Sit up at the back. Pay attention, educationalists.

My 1st school experience – from a 4-year-old.

“I am a little bit excited and a little bit scared of going to big school.

I am going to miss my mummy and my daddy. They are my best friends.

I am scared. They won’t be with me. Mummy will pick me up. Daddy promises someone will look after me at big school.

I am crying and crying because I don’t want my mummy and daddy to leave me. But I will be okay, I promise. I will miss you.

I love big school. The bikes are my favourite. And there’s prams. But the climbing frame is too big – I don’t like that.

I like wearing my special clothes. It’s my unicorn. My shoes have dinosaur footprints underneath.

There’s a tyre-swing… that’s my favourite.

I love my school. I want to go next day again.

I made a mistake. It was a bad choice. It made me sad. I had to sit by myself and do writing. I don’t like writing. I don’t want to be on my own.

It’s my fault that I made a mistake. I am sad.

I am very scared of the lama.

It’s very loud, the big red lama.

It goes ‘Woo woo woo woo…’

We had to go outside for the register.

The teacher shouted my name. I think she’s cross.

There’s no fire.

The big red lama is too loud. I am very scared of it.

I don’t want to go to school.”

These are the real experiences of a 4-year-old starting school, taken from the child’s perspective in their words over the course of the first half term.

How much do we really think about the child’s experience?

The education system demands baseline assessments in our children’s first term and pressures to get on with phonics lessons, early maths and the delivery of an AMBITIOUS curriculum.

Results. Results. Results.

Intent. Implementation. Impact.

Of course, we want children to be successful in their education. We want children to be able to make the right choices in life.

But it opened my eyes a lot hearing education from a 4-year-old’s perspective.

We expect a lot from children who are trying to understand this new world they have become a part of whilst being away from the people they most trust to keep them safe.

What we do in schools shapes that child’s vision of education – they can love it or fear it, depending on the experiences we provide.

Yes, we do have to do fire drills – but really, is just hitting the alarm system the best way to introduce new starters to education?

Yes, we do have to offer a consequence to support making better choices – but how much thought goes into ensuring the child doesn’t lose self-worth or learns to hate writing or loses that love of school?

Pay attention at the back – child-focused learning really does start with what we do in the classroom, not what failing educational systems demand.

From lost and stuck at a crossroads to finding your right path

I work with teachers and school leaders feeling lost or stuck at a crossroads. Through professional coaching, I help you find your right path so you have the confidence to live a life you’ll love. Maybe you are looking to reclaim your life and find a better balance in your career in education. Maybe you are looking to find a new career. I am in your corner to support you achieving your goals so you can Live Daring Dreams.

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I first worked with Will whilst I was a junior member of a teaching team. I worked closely with him for around three years and he became a true mentor to me. During this time Will helped encourage me to discover my own leadership style and he mapped out what it takes to be successful. I highly recommend Will for life and career coaching.

Will is a professional, natural leader who manages to make you feel at ease. He manages to be both emphatic and encouraging, whilst also managing to challenge you to find your own answers. Will’s approach is totally non-judgmental and the sessions are really focused on you and on what you want to achieve. Working with Will has allowed me to address challenges I was facing and he brought a wealth of resources and practical tools to help me set goals, clarify my values, and explore avenues right away. Even though I left teaching 5 years ago, I still seek out Will for his help and guidance and I appreciate his versatility as a thought partner, ally, and coach. Our sessions are always productive and efficiently run, which is perfect for someone who is juggling many priorities! Will brings great communication, professionalism and quality to his work and I highly recommend him as a life/business coach.
- Jamie T (Leadership Coaching)

Highly recommended

I am so glad I found Mapleleaf Vision! Will has been super supportive and understood exactly what I needed to help me to redirect my focus. I now have fresh enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
- Greg M (Life Coaching)


Will at Mapleleaf vision fitted me in for a last minute decision-making session that I needed to make ASAP re. a job offer / career change. He was friendly, professional, and really knew his stuff! He unpicked things that I could never have done on my own. I’m so grateful to him & will be highly recommending him to everyone! Where there is a ‘Will’, there’s a way! Thank you, Will. You truly have a gift.
- Cat K (Career Coaching)