This June Aisyah will turn three. That means she's big enough to sit the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Skang ni pon Aisyah dah pergi nursery, tp sbb dah pindah rumah baru ni, dpn rumah betul2 ada satu lg primary school, so awal2 lg hari tu dah apply utk dpt kan grant utk hntr dia ke situ.
Alhamdulillah, last week dah dpt application result dia, and kitaorg dah pon pegi melawat school tu utk jumpa2 dgn guru kelas dia serta tgk2 persekitaran. Aisyah is due to start this July, full days (9 am-3pm) on Mondays and Thursdays and half days (9am -11.30 am) on Tuesday and Wednesdays. She'll have lunches at school for two days at an extra cost, tp saja agree to it so that dia belajar mkn sayur dan mknan seimbang serta latih palett dia mkn western, kat umah asyik mkn nasi. Plus dpt la dia mkn ngan kawan2 sesekali kan.
Then comes the hard part, writing the resignation letter to her now nursery.
Haih, hati mmg berbelah bagi lah. Nursery lama ni bagus standard pendidikan dia, dan facilities dia tu better drpd sekolah dpn umah ni (sbb nursery tu private school, sekolah dpn ni community school), tp grant utk Aisyah ni hanya lah akan start in September, whereas sekolah baru ni start July lg, so di situ aje dah dpt save dkt 500 pounds. The other reason is distance lah, of course. Nursery yg skang ni dlm 20 minit jalan kaki dari rumah, naik bukit some more. Yg baru ni mmg literally dpn umah saja, 2 minits tops. Dgn jadual kitaorg yg packed dan hidup x berkenderaan plak ni, mmg senang lah apa2 kalo Aisyah sekolah dkt umah aje, hujan x sempat basah, perjalanan pergi-balik pon jimat masa.
Tp sayang plak nak uproot dia from her friends - Alisha, Marksie, Amelia, Lucy, Alex, etc... And sekolah baru ni campur umur 3 thn dgn 4 thn dalam satu kelas yg besar, whereas sekolah yg private tu asing2. Bkn apa, agak hiruk pikuk masa aku tgk hari tu, takut Aisyah jd ganas plak/kena bully dgn budak2 yg lebih besar physically and mentally drpd dia, but at the same time, kalo think positively, mmg cpt belajar la sbb berkawan dgn budak lebih matang. Tp budak ramai pon rasanya ok kot, sbb saiz kelas and garden jauh lebih besar drpd nursery skang. Oh, and one other plus point, Irshad si bestfren / playdate Aisyah tu pon masuk kelas ni jgk September nanti, so ada la dia kawan yg dah kenal dlm tu.
But when borak2 dpt tau cikgu kelas Aisyah tu pon dulu keja kat nursery Aisyah skang before jd cikgu kat sekolah baru ni, aku rasa tenteram sket. Mesti la sekolah ni lebih bagus ek kalo dia sendiri pon pindah sini? Betul x? Lg satu, cikgu ni ckp, boyfren dia org half-Msian pon, so senang la cerita kan?
Nak mengamankan lg hati, compared OFSTED report antara dua institusi berkenaan. OFSTED report ni tiap2 tahun dia buat and update utk seluruh sekolah2 di UK, even nursery and jg kepada chilminder or babysitter berdaftar tau, so sapa2 nak enrol anak2 dia kat mana2 sekolah atau individu utk jaga, bole check terlebih dahulu. Ni ala2 nazir dtg cek sekolah la kot, tp OFSTED report ni lebih telus dan open, sapa2 bole access. Alhamdulillah, report antara dua sekolah ni lebih kurg sama aje. Tp aku amik excerpt report utk sekolah baru ni yg aku rasa interesting:
Mount ***** Primary School serves an inner city area of Plymouth that has much higher levels of deprivation than average. <--- depressing
It is of average size and has a higher than average number of pupils who speak English as an additional language <--- agak depressing jgk, but aku rasa ni sbb ramai foreign students mcm aku hntr anak2 kat sini, sbb sekolah terlalu dkt ngan Uni, and students mmg la flocking duk dkt2 Uni jgk kan.
The number of pupils who arrive at or leave the school part-way through is much higher than usual <--- ok konfem ramai international students punya anak, sbb enter and leave part-way, ye lah, habis PhD balik negeri la kan?
The provision for the children in the Nursery and Reception classes is good with some outstanding features. <-- bagus2
Communication, language and literacy are particularly weak when children start school but the good teaching and strong emphasis on phonics, reading and writing help children to achieve well in these areas. The children settle in quickly and, because of their excellent personal development and well-being, they develop high levels of confidence, independence and self-esteem. <--- masa dtg hari tu, cikgu dia ckp lps ni dia nak ajar phonics. Hebat tu, aku tau la bukan senang, at least when you are training computers sbb ada baca2 gak bab Speech Synthesis in order to get around my PhD work ni (music synthesis).
The support that children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those who speak English as an additional language receive is excellent. This is because of the outstanding care of teachers and specialist teaching assistants and the very good use that is made of specialist support services, such as the ethnic minority achievement service and speech and language therapist. <--- perfect for Aisyah who is multi-lingual!
Pupils' personal development and well-being are outstanding. Pupils behave exceptionally well, demonstrating extremely caring and responsible attitudes towards each other. They work hard, play very well together, and say that they really enjoy school. <--- lega, x yah bimbang psl budak2 nakal di sekolah ni
They have an outstanding understanding of life in multicultural Britain and have very positive attitudes towards learning about cultures different from their own; as one pupil said, 'The nice thing about this school is all the children from different countries.' <--- again, mmg ramai la ni international students punya anak2 di sini. Heck, Aisyah and Irshad je dah dua org non-British :P
The school has an excellent reputation for high quality public music and drama performances. Basic skills such as literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology (ICT) and team working are encouraged so that pupils are well prepared for their future economic well-being. <--- I love arts and performances, so can expect Aisyah and Irshad in this year's Christmas play la kan? *excited*
Overall I am impressed with the report and all doubts have been put away. Generally, sekolah ni dpt Grade 2 in most areas, and Grade 1 in care and development, and very in tune with students of non-English backgrounds, which I think is more important than everything else. Hopefully Aisyah will have a jolly good time at the nursery. Dah last year in school dah for her, x sempat la dia nak merasa Reception or Year One di negara org....