My eldest daughter, J, has just sat her very last GCSE exam today. In fact, at 10am this morning I got a text "DONE. FRICKING DONE". I think I can surmise from that that she is rather happy about being finished with school. I'm sure by lunchtime she'll have ripped up or burnt her blazer!
No more revision. No more worrying (for a while at least). We can all relax now for eleven blissful weeks of summer holidays. Then it's off to 6th Form for her when the hard work for A Levels starts again. She's decided on 6th Form rather than college as she admits "I need someone to push me along a bit mum and make me do the homework" and she considered college may let her get away with too much. At least she's honest!
However, she's far more excited about the fact that she won't have to wear uniform any more and can colour her hair and wear earrings. These are the things that she lives for when it comes to school. She's done well at secondary complying with the 'rules' but she's a bit like me (well, a lot actually) and thinks that some rules just don't make sense. How can wearing a pair of earrings (banned at her school completely would you believe) affect your dedication to your school work? Why would having redder hair (she got excluded until we dyed it back to her natural brown - so less than a day missed, but still...) affect how you studied. I agreed but sadly rules is rules. Glad my school were far more lapse.
She's hoping to go on to university to study either veterinary science or zoology so we're keeping everything crossed for her GCSEs as they are an important step on that path. She has revised a lot but has also not spent every waking moment doing it. I'm glad that she put a lot of effort in but I'm equally glad that she didn't spend her entire life engrossed in books trying to get the grades. There's too much pressure (often from parents) for young people to do nothing but revise. Having time out to relax, meet friends, play a video game or watch some TV is equally important. Those brain cells need some refreshing - I can vouch for that as I'm currently in the 2nd year of my PhD! But for now we'll relax.
Results come at the end of August and I know she's going to be nervous about them. Some exams she felt went really well. Some not so good. You can never tell though can you. She's done her best and I'm very proud of her, no matter what the grades. I'm sure she'll have done well to get her place at 6th Form as her predicted grades were all in the A/A* level so now it's just a waiting game.
Not only is this a major milestone for J, but also for N. She finishes at her current school on 8th July and is off to join S at her school, starting in Reception in September. She's very excited but also a bit sad that her best friend will be staying at their existing school. I have reassured her that she can still see her for play dates and on her birthday but what has amazed me is the bond these two little people have formed. It's equal on both sides and has astounded her friend's parents too. They became best friends at age 3 and love each other to bits. I'll do all I can to ensure they still see each other and I'm sure the other mum will too.
We are going to have a lot of fun in the summer holidays. Lots of days out planned to go to wildlife parks, seaside, Camden market (naturally) and lots of other fun stuff to enjoy the break.