Photo: Sacred Heart RC Primary School website

The agonising wait was finally over. We received the news last 30 April and we were not disappointed. After a few months of anxious waiting, our youngest son John Paul was accepted to the school we applied for him to start Foundation Stage. He will start in Reception class in September of this year in the same school as his elder brother Cean.

Reception class is for 4-5 year old children and is the first year of compulsory education here in the UK. In the Philippines, at this age children are encouraged to go to day care centres to start some formal education classes. In private education, this is the equivalent of Kindergarten 1. I also attended Kindergarten class at this age and so are the rest of my siblings. My nephew and nieces in the Philippines also attend Kindergarten classes before they proceed to higher years.

John Paul had been going to this school for about two years now. He always go with me or my wife when we bring and pick up his brother from school. I hope adjustment will not be as hard as Cean's experience, who is the more quiet and introvert between our two sons. Some of the children that John Paul sees and plays with in the school will be his classmates in Reception class.

Relieved and happy though we are, we also feel for some of the parents we know from school whose children were denied entry due to the high volume of applicants. Some of them are not baptised Catholics. It's a shame really as some of these children already have siblings studying in this school. In particular, some of Cean's classmates have siblings who would be going to John Paul's class. Not all of them will be joining John Paul in the next academic year.

The school that I mentioned where our two sons will be going to is Sacred Heart RC Primary School. The RC stands for Roman Catholic, since the Church supports the running of the school. This school is a mainstream state school for girls and boys, which serves baptised Catholics (priority) and those of other faiths, whose parents are supportive of the school ethos.

We chose this school for the main reason that it is a school for Catholics. Also, it is very close to our house (about 10 minutes walk, lesser by car) so it is very convenient when bringing to and picking our children from school. Besides, there are many Filipino children who goes there and not to mention the fact that this school has excellent academic standing in the National Curriculum tests.

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