This is the talk I gave at Noah's school memorial service during the week.
Noah started school at Punchbowl Kindergarten in 2005 at the old Kinder at Wentworth street.
We were very nervous about sending Noah to school because he needed a lot of care and hadn’t ever been away from us before, but we knew that his aide Di would look after him well, and she has. He also had another aide Angie, for a little while and was very lucky to have people who loved and cared for him so well for so long.
Before Noah started school we had a meeting with Mr R.the old principal and Mrs H. and we told them that even though Noah was disabled we knew that he would get a lot out of being at Punchbowl Primary because we knew what a great school it was. We wanted him to be around children who would treat him well and who would make it a fun and happy place to be at, and it definitely has been that.
We have been very proud to tell people that Noah went to Punchbowl Primary School. When Noah was in Prep, Aaron and I were asked to speak at a dinner which was for all the teacher aides from different schools. We talked to them about how good Punchbowl Primary had been in making school a great place for Noah to be.
We told them about all of the amazing students here who loved having Noah at school and did everything they could to make him a part of their class, and all the teachers who did all they could to make school a great place for Noah.
We love looking back at old photos of Noah having stories read to him, or playing with play dough in Prep with lots of his friends, or having his friends push him in his wheelchair around the school.
We loved it when we would walk into school with Noah and everyone would be excited to see him, and that you knew to do things like rub his arms or body to let him know that you were there saying hello, or to show him things close up so he could see them better.
We will never forget Noah being in Miss W's class dance at the Celebration Evening last year. Every morning Noah would open his eyes a little bit when he was wheeled into Miss W’s classroom, as he would hear the music blaring and see everyone dancing before the bell went. He would then realise he was at school and would go back to sleep again. I think that Noah is the only child at school who didn’t get into trouble for sleeping at school!
We are really sad that he won’t get to be in Miss W’s class dance at the end of this year, but we know he will be there in spirit being one of the judges.
We loved teasing Noah’s teachers about how slack they were as Noah never came home with homework, never learnt to write his name and never learnt how to count. But to us and Noah, doing those things weren’t important at all. It was just important that he could have the best school, the best aides, the best teachers, and the best friends. And that’s what he had at Punchbowl Primary.
We would like to thank all of you for being so kind to Noah while he was at school. We will never forget it.