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My infant school days and how they influenced my future career
by Mrs Scott
As a child I was painfully shy and I still struggle with this. I can remember my parents being worried about me when I was due to start school. I went to Dundale Infants School in Tring which was only a few minutes’ walk from my home. My teacher was Mrs Hockey and she was kind and very smiley. I can still picture my classroom and remember many of the children in my class. As I was so close to school I went home for lunch. One day my Mum came to meet me for lunch and brought our Labrador Bobby too; I was allowed to hold his lead but he heard another dog and started running, pulling me behind him on my knees. I had the afternoon off school with bandaged up knees. I can recall some of the learning such as reading books about Bill and Penelope, feeling pleased when I learnt how to spell ‘because’ and telling my class friend Carey there was no such number as sixty-twelve, despite her insistence. I think I was generally happy at school; I enjoyed anything involving art, my best friend was Claire and I refused to go to the Christmas party as I was terrified of Father Christmas. After a while my Mum wanted me to stay at school for lunch and she bribed me with a huge box of paints. I wasn’t impressed with school meals, particularly prunes and rice pudding. Alongside my memories of school however, are memories of my Mum being ill and sometimes I would be met from school by an aunt. It was school photo day and, as with many things, I was terrified of having my photo taken. My Auntie Glad came to meet me that day and tried everything to persuade me to have my photo taken. It just wasn’t going to happen. I spent two years at the infants’ school before going to the junior school next door.
Fast forward many years, I still love anything creative, still refuse to have my photo taken and am still shy. When my daughter and son were at infants’ school I was offered a part-time job at my local pre-school and I loved it. What stands out for me as being a pivotal moment in wanting to help children who were maybe shy or less confident (and thereafter supporting children with SEND) was a little boy called Jake. He would sit in the book corner looking at books by himself for ages, not joining in play with other children. I could empathise with his shyness and I became his keyworker. When he left pre-school to start school his Dad shook my hand and said thank you for helping him. Jake was more confident and excited to start school. That meant a huge amount to me. The most important part of my role at GTS is, and always has been, supporting children 1:1, seeing them grow and develop independence ready to move onto their next school and the relationship I build with parents so we can support their children in a cohesive way.