Choosing a special school

Choosing a special school

Sam had a very positive experience during his primary years. He went to our local kindergarten and then our local government school. He really enjoyed school, being included in all the facets of school life. He ran the sprints on athletics day, took part in the annual swimming carnivals, performed on stage with all his classmates during the annual school concerts and went on all the school camps. Of course, he did his schoolwork as well but, “That’s boring, Mum!”

I wanted to make sure that this positive experience would continue to be the common denominator throughout his secondary schooling. After looking at all our options, we decided, or rather Sam decided, that he really liked the special school. As Sam’s parents, we first toured the school, met with the assistant principal and generally got a feel for the school environment. It just felt good! Next, we made another appointment so we could take Sam through with us and see what he thought. We walked around the school, saw some classes in session and Sam was blown away when he recognised some of the students from one of his weekend sporting groups. When I asked him what he thought of the school, he said, “Perfect, Mum!”

Sam attended two transition days in Term 4 of his last year at primary school and really enjoyed them. According to his teacher, Sam couldn’t stop raving about his new school to all his class when he returned to school.

Sam often says, “Mum, I love school!” He is managing his work and the new routines of secondary school life! He catches the bus to and from school every day and really enjoys the trip. He even insists on me not walking him to the bus. I suppose it’s just not cool anymore to be seen with your mum!

Sam gets home from school, unpacks his bag, gives me all his school notices and reminds me of things that are happening, “Mum, I’ve got swimming tomorrow,” or “ on Friday.” We are very proud of how well Sam has made this transition.

When we went to a school performance recently and heard Sam singing, I saw first-hand how comfortable he was and how well he had settled in. I know we have made the right decision, or should I say, Sam made a great choice!

Transition to Secondary School 2015. © Association for Children with a Disability