Tag Archives: Bray School Project

Enter the Dragon

Yesterday evening I went to my local for a few drinks after work, and then went home to be confronted by a dragon.

This may sound like a the prelude to a tale of marital disharmony, but those of you who read this blog regularly know that I would never refer to Mrs Tin in such terms (she doesn’t read this often, but knowing my luck today would be the day).

No, what I mean is that there was one of those big bendy dragons that appear in Chinese New Year parades in our living room. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year (Year of the Tiger they say, though probably not in Ireland), and Bray School Project had a parade yesterday using the dragon. Apparently the tallest kid in first class gets under the head and the rest of the class get under the body and they walk around the yard.

They are lending it to the new Greystones Educate Together School for them to use it on Monday, so it is spending the weekend in the Tinhouse (don’t ask me why, bearing in mind that we have no kids in either school. That’s just the kind of thing that happens regularly to us).

Anyway, this is a picture of me wearing it:    

What astonished me is that, although I was last person home yesterday and therefore last person to see the dragon, I was the first one with an irresistible urge to put it on.

It’s a lovely feeling knowing that I’m more childish than my children. 




Put Away Childish Things


School’s Out… forever. Tingirl had her last day in the Bray School Project today (the picture above is from one of her first), and we now have no children left in primary school.

Tinson1 had his first day there on September 1st, 1996 when Tingirl was only six-ninths er, cooked, so the Tinfamily have had a connection with the BSP for her entire life. As indeed has she, as she was accompanying Mrs Tin on school runs and sitting quietly at school meetings long before she ever became a pupil there.

If leaving there is upsetting her, though, she’s hiding it very well (though not as well as Tinson1 did. In the car on the way home from his last day there, in a conversation with Tinson2 he referred to the BSP as “your school”). She is eager and excited about the prospect of secondary school, and keen to get on with what young people regard as the terribly urgent process of racing through their lives as quickly as possible.

Mrs Tin is similarly unfazed by the thoughts of leaving a school where she has been on so many boards and committees for so many years. She received many plaudits I think she will miss it more than she thinks she will, but only time will tell.

The school itself is wonderful, run by a bunch of really terrific teachers backed by ranks of dedicated and hard-working parents. It will still feature on the Blogiverse, as both Jo and Ciara still have kids there, and I’m looking forward to being able to keep up with events through them.

In earlier years I did a lot of the driving to school, so got to know the BSP quite well, but latterly have rarely been inside the door (today was only the third time in Tingirl’s final year) so I should miss it less than any of them, and I suppose I do. But I do feel that today is a significant one. Our youngest child has finished at primary school, and is growing up. She’ll be a teenager later this year, joining her brothers on the ever-shortening road to young adulthood. I’m happy for her, and proud of her, but I do feel a little bit sad.

We still have kids, but as of today we no longer have children.

Into The West

Tingirl’s class left for their trip to the Aran Islands this morning.

The Aran trip is a rite of passage each year for the class who are about to leave Bray School Project. It’s a three day trip with just three teachers and no parents. This is its 18th year, and it’s something the kids look forward to from the minute they start their final year (please note the use of both “its” and “it’s” in that sentence, Jo).

The journey, after the first car trip to the school, features a coach to Heuston Station in Dublin, a train to Galway, another coach to some pier somewhere and finally a boat to Aran, arriving just in time to get ready to start the return trip home. That’s why the phrase “this morning” in the opening sentence was used in its most broad sense, meaning “well, really still last night, but the date is different so I suppose we’ll have to call it this morning”. In other words we got up at 4.30, and arrived at the school at half past five.

But the bus didn’t arrive till 6.15, as a badly parked Eircom truck at its garage had partially blocked it in. This left less than an hour for the journey to Dublin, though the scarily young-looking driver assured everyone that he would easily make it.

Otto Simpsons“He’s a bit young, isn’t he,”  muttered some parents, ” I hope he doesn’t go too fast”.

Right TurnPersonally I just hoped the journey wouldn’t involve him trying to turn right onto a road that had a car waiting where the STOP marking as in the attached diagram. Because I had just realised that I’ve met this driver before, about a year ago, when I was the driver at the stop sign, and it was only by reversing violently backwards as he turned that I managed to keep his impact with the Tincar down to a brief juddering. In fairness, he’s a lovely guy, was very apologetic, and fixed the tiny amount of damage that was done to the Tinbumper.

Anyway, watching the expert and effortless way he reversed the huge coach into the schoolyard this morning it’s clear that he has improved since my encounter with him, so I kept this information to myself.

So off they went, jabbering excitedly, ready for their first big trip away from home.

Its the Taking Part That Counts

Tingirl is in her final year at primary school, so last Thursday took part in the Tinfamily’s last Sports Day.

Three kids spending eight years in a school means 24 chances to run while looking down at an egg on a spoon, to hop along in a scratchy, itchy sack or try to run while tied to someone else (we really do give kids a hard time, don’t we)?

In those 24 events the Tinkids have got soaked, sunburnt, knee grazes and fits of the giggles.

What they haven’t got is medals.

So when Tingirl arrived home on Tuesday her brothers were anxiously waiting for her (Tinson2 is finished for the summer, while Tinson1 had an unexpected day off due to the Great Exam Leak scandal). “Did you win anything?” they asked her.

“Nope,” she replied.

Cue high-fives all around. Their perfect record was safe.

You can’t accuse them of being over-ambitious.