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Cows’ Hearts and Kindergarten

November 28, 2013

A while back I wrote about H’s school. I wasn’t enthusiastic.  I didn’t get a lot more enthusiastic a couple of weeks into term when his teacher met me after school and raved about how they’d been on a walk around the school and had seen some pillars and they were thin and silvery so they had to go up to them and feel their thinness and their silveriness and then they had to hug them to really get the essence of “pillar” and…I switched off at this point.  If you want to spend part of your day embracing columns with my son, go for it.  Just don’t expect me to get excited.

On Tuesday, however, H trapped his finger in our blast-proof door (which is as heavy as it sounds).  It immediately turned black and we had go to hospital.  Through the tears, screams and protestations against going to hospital in case the doctors went anywhere near his finger, H started to talk me through.

It started with: Look – my nail is turning black.  That’s because it’s filling with blood.  My heart is pumping the blood to my nail – whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.  Ouch. *further screams*

Then we went into the X-ray room.  “Where’s the camera which will take pictures of my bones?  Did you know that the femur is the biggest bone in the human body?  Can I see the pictures?  Can we take them to my teacher?  Is that the inside of my hand?  Where have the blood, skin and muscle gone?”

It transpires that they’ve moved away from cosying up to masonry and are looking at the human body.  Their teacher has taken all of the questions that they ask and made them into lesson plans.  They’ve resulted in things like this chap:


Say “Hello!” to Skinny Pete

You probably can’t see from the photo, but each of the bones (made out of the insides of toilet rolls) are named, with proper anatomical names.  H is now, therefore, able to show you exactly where he keeps his tibia and it explains why when my parents were here, he went up to Grandpa (who has less hair than he used to), knocked him on the head and said “There’s your skull!”.

They’ve taken down the pictures of the children as babies and replaced them with this:


Just another day in Pre-Kindergarten (for 2 and 3 year olds)

On Monday they went to the science lab and watched (I really hope they just watched. Let’s decide that they did just watch) an experiment in which someone (let’s hope it was the scientist) did something with hydrogen peroxide to show something about how the liver works.

On Tuesday H hurt his finger.

On Wednesday, in his words, and with his usual understatement and lack of hyperbole, his finger was dead.  He was feeling delicate and in pain and didn’t want to go to school.  We went to school, but I said that if he didn’t want to stay once we got there, he could come home.  We went in to speak to the teacher.  We all agreed that if H wanted to come home, that would be fine.  He could jump straight in the car.  It was just that he’d miss the once-and-only opportunity to see a real cow’s heart being cut up.

It turned out that they’ve just moved onto the heart.  There was no contest.  H hung his coat up like a shot.

I am a complete convert to my son’s teacher’s ethos.  They can hug as many pillars as they like.

Apparently December’s lesson plans have already been set, all based on the children’s questions from looking at the body so far.  There’s one entitled “tubes and sacks”.  The mind boggles. I think I’ll have to get H to explain that one to me, as and when it happens.

  1. Aunty Ailsa permalink

    Wow!!!!! A big kiss better to the dead finger from us. Sounds as if H is around the same biology level as his almost big brother who has been busy dissecting rats. H will be ready for his GCSE very soon. Afraid I am a total wuss when it comes to that sort of thing……..


    • I know! I’m having to brush off my Combined Science biology – and I’m not sure I ever did any experiments with hydrogen peroxide in any case!


  2. Oooh that sounds really painful 😦 I trust it wasn’t broken then? Poor guy!

    The school sounds great. It’s amazing how once they start nursery they start knowing stuff (which sounds trite but is pretty awesome). My little guy was listing off the months of the year as he drifted off to sleep last night. I was impressed but now I’m thinking my standards need to be reevaluated 🙂


    • Don’t re-evaluate – they’re just learning different things. H still struggles with the days of the week, and the concepts of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. They all get mixed up!


  3. Sounds great – the kindergarten, not the damaged finger, of course.


  4. Golly!

    When you get back he may find he knows more science than the teacher….!

    Kiss for the finger too (assuming he still thinks that works when faced with the empirical evidence…)


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