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Proud parents and youngsters celebrate starting school
Buy this photo » Proud dad Colin Palmer captures the moment his daughter Lydia Palmer Rios, four, goes to school
STARTING school is one of the biggest days of your life – whether you’re a child or parent.
On Monday, The Gazette was at the school gates at St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, in Popley, Basingstoke as four and five-year-olds went to school for the first time.
If it was a big day for the children, it was an equally momentous occasion for some of their parents, who struggled to control their emotions when saying goodbye to their children.
The youngsters congregated in the playground at the start of the day, clutching their new folders and lunchboxes, before finding their peg inside with their name on.
Rachel Clinch, from Hawthorn Way, dropped off her daughter Anna-Marie. The 41-year-old who works for South West Trains , said: “I’m very proud that she’s excited. She’s been my little mate so I will miss her a lot. But it’s a lovely school.”
Four-year-old Caitlin Reilly, from Popley, was asked to bring in ‘something special’ on her first day, and arrived with a home-made photo album of pictures from her summer holiday. Her mum, Sarah, said: “She’s been very excited about starting.”
Antony and Denise McCauley dropped off their son Charlie. Antony, 35, of Mercer Close, Worting, attended St Bede’s as a child, and said: “It’s nice that he can go to the same school.”
The first day for the two reception classes was all about settling in and getting to know each other.
Claire Kiely, one of the teachers, said: “It’s exciting and they were a bit anxious and unsure but most of them have been very happy.
“They have been learning about the school and our mission statement and making new friends and getting used to the routines.”
Anna-Marie said: “It’s been good. I played outside and I like my teacher.”
Caitlin drew a picture of the sea, with a whale, and said: “I made it for my mummy.”
In the afternoon, parents waited outside to collect their children and find out how their first day had gone.
Mrs McCauley said: “It’s been very strange without him. I have been thinking about what he’s been up to and if he’s alright and eaten his lunch.”
There was double the anxiety for Tracey and Andrew Cain whose twin boys Oliver and Joshua started school together. The four-year-olds from Tintern Close, Popley, were in the same class and also have an older sister at the school.
Mrs Cain, 34, said: “I had tears in my eyes this morning, but I’m glad they didn’t look back at me. It’s nice for them to stay together the first year.”