Friday, 13 May 2016

A little breather for the girls of the house

I went out with the girls last night. It was an early start at 4.30pm but I still didn't get in until gone 10pm. The weather was lovely and I was under strict instructions to 'bagsy' a table outside if I got there first as they'd both been stuck in classrooms all day. I accepted the challenge and succeeded!

Yesterday was non-uniform for Thomas. His class have been learning about great explorers and they were going to the local woods with their teachers and a ranger to build dens and explore the great outdoors. He couldn't wait to get to school and had a fantastic time. Now that's the sort of teaching I absolutely love. Plus, come the zombie apocalypse, knowing how to build a den will get him much further than knowing what a subordinating conjunction is.
I've been popping in and out of the back garden all day for 10 minutes of sunshine here and there. And I've managed to munch my way through a punnet of strawberries. 
I also have a new skill under my belt. How to knit an i cord. I'd never heard of one before I started knitting the finger puppets but 5 minutes on good old youtube put paid to my ignorance. They are very simple to make, the only thing you need are double pointed needles which I bought in Bury. Anyway, I rattled 10 off fairly quickly which means the dolls now have arms. 
I've even trimmed their dresses with sequins, buttons and gems although they still remain faceless.
I won't be blogging until Monday now. I've had a week of dealing with an angsty teenager who is feeling as though the weight of the world is on her shoulders regarding exams. I've been called to collect her from school a couple of times and I'm just hoping the weekend gives her chance to put everything back into perspective. I'm going to take the chance of a breather as well to gather myself.

Hope you all have a good one. See you Monday.


xxx


17 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear that Amy is experiencing so much exam related stress! Hope she feels better over the weekend.

    That's wonderful that you've mastered the i cord! That's something I have not learned to do, yet! Your finger puppets are looking lovely!

    Enjoy your weekend. Look forward to reading your blog when you next post.

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    1. Thanks Bless. She seems to be OK out of the school environment and there's only one week left before exams start so if we just need to get through this week.

      I've been knitting since I was 5, taught by my Nanna and Mum, but I'd never heard of an i-cord so feeling quite pleased I've mastered a new technique. xx

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  2. Have a great weekend X Poor Amy - the only consolation is, it won't last forever. My top tip, if she's open to it, is look up a guy called Jason Stephenson on You Tube and have her try some guided mediation. It's brilliant. There's loads on there ( a lot with American accents which I don't attune in to - she may be different ) and they can work X I use imagery and guided mediation at work for all sorts of cherubs. I love it. I do it myself for the children. It frees your mind for ten minutes or so.

    Love the dolls, I'm an knitted cord thingy virgin!

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    1. Thanks Rachel, I've given her the info and she's said she'll have a look. I think it's anxiety. She says it just washes over her and she feels sick and wants to burst into tears. She went to see a teacher about it (pastoral care I think), and she had her doing some breathing exercises and yoga which I thought was a good idea. She managed to get through the next 2 lessons but then had another wobbly in the afternoon. She says after doing well all year, she's frightened it'll all go wrong in the exams and she'll fail them all. We're really relaxed about it at home, but at school they're getting it drummed into them constantly that basically their lives are over if they fail their GCSE's which is absolutely ridiculous. I'll be glad when it's all over. xx

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    2. It makes me MAD BC really ALL the school is bothered about ( BC of the government) is bloody targets. The school needs to be able to say we've got so much percent of pupils getting GCSEs grade c and above to put them in top of league tables.
      When mr 19 was doing his GCSEs I got a letter home telling me they were putting him in for the foundation tier English which meant that even if he got 100% he would only get a C. Which was ok BUT he'd already been told he needed a B for one of his A Level choices.
      It got my dander up though because HOW VERY DARE THEY assume he wouldn't get anything higher than a C and were effectively cutting off his chances because if he only got a D at the higher level he'd be wrecking their GCSE record.
      I wrote them the strongest worded letter I'd ever written. They tried to implore me to reconsider as it was in his best interests blah blah. I stuck to my guns and insisted he be allowed to sit the 'higher' tier paper. I stated if he did not get that B it was his own fault but he had to have the opportunity.
      He got a B. ( TFFT!!!)


      Now I honestly wouldn't have cared a jot if he'd got As BS CS or Ds ( if have bollicked him for an E BC he'd then clearly not been revising and wasting his life chances on that bloody Xbox lol ) but it was now his choice whether or not to go for it. I cannot and still cannot believe the lengths that school went to to protect their standing. Oooo that's reminded me how ranty I was at the time about it!!

