So all the school visits are complete. The questions I prepared were really useful but I was surprised by my emotional reaction to each visit. I don’t suppose any parent truly knows if they have chosen the right school for their child but the choice was narrowed to one school
With the concept of “nothing about us without us” an integral element of inclusion, an appointment was arranged for E to visit the school.. E admitted to being a wee bit nervous but didn’t show any of that on the day. She was keen to see some classroom and specifically art and home economics. She travelled round looking at everything, even subtly attempting to join in the art class. She seemed interested and confident and asked questions as we went. In every case, the responses from those we met was welcoming and friendly. .
All going really well I thought until E’s parting comment of what she thought:
“Not for me mum”
Over a few days we have discussed why and it seems that size is the biggest factor, although she also thinks it’s way too early to even consider high school and she will miss her friends.
There is a conflict between the need for the people who will make her schooling happen to have the time to plan and prepare for high school and the child being mature enough to welcome the move from primary.
The balance of this conflict will be different for every family and the transition stage. I would add it to a factor to consider as part of the preparation for transition. Lucky for us, E is not totally rejecting the school and has agreed to visit again over the coming years.