This time last year I came over all emotional having reached the end of my small son’s first year at school. It may not surprise you to hear then that it is now the end of his second year. I am of course slightly misty eyed once again but that may be due to exhaustion and/or over excitement as the end of term coincides with the arrival at long last, of the British summer. It also comes at the same time as a new Prime Minister, the release of my first book and reports of the return of the boob tube, all of which spark a healthy debate about sartorial choices. There’s a lot to think about so it’s easy to forget about the end of year school report, a document so full of contemporary jargon that if you don’t have a degree or were born pre-1985 – or god forbid both – you may have to consider taking on a tutor just to comprehend how your five or six year old is getting on at primary school. Deep breath then, here goes…
Class: Year One – 2015 / 2016
Reading and Writing: While Emily showed enthusiasm for the school social life at the start of this school year, she has struggled with all three of the class reps sharing a first name. Despite already being on friendly first name terms with all these Rebeccas, only now is Emily beginning to grasp the concept of what having an easily abbreviated name actually means and who of the three answers to which derivative. Rebecca, Becky and Becs will be replaced by ladies with completely different names so perhaps next term we will see improvement in Year 2. We can but hope.
Mathematics: This year the school celebrates its 125th birthday and although Emily has shown interest and a good understanding of what this means, her inability to do simple sums means she has found it difficult to do the calculations connected to this important event. At her age it is not unusual to hesitate at problems such as “Mummy what’s 113 x 64?” however if she is unable to answer the question, “Mummy if the school is 125 years old then what year did it start?” Emily needs to think about applying herself more fully as the answer (as her five year old was quick to point out) is “There’s a sign on the wall of the school, it says 1891.”
Technology: Having written a book this year*, Emily has willingly embraced social media in order to promote it via her so-called online presence. She is beginning to understand that posting on Instagram is really all about showing off and pretending to live in a world full of fresh perky food, perfect tans and fabulous shoes (she has the shoes at least). Facebook and Twitter she has realised is mostly for bitching about the referendum and Nicola Sturgeon’s hair. If Emily can develop a six-pack and/or huge bee-stung lips she may actually appeal to younger users and sell some books.
Creative: The poor summer weather has proved to be a challenge for Emily’s school run wardrobe. She has arrived on more than one occasion soaked through to the skin and in hopelessly inappropriate shoes. This lack of foresight has extended to her son’s outfits – although allegedly the highly flammable head to toe Liverpool kit was beyond her control, it was a gift, her son insisted. Shoes are tricky items to handle, may we suggest (as indeed we did last year) that the pull-on style of footwear would save time in the mornings, with a waterproof version covering both bad weather and the need for them to be on the right foot. For mummys, a jumpsuit is a no-brainer when you’re in a rush, honestly, it’s even easier than leisurewear and way more stylish.
P.E.: On the subject of leisurewear; must you? The idea is that you look cool and sport expensive and trendy labels such as Lululemon or the Battersea favourite Sweaty Betty. It has come to our attention that Emily recently resorted to a pair of aged 8-10 years Disney pyjama bottoms as they “look more or less like knee length leggings from a distance” and this simply won’t do at all. Nobody is ever seen “from a distance” in a primary school and coming to school in nightwear will not be tolerated. That said, she has some very smart new running trainers.
Overall: Emily has worked hard this year and has made some good friends (mostly but not exclusively called Rebecca). She talks too much and is easily distracted and in Year 2 it is hoped that she will write down important school dates in her diary so she doesn’t accidentally turn up for class drinks on the wrong evening again. Upon the closing down of the Clapham Junction Costa where on Thursdays she wrote her book, Emily made the transition to the Northcote Road Starbucks seamlessly, however the close proximity of Whistles may prove to be a problem if she decides to write a second book. We look forward to having her back for the start of Year 2. That’s the actual start, not ten minutes after it.
*SHOPPED is out now and available on Amazon and in all good book shops.