When Secondary Schools Suddenly Seem So Real

Boo is now nearing the end of Year 4 at primary school. She loves school, she’s very happy there. She does well academically and she has some wonderful friends.

Of course the subject of secondary schools has come up before. It’s something I’ve been aware of for years and it is something that I’ve spoken to friends and the kids about before. The thing is though, it is now all feeling so real and it makes me want to cry!

I look at my beautiful baby girl and I realise that she is growing up. She is still a bundle of energy, she is still the most kind-hearted and generous person that I know, but she is maturing into a young woman in front of my eyes and I am not entirely sure when and how that happened.

We went along to our first school open evening a couple of days ago and she was so excited to be there. Her eyes were shining and I had one of those ‘bam’ reality moments when I just wanted to gather her up into my arms and make her toddler Boo again. I can’t do that, of course, and don’t get me wrong, I love seeing her grow up, seeing the person that she is. It just makes me heart ache a little.

Anyway, back to the secondary school thing. I wasn’t too sure whether we were there too early as we aren’t quite into Year 5 yet, but no, there were plenty of other year 4 girls there. And yes, I say girls as we were looking around a girls school, the one that I went to in fact.

The thing is, it’s a grammar school. So yes, there will be an exam. It’s a rigmarole that I wasn’t too keen on entering into, but she was practically bouncing around as we walked around so it seems right that she has a shot at it. The Husband wants her to go there, she wants to go there. Little Man isn’t as keen as he knows he won’t be able to follow her and have his big sister look out for him on the next stage of his educational journey, but he’ll adjust if that’s what happens. It’ll no doubt be good for him.

For me, it was just so very strange to be walking the halls that I spent so many years in, halls that I hadn’t walked since collecting my ‘A’ level results and strolling out of there so many years ago. To then be there with my daughter was a little surreal and I had to focus on the now and not the then. I loved seeing how happy it all made her, how thoroughly engaged that she was in every room that we entered. Looks like she’s desperate to do Physics, Religious Studies, Art, DT, PE, Drama, English, Chemistry, Computing, French, yes I could keep going and list all of them, every single room interested her, you get the idea.

We will of course be looking around other schools when their open evenings come around, probably in September now. We are comfortably within catchment of a school that she is also keen to visit and check out, so I think that she will have good options available to her. And it seems that she will be taking the 11+ exam next year and we will see what that brings.

In the meantime, she has a new teacher to look forward to going into Year 5 and lots more to learn, and this girl loves to learn. It’d be lovely if she could do me a favour and just slow down the growing up a little bit for me….

Are you starting to think about secondary schools? How are you finding it?

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4 thoughts on “When Secondary Schools Suddenly Seem So Real”

  1. blank

    We are in exactly the same boat. We have looked around three grammar schools this week and my daughter is about to start year five. One really stood out to us and she really wants to try and get there… the question now is what to do next…. do we tutor or not?

    1. blank

      Oh, it’s a whole thing now, isn’t it? What is best to do?! I’m glad that your daughter’s found one that she really likes, fingers crossed it’ll be the one for her.

  2. blank

    I am happy that choice for our boys was simply Welsh medium, or not! My eldest goes into year 8 at a mainly English taught school in September and my youngest starts year 7 at the Welsh speaking one. They chose for themselves of which I am very proud.
    No exams are involved and each school is very different and suits the boys for different reasons. The eldest is a social butterfly and his school has about 1200 pupils; he travels 13 miles into school with a journey that sometimes takes over an hour in the evening due to going through Aberystwyth. The youngest has always been a bit of a homebird, school for him is 8 miles away with small classes, one currently has only 11 children in it. I managed to meet most of the teachers from that school at the open evening and I loved the atmosphere for him. I am so very proud of both of them for making the decision for themselves and that they are the right decisions.

    1. blank

      I absolutely think that’s the key, choosing schools that you know will be best suited for your children, as individuals. And yes, letting that decision rest with them, as you want them to be happy where they go. My two are trey different from each other, too, so would look for different things when choosing secondary schools. It’s great that your boys are happy with their decisions and that they have your full support x
      at your boys

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