As regular readers will know, high school has not been easy for the Dafter. A few weeks ago it became apparent that her self-belief and her happiness had all but disappeared. She was suffering terribly, and learning very little. A big part of the problem was bullying.
I also believe that part of the problem was that she happens to be in the first year of the implementation of the (blasted) Curriculum for Excellence. Although secondary teachers in Scotland told the government that they weren’t anywhere near ready to implement it, for political reasons they were made to do so beginning last August. The result, as far as we can see, has been unsettled and stressed staff, who are having to make things up as they go along. The stress and feeling of uncertainty can’t help but be communicated to the pupils. At one point they were told by their teachers, “Don’t ask us any more about it because we don’t know!” They don’t know what form the 4th-year exams will take, and they are painfully feeling their way through the new subject-choice-in-1st-year at this very moment. Since she moved up in August, we’ve been as involved as we could be, sitting on the school’s Parent Council and so forth – and yet for us there’s been an overwhelming feeling of going rapidly forward in the dark.
So we decided that we could no longer keep her there, although this meant giving up Gaelic in school. We’ve spent a lot of time exploring all possibilities, and after several applications, visits and much soul-searching, she has been accepted at another school. (Her new school is much smaller. It has a workable anti-bullying policy and doesn’t seem so unsettled by the Curriculum for Excellence.) Linda’s comment, “It is not time that your child can get back” was very helpful to us, because it’s true. It gave us courage to take this step.
Gaelic will not be a thing of the past, however, as the Dafter has two friends who study Gaelic with a tutor, and she’s been invited to join in with them.
Isn’t it interesting what life throws at you?!