Back to three schools


Gabe has begun life as a secondary school pupil. From day one he has walked, dressed in blazer and clip-on tie, to school, without adult company – something he never did at primary school. He meets three friends part way and so avoids the awkwardness of arriving in the playground alone.

On his second day, I was on duty and watched him leave. He turned at the end of the drive and ran along the road. He’s never walked anywhere by himself, I reflected. By week two, he had the self-possession to walk up the road.

Eliza and Robin

Gabe leaves first and so Eliza and Robin have time to themselves to play in the morning before school. Walking to school, they each hold a hand the whole way there and we chatter. There’s a hint of reticence about school. Eliza is no longer in a mixed class with pupils from the year above and two of her best friends (big A and little A) have left. Robin has said he wishes he could move schools, up the the junior school, this year.

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