Monday 24 July 2023

Eldest's Last Day At Primary School

 Oh what an emotional week it's been! 

Our first born has finished primary school. Feels like such a big step. And I know many of you have followed this blog since she was a baby and have seen the milestones in our lives, it feels right to sahre this one as well. 

I'm a soppy fool and had a few emotional wobbles this week. My daughter on the other hand is as stoic as ever! To be fair she just seems excited about what is to come and is looking forward to secondary school. 

Dressed up for Matilda

They've had a great last week (or so) with a trip to West Midlands Safari park the week before, a class party on the Saturday (plus a family BBQ in the evening), a friends party on the Sunday. 

Then in the week they performed Matilda on Tuesday and Wednesday evening (not to mention she helped me with Beavers Monday night as well). Her class did an incredible performance of the play, with some great timed laugh out loud moments and superb songs. Mad to think I've known most of those children since they were toddlers at playgroup, it's been great to see them all grow up and become confident young people. Many have been my scouts (beavers) as well! 

I went on the Tuesday evening with our other two children, and my wife went Wednesday evening with her mum and dad and my dad. Everyone really enjoyed it. 

That said, if I never hear the soundtrack to Matilda again that would also be fine with me...

Then on the Thursday we had the leavers assembly in the church. I didn't cry - much - but each child could do a little speech and there were a few that really tugged on the heart strings. 

One was a lad I've known since he was a baby, as his mum and me went to playgroup and were good friends, suffering the trials of raising toddlers together with our other friends. We'd meet up at a playgroup on a Friday and often end up having lunch so we could all be sleep deprived and moan together. She unfortunately died a few years ago and I just thought how much she would have loved to see him up there (and I'm now crying again typing this), and seeing what a capable lad he is. All she ever wanted was to be a good mum (and have a horse) and that was cruelly taken away from her.  

While some children seemed to cry for hours at the thought of leaving the safe nest of primary school, ours just beamed. I was choked up when she won the maths prise for the year as well. The struggles we've had at school with her dyslexia, it felt great that now her reading has caught up enough not to hamper her maths brain (both my wife and I are good with numbers). I was so proud of her for that, not letting it get her down. 

I also got a bit weepy when I thanked the TA in her class. Since she got diagnosed with Type One Diabetes there's always a low level worry in the pit of my stomach, making sure she's taking care of it and dealing with it right. It's still really early days so there's still so much to learn. The TA has been in credible though and basically made a bit of a crap time really easy. I was going in daily to give her the insulin, but since she's been injecting herself this TA has been there for her, checking without treading on her toes. Talking to me most afternoons about how it went and just generally being brilliant. My daughter has been lucky to have her in her class (every child mentioned her in their leavers speech to give you an idea of how loved she is) and as a parent I don't think I could have wished to have someone more caring, down to earth and just plain lovely to support my daughter. 

My daughter had also organised a mini picnic with three of her friends for Saturday, and part of me wonders if that was so it wasn't all over on the Friday (they had a day of fun with water fights and shirt signings). Her friends came over, all bringing something different with them. The rain fell and they ended up having it in the sitting room. She had a tight little group of friends lately (boys and girls) and I had to smile when the one lad said in his speech that he had always struggled with having lots of friends but has five close ones (my daughter included), I thought if he gets to adulthood with that many he'll be a rich man.

Another chapter over for my daughter, and an exciting one to come. I always enjoyed secondary school (I mean it's a rollercoaster, but on the whole it was a good time), and I hope she does as well. I wouldn't be a good dad if I didn't worry about it, especially with things like phones (we tried to hold off as long as we could but diabetes means she HAS to have one now to use the tech available) and the inability for them to switch off and distance from things, but she's always does me proud. 

What memories do you have of your child (or close relative/friend) going off to secondary school?

What memories do you have of it yourself? 

I might write a post about when I moved off to secondary school, it was quite a jump!


  1. You've done a fantastic job with all of your children Kev and I wish your eldest the very best for her years at secondary school. It's a jungle but I'm sure she'll be fine, she's got a good grounding. My granddaugher also starts secondary school this autumn and is looking forward to it after having a not so good time at a very tiny village primary school. I hope she'll make lots of new friends and be happier there.

    1. Thank Sue. I didn;t have a great time at Primary, a lack of friends due to it being only 23 children (juniors and infants), so secondary was great for me.

  2. She seems such a lovely, capable girl I think she will do fine at high school.
    What a great dad you are! As someone who didn't have a supportive, encouraging father can I say how valuable it is.

    1. Ah thanks. I was with my parents a lot growing up, so I think for me it's normal. I spent so much time with dad, but it was all work based, but it made us really close. I can always remember being at a friends house and him being a little down, but listening to me moan about all the work I was having to do on the farm. He said to me I was lucky as I knew my dad and he felt he didn't know his at all.

  3. I went to a very small school (graduating class of 8) and there were only two buildings so it wasn't much of a jump for me other than going from a big fish to a small fish as the saying goes.

    My girls go to a much much larger school (graduating classes of around 350) and I was a bit nervous when my eldest made the transition. Mostly because of all the rumors of gangs and bullies. But either our daughter has never got put in that position or the rumors themselves are just unfounded, there never has been an issue. I wasn't too emotional about it all but I think that will change next year when she leaves home for college and our youngest will make the transition into middle school. I'm sure I'll shed a few tears. I know when I left for college, I bawled my eyes out on the drive to the dorm that I was to call home. I know my parents cried too as I was driving away.

    1. I went from a school of 23 to 1000 so it was quite the jump for me into secondary school. There was just 6 in my year and only 4 went to the saem high school.
      I didn't leave home until 24, but it was a slow move out where I'd come back for a few days, depending where my work was for a few months. I'm glad my parents are still at the farm and that my brother has built a house there. I'll always feel tied to the place I grew up.
      This is a small town school for my daughter, much like the one I went to, with a big catchment of villages. It has a nice feel to it so I'm hopeful it will all be good for her.

  4. I will have been at this primary school with my kids for 13 years when my youngest leaves (I think), I know so many of the teacher and have gone into to do different things at different times, as well as building things for it. they really do become hubs of the community and I love that, I can't drive through our large village without someone to wave to. And most of that is down to either school or playgroup. I was saying to a good friend yesterday how we also made so many parent friends as well, ones I think will probably be friends for a good while longer, many fun nights and even weekends away with them.


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