I’ve been thinking about this blog post since schools closed back in March. I knew that this year marked not just another school year for the children but also the end of Little Man’s time at the Infant campus. It marks the end of 6 years of me taking the children to the Infants too.
The Infant campus is somewhere we first went to when LP started nursery. She was a few days past her third birthday and it was her first real experience of formal childcare – aside from six months of having a childminder when she was around a year old.
The first weeks at nursery were hard. She cried every day, she didn’t want to go in and, after spending three years with just me every day, she didn’t understand this new normal.
But, by Christmas she was fine. She was happy and she was going into nursery easily. The teachers loved her and before we knew it she was moving up to Reception.
Again, she found school hard. She was just four and the transition to longer days, uniform and a new environment was a learning curve. But, within a few weeks she was happy again and since then has sailed through school with no issues.
Little Man started nursery when his sister went into Year 1. As he’d seen his sister going to nursery and then school it was natural for him to follow in her footsteps. He settled in really well and I got used to having time by myself for the first time in years.
After that the school years have been a blur. They’ve been so easy really. The children have both loved school and have gone in every day happily and have smiled as soon as they’ve seen me in the afternoons. It’s been lovely.
Each day I’ve gone to that same Infant campus to drop at least one child off and pick them up again. It’s where we’ve seen assemblies, nativities and so many parents evenings.
It’s where I’ve helped on school trips, helped with pancake flips and watched sports days. It’s where the children have made friends, where I’ve made friends with other parents and where I’ve got to know the teachers and appreciate how much they care about LP and Little Man too.
The Infants is where I went to pick up Little Man when he broke his arm – again. It’s where I went when I got a phone call that the children needed Calpol and a cuddle. It’s where I went when one of them had been sick and I needed to collect them.
It’s where I dropped off forgotten PE kits or drinks cups. It’s where LP got a love of singing and where Little Man first showed an interest in football. It’s where they made their first school best friends – who they still love today – and it’s where they both got such a love of school, a love of reading and just a real passion for learning.
There are so many amazing teachers that have touched the children’s lives in the Infants. Ones who have cared so much and supported us through the broken arms, the speech therapy and the pandemic. The ones who send emails to check in, the ones who we wave to when we see them in town and the ones whose names I know we will never forget.
Some days it feels like the children’s years of school have only just begun. That they have so many years left in education. But, leaving Infants is always such a big step. I remember when LP left to move to the Juniors and she still felt so little. Far too little to be at the Juniors already!
It’s now two years later and, just like that, her brother is following in her footsteps again. His Infant years are over and our family’s time at the Infant campus has come to a close.
I didn’t expect it to end like this. I didn’t expect to finish the Infants during a pandemic. I thought we’d get that last sports day, that last parents evening, that last celebration assembly and show that the Year 2s put on for the parents.
Instead, the Infants has just finished. All the times that have been before were the last ones, and I just didn’t realise it at the time. That last sports day we had last year, the last day out was the farm and not the Tower of London as planned. The last assembly I don’t even remember.
I feel cheated for both Little Man and myself. I hoped we’d have a chance to say goodbye properly to the Infant campus that has meant so much to us and the teachers that make it what it is. The Infant campus, and the teachers, have been a part of our lives for so long.
Instead, this is it. I appreciate all the teachers, the staff and the other families that have been in our lives over the last six years. There have definitely been ups and downs but it’s a time I know we’ll look back at fondly.
Now, Little Man is off to the Juniors. We can do the school run on foot for the first time in two years and the children can once again see each other at break times. They are so excited for September, a new routine and being together again despite the restrictions that the pandemic may bring with it.
So goodbye Infants. We loved you and appreciated you. You did us proud. Our children are are who they are, at least in part, with thanks to you.
Now, it’s time for a new chapter to begin.