Ok, so the Ruby saga continues! Sorry if this is wearing thin but it is helpful to me to offload it all here. I also want to look back in the future and remember this time (weird, I know!).
The headmaster was true to his word and phoned me at work this morning. I expressed my concerns briefly and said that I was very keen to take some sort of positive action on this as soon as possible and he agreed. He was very firm on his assurances that any bullying would not be tolerated and would be dealt with straight away. He asked for permission to speak to Ruby alone today so he could get her perspective on it. Fine by me! We arranged to meet after school, when I was finished work.
I still felt bad at lunch time – was she still by herself?
Michaela’s idea with the beads had limited success yesterday. Some other girls did join in but kids are not allowed to take anything into the toilets with them and are only allowed to use the toilets during break times so she couldn’t go to the bathroom AND take her beads outside. Bum!
Anyway, at the end of the day I zoomed up to school (yay for my new car!) and went in to meet the teachers. Ruby’s class teacher Mrs L, and the headmaster, Mr S were both there. Mr S said that he had looked over Ruby’s latest work and tests which are being collated for mid-year reports. The simple fact is that she is too bright to be moved down a year. In a class of 7-8 year olds, Ruby is above average and considering that she has only just turned seven, she is quite ahead of the game. She would be bored to bits in grade one (all the more so because she has already done grade one at Melton South Primary). So moving down a grade is not a viable option.
So the problem we have is that she is not as mature or sophisticated as the other girls in her class. She is more Disney Princess than Justin Bieber. While every part of me yells ‘Thank God for that!!! Who wants a sophisticated seven year old?!!!’, this is not helpful to her.
Mrs L told me the names of a few of the girls in the class who Ruby gets on well with and who could be nice friends for her. I will send a note home with one of them this week to see if she would like to come for tea – just in a bid to make a stronger friendship. This is another difficulty of having just ‘landed’ here, I don’t know anyone with children her age, she doesn’t know anyone from nursery, toddler groups, ante-natal classes (lol!) like we did in Penicuik. There, she had friends that she had known since she was a bump!
Mrs L also said that Ruby is a LOVELY girl, a little quiet in class if anything but a really lovely, sweet girl. Well, we knew this already but it is always nice when someone else says so! She was very apologetic that she hadn’t picked up on Ruby’s distress before and said that she would keep a really close eye on her. Crikey, we didn’t know about it until two days ago so she doesn’t have to feel bad! Ruby is a champion bottler and rarely complains about anything whether it is hurt feelings or tonsillitis!
When Ruby came back into the room Mrs L told her that if she was upset about anything at any time then she should come and tell the teacher, even just saying that she needs a word later if she doesn’t want to speak in front of other children.
Both teachers made sure to tell Ruby that she was doing so well in her lessons and that her class would not be the same without her. Mrs L said again that she wished she had a whole classes full of Rubys as she is such a beautiful girl – that was really nice of her and I know Ruby would be so proud of that because she LOVES Mrs L!
We discussed with Ruby that sometimes other people would want to play other games but Mrs L said that she would talk to the class as a whole about compromise and told Ruby to be proactive about inviting others to play games that she wants to but also being willing to play games that they want to in return.
So while there is no huge change, there is no dramatic difference but I think maybe that is best considering all the changes Roo has had in the last 12 months. What we do have is a better awareness of the feelings of a quiet, little seven year old – and a thorough flushing out of the tear ducts of her soppy mother!