Dope Black Dads: A bittersweet end to primary school

Today’s blog post is written by Marvin Crichlow, of Dope Black Dads. Here, he reflects on the last moments of his son’s time at primary school, and how he is dealing with the bittersweet milestone of reaching secondary school.

On Friday 23rd July 2021 I proudly stood alongside other parents in my son’s playground as another academic year drew to an end, this time marking his final day of primary school. A momentous occasion which I felt I had been preparing myself for since his first day of reception. Mentally bracing myself to deal with the inevitable ‘end of school emotions’.


From my experience as a child (although many moons ago) I knew there can be floods of tears, mixed feelings and a sense of loss, as children struggle to come to terms with the fact that the friends and faces they saw 5 days a week for the past 6 years are all about to change. However I soon realised that any anxiety I had felt was mine and mine alone.


As the assembly commenced I was blown away with just how confidently and maturely him and his friends began to sharing their most significant memories for their time at primary school.


Sure there were some tears but there was also much laughter and many more smiles as our children recounted us with tales of their primary school life as well as their hopes as aspirations for the future. I’m sure all present would agree with the feeling of pride I felt as we watched our not-so-little children gather for the final time as a year group before embarking on separate journeys into secondary school


Just like other year 6 children across the country my son, along with the rest of his Class of 2021, have experienced 18 months like no other. The disruption caused by the Pandemic meant that in a short space of time he had to adjust to a totally new way of life in a number of ways. Including the closure of his school, home learning, not knowing exactly when he’d see his friends and family again, measured visits outdoors and often uncertain and disheartening content broadcasted 24/7 on the news outlets. However through it all I can honestly say he has shown great strength and resilience. Qualities I know will aide him through the transition into secondary school and beyond.


Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate our children and even easier to place of our own thoughts, ideas and limitation on them. But if the last year has taught us anything it’s that they are capable beyond measure and definitely deserve more credit than is often afforded to them.


With Secondary School just around the corner it would be all too easy to lecture him on the dos and don’ts as well as direct him to a pile of revision books on his desk. But I think most would agree that this summer holiday more than any other our children deserve a well-earned break…. Ok, maybe a little revision thrown in for good measure. Surely that can’t hurt.