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    3. Just like to add that his Apprenticeship now just asked for Grades C Eng and Maths ( and of course IT )
      He's just passed his exams and qualified as an Authorised Apple Technician. He didn't even need that B I fought so hard for!!
      I wanted him to go into school with his Apple certificates and say 'up yours' to the pompous twit that is the head of English!!
      And now I will stop taking over your blog comments and get the Apple boy up for work!! X

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    4. I know exactly what you mean about schools needing their grades. They mentioned something similar for Amy in science, if she did this certain exam she'd pass with flying colours and get a B, but that's the highest grade possible. To be honest that was fine with us as she doesn't need science for anything she wants to do and a B is fine in my book.

      It's all a bloody farce really, because students don't even take the same exams. So Amy could get a B from one exam and her friend a B from sitting a completely different one. As you say it's all to do with their league tables.

      Glad to hear Mr 18 got his B that you fought like a true Tiger Mum for, even if he didn't need it in the end haha. Completely understand the 'up yours' attitude. He'll not go far wrong as a qualified Apple Technician. Good on him. xx

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. sorry. made a mistake & it was annoying me. Had to delete and post again :O) x

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    2. I'm exactly like you. I delete double comments that I sometimes manage to post, then sit thinking, I bet they're all wondering what horrible things I've said that I changed my mind about haha.

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  4. Poor Amy. Girl Time and a break is definitely the right thing to do - for you all.

    Blimey lady, you are good with the knitting. All sorts of fancy pants techniques.

    Great pic of Thomas, and what a fab day at school. I absolutely agree, any sort of life skill is tons better than poxy maths. Violet and I were talking recently about triangles and what was the point of knowing what the three angles add up to. Well, she had me there. I was honest and said 'not a clue. When I'm cutting sandwiches, ironing, or hoovering the house, I never stop to ponder on such things'. And it's true. We learn stuff we NEVER use again. Last year, there was big thing about growing veggies and then cooking with them. Violet was one of the children to win a place after school to cook. She had such a great time, and had an interest in cooking (which faded, but I'm sure will come back). The Grande Finale of all this was an assembly to show parents all they'd done, and then we got to watch them eat a feast using stuff they'd grown. Never, in all my born days, did I ever expect to overhear a child under the age of 10 utter the words 'that cous cous was SO good'!

    So there is an argument that outdoor fun, cooking, general good times, to be considered more beneficial than sitting in a classroom learning stuff that might be good, but overall, useless!

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    1. ..... missed a bit.

      Enjoy your weekend. :o) xx

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    2. That's the thing with schools, they do some really great stuff and the children get to experience things that we never did. I'm a great believer that you learn more by actually doing things and to combine classwork with something fun and practical is brilliant. I bet Violet will always remember her cooking experience and I know Thomas won't forget going to the woods and building dens. Then the flip side is, (and I know this is definitely nothing to do with teachers), these relentless tests. I can only remember weekly spelling tests and a maths and English exam at the end of the year. I really don't recall being given exams throughout the year or test papers for this that and the other all through term. It just takes the shine off the good work the majority of the teachers and TA's are doing and we seem to be only focusing on the negativity of over-testing at the moment, which isn't fair on the staff.

      Anyway, moving on. I went to the garden centre yesterday and came back with jasmine, honeysuckle and clematis but no wisteria. None of them were in flower and to be honest they all looked a bit sorry for themselves so I took Bill's advice and left well alone. Just need to plant them up now. xx

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  5. Sounds like Thomas had a great day. I hope Amy feels better after the weekend - the teenager years are tough.

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    1. Thomas had a brilliant time. He came home all mucky and sweaty and full of talk about ants and a fish they saw with no head!

      Amy is struggling at the moment. I think it's anxiety and she's said she's frightened of failing her exams. Not that she has any reason to think this, her Head of Year spoke to her and said she won't have any problems. I'm hoping once the exams start she'll be fine. It's just the anticipation and fear of the unknown that's causing her to stress out. xx

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  6. So much pressure on kids from age 7 upwards from the schools- never ending tests and exams - I hate it. The majority of hard working students will get jobs whatever results they get and there's always the chance to retake exams if they need to.
    Building dens sounds just right! Oh goodness me - there's Thomas plus tee shirt!

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    1. It's ridiculous what's drummed into them at school. Amy's Head does a regular assembly where she'll say things like "if you're ill and take a week off school you're only likely to get a D in your exams" or "this is a life changing for you all, make sure you don't fail". Well, I'm sorry, but no it's not. It might be life changing for her if results are s**t in that she might get ousted, but life changing to me is nothing as frivolous as failing an exam. Yes, they're important but they're not the be all and end all. The kids are brainwashed and for some reason the last few weeks Amy seems to have taken all this on board and is stressing out about it all.

      Give me den building any time, with or without t-shirt lol xx

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