Psst! This Lesson is Secret!
By the time you read this, mothers up and down the country will have had their hearts well and truly melted by thoughtful cards and lovely gifts. Maybe they will even have enjoyed breakfast in bed and will have been taken out for a hearty lunch. Judging by the colourful flowers I saw outside the dining room on Friday morning, and the beautiful cards made in Lower School, children at Eversfield take Mother’s Day very seriously indeed. Far more so, I’m ashamed to say, that I ever did when I was young.
Mothering Sunday may have its Christian origins in the ritual of an annual visit to one’s mother church, but for children these days it is simply a chance to say thank you. This year, the children in 1RG wanted to do this by writing letters to their mummies. I thought you might be interested to read about all the hard work that went into producing the Mother’s Day letters, and Mrs Gilmartin readily agreed to give me some notes about the lesson. But there was a problem…no photos! When I queried this, it was explained to me that the letters were TOP SECRET, and the children in 1RG didn’t trust me not to spill the beans to their mummies before the big day. Only after I had signed a written affidavit promising to reveal nothing about the letters until after Sunday did the pupils relent and let me use the pictures you can see here.
Mrs Gilmartin loves her mummy very much. I know this because she keeps a picture of her on the desk in her classroom. In fact, she told 1RG that her mummy is the best in the entire world. The outraged response to this statement could be heard as far away as Upper School. It turns out that everyone in the class thinks their mummy is the best mummy in the world.
This being the case, Mrs Gilmartin next asked the children to justify their thinking. Needless to say, they had no problem doing that! She could have filled a book with all the explanations they offered. The children love to tell their mummy how much she means to them. However, when Mrs Gilmartin asked them when they last told their mummy why they love her so much, an awkward silence followed. The children realised that, not intentionally, of course, this is something they often forget to do, so they were keen to send a letter to put this right.
But how to write a letter? Mmm…tricky! Teachers always like to show the class a good example of writing on the interactive whiteboard before anyone puts pencil to paper, and Mrs Gilmartin decided to begin her letter with ‘Once upon a time…’ Liora was horrified. “No!” she told her firmly, “you can’t do that. That’s how stories start!”
Mrs Gilmartin hastily corrected her work, and then the children discussed with a partner how their mummy makes them feel. They were encouraged to realise that ‘happy’ was a bit too general to be included and, after further consideration, Claudia was able to state that her mummy makes her feel safe. Molly’s mummy makes her feel loved, whilst Julian’s mummy has the gift of making him feel special.
Even harder was to put into words exactly what mummies do to inspire these feelings. For Henry, the key thing is when his mummy hugs him in the night. Ranbir said that what he loves best of all is when his mummy makes him noodles. Well, they say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!
After this, the children were very happy to settle down and write their letters, recording all their lovely ideas and, of course, using their very best handwriting, as you can see from the pictures. The finished writing was so beautiful it made Mrs Gilmartin and Mrs Price cry. Mummies of 1RG, I hope you enjoyed reading the letters as much as your children enjoyed writing them and, above all, I hope you had a very happy Mother’s Day!