Back to school blues

With three kids at the same school, there are few mysteries left. Of the three new teachers, two of them have taught one of my kids before. Apart from Year 6, as a family we’ve seen it all, done it all and got the Tshirt (with embroidered school badge, of course). After a relaxed summer, I’m sad that they have to go back, but I had no worries about it. It seems I’m the only one.

We had tears this morning. I went to wake my daughter at 7.15, lifted the cover off her head and found her wide awake and crying silently. No smile, no hello, just ‘Sometimes, at playtime, nobody plays with me at all and then I play with B2, but he won’t be there,’ followed by more tears. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been. She’s going into Year 1 and that’s the only time my boys found going back to school hard, too.

It’s a big year for my kids this year. School-wise, it nearly always is. If they’re not starting school or leaving school, they’re starting a new Key Stage or finishing one. And so it is with my kids.

When she started school, my daughter was eased in with half days and small groups. Now she is leaving behind the safety of the Reception classroom, with its own little toilets and segregated play area and moving out into the big world of Year 1 and Key Stage 1. It’s what the professionals call ‘transitions’.

My younger son is in a transition too, hence my girl’s playground trauma. They often played together at playtime, but now he’s going into Year 3, the start of Key Stage 2 (or the juniors, as well called it back in the day). Key Stage 2 have a separate playground, so they won’t be able to play together any more.

And for my eldest, it’s the big one. Year 6, SATs year, secondary transfer. Aaagh! I’m focusing on the positives. This is the year he will really remember, when he will really thrive, he is a big fish in a small sea. Everyone knows the Year 6s and looks up to them. Years 6s are COOL. He needs to make the best of it, because fast-forward a year and he will be back to square 1 – a small fish in a MASSIVE sea.

Unusually, the kids have gone back to school on a Monday, which means I had to work and couldn’t take them. I kissed them goodbye, wished them luck and my eldest called me back. He clearly had something on his mind, too. He was sat on the settee in his pants. He’d eaten his breakfast, but forgotten the minor detail that he should then clean his teeth, despite doing it for the last 10 years. ‘When will I find out what secondary school I’m going to?’ When I said spring, he couldn’t believe it. It is already hanging over us and in the next couple of weeks it’s all really going to hot up.

The most chilled (as ever) was my middle child. But even he had some concerns about changing classrooms. They knew where they were going today, but the school is being re-built and they will have to move sometime. When will that be and where will he go? What could I say, apart from your teacher will tell you when and where it’s going to happen and it probably won’t be for a while.

At least I get the pleasure of picking them up today, and I really hope it will be a pleasure. Please let them be smiling and enthusiastic, and please, spare them (and me) homework for just a couple more days.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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