Today was my last day at school before the Covid-19 break but it shouldn’t be. We should still have two weeks before the Easter holiday. Instead we are off school, with almost no notice. I still don’t believe it.
Even worse, it could be the last day of the academic year, which means it could have been my last day of primary school. No leavers assembly. No Speech Day. No awards. No Celebration. No chance to build up to a fun last day with my friends.
This morning whilst my daddy was driving me to school, I said to him, suddenly realising, but knowing full well it was probably true.
“Daddy, this could be my last day of Pownall Hall.”
It brought a tear to my eye, and I think to my Daddy’s. Primary school isn’t supposed to end this way. In March. It was supposed to be a warm (or not so cold) July day, playing on the field after speech day. Having a party, riding in Limos, celebrating our final day. Instead we went to a school, already half empty, with everything uncertain for the next few weeks, maybe months.
My Daddy took bottles of Champagne for all the teachers and support staff in school on behalf of the Parents & Teachers Association to say thank you. Even he said this might be the last time we see them all and what a nice memory to leave with.
Today was fun. Not end of year fun, but we spent most of the day covering the Google Classroom live learning we will be using from Monday, as I will be taking my classes this way, on there to fill the new timetable.
At the very end of the day, what most adults would call ‘pick up time’ we gave out sunflower seeds to the little children so they could have a competition to see who could grow the tallest sunflower while we are learning at home. Afterwards, my class and I were running and playing on the school field. It was really fun, and we laughed lots, but this also reminded me of how much I loved my class and how much I will miss them over the next few weeks/months.
It’s the end of the day now. I’m about to go to bed. I’m sat here trying to work out how I feel. The end of term is normally really exciting. But instead I’m crying. I know why, but I also don’t know why.
I already want to be back in school. Not in nerdy way, but having school feels comfortable in my life. My friends around me.
Like one of the boy’s in my year, Jack, said, “I wish the Coronavirus would just bugger off!”
I feel alone, I will be sat here, at my desk, for the next few weeks or maybe even months not knowing what will happen next. In timetabled lessons, but not in school. Studying but also worrying and thinking:
“What if we go on lockdown, will we have enough supplies?”
“What if I never see my friends again?”
“Will my Grandparents be ok?”
“Will I miss my first day of High School?”
All these questions that no-one can answer yet keep whizzing round in my head. It feels like Covid-19 suffocating just about every important part of my life at the moment, and lots of milestones of my childhood. Adults say they understand, but they don’t. And this is just the first day.
Gary Chaplin. Executive HeadHunter