favouring Physics, but Maths was a hit with her and she enjoyed doing the activities they'd put on for the Year 6's. A quick peek in the Music room then it was off to the highlight of our tour...

...The Farm, yes there is a farm, another asset to the school! Miss. D has visited the farm a sum total of...once, when her tutor took them to see the new born lambs. I have to confess, I am not sure how much time I would want to spend on the farm either (it's an awful lot of hard work), but it is fabulous to visit and to watch how amazing the students are with the animals. Yesterday, we watched a couple of them giving a sheep a bit of a tidy up, clipping it's woolly coat to make it nice and even all over. The sheep didn't look impressed, but it did look a whole lot more impressed than it's friend whom had lines drawn all over him denoting the various cuts of meat and from which part of the sheep they come from. Poor little chap, was probably feeling rather persecuted, I imagine. You could almost hear him baa,'Why me?'

Then there were the cows. There was one particularly huge cow tethered up to pet, should you wish to so; I didn't, but my friend had to hug him or her (I didn't look that closely, it was pretty dark by this point and pointing a light in the direction of its underside seemed a bit rude and socially unacceptable). Anyway, it seemed to quite enjoy the hug, which is nice.

Then we moved on to the smelly animals. Yes, I am fully aware that sheep and cows smell, but they smell fairly pleasant, don't they? Well I think they do. These were the stinky ones...

...the piggies! Oh my goodness, they were so stinky and had they not been so darn cute, I may have turned around and immediately returned to the cows, but they were so pink and sniffy and cute! Now, having said that, I do have a confession to make. Out of earshot to the girls, I did mention that seeing as these little cuties were so well cared for, that they might just taste a little bit delicious. Apologies to all veggies and vegans reading this and more importantly, sorry little piggies!

Now we were hoping this was the end, or almost the end of our tour, but alas no! An hour and a half in and we are still traipsing around. All the parents in our little group are now bored stiff, but it's not about us and the kids are still happy, so we endure it. We visit a load more classrooms before finishing up with the sports hall for a spot of trampolining, which is a real hit.

Our anticipated early finish, was not to be. We left at 8.30'ish, but Miss. L had enjoyed it and said she preferred it to the grammar. I was delighted to hear this because I love the mix of academic and vocational courses offered by the non selective school and feel that it would suit her personality better. So yes, it was a long evening (I gave myself a pat on the back for visiting McDonald's before we went to school), but it was certainly worthwhile from Miss. L's point of view. Next task, filling out the online school application forms (if I can remember my password).

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