|Max:||‘He jumped on me back, I slipped my jacket off, he went down …… I went in with me boot.’|
|Paddy:||‘Nowt wrong with that.’|
|Max:||‘Quick scissor kick to the temple … good night my friend.’|
|Paddy:||‘You see, that’s why I don’t go to Parents’ Evening ……………… they get me angry.’|
Peter Kay, Phoenix Nights
A couple of months ago my youngest finished Primary School – because of the gap between my two children, I have been making the school run there for (a very long) twelve years. In that time I’ve watched various children grow into some of the funniest, most self-assured, confident and intelligent people I have ever met.
I’ve listened to six year olds who believe they have no place in the world and so didn’t feel able to imagine what they would be doing as an adult; I’ve listened to ten year olds set out fantastic visions of their future – where they would be living, with who (with whom ?), the number of children they would have and how happy they would be; I’ve listened to eleven year olds explain how much better the world would be if adults would learn to listen to each other; I’ve listened to children talk about their different home lives with ease – single parents, divorcing parents, same sex parents – completely accepting that they have a place in the world; I’ve watched a bullying boy learn the error of his ways by a particularly brave, strong and resourceful group of eight year old girls and I have laughed out loud at some of the best jokes I have ever heard with a deadpan delivery that has taken me years to master.
I’ve waited in the playground and watched parents greet their children as if they have spent 3 months away from home, not the 6 hours of the school day and realised the world is not as desperate a place as the evening news suggests.
And more than that, I’ve watched some really excellent teachers inspire children; I’ve listened as they taught facts and concepts that were a complete surprise to me; I’ve listened to my daughters’ friends talk animatedly about their day with a level of enthusiasm I fear will not be present when they start work and on one unforgettable occasion I’ve been completely astounded by the fantastic Mr Sloan’s ability to engage and control 28 six year olds on a – very loud – trip to the museum. (A trip after which I had to lie down in a darkened room with a massive headache as I found the group of 5 children he asked me to care for, far too hyperactive to control.)
Chorlton Park Primary School – I shall miss you.