My kid is not wimp. He’s not violent and he “walks away” from trouble if he can. During his first year at his school he’s been bullied quite badly resulting in the actual suspension of about three children. He’s on his school’s Gifted and Talented Register for his artistic prowess. Heaven only knows how kids are treated if they’re NOT on the register. His school is letting him down wholesale.
I received his school report in June which was, at first glance, pleasingly “okay” – when I’d managed to decipher the hieroglyphics that actually comprise the report. Once I’d had a more detailed trawl through the subjects, I was considerably less happy ... not with Josh but with the school. For Literacy (or for us older people “English”) – there was no report at all due to “staff absence”. English is a core subject. Joshua is good at English - probably rather more due to the fact that his aged mother is a slave to the language than from anything he is learning at school.
I discovered at an over-crowded and completely disorganised Parents’ Evening – also in June – that Joshua’s English teacher was on Maternity leave and therefore hadn’t written any school reports for the pupils she had taught during the year. Has the gestation period of pregnancy decreased or increased since I had Joshua just over 12 years ago? I thought it was still 9 months. Am I to believe that his English teacher was taken completely by surprise by her pregnancy? Or were her time management skills severely in need of attention? She had MONTHS in which to write reports for the children she was teaching – but she didn’t.
It’s usual during the last week of term for children at Joshua’s school to take part in “Activities Week” – where a little slack is cut from the usual routine and they’re allowed to do the things that they like to do in most lessons. FOUR weeks before the end of term, Joshua happily announced that on three consecutive days in Maths lessons, he and his classmates had been allowed to watch “films”. I wondered if the said films were in any way mathematically orientated. No. The Maths Teaching Assistant (Joshua has NEVER actually had a Maths “teacher”) was on sick leave and there were no other teachers OR teaching assistants to step into the breach in her absence.
Joshua has not had the same teacher or teaching assistant for two consecutive lessons throughout his entire first year at his school for Music. Invariably he and his classmates don’t learn anything about music at all ... they sit and draw.
His school is wonderfully endowed with the most excellent of facilities – particularly for a child like Joshua whose main interest and talent is Art. It is completely lacking in adequate staffing – and discipline for either teaching staff OR children. The whole place is in chaos.
I don’t say this very often but I am at a complete loss for words.