I’ve slacked off a bit with The Gallery recently. Between going on holiday and themes I couldn’t quite relate to, I’ve missed a few weeks. I promised myself I’d be back this week.
And I feel like this is where I came in. My very first Gallery post was Back to School this time last year. A whole year has passed since then and here we are again. Back to school.
Last year was a big one for us, with my eldest starting secondary school.
This year is much more low-key. This year is about consolidation. Moving onwards and upwards.
The biggest change is probably for my daughter, who is going into the juniors – year 3. This will be the first time since 2005 I haven’t had a child in the infants. That makes me a little bit sad, if I’m honest, to know that I will never have a child in the infants again.
My daughter’s class is being mixed this year, so most of the children she was with last year won’t be with her when she goes back to school. Luckily she’s still with her best friends and she seems to be taking the idea of the change in her stride. She will have also have job-share teachers this year, another big change. She adored her teacher last year, and her teacher adored her. She is sad to go back to school and not be with her any more.
My younger son is moving up into year 5 – the second last year at primary. He will definitely be one of the ‘big ones’ as a year 5. To be honest, he’s looked and behaved like one of the big ones for many years now, but I still don’t quite now how he actually got to be that old.
This will really be his year for concentrating on work with his tutor ready for his grammar school entrance exam at the start of year 6 and the dreaded secondary school applications. He will hopefully continue working as hard as ever at school, with the SATs less than two years away and him expected to reach Level 6 (the expected level for a year 6 is Level 4). He’s got another male teacher this year (his third in primary school), which I’m sure will be good for him.
And my biggest boy will be moving up to year 8. No longer the youngest at secondary school. I hope this will be good for him. I hope it will make him feel more settled. I’m aware it could go the wrong way and make some children more cocky, but I hope this won’t happen to my son. My aim for him this year is that he tries to work a little harder and gets his handwriting neater. His teacher in year 7 told me what we’ve known since year 1 – he’s a bright boy with some good ideas, but his handwriting is holding him back. He’s not going to pass his GCSEs or his Key Stage 3 SATs with illegible handwriting. He needs to turn it round this year.
I’m going to miss all of my kids when they go back to school. It’s been a good summer. We’ve done more than we usually do and the weather has been amazing. Back to school is back to routine. And the start of the long, cold, dark slide into winter and Christmas. That’s not something I’m looking forward to.