So, it’s the end of an era. The end of N’s primary school days. One phase ends, another begins (well, after the summer).
July might have been a short month, but they certainly pack in the fun, especially with the year 6s. Here’s the final school days round up which will also be the last on the blog.
Day trip out
Before going on residential week, they had a last minute day trip out. Just into town – to the museum, picnic in the park. Then climbing walls and bowling at the new cinema complex. N loved it. He’s never really been that excited about climbing things, but this place he kept going on about it. He had fun doing the bowling too. He loved being out with his school friends.
One good thing about N’s school is how they have friendships across year groups due to them having mixed year classes, but also because at breaktimes they seem to all muck in and play together. N went to what’s probably the last birthday party of primary school. He was so pleased that a friend of his who left back in January went. Now he’s just waiting for them to link up phone numbers.
End of school report
Ahead of parents evening we had the school report back. The last one. N is the last era of our family going to the school, unless any have children in years to come. N report was really good without any surprises.
Secondary school parents’ evening
While the children get a day in school (not ours because they had a clash with residential), the parents have an information evening. Well, a 45 minute talk. It was a shame there wasn’t time afterwards to talk to teachers because the children there in the day were told about what wing they’d be in, and various other things that we’d like to know. I hope they tell our kids on the morning when they’re in, but if they don’t I’ll have to email in and hope I get an answer. Or I’ll send N in with questions and hope he’ll ask them.
Our evening slot was the earlier one, so covered 4 of the 7 tutor groups, and 2 of the houses. With 10ish kids going from our school I expected to see at least half of the parents there. But I was the only one from our school. I know 2 sets who couldn’t make it, but I’m hoping there’s more than just the 3 of them in those 2 houses. I sat with a friend whose twins have randomly been split up – even in different houses and wings. It was nice to chat with an old NCT committee friend who was there doing refreshments for the PTSA. And also spotted an old swimming friend. N and her daughter used to be in Water Babies classes together, and then swimming lessons after that. It would be spooky if they ended up in the same tutor group.
After last year’s being cancelled, they got to go on their Year 5 and 6 residential to Dorset. They went Monday to Friday, and by the sounds of things had a great time. They learnt about the Jurassic coast (I would have loved it, N found it boring – he’s obviously not going to be a geographer!), did orienteering, kayaking, archery, celebrated 2 birthday with cake and limbo dancing, raft building, and ate a good amount of food.
The OH picked him up as I was at Wimbledon. I found his suitcase waiting for me to empty – not just dirty washing, but it had been vomited over by another child in the middle of the night. It had been wiped down quite well by the teachers, everything inside’s been washed. But I fear my sick splattered suitcase is never going to get entirely clean. Apparently quite a few children were sick over the few days they were there. Grim. To top it off, 2am Sunday morning saw N puking in the doorway of his bedroom, unable to get to the bathroom. I presume someone had a bug before going and passed it round everyone. Thankfully it seemed to be a one night/day thing, so he only missed one day of school (he wasn’t the only one!).
The final parents evening and SATsresults
I nearly forgot to go, but it was the final parents evening. We got his SATs results which we were very happy with. We knew he was on track to pass, but he did a lot better in his SPAG than I expected, and had some nice comments about his externally moderated writing.
It was lovely to hear the role he plays, and how he fits in in class. Hopefully he’ll be able to take that on to secondary school, and he’ll get supported in what he needs, if he needs it.
N isn’t usually a lover of doing drama. But the summer end of year performance he quite enjoyed. It was a chance for the children to write their own scripts, He was so keen, he spent an evening adjusting lines for their group and making suggestions.
The performance was very casual, with some comedy moments, and some ‘80s’ music that they’ve been listening to over the year in class. I’m not sure it was the best choice of songs though. Each Year 6 class usually have a song they change the words to. The last one pre-Covid, the Year 6s did Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill, and it was a great song. N’s Year 6 song was Sunshine on Leith.
Now I do love the musical movie of the same name, but the actual song is a bit depressing (and long). They definitely put a lot into it, actions and everything. And then got sent out to sing it directly to parents. I found their version of the Frog Chorus ‘we all stand together’ was more moving, as they’re all going off to secondary. It was nice to be in school (well, the playground) and see their final show.
The final day at primary school
The final day of primary was a busy one. It started with the Leaver’s service at church. We parked up at school, so walked down through the village together which was nice. I’ve only ever seen the end of the leaver’s service, so it was great to finally see N’s.
Each leaver stands in the pulpit and does their leaver’s speech – sharing their school memories. Who knew N had comic timing and projection! His was short and concise, but very him, and it made people laugh. Then they were all awarded star of the week and learner of the week from different teachers. N’s was spot on – Star of the Week for being the most honest member of the class, and Learner for his organisation skills throughout his school time.
They were given their leaver’s hoodies (which are a nice slightly turquoise blue), their yearbook (N’s surname was spelt wrong in it – sigh), a mug (name spelt correctly), and letters to them from younger students in the school from their school teams wishing them luck and saying what they’ll miss about them. Such lovely things for them to take away. The deputy head who taught them in year 3 and 4, did a bit of a speech about what he remembers of them. Having been in a small school is lovely because all the teachers and TAs know the children so it feels so much more personal than how I remember my primary school days in a school of 450+ children.
The emotional part comes when the Year 5s line up along the aisle, and the school sings ‘So long farewell’ to them as they process down to the back of the church and then wave goodbye. I’ve caught this part in previous year’s when I’ve come to pick N up from church, and it’s usually the time when leavers and parents cry. I’ve cried over other people’s kids before, but this time surprisingly I held it together. It’s a lovely way to send the leavers on their way.
Year 6 vs staff/parents football match
Then it was back to school for the Year 6 vs parents and staff football match. N had been practising for this match all week, and he and his friends were determined theirs would be the year that finally beat the adults. Let’s just say the game was a bit rough in places – one dad ended up being in serious pain from one take out. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. I didn’t play – it was way too hot for me. But it was great to watch how excited they were at the end to have finally won, 3-1. First time since the match has been run that the children won.
In the afternoon it was back to school for the awards assembly. Usual target certificates were presented for all classes. N got his platinum award.
Year 6s also get presented with trophies. N was awarded the trophy for Outstanding Values and Behaviour. As the reasoning behind giving the award was said for each, it was funny to overhear the children correctly guessing who would win the relevant awards.
I don’t even recall doing anything when we left primary school. We just got given a book, and left. But nowadays, leavers parties are the norm, with many getting ridiculously fancy. We do low key (as there’s under 20 children, you can’t really do a huge party anyway), and it was the perfect ending to their school days.
One of the parents nearby offered their field and picnic tables for the venue. We did a BBQ, mocktails, had music playing, decorated the lounge room with their Year 6 photo boards they’d made. Mostly they went off and played football and ran around, exchanging phone numbers. It was great for them to get together for the last time, and for us parents to socialise for the first time in so long.
School bus worry
The secondary school bus has been on my mind this month. Our application for a bus pass was rejected – but it seems that’s because we have to apply directly to the bus operator not to the school bus service at the council, due to our route being a normal local one. But the route’s changing hands, and there hadn’t been any sign of it for ages on the agreement of who’d won the route. Now we know it’s Stagecoach and the route will continue to 7 years. Phew. They’re not amending the route to detour and pick up the 10 kids that need it from our village, so on the way, they’ll get picked up in the village. But the way home we’ll need to pick up from a village on the main road. It’s better than nothing though.
The first day of their holidays, N was back in PE kit to go for the alternative transition morning at his secondary school. It was 3 hours and covered a tour round the school with the Year 7 head, a talk from him and chance to ask questions – I was surprised N did, but it was a useful question to ask. Then they did some art, some PE, and another activity. He hasn’t spoken much about it, but said it was fine. Hopefully it’s made him feel like he’s really ready to go. I’ve sent in some other questions I felt we’d missed the chance to ask, so hopefully I’ll get some answers, be able to sort out the buses, and then he’ll be set for September.
If your child’s starting primary in September, check out my tips and resources on primary school days.
Do you have a year 6 leaver this year? How does it feel with it being the end of primary school.