Pre-Prep life has been pretty busy recently, hence no time to write my weekly blog, but owing to a couple of separate but related incidents this week I felt compelled to find time.
From the start of my career in Pre-Prep in 2001 I have always felt part of a rather special family, albeit a rather large one! As the years have gone on and my role has changed from being a class teacher to Head of Pre-Prep, I now feel like the chief Mother Hen making sure all of my charge are happy and healthy. I often talk to the children about our school family and we think about how we care and look after each other, just as we look after and care for our real families when at home. We sometimes even refer to ourselves as the ‘Pre-Prep Herd’ and have a great anthem that we sing and rock out to that comes from a Disney Dinosaur CD – it’s amazing how a song unites the children and turns them all into rock stars!
This family feeling was noted by the newly appointed Head of Pre-Prep for King’s College Doha, who visited us this week and was amazed at how well the staff knew all the children and the children knew all the staff. During one of our more ‘serious meetings’ which focussed on knowing ability levels of all the children throughout the Pre-Prep, she was astounded I would know without having to check assessment records. I was equally astounded she felt I would have to check assessment records. Perhaps we are so used to the close relationships with have with our children which allows us to know them so well that we forget this is possibly not reflective of all educational settings. I often think back to my early career in a large state primary school in Hampshire, especially at this time of year when report writing, and recall vividly how when writing about ‘Fred’ I would be writing about ‘Red Group’ because I just did not know the children as individually as perhaps I should have. This was not through lack of effort but through having to spread myself too thinly between 30 plus other children without any additional adult support. It is now such a joy to write a report about ‘Fred’ himself as a unique individual because I do know him upside down and inside out.
The family feeling was brought to my attention once again yesterday when I was spending some time in Nursery. I was chatting to a little boy (who I first knew when just a ‘bump’) and he was quizzing me on who I knew in his family. He was very impressed that I knew his mummy, daddy, brother, sister, grandparents and even his auntie! As his eyes grew ever wider with each family member known, the Nursery staff member who happened to be standing nearby commented on how lovely it is that we have built such history and relationships with so many of our families. I had to agree and perhaps this is what helps cement our Pre-Prep family year on year.
What lucky teachers, children and parents we are!
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