Its been ‘totes emosh’ in the Sparkles household for the last few weeks as we approached the end of primary school for Little Miss and she began to wobble. Little Miss came to live with us when she was two and shortly after started the pre school which is on the primary school site, so for the last nine years we’ve been walking the familiar route and been a part of a very special community. It has been the most wonderful school, whom have understood, nurtured and encouraged both our daughter and our family. I think this is why the last few weeks have been so difficult, as Little Miss tried to accept that something that has been such an integral part of her life was no longer going to be. Its been weeks of high anxiety at school and home and its been tough, the meltdown at the secondary school uniform fitting made me realise that talk about secondary school needed to stop and to take every day as it came. Consequently I was really worried about this week, especially the leaving party on Wednesday night and today’s assembly. Amazingly given the previous weeks these two events have gone so much better than I could have expected and Little Miss has relaxed and enjoyed these events. Sometimes I think its the anticipation of an event which causes her anxiety rather than the actual event.
The leavers party was on Wednesday evening and Little Miss looked so grown up in her new outfit. We had lots of fun in New Look on Sunday trying on different clothes and texting Grandma some photos for her opinion! I like her choice of the bright yellow playsuit, it still had the innocence of childhood with a bit of teenage style.
In their final half term, the class have been doing the Virgin £5 challenge and after a very successful apprentice fair had made enough money to pay for all aspects of their party, fish and chips from the local chippie, a disco and bouncy castles. There was another £100 profit after the party and the children chose to donate it to Great Ormond Street Hospital in thanks for their care and skill in looking after one of the class, such a lovely and genuine gesture. The party was a wonderful success and Little Miss was so happy and tired when I picked her up from the party, it was one of those special conversations as we walked home when I began to think that things might be alright.
It has been a celebration of lasts although I’ve not tried to draw attention in fear of causing more anxiety. The one I was dreading was the last school run together, the school run is precious and one of my favourite parts of the day, even though Little Miss has been allowed to walk to and from school alone in Year 6, she normally tags along with me and her brother and other friends we pass on our way. One of the teachers posted this thought this week and I really got it, so many memories from that daily journey.
Last night when it was just me, Little Miss and Little Man, we took a detour from the school run for drinks and cakes in our favourite café, I wanted to eek out every moment. This morning all four of us walked to school for the final ‘full’ school run as this afternoon the children finished at different times. Today is the last day that our children will attend the same school as its likely Little Man will go to a special school for secondary, so it felt even more poignant, it was one of those moments I just wanted to appreciate.
The Leavers assembly was first thing in the morning and thanks to some peak parenting skills, we had front row seats, a tactic learnt from many class and star assemblies. We arrived to find tissues on our seats with the Dr Seuss quote printed on ‘Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened’ It was a superb production, showing the talents of all the students. Little Miss sang Lost Boy by Rachel B, such a beautiful and haunting song.
I kept it together for Little Miss but the closest I came to sad crying was when ‘When I grow up’ from Matilda was sung. However there were very many cheerful parts, they played nursery rhyme karaoke with the Head and Deputy and some Year 6 boys led Baby Shark which had all the school singing and joining in. It was a full production with an interval and in the second half they had created a Who Dunnit over missing coffee in the staffroom. It was amazing, the children were all staff members and as they arrived into the hall all dressed up, they went to their staff member and took their lanyards. The script, mannerisms and acting were superb, at this point I was crying with laughter. The finale was the parents top secret mission for which we had provided photos from their first day at school and other photos during the years for a special presentation. The children knew nothing about this and this was when the tears started, I was really surprised Little Miss kept it together and because she did I did too (I’m sure I saw Mr S wiping away a tear at this part) The teachers then exploded some confetti cannons at the end to finish with a colourful and uplifting effect.
As I wasn’t sure how Little Miss was going to be and we were leaving at the end of the assembly, I popped a postcard in her lunch box with a positive quote and some special words on the other side to keep her going through the day. Fortunately, she had a wonderful afternoon signing shirts (and socks?!) , receiving certificates , most improved Maths student (yay!) and a gift, a Year 7 survival kit and when she left school for the last time she had a big smile on her face, I was so relieved. Sadly the weather was rotten and the original plans for after school had to be changed, however the beach bar (with shelter) was the perfect spot for Year 6 parents and children to meet up for a drink and was a relaxed way to say good byes.
This evening, we had planned Little Miss’ favourite meal for tea so we had an Indian with all the trimmings and then cake. We really wanted today to be a very special day of celebrations. We’re all shattered now, its been a day of high emotion but has created some very special and happy memories. I am sad for Little Miss to be leaving primary school as its been such a wonderful experience but I also recognise that its time for her to move on and flourish in her secondary school.