The start of the new school year is looming, the new uniforms are labelled, the PE kits packed and the parents are getting ready to breathe a collective sigh of relief.
This year sees Chloe start Reception. Wednesday will be my little girl’s first proper day at school. Full time, staying for lunch, playing in the big playground. It’s a big thing. A big thing for her, for me, for her little sister who I know is going to really miss her!
Trying on their new uniforms ready for September
The first day at school is such a huge milestone. The day your child takes their first steps into the real world, without you there to hold their hand. Yes they may have been to Nursery, yes they may have been in full time childcare since they were not much more than babies but school is different. School means not knowing what they’ve been doing all day or what they’ve had for lunch. School means not knowing who their friends are. School means learning to read, to write, to learn. School means growing up.
Ben and Chloe both started primary school in Nursery – at just 3 years and 1 month old, wearing school uniform and taking a full part in school life with assemblies, playtimes and even homework. Of course this means that for both them and I, the first day in Reception doesn’t feel quite so painful. Putting on the school uniform is already routine, walking to school for 9am is already routine. It will be strange not to collect Chloe at lunch time though. Strange not to have that time with my girls. She’s excited to have her dinner at school but I think she will find the days long. The afternoon sessions will be tiring at first and I’m not sure Amy will know what to do with herself all day without her big sister by her side.
Ben’s first day at Nursery – September 2012
Ben will be in Year 2 this year. Year 2. Top juniors. SATs year. How is my little boy in Year 2? His first day at school seems like it was only yesterday. Walking Ben to school on his first day was especially precious to me as it was something I never thought I would be able to do. As a primary school teacher myself I had always expected I would be at work, however I left my full time teaching job to move onto supply the summer before Ben started Nursery at our local primary school.
I remember finding it really strange that Ben’s school had all the Nursery & Reception children in at once on the first day – no staggered starts, no parents in the cloakroom bidding tearful farewells – a real “rip the plaster off and let’s get on with it” attitude. I was quite shocked and also really glad that Ben was the sort of confident, independent child who wasn’t phased by it! Pushing a reluctant child through the gates and into the unknown could easily have been challenging for both of us!
Despite Ben having been in the Nursery at school for a full year, I still surprised myself by bursting into tears as I sent him into his Reception class on his first day. I blamed it on pregnancy hormones at the time! With hindsight I guess it was a mixture of pride, relief and sadness that my little man was growing up and needing me just that little bit less.
I do rather wonder if these first days at school are harder for us as mums than they are for the children themselves!
The first day of school is a big deal the world over and Persil have teamed up with Unicef in a global initiative called “Learning for Tomorrow”, to help empower the next generation through education. (I warn you now – this video is a tear jerker!)
Every child has a right to an education and Persil are committed to helping improve the future of children around the world and support them in reaching their full potential through access to quality education and new learning experiences.
Much as it is currently popular to bemoan about the standard of teaching or education in this country I really don’t think we know how lucky we are. Did you know that globally, there are 130 million children in education who will reach year 5 but fail to learn the basic reading, maths, writing and social sills they need to achieve their full potential. Furthermore, an additional 58 million children are out of school without access to basic education. As both a teacher and a mother this horrifies me. To find out more about the Learning for Tomorrow Initiative or read about Persil’s partnership with UNICEF, visit www.persil.co.uk/learning-for-tomorrow.
As part of Persil’s partnership with Unicef, celebrating the giving of 10M children worldwide access to quality education, Persil are running a Photo-A-Week challenge. Each week for 4 weeks, you could win exciting prizes! Each week Persil will announce a school theme on their Instagram page (@PersilUK) and ask you to upload your photo to Instagram. Just mention @PersilUK using that week’s competition hashtag.
If your little one is starting school for the first time this week – then good luck to both of you! Treat yourself to some cake after you’ve dropped them off and all will be well.
*Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you in collaboration with Persil & Tots100*