My daughter might be ready to leave year 6, but I’m not….
So it’s a year on from when my own daughter left primary school however the feelings and memories are as vivid as ever! Good luck to all you leavers this year- Go get them! But to you parents- I feel you….
Those of you who have followed Mumbler since the beginning will be aware that Harrogate Mumbler is almost 11 years old now. I created the Facebook group when my second daughter was a brand-new baby. Well, that baby is about to finish primary school so I thought it was high time that I put pen to paper again to reflect on how I’m feeling about this next chapter in our lives.
Thankfully, my confident “baby” is totally ready for the next stage of her life- her primary school have helped prepare her well. Unfortunately I’m not doing quite as well…For me it’s the second time that I’ve witnessed a year six pupil transitioning to secondary school, my eldest daughter is well & truly a teenager now (and don’t I know it!?) Whilst of course, the vast majority of kids love the safety and security of their primary school, they do seem to get to a natural stage they are ready to move on and experience new adventures. My baby is ready for this… but if I’m honest with you I’m not sure that I am.
When my oldest daughter transitioned to secondary school I felt a bit nostalgic & sad, but I didn’t feel like this. I am having a mini crisis-of-confidence about how I will adapt & fill the hole that our primary school has unwittingly created. Between both of my kids, this particular primary school has been part of my daily life for 11 years! As there are around 192 school days in a year, and I do the school run twice a day (and I usually walk there and back) I estimate that I’ve walked that route to school or home around 8000 times!
On the school walk I’ve chatted to friends, said hello to local residents, popped into the local shops, waved off school trips, attended PTA meetings, picked up a coffee or a loaf of bread. In the playground during the first few years of school life, I met & got to know some of my (now) best friends, parents of other children in the school. I’ve enjoyed countless nights out including some hugely memorable school balls, PTA quizzes, “Getting to know you” drinks for the new parents. I have attended nativity plays, carol concerts and so many fantastic productions. I’ve waved off on residential trips, helped out on school trips and even ran barefoot to victory in my first Mums race at sports day (unfortunately I totally failed to repeat the victory at my youngest daughter’s mums race) I have managed to put together countless blooming’ world book day costumes (Obviously I’m only going to admit to the decent ones here!)
Do you know what? I’m really, really going to miss it all.
Your local primary school and the community that it creates among parents and local residents is an absolute treasure. If your own child is starting primary school this September I wish you the very best of luck. Your child will be absolutely fine and so will you. My advice to you is to try and chat to everyone in the playground, just say “yes” to the PTA and get involved! Of course it’s awkward at the beginning, especially after the last couple of covid years- we’re all out of practice socialising & making new friends. You may have to force yourself to get involved, but it is absolutely true what they say; it is all over in a flash. I remember when my youngest daughter had her first day at reception, my friend Les & I snuck off to the pub for a sneaky lunch & a glass of wine. Neither of us could believe that the “pre-school” days were over & that we now had time to ourselves during the day!
Secondary school is a completely different kettle of fish, yes the schools do still try & keep parents in the loop, however it’s not the same. The bottom line is you are never anywhere near as involved in your child’s secondary education as you are during the primary years.
And so finally, to my own primary school and to all the other wonderful primary schools out there; all of the amazing, patient teachers, TA’s and support staff who have helped my daughters along the way and on behalf of everyone else who has a year 6 leaver this year I want to say a huge & heartfelt thank you: From helping her cut-up her food and get to the toilet in time in reception class, through to friendship struggles, dealing with hormonal surges in year 6 and everything in between, I am so grateful for everything that you have done.
You taught my daughter to read & write, you supported her practically & emotionally when we discovered she has dyslexia. You have given hugs when I couldn’t be there, bandaged grazed knees and helped heal playground fall-outs. You’ve helped shape & mould my daughter into the wonderful kid that she is. In short, you made sure that my daughter is ready to move on, to take on her next challenge and move on to secondary school.
But forgive me, she might be ready for it but I’m just not. I will miss this part of my daily routine, particularly the walks with my girl to school & back, more than I can ever express on this blog. So what can I say other than good luck to all of the year 6’s. You’re all so ready for it and I hope you all thoroughly enjoy your well-deserved end of year 6 celebrations.
To all the other parents on our last day- I’ll be there with a pack of tissues at the ready…