School’s out

And so we’re done. Or Kara is, at least. It’s the summer holidays, and our daughter is no longer a primary school student. Come September, she will start her secondary school career.

School’s out for summer

School’s out forever

School’s Out – Alice Cooper

It marks the end of an 11-year association with our local primary school. For two years, it was just Isaac. Then for the next two it was both Isaac and Toby. That was followed by a three-year stint with all three kids. Three became two when Isaac moved on, and finally it has just been Kara for the past two years.

The end of an era.

A step up

And so the cycle continues once more, but not quite the same. We will never again have all three of them attending the same school. The boys are together in Reading, while Kara will be going to our local school in Thatcham.

She’s ready to make the jump. She has been since I took her to attend an open evening at the school several months ago. The last few weeks post-SATs were a case of just treading water. She’s completed her two transition days (and has two more days of ‘summer school’ to come in August). She has her new school uniform. And Heather and I have attended the indoctrination welcome evening for Year 7 parents.

Where some other kids – quite understandably – view the step up to secondary school with trepidation, Kara cannot wait. As adults, it’s easy to forget just how dramatic a change it is in an 11-year-old’s life. You’re leaving a small school where you’ve had a consistent set of classmates for seven years for a bigger one with hundreds of new kids. Instead of staying in one classroom with the same teacher, you’re now expected to move around between classes with different subject teachers. Being placed in sets according to your ability. (At Kara’s school, this starts immediately for some subjects.) More homework. More rules. Detentions.

It’s a lot of change to take in, and a lot of responsibility to take on.

Great expectations

With the boys, moving to secondary school has been the making of them. Isaac has always relished responsibility and has grown in confidence as he settled in and expanded his horizons. Toby has come out of his shell a huge amount and stepped out of his brother’s shadow.

I’m expecting similar things from Kara. She’s just as smart as her siblings and fiercely competitive about it, so we’re not worried about her academically. She’s outgoing and confident (sometimes a little too much so!) And we have no concerns whatsoever about getting her to sign up for new clubs and sports, in addition to continuing with cheer and martial arts. Quite the opposite, in fact. She’s already poring over the list of clubs and activities on offer before school, at lunchtimes and after school, and I’m wondering whether we’ll actually ever see her again. It’s a nice problem to have.

All in all, we’re all quite chilled going into this summer of transition. School’s out and we’re going to enjoy it while it lasts – because it won’t be long before school’s back in again.