4th September 2007 was your very first day at school and Wednesday 26th June 2019 marks your last day at school.
12 years! How have the last 12 years gone by so very quickly?
I remember so clearly the morning of your first day at school.
You were 4 years and 4 months old. We had just moved Country 3 days prior to your first day and you were going to a school you had never even stepped foot inside. Looking back now the enormity of it seems huge. Everyone else starting on the same day had already been in to have a look around their new school, meet their new teacher, meet each other, and generally get a feel for it all. Due to us moving so close to you starting there wasn’t time for you to have the same.
But this didn’t phase you in the slightest. You weren’t nervous, you were excited. Luckily we had all of your uniform, books and bag sorted in time and I remember you standing in your Auntie Carlys hallway for photos with your massive school bag on your back that was almost as big as you. As we drove to school and you were full of smiles and excitement.
We arrived and you just went in as confident as you could have been yet you didn’t know anyone. You sat at your desk and I remember taking more photos of your little smiling face. You were beaming.
Walking away and leaving you there for your first day we both felt so very proud of how well you handled everything. From the move we had just done to this new chapter in your life. You took it all in your stride and we couldn’t have been prouder.
That day felt so long as we eagerly awaited until the end of the day when we could pick you up and hear all about your day.
I can’t believe that was almost 12 years ago.
We lived in Ireland for the whole of your primary school years, We move back home to England just shy of you finishing up your last few weeks so we could get you back here and settled into your new school before the Summer holidays began.
Primary school for you was fun and you have lots of lovely memories from it all. Yes, you had your tough times as everyone does and for a while, you had a teacher you weren’t too keen on but you got through it. School in Ireland is different to here in England but you didn’t have anything to compare it too and it was all you had known. Throughout your years at Primary school you learned to speak Irish, you learned to play the fiddle, I remember the early days when you were learning listening to what sounded like a strangled cat coming from your bedroom haha! As time went on you learnt how to play it and ended up playing it with your school in the local shopping centre for all the shoppers to listen to around Christmas time. You also learned how to play the tin whilst too which you were really good at.
Remember all the homework you would get? Sometimes you would have up to 2 hours a night to do, 5 days a week!!!
When you started school it was a very small country school with just 98 pupils in the whole School. The year groups were tiny with only 15 children per year which meant two-year groups were in one class. But because your year was only 15 small you were always such a tight group of friends and despite moving back here and you all going your separate ways you still to this day keep in contact with the majority of them.
We had to buy all of your books, exercise books, writing books, pens, pencils, rubbers … you name it we had to buy it for you over there. Each summer holidays we would venture off into town to get all of your supplies, new bag, new slippers, new uniform and shoes, the start of your new term after the summer holidays would see you armed with everything and your bag that weighed more than a toddler! We actually weighed it one year and it was 13kg!!!! I had to name everything as well, do you remember? It was such a task labeling every single pencil, pen, colouring pencil … haha.
The holidays over there were a lot different too. You would have epic summer holidays that would last 9 weeks but you would only have 2 days in February half term. You used to love such a long summer holiday though, having fun outside with all of your friends.
You had 8 years in Primary school in Ireland starting in Junior Infants all the way through to 6th Class (Ireland have an extra year in primary school compared to schools in England)
We decided on a big move back home after 8 years in Ireland. The move just so happened to be happening in May of 2015. You were in your final year of primary school in Ireland and still had a month to go. Schooling is different in England and you were technically meant to have started year 7 in secondary school the previous September. Moving back in May meant leaving primary school a little early and starting year 7 in secondary 7 months late!
It just so happened that the 2nd big milestone of you starting a new school it happened to co-inside again with a big move, not just house but Country a few days beforehand! Once again we ‘chucked you in the deep end’ as they say, with a “Good luck, you can do this!”
You had a good send off with your friends in Ireland and we made the move home. Less than a week later your first day at secondary school was here. You were nervous the day before and the morning of your first day – I mean who wouldn’t be? But I have to say you handled it far better than I could have done. As you were dropped off on that first morning we could see your nerves, walking into a school where a year group that had already had 7 months experience of being in secondary school, a much bigger school to what you were used to and 7 months of laying the foundations of friendships and getting into friend groups. You took a deep breath when it was time to get out of the car and in you walked. Your head held high and you plastered a confident smile on your face even though you didn’t feel confident you looked ready to take on the world. I can’t tell you how proud we both were and still am of how you dealt with it all.
Fast forward 4 years down the line and you have hands down had the best experience at school anyone could ever have. You have made so many solid friends who are to this day the best groups of friends you could ever wish for. You have had an amazing relationship with a number of your teachers, you’ve hated any days you’ve had to have off sick because it meant a day away, I mean who likes school that much to actually want to be there …. that’s you and that just proves how much you have loved it.
You have been on a number of school trips – the most memorable being Skiing with your year group in year 10, what a week and an experience you had. Those memories will last a lifetime. Let’s not forget DOE either – trekking through the Purbeck Hills with all your camping gear on your back in the extreme heat of 2018 where the south of England was in a 4-month heatwave! You did your trial weekend and to say you weren’t looking forward to the main event was an understatement, haha but as hard as it was you did it, succeeded and you’ve actually said it was quite a good laugh and you did enjoy it after all.
You have just sat 22 GCSE exams not forgetting the ones previous to that earlier in the year. They are all now behind you and you can relax until the results day!
But for now we here are – the final day you will go into school in a school uniform. Just a few short hours for your levers assembly and then this evening for your Prom. I can’t believe your school days are over.
Enjoy your epic summer holidays – you really do deserve them and have the most wonderful time at your Prom. I know we will be holding back the tears just seeing you all dressed up ready to celebrate the end of your school journey.
The famous saying … ‘School is the best years of your life’ certainly is true for you.