During the preliminary time that the Peterson children were with Lori and Jack they went on many days out to places such as Warwick Castle, the London Dungeons, York, the SS Great Britain, the Hunstanton coastline and Drayton Manor theme park. Paige particularly enjoyed these days as she loved history and anywhere that her favourite classic literature related to. Sophie loved the beach because Jack taught her to swim and she got to bury him in the sand which was a completely new experience. Jack’s shrieks of laughter as the sand tickled him or Sophie tickled him made her shriek too and enjoy the activity even more.
Lori also began to sort out which school they would attend in September. Sophie, Ryan and Rose would need to join the local primary school, The De Winter Primary School, but Paige would need to go to the high school. Lori loved the local primary school an often went to work there in Year One in the afternoons but the high school was less positively acclaimed. Lori wanted to send Paige to the other high school further away. However, competition to be offered a place was tough and Lori didn’t know how well Paige would do in an admissions test. She did consider that Paige would be joining Year Nine so most of the people in her year would not need to apply and there would be a greater chance for Paige to be admitted, especially with her circumstances of adoption meaning it could be an offence for the school to reject Paige. Lori didn’t want to worry the children about it yet so she kept quiet and only discussed it with Jack in the evenings when they had gone to bed.
All managed to sort itself out though and soon everyone was going to school. Lori had bought them all they needed when they had first arrived so there was very little hassle in preparing them to start at their new schools. The day before the first day of term, Lori made sure all the rucksacks were packed with a pencil case containing biros, pencils, crayons and coloured pens, a rubber, a ruler and a sharpener, a notebook, a folder and a lunchbox that could fit in after she filled it that evening. Paige was very nervous about starting a new school where everyone already knew each other but Lori assured her it would be fine. Her friend’s daughter went to the same school and had been told to watch out for Paige. The teachers were all aware of her situation so they would be extra understanding if Paige did need to go out in any of her lessons.
The first day was a success and Paige didn’t experience any problems nether did Ryan, Rose and Sophie. They all enjoyed themselves and as they walked home, Rose commented that she thought she was happier at De Winter Primary than she had been at her previous primary school. The rest of the year flew by with lessons, competitions, talks and many fun activities. None of the children had known school to be so exciting and were sorry when June came, signalling the school year coming to a close. There was still one fantastic event to come and that was the school sports day. Ryan had joined the athletics club in the second term and had loved it. He couldn’t wait to take part in sports day, especially as Lori, Jack, Rose and Sophie would all be able to come to watch him run in the one hundred metres and the relay.
Soon the sports day arrived and Ryan was ready and waiting to go for his first race, the on hundred metres. He smiled and waved at Lori, Jack, Rose and Sophie before going to stand on the starting line which had recently been crossed by the girl’s one hundred metre race. His race was about to begin.
“Ready, Set, Go!” screamed Mr. Raine, the schools main P.E teacher, blowing his whistle like a steam engine travelling at full speed.
Ryan was off, as fast as a bullet from a canon.
“Come on, Ryan!” shrieked Lori excitedly.
“Go Ryan!” cried Rose as Ryan overtook the boy in front of him. Sophie stood, cheering with her whole soul, next to Rose and Lori.
The sun was shining brightly and the sky was as blue as sapphires for sports day at The De Winter Primary School. The grass was very soft and a pure emerald green colour. It glinted in the sunlight. Lori, Jack, Rose and Sophie had come to watch Ryan run the one hundred metres and the eighty metre by four relay. Lori and Rose couldn’t run to save their lives so they were very impressed with Ryan’s talent. They were extremely proud of him and wanted him to know how proud his parents, Tamara and Nathan, would have been of him if they had still been able to be with their children.
“Lori, Jack! Guess what?” Ryan ran up to them, shouting breathlessly. “Guess what, Rose? Sophie?”
“What?” they all chorused together, his sisters looking expectantly at him, waiting for him to tell them where he had come in the race.
“I came first!” Ryan collapsed onto the grass which was soft, smooth and fresh, mown specially for sports day. Sophie came over and gave Ryan a big cuddly hug. She was so proud of her older brother and wanted to show it clearly.
“Well done, Ryan. You were amazing!” Lori said.
“Yes, I’m so proud of you, Ryan!” Jack told him, “I’ve never seen you run so fast. I wonder what would happen if we set a lion on your tail!”
Ryan sat up when he saw Benjamin Jones, his best friend, coming towards him.
“Wow, Ryan! You were fabulous!” Ben slapped Ryan gently on the back. “We need to go to the starting point for the relay, come on! We can win this with you on our team.”
“Bye Lori! Bye Jack! Bye Sophie! Bye Rose! Wish me luck!” Ryan shouted as he went off with Ben.
Ryan and Ben wandered slowly over to the running track, which was being used for the girls two hundred metres. Mr. Raine put the boys into their positions as soon as the girl’s race finished; Ryan was going run the final leg because he was the fastest runner in the team and, selfishly, he longed for the glory of being the winner of the final streak.
As Ryan grasped the shiny blue baton from Ben Lori, Jack, Rose and Sophie began to chant loudly; “Ry-an, Ry-an, Ry-an …”
The race was soon over. Ryan had got a well-deserved first place for the Mars team; the year had been split into four sections and put into different teams. This year there were: Mars, Kit Kats, Picnics and Milky Ways. The whole of the Mars team were elated and pleased with the effort of the relay team. Lori congratulated him, Jack congratulated him, his siblings and all his team mates congratulated him too. Ben came over and gave him a friendly hug. He was proud of his best friend too. Ryan had a talent for athletics that Ben was almost envious of.
It was time for the annual presentation of Sports Day awards. Ryan’s family sat rigidly in their hard, green, plastic seats which were littered across the field for the participant's families and friends whilst Ryan waited with his team to hear their final ranking. People were scattered everywhere, the event was very popular. Ryan had even heard that an athletics scout was present.
“In fourth place we have…… Toby Harcourt’s team- The Kit Kats,” bellowed the head teacher, Mrs. Davidson, through the megaphone. Ryan gave a huge cheer. He wanted to make Toby feel good about coming second to last as he looked very upset and had tried his ultimate best.
Eventually, they got to first place. Ryan was very excited as his team hadn’t been given a position yet but nor had the adults team. Everyone in the Mars team was virtually bouncing with anticipation in their seats. One team would be pronounced first and the other team last. He hoped they weren’t last, he had put so much effort into the races he had done and Ryan felt the team deserved to come first.
“In first place we have…… Ryan Peterson’s team- Mars!” Mrs. Davidson thundered.
Nothing else could be heard as Ryan, his family and his team mates exploded with delight. There was a lot of cheering, clapping and dancing. The Mars team were wild with excitement.
“Now, for the individual awards” interrupted Mrs. Davidson, “I know you’re all excited and pleased with your positions but there are still prizes to present. Can I please have some silence! Ok then, the girl’s trophy for ‘Best Runner’ goes to ……Evie Jacobs!” Evie went up to receive the shining golden trophy with a lot of clapping and cheering from her friends. Ryan barley knew Evie but cheered her up anyway. He felt as though he were being jostled along to high spirits by the joy of the crowd.
“And the boy’s trophy for ‘Best Runner’ goes to……”
“It’ll be you, Ryan,” whispered Ben, excited by the fact that his best friend would be winning a trophy.
“No, it won’t,” Ryan whispered back, secretly hoping inside that it was.
“Ryan Peterson!” Mrs. Davidson bellowed.
Ryan stood up slowly, too stunned to move properly. Was it really him getting this award? Of course he had put everything into his running today but surely some other boys had been even more fantastic. It was amazing, Ryan thought, considering no one had ever told him that he or his parents were above average athletic performers.
“Ryan, go on,” Lori came over and gently pushed him forward, “Go and get your trophy.”
Ryan walked forward, slightly dazed, and took the trophy. Everyone applauded as he returned to his seat.
Sports Day was over at last. Ryan was free to go home and rest, after his energetic day of sport.
“I told you!” Ben burst out. “I knew you’d get it.”
“Yes, I suppose so,” Ryan replied, suddenly feeling very tired and worn out.
“Well done, Ryan!” Lori said proudly, “Jack and I are so proud of you. You’re a little star! Your sisters are overjoyed and I bet Paige will be so impressed when you tell her after she gets home from school. I’m certain that Tamara and Nathan would be proud to. You performed spectacularly.”