Friday 14 March 2008

Reporting season

I went to see Eleanor Cooke, Sean's teacher, yesterday afternoon for a progress report on how the eldest of the Wallace children was faring after six months at school. Sharon couldn't make it because she was looking after Sean. She collected him from school early as he had a sore head.

Not surprisingly, Sean is excelling at language skills, being a very good reader and having a wide vocabulary. His spelling is good as is his sentence construction. Mrs. Cooke says she has never seen a P1 use an apostrophe before (and correctly too), which is a consequence of what he picks up from reading books. He enjoys science and gym and he is good with his numbers, though he doesn't stand out the way he does with his reading. Mrs. Cooke said Sean seems to know a lot and always has his hand up when the class are asked questions, so she has to resist going to him too often. He loves his arts and crafts and it seems the class as a whole get on very well and enjoy doing their writing and drawing. It sounds like the environment is conducive to him learning while having fun. He's certainly always keen to go to school.

Mrs. Cooke has seen a stubborn streak in Sean in that he tends to know what he wants to do, sticks to it and won't be convinced of alternatives. This was certainly the case when we suggested to him that he join a P2 reading group: he was adamant that he wanted to stay with his P1 buddies and that was that. Sometimes she feels he is capable of more, for example when he is writing his sentences, but he decides when he's done enough. I got a chance to look at his dictation and maths jotters and exercise books, but sadly, didn't see his writing jotter which contained his more creative writing work.

All in all, he's doing very well and has settled into school life easily.

Sharon met Mrs. Nelson the day before to get an update on Finn's progress at pre-school. He too has settled in really well and isn't solely dependent on Zoe for company, sometimes playing with 2 or 3 of the other children. His numbers are good, his letters are still a bit patchy and he seems to like the "cyum-pyuter" a lot, having mastered the art of "double-clicking" a good year ahead of the average. Given how much time he and Sean spend jammed into the office chair, thumbs in mouths, working their way through the CBeebies web-site, that's no surprise.

It seems to us that Finn is a bit of a "street angel, house devil" at the moment. Mrs. Nelson suggested if he is behaving errantly at home that it may be because he isn't getting enough sleep. It may be true. The problem is trying to get Finn to bed before Sean. Rowan goes first then Sean and Finn do their bedtime routine together, naturally, since they share a room. If Finn is asleep early then he is usually up early too, and less respectful of the "stay in bed until 7" rule than Sean has always been.

Finally, this week saw Standard Life report better-than-expected business figures for 2007. All in all, a good reporting season.

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