So the time has come when rebel daughter has to consider moving on from primary school and her parents have to spend hours combing websites about local schools. Well, not actually hours because my whole decision rests on whether there is a bus to the school through our village since I will have to take two other kids to primary school and one to nursery at more or less the same time. This narrows down the choice to three schools and we went to the first open evening this week.
Naturally, we were late once everyone had had dinner and changed clothes [bonkers daughter had to have a whole makeover for the occasion and I noticed somewhat too late that she had painted her legs in some sort of body art experiment - luckily she is not going to secondary school any time soon; rebel daughter had drawn a watch on her arm - I think this is some sort of way of forcing me to get her a real one; big girl daughter took along several books to read in case she was bored; the baby needed a last-minute feed to get him through the evening]. In our haste, we forgot the baby sling so were forced to carry the baby car seat round the entire school. Before the head's speech we managed to see only the drama department and the modern languages department, crucial in any school, at least in my opinion [I want the kids to be able to speak fluent Spanish so they can talk to their gran]. Bonkers daughter was perturbed to find a poster in drama saying not only that nail varnish was forbidden in school, but also any unusual hairstyles. As nail varnish and unusual hairstyles constitute her entire look this is going to mean a total rethink on the style front. I am confident that she will rise to the challenge. She has several years.
Rebel daughter was very quiet throughout, but a bit miffed that we had missed the free canteen sampling session. There were speeches, which focused almost entirely on grades as I think this has been a problem in the past. Lots of PR followed and a bit of saxophone playing - the Adams family theme song - not entirely up to the minute stuff - and then we wandered around the engineering department and English, where the girls were delighted to find a box of free biscuits. I didn't know what to ask really so I just kind of rambled on. My main concern was whether the school was multicultural or at least promoted multiculturalism. I also wanted to see if they had any exciting ideas. I think being an education journalist is a bit of a disadvantage in that I tend to speak to schools/universities which are doing really innovative things so maybe my expectations are a bit high.
Anyhow, we emerged quite late and somewhat tired, if only from carrying the baby car seat, to do the whole bedtime routine. Next week school number two.