We’ve reached the point where the MSB is gearing up for ‘Big School’.
We’ve spent the entire Summer Holiday’s saying to him that when he goes back to school he’ll be in the prestigious YEAR 6! I mean what’s more awesome than YEAR 6?? Other than no more school obviously?
There will be more homework, more responsibility. The teachers will be discussing ‘Secondary Selection’, ‘First Choice’, ‘Second Choice’ and that’s just to me so god knows what they’re going on about to the boy!
When I was at primary school it was basically a case of ‘I hope I’m going to the school nearest my house’ as at the time I lived miles away from my primary school and the walking was a piss-off.
It was back in the day of the ‘Thirteen Plus’ exams. So basically you got to settle into Secondary school, bond with people, get used to where everything was then do a Grammar School exam at the age of 12 resulting in half your mates going on to Grammar School (brown uniform so I pitied them) and the other half moving to a different form group.
I took the Thirteen Plus and failed. Not by much because let’s face it: I am f@cking brainy and a lot of you are jealous of my intelligence. But by enough to make my parents question what I had been doing when I said I was ‘Revising with my mates’ (working at the local shop, earning money to buy fags and cider on a Friday night – I know; the class, the sophistication of it all).
So off went a lot of my mates and I settled into a new form. I met one of my best friends there and we’re still mates today so it wasn’t all bad!
But now it’s all different. At the end of Year 5 we were asked if we were going to put the Medium Sized Boy through the ‘Eleven Plus’ – he was Nine for God’s Sake. He still wants me or his Dad to put him to bed each night!
We decided against him taking the exam. We knew he wouldn’t pass - I don’t mean this in a mean, horrible way at all. I know what my Son’s strengths and abilities are and I also know that he would not cope with what is asked of pupils at Grammar Schools.
So here we are. Present day. And we find ourselves with our next big decision: WHAT SECONDARY SCHOOL SHALL WE CHOOSE????? I’ve typed this in capitals as it’s a big thing.
So which one?
· The Academy that’s only just been academised (yes that’s a real word)?
· The Catholic School?
· The further to walk comprehensive?
The Academy is the school I used to attend and although it’s been Academised, so will have plenty of cash injected into it, I’m dubious as to whether it will be suitable.
The Catholic School would be ideal.
The further to walk comp – nope.
So that leaves the Catholic School and filling in the application form for the Catholic School. Now hopefully if God is watching (and can read the form) he will forgive the teeny-tiny things we’ve done to 'help' the boy get in!
Q: “Are you Catholic?”
A: “Definitely” (My Grandma and Dad are Catholic ergo the boy is)
Q: “What is your address?” – This is to do with Catchment Area Criteria – Apparently if you live further away, even if you are part of the faith, you’re less likely to get in so…
A: “Right next door to the school”
Q: “What qualities do you feel your child can bring to the school academically?”
A: “His Lego building abilities”
Q: “Does the child have a sibling at the school?”
A: “YES!!! His real life, actual, definitely look the same Brother!” (Technically it’s his step-brother that’s half Chinese)
So the forms have been submitted. And now we wait – all chuffing year.
I knew there would be times like these – testing your parental abilities to the max – and I do pray to God that I don’t muck this one up for him. I’ve managed to muck up quite a lot for him through my ridiculous choices in life (men) and I can quite honestly say that despite what I’ve put my Son through he’s turned out to be a good kid, a credit to me and his Dad. I have to thank the support and input from my Mum, Brother, sister-In-Law, Besties, JD and lately my Dad. Without them I’d be nothing and things would be totally different.
I never thought when I was pregnant or even when I was trying for a baby about any of these things. I was completely selfish and wanted a baby: My baby.
Yet completing that one thing and the end result being a tiny bundle of joy (or in the boy’s case a bundle of joy about the size of a Dolphin): you completely give yourselves to them. It is, in most cases, one of the last times you think of what you want.
Now I want for my Son, for his life to be that much better, the best for him.
P.S: if any of your kids didn’t get their first choice then A) I’m sorry and B) I sincerely hope God sees point A as a nice deed and adds that to the Boy’s points for getting into the Catholic school.