A full year into school, and half a term into full time Reception class, with a new teacher. Squeaky's More Able and Talented (MAT) status, as awarded last year in the nursery section, has been confirmed by her new class teacher. She's in a mixed age group class, with about 8 or 10 Reception children and 20 Year 1 children, as the annual intakes to the school are above the single class sizes allowed, so many of the classes are mixed age groups.
I have to be honest, I was a little bit concerned, as she's a pretty dinky creature, and not the most confident in big groups of children older than herself, but she has absolutely flourished in the more challenging environment. The Reception children actually follow the same curriculum as their counterparts in the other class, which is solely Reception. However, as there are older children learning other things, she is picking up a lot of what they are doing, and absorbing it like a sponge. Which leads to some interesting conversations when the Year 1 children were learning about Andy Warhol, and looked him up on the computer. Squeaky then asked me "When are you going to die, Mummy? Andy Warhol died on the 22nd" (Of what, dear child?). How do you answer that one, then?
The literacy programme the school use; Read, Write, Inc, is taught across the school at the same time, and children are grouped by their ability, meaning children are working with different people to those they would normally sit by, and this has meant Squeaky has had to learn to get on with and communicate with older children, something that's out of her comfort zone. But she's getting on with it, bringing home new reading books every week, in addition to her homework (which she LOVES to do, long may it last!) She's actually reading the books as well, not just reciting from memory, as I've been challenging her with the words out of order, as they suggest in the back section of the book. I love to read, so I'm very happy that she's going the same way.
Last year she was placed on the MAT register for her English skills, this year she's been added for English and Maths, a real achievement for someone not yet 5. But to give you some idea, she beat me downstairs after bathtime the other day, and I honestly found her having put together the sum below. OK I persuaded her to pose with it, but she did all the work herself. No help, no prompting, just scary 4 year old. You can tell the photo was a couple of weeks ago, as it's pre-haircut.
I promise I won't turn into the kind of parent that pushes their child to sit their GCSEs at age 6, but I just want to make the most of her desire to learn, and encourage her to learn how to learn, not just sit back and coast because things are easy (I may have been guilty of that myself)