Big day for little ones

IT has been a nervous time for mums and dads throughout the area this week, with hundreds of our little ones starting school for the first time.

Parents in South Lincolnshire have had to say goodbye to their sons and daughters at the school gates – but those of us who have been through it before know that they will be fine.

There’s some great school in our towns and villages and the children are starting out on a wonderful adventure.

Meanwhile, older children are starting their secondary (or “big school”) journey, and, although that can be very daunting, I know the vast majority of them have some fun-filled, challenging years to come too.

We seem to have a bit of a glut of negative stories surrounding our local schools in the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press during the last school year, but I like to think these stories made the news because they were such rarities.

I’ve visited several of them during my 18 months as editor at the two newspapers and have so far been impressed with every one I have been to.

I’ve had some great experiences at Long Sutton’s Peele Community College, even though it was dogged with problems last year that sullied the improving reputation it had built up through much hard work by dedicated staff.

And soon I will be off to Tydd St Mary Primary School, where I’m going to be helping a group of Year Six youngsters put together their own newspaper.

My own son is a pupil there and he, like many other local 10-year-olds, will be sitting the first of his eleven-plus examinations next week.

They’re not easy (I’ve tried papers with him!) and the reward for passing is not the be-all and end-all, but we are very lucky to have a grammar school in this area, and I wish all those youngsters taking this exam the best of luck.

But if they give it a go and don’t succeed, they will still find plenty of enjoyable challenges at the Peele or any of our other secondary schools. After all, they’re the best days of your life!