It was the last day of the holidays. Alistair was starting his new school the next morning and he was feeling nervous. His dad had just got a new job and so they had moved house that summer. His mum was helping him pack his school bag.
“Now,” she said, “tomorrow, I’ll take you into your new school. When we arrive, we will check you in at reception. I expect you’ll be a bit nervous but everything will be fine. Mrs Lockley, your form teacher, was very reassuring when we met her and you’ll soon make new friends.”
Alistair was so glad his mum was using Blue Footprints to reassure him about tomorrow; it really helped to know exactly would be happening. He was relieved that he had met Mrs Lockley already; she seemed a firm, fair teacher; the type that made you feel safe and secure.
The next morning he woke early with butterflies in his stomach. They got to school with crowds of other noisy children. Alistair was relieved when he saw Mrs Lockley waiting at the classroom door. She had remembered Alistair’s name and gave him a firm hand shake!
Mrs Lockley was good at using Blue Footprints like his mum, being clear and firm about what should happen. She showed all the children where to put their bags. They each had a drawer for their books and Alistair quietly tucked a photo of his dog Lola into his drawer, just to remind him of home.
The day began with Mrs Lockley explaining the class rules and routines. She spoke in a calm, slow voice and always waited until everyone was ready to listen. It made Alistair feel secure; he knew he could talk to her if he wasn’t sure about something. He was relieved to know that, especially when he looked over and saw a tall, tough looking boy, who glared back at him.
They spent the morning writing about the holidays and then it was break time. After break, everyone got changed for PE. They had to hang their clothes on their pegs and change into games kit, before lining up to go outside. PE was great! Running and team games, followed by the best bit at the end- Dodge Ball.
Mrs Lockley waited till everyone was quiet and sitting still, before she explained the rules. Everyone was really excited to play, which meant some people forgot the rules straight away. Mrs Lockley had to remind them again, using her strong, firm Blue Footprints. Then she made two children team captains and asked them to also use Blue Footprints, to help the children on their teams keep to the rules. Everyone seemed to respect their authority, knowing that Mrs Lockley had given them permission to use Blue Footprints; she would choose other people next time.
The team leaders used their Blue Footprints quite well; checking that everyone knew how to play; showing people where to stand and how to score. At times, they needed to call ‘foul’, which they did fairly and calmly. Blue Footprints really helped everyone feel safe in the game and know what to do.
Back in the changing area, Alistair caught sight of the glaring boy from earlier. His name was Jonathan. He had barged in front of a smaller boy called Sachin and taken his peg.
“He’s using Blue Footprints,” thought Alistair, “but this time he’s using them thoughtlessly, to push people around and get his own way. “
Alistair’s dislike of unfairness gave him courage. He walked over to Sachin. “Are you OK?” he asked in a friendly and warm tone of voice.
“That was my peg!” replied Sachin in frustration. “Jonathan’s grabbed it off me.” Alistair turned to look at Jonathan. Jonathan’s scowl had turned to a smirk.
“So?” sneered Jonathan.
Trying to be calm, Alistair looked Jonathan in the eye and spoke clearly and firmly. “Jonathan, I don’t think that was a fair thing to do. Your peg is over there. This is Sachin’s peg and I think you should give it back to him.”
By now other children had gathered round. They all nodded in agreement and encouraged Sachin to stand up to Jonathan. Looking at his classmates for support, Sachin said “See, Jonathan? That’s your peg; this is mine!” Jonathan looked around. He realised that the strong and firm Blue Footprints all his classmates were choosing to use meant he couldn’t just get his own way.
“OK, here it is. Sorry,” he mumbled as he went back to his own peg.
“That’s alright,” said Sachin “Maybe it was just an accident.”
At home time, Alistair’s mum was waiting, waving outside the gate.
“Bye!” called a voice; it was Sachin. “And thanks..... for helping me!”
“Well, how did it go?” asked his Alistair’s mum.
“Great!” said Alistair, “We found out about what we’ll be doing this term, played Dodge Ball and lots of other stuff. But I think the most interesting thing I learnt today was how to use Blue Footprints!”