It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were preparing for your first day at Primary School and now look where we are! The Secondary School journey begins today and I think I’m just as nervous as you. It’s not quite the start that I’d envisaged, not quite the start that we’ve talked about from the moment we knew you’d got into the same school as your best friend. But it is what it is AND at least you are going to school (although I know you aren’t so happy about that).
The Secondary School journey begins with you not walking to school with your best friend as we’d planned, for today anyway. Today begins with a staggered start, so you can have your first lateral flow test checking for Covid. I guess we should be happy that we’ve got this far in the pandemic with you not needing to be tested before now. Maybe we could have had a trial run at home first, but knowing you as I do, I think you’ll actually cope better being guided by a stranger in the first instance. Fingers crossed I’m not wrong on that score!
You’re starting over an hour later than normal on your first day, so I’m starting work later than normal and for the first time in your school life I will actually drive you to school. The advantage of me working not far from school! Hopefully, it will help quell your fears, hopefully, you won’t pick up on my own anxieties today.
Everyone has that photo, first day at a new school, in a new uniform, and with Secondary School, there’s normally a blazer and tie involved too. Not for you, not today, at least. You get to start school in your PE kit today. You’re less than thrilled about having PE on your first day. Even more unimpressed by the idea of team building and sessions to break the ice with your peers.
So the Secondary School journey begins today, and whilst it may not be as we’d thought it would be, whilst so much is uncertain and unknown, hopefully at some point today you’ll get to meet up with your best friend and not feel totally alone. Maybe you might talk to someone you don’t know or someone else from your old school. Knowing you, that’s quite unlikely, but maybe you’ll realise that you aren’t the only quiet, shy child who is starting out on a journey into the unknown.
You know where you’ve agreed to meet your best friend at the end of the day. You know the route to walk home together. You know that his Mum and I will be waiting for you at home. You know that there is a pizza waiting for your dinner! You know that I’ll be proud of you for getting through your first day, and I’ll be proud of you on every other day of your journey through Key Stage Three and beyond.
I know you’re unsure, I know you are anxious, but you can do this. I reminded you that your Dad and I have both been where you are. I reminded you that I went through this journey twice as we moved when I was fourteen, and on that occasion, the only person I knew in the whole school was my brother. You know that I survived and that you will too.
You do know children in the years above you and hopefully, you will see a few of them next week. There will be people looking out for you, friends keeping you in their sights. It will be ok.
And let’s be honest, as soon as you get home from school you’ll be working out exactly how many school days you’ve got until half term!