It may seem only a matter of weeks since the start of the school year, but the end of the summer term is getting closer by the day, and similar scenes are playing out at primary schools around the country.
How many of these have you experienced over the past few weeks?
1. Your child is down to one ratty school jumper, all the rest having been lost forever. School trousers are hovering around ankles, skirts are indecently short and you’re considering binding your child’s feet to make their school shoes last just a couple more weeks.
2. Whenever you venture into the playground, your child’s class rep comes marching up to you purposefully, waving her ominous manila envelope. Yep, it’s time for the teacher gift collections again.
4. The absence of the Year 6s means the Year 5s are on a power trip, relishing a taste of being the oldest ones in the school and getting to sit on the back benches in assembly.
5. Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see who their teacher will be next year. Will they get the cool dude who has his class in hysterics, or the strict battleaxe who keeps them in at breaktime if they get a single spelling wrong?
6. You battle with your conscience every single morning over whether you should forcibly apply sunscreen to your child just in case the clouds break later on.
7. Homework, spellings, reading and after-school clubs feel even more of a bind than they do usually. Can’t you all just chill out in the garden instead?
8. The new Reception starters come in for their first school visit, and you get all choked up about how small they look. Surely your child was never that tiny…
9. Sports day, open evening, music concerts, summer plays… You seem to spend as much time at school as your child at the moment.
10. There’s no hope of your child telling you what they’ve been learning about at school, or even what they had for dinner, but if a wasp gets into their classroom, the whole world knows about it.
11. You’ve given up trying to wash the grass stains out of school shirts, and are looking forward to the ceremonial binning of the whole lot on the last day of term.
12. The Year 6s are on tenterhooks waiