Nathan Giles was nervous but excited at the same time. Today was his first day at his new school, Meadow Green Primary school. Like all children, Nathan was worried about making new friends. Most of all, Nathan was worried because of his wheelchair. Nathan could only take a few steps on his own so he needed his wheelchair to help him to get around. What would the other children think? He wondered whether they would understand, more importantly, would they want to be his friend?
Just then, mum came in and said that it was time to go. She put his schoolbag onto his lap for him to hold and pushed him out to the car. She smiled brightly at him.
‘You’ll be fine, Nathan’, she said ‘It will be fun’.
When they arrived at Meadow Green Primary School, mum helped Nathan out of the car and pushed him across the car park to his new classroom. They had got there early so that Nathan could meet his teacher before the other children arrived.
Inside the classroom was a tall lady with long blonde hair and glasses. She was sitting at the desk and looked up as she saw Nathan and mum enter the room.
‘Hi’, she said kindly. ‘You must be Nathan. I am Mrs Clark and don’t you worry. You are going to have a fabulous time at Meadow Green.’
‘Hello’, whispered Nathan shyly.
‘He’s a bit nervous, Mrs Clark’, mum explained. He is worried that the other children might not understand about his wheelchair’.
‘Ah, well, here’s an idea’, said Mrs Clark. ‘When we have Circle Time this afternoon you can talk to the class and tell them all about yourself. They would love that’.
‘Okay’. Nathan agreed.
After assembly, Nathan met his helper. Her name was Mrs Carpenter. He liked Mrs Carpenter. She was very funny and made him laugh. She sat with him during literacy and then for numeracy. Nathan was good at numeracy and enjoyed doing really hard sums.
Then it was dinner time. Nathan sat next to Joe and Sam and they talked about cricket. After dinner, it was science and then Circle Time at last.
Nathan asked Mrs Carpenter if he could come out of his wheelchair. She helped him out and supported him while he stepped into his walking frame. Nathan held on tightly and carefully walked towards the circle. Everyone turned to look at Nathan and waited for him to speak.
‘My name is Nathan’ said Nathan. ‘You’ve already seen me in my wheelchair. I need it to move around the school and the playground. Sometimes I can use this walker as long as I don’t get too tired.’
‘I’ve never seen a wheelchair. Can I have a ride?’ shouted Joe.
‘Maybe one day’, Nathan grinned.
‘But remember, everyone’ said Mrs Clark ‘this is not a toy’
‘I think it’s cool’ said Amy. ‘The wheels are purple’.
‘Why are you in a wheelchair?’ asked Rosie.
Nathan was pleased that everyone was so interested and did his best to explain.
‘When I was born I was really ill and the doctors and nurses had to give me lots of special care. The part of my brain that helps you to move was damaged and so my legs don’t work as well as your legs do.’
The class went very quiet. Nathan knew that it was hard for them to understand but he wanted to help them. Charlie put up his hand.
‘Yes, Charlie’ said Mrs Clark.
‘Does that mean you can’t do P.E?’ he asked.
‘No way!’ said Nathan ‘I love P.E! I can throw and catch a ball and I do exercises with my mum to help me move more easily.’
‘Wow!’ said Charlie ‘That sounds just like a gym class’. Everyone laughed.
‘And,’ said Nathan, ‘I play cricket in a disabled cricket team’.
‘Wicked’ said Sam, looking impressed.
Mrs Clark smiled and walked over to Nathan.
‘Well, thank you Nathan,’ she said. ‘That was very interesting’.
‘I am sure we would all love to see you play cricket one day. Your mum tells me that you are very good. Welcome to our class.’
The bell rang for the end of the day and it was time to go home. Everyone said goodbye to Nathan and said that they would see him in the playground in the morning. Nathan smiled. Everyone was so nice and he knew he would make lots of friends. Mum was right. It was going to be a lot of fun.