Blackheath Public School Welcomes 2 New Students!

One of the first buildings you come to on your drive into Blackheath is the quaint little Public School.  Surrounded by lots of trees and green grass, and a large play structure, it is a welcome site and will be Leina and Cohen’s school for the next year.

The 2012 school year officially started on Monday, January 30th, and this was also the first day of school for Leina!  Although a bit emotional getting ready at home, she was able to collect herself, get dressed in her uniform and walk the 20 minute up-hill walk with confidence, alongside her brothers and mom!

We were fortunate to get a peek at the school and meet both Leina and Cohen’s teachers, as well as the principal, Mr. Rudd, in advance of the first day of school.  This helped to calm some nerves before the first big day!

So on arrival on the Monday, we waited patiently in the school courtyard as all of the kids arrived and met up with their friends.  It is customary on the first day of school, for the students to go to their previous years classroom to catch up with their former teacher, and to talk about their summer holiday.  After about half an hour of visiting in the old classroom, then the bell rings, and the students proceed to the hall where they are all seated and wait for the teachers to read out the list of students in the new classes.

So Leina, Cohen and Elijah and I went to the hall and waited in the chairs along the wall for Leina’s teacher to call her name.  Leina stood in line with the others in Year 2 when her name was called, and then they all marched like “honey ants” to their new classroom with their teacher, Ms. Balaam.  Leina is in what they call a “composite” class with 25 students in both Year 1 and Year 2.

At the end of Leina’s first day, the boys and I met Leina in the courtyard and it was readily apparent that Leina was happy to have her first day under her belt!

Tuesday was day 2 for Leina, and the highly anticipated day 1 for Cohen!  Cohen who is much more affable when it comes to new experiences, took the whole morning in stride.  Leina on the other hand was having second day jitters!  She had found the first day a bit overwhelming and was unsure and a bit uncomfortable with all of the attention she had received that first day.  She expressed an interest in being matched with one buddy and so she insisted a note be written to her teacher with this request.

Once the note had been written, and lunches had been packed, and a visit to the park on the way home had been promised, the two kids were dressed and ready to get on with their school day!

Once Leina proceeded to her class on day 2, then it was time to take Cohen around to the Kindergarten courtyard to await the welcome and roll call for his class.  Ms. Drake called Cohen’s name last (this usually happens when your last name starts with a ‘W’!), and he was off!  Parents were welcomed into the kindergarten room to help the kids get settled and Cohen had no problems finding a seat and sitting down to draw on a dry-erase board!  “Been there, done that” kind of attitude – he’s had the advantage of 5 months of Kindergarten back home in Canada under his belt!  The nice thing is this is 5 year old “kindie”, so he doesn’t stick out, height-wise, as much as he did in junior kindergarten back home.

The teacher was amazed that the first thing he did when he sat down at the board was to print his name!  Well done big guy!

At the end of the day both kids were excited to buy freezies at the canteen in the courtyard, and share the details from their school day!

So they have their first week under their belts now, but the week has not been without lots of tears (namely Leina, but some from Mommy as well!).  It’ll take a while to adjust to the new school, new teachers, new classmates, new language, and new routine.  So we are all trying to be patient and optimistic!

We are very impressed with Blackheath Public – the staff and volunteers, and the feeling of inclusion that is demonstrated here.  We are looking forward to a good school year for both kids!


8 thoughts on “Blackheath Public School Welcomes 2 New Students!

  1. O.k.crying again…they look so cute and ‘Aussie’ like in those hats. I hope this week is off to a great start for everyone.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Continued love,

    • OK…crying again too….I want one of those hats!
      If I could visit you guys….I’d give them something to cry about! Such pampering!
      When I was a kid, my mother sent us to school in our underwear. We nearly froze on wash days… about shrink dink! There was no such thing as a snowsuit fund…we dressed in hockey uniforms from Dec. to March. When springtime came, we could ditch the long socks and the sweaters. Just wore the hockey pants until the rain barrel was empty. Couldn’t sit down on a bus wearing those, so had to walk the fifteen miles to school and back…uphill both ways, in rain, sleet, and driving snow. Ahhh the good old days. I remember them well…both of them!

      Love to all,
      XX OO

  2. Hi there,

    So glad to see that you guys are settling in and are enjoying all of your experiences!! Miss you lots and look forward to hearing your continued adventures 🙂 The kids look awesome in their uniforms, all the best in the days ahead.

    Tammy, Kevin, Memphis, Violet and Camdyn

  3. Hi Alyson,

    Love your descriptions of your adventures, surroundings and the pictures. It will be a great year for us who are living vicariously in Oz through you. Hope Matt is surviving as well as the rest of you seem to be.
    Love, U.J.

  4. This is just wonderful to read your blog and all the comments. Thank you. I especially loved Grahampa’s words. Alyson I can relate to your tears even though it was close to twenty years ago that I went through it with Kate. Hope everything continues to go well.

    Cindy Lynch

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