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Woah! Talk about emotional!

Henry was really excited and smiling lots about going to school in the car and went into the school so well answering the receptionist and Head Teacher’s questions as they met us.

When we went into the classroom he was really shy and stayed very close to me and Warwick. The children all said ‘hello Henry’ and this sent him into himself even more. The children were immediately so friendly and sweet with lots of them coming up to say hello. One little boy suggested Henry do some colouring to which Henry nodded and he got him some paper and pens. When we went to sit at the table with a group of boys Henry crumbled and his bottom lip went and he started to cry but with just tears, he was trying to be so brave. At this point me and Warwick thought we’d made a mistake and that this was all going to be too much. But he was really brave and sat on my lap at the table. The same boy who’d got Henry the pens and paper showed him how to draw a heart with an arrow through it, which was kind of spookily apt! Henry was really quiet but let me draw more hearts. The class were writing a beginning to a story so I said we could do one. Henry wrote ‘Henry went to school. He had fun’ in all his own writing and drew a picture of himself inside a school! The class went back to the carpet and had to read a story to a partner and Henry asked that i read his story too which was very cute and the other boys listened and were really nice about it.

It was then playtime and this was when Henry really grew in confidence. The children were just adorable to him and it was his classes turn to play on the climbing frame which he loved and played a chase game with some of the children where you had to chase the girl and be a monster and eat her! Which the girl didn’t seem to mind!

At the end of playtime he lined up and caused a bit chaos in the line as everyone kept moving to stand next to him! When we went back into the classroom we couldn’t see him and he was sat on the carpet surrounded by boys! We then went for a coffee which felt like the longest coffee break ever! We were really unsure about leaving him but i went and told Henry we were just going for a drink and he seemed fine with it.

When we went back to the classroom he was on a table outside the classroom with 2 other children and an assistant doing sound and letter work. He didn’t see us for a while and was talking to the teacher about the pens and his colouring and sitting so nicely. It bought tears to our eyes watching him. Then they started working on little whiteboards and started letter writing from ‘a’ and got up to ‘f’. He was able to write all of them without any help and even corrected the little boy next to him when he wrote a ‘t’ instead of a ‘f’! The teacher said how well he had done and what a star he was.

On the way out we saw the Head Teacher and Henry showed her his work and she gave him a ‘Head Teacher Award’ sticker which he is very proud of.

Henry’s confidence grew massively as the morning went on and left a totally different boy to the one that had entered the classroom. When the children all said good-bye to him he looked at them and said ‘bye’ nice and loudly.

He has told his volunteers about school and all the friends. He said there were ‘hundreds’ and they were ‘fusing him’ (confusing him!) and laughed! He seems really positive about going back.

Initially I think me and Warwick both doubted whether he was ready or would be able to cope, its so different to nursery and he is obviously so much further behind academically at the moment that the combination of the two would just be too much. But having seen how quickly he was able to adapt and how well he interacted with the children and the adults at the end we are really hopeful that this is the right time and the right thing for Henry. The school and teachers and the children were all lovely which is fantastic. The hard work is no where near over, and we are both drained and over-emotional, but of course so very proud and pleased for our little boy.

Next week it will be interesting to see how confidently he goes into the classroom and how he manages it all again.

We say it alot, but a massive thank you again to EVERYONE who has helped us get here in so many different ways and to Holland House Day Nursery and Hollyfield Primary School for helping on the this next part of our journey. xxx

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