It has now been a week and a half that Callum has been going to High School. He had been looking forward to going to Blakehurst High ever since he found out that he got a place there. And lo and behold when the new school year started he set his alarm clock, wanted his school clothes ready and laid out the night before and his bags organised and packed. And so far he has stuck to this system every day. He now also has his High School diary, which the students received last week, and he records every day what he has to do and which events he has to attend.
His transistion from Primary School to High School must be one of the most amazing changes in him that I have ever seen. He shows a genuine interest in being organised and getting to school early so he doesn’t have to hurry in the mornings. He has already made new friends and chose what sport he would like to play should he be chosen for competition sport.
Going to Blakehurst High had been his biggest wish for years and now that he is actually attending the school he really is making the very best of it. It is almost as if he is putting in the extra effort because he has been given the opportunity to go to the school he chose so many years ago.
On the first day of High School Steven and I went with him because there was a talk for the parents in the assembly hall. He was glad that we went with him but when we reached the school grounds and he spotted his friends from Hurstville South Public School he was happy to join them and ignore his ‘poor’ parents. I think I was more emotional then than when he started primary school. When he was walking away from us he looked a little scared but also secure amopng his friends and I felt somewhat whistful about how quickly time had passed since he was born.
I suppose I felt a little strange, because the school is almost next door to our houses in Cheddar Street, where we had intended to live during the children’s school years. Seeing our beautiful garden, which we had planted 15 years ago, and the round window in my parents old house (one of Callum’s fondest memories of Cheddar Street) makes me feel sad. Every day I now park almost in front of our old house in order to pick up Callum. Although I hadn’t thought about Blakehurst for so many years the daily trip to our old street and seeing our houses as well as our neighbours’ had a much bigger impact on me than I had ever expected. Maybe it is a mix of feelings because Mum died while we lived there and it was her house which we came to see as our home. And Callum and Conrad both spent their first years there and we were meant to make Blakehurst our permanent home for many years after their births. So going there every day brings back some of the sad memories of our last two years in Blakehurst and brings back the grief I feel for my mother and that she never had the chance to see her grandchildren grow up on the land where we were all going to live together. So many of the the flowers and plants she put in have now grown and it is hard to distance oneself from all the love and effort we put into making Cheddar Street our home.
But, the fact that Callum did get a place at Blakehurst although we now live ‘out of area’ is the best thing which could have happened and we are over the moon that the change from HSPS to BHS went so smoothly. The talk we had by the principal on the first day was pretty impressive and the teachers who were present all seemed nice and caring. Compared to my time at school I notice the difference so much. High School seems a place where students can feel comfortable and welcome. Of course they have to learn and be more responsible than in primary school, but the teachers seem to understand much better that children of all ages need guidance and understanding if they are to succeed. And from what we can gather Blakehurst is a great place to be as a first year (year 7) student and to start one’s life of study.