Ethan’s school is pretty small. They only have one class per year group and also with it being a faith school they have a huge focus on friendship, kindness, community and love for one another and following Jesus – they seem to accomplish this very well with the small numbers.
You can tell that its something a bit special by how all of the kids know each other and support one another in and out of school, and it was these things (and the fact it was small) that drew me to it when choosing him a school place. I wanted it to feel a bit cosy and a nice atmosphere. Instead of banging on about grades and attainment they focus a lot on treating others with respect, accepting difference, sharing, and being friends with everyone to build a happy community for all. Don’t get me wrong, of course that grade stuffs important and I know its a focus like any other school (and they do very very well), but it isn’t hammered into the kids, it isn’t always referred to, because the kids are only small and if they are happy and in a peaceful setting then they’re going to do well.
Leading up to Ethan starting school, they assigned all of the reception kids a ‘year 6 buddy’ to show them around, look after them, learn their names and make them feel welcome. It was really lovely and E talks about his ALL THE TIME! They were there to greet them in their class on the 1st day and took them under their wing. Then yesterday we were invited along for a “Welcome Assembly” where we had the opportunity to see 1st hand the little bonds and some pledges to look after our kids for the coming school year. It was just so gorgeous and as they got up one by one and spoke of our kids I couldn’t stop smiling, then they sang the 1st song, oh man I just cried and felt so emotional, it was lovely, so thoughtful and they all seemed to really feel what they were singing:
It was everything I hoped and remembered about school; Kids sat on the wooden hall floor with parents on benches at the back, hymn singing from the OHP (oh the memories), Extrovert teacher on the piano in the corner, prayers, funny little kid stuff, cute speeches and then they got each of our kids up one by one and their buddies gave them an apple to welcome them. They promised they would all learn their names, look out for them and as Jesus taught “be a friend to all”! I could not stop smiling. What a special little school, what great kids and how rare that they can still be so open with bible teachings in schools.
I loved watching one of the Yr 6 boys closing his eyes as he sang with passion, I loved seeing the kids going nuts with actions on the last song and seeing sheer joy in every one of their little faces. The parents all smiled together and some of us joined in with the singing, we all laughed in all the same places and it was such a happy 45mins of life.
I felt content with our decision and very excited for Ethan and his adventures at this school. I just thought how fantastic these kids all are and what a special little school we are now a part of. It was a beautiful start to the day and I can’t wait for the Praise Assemblies they have every Friday – Im totally becoming one of those mums thats there at everything and embarrassing my kids as I cry at the back with pride for them.. WHOOOOOP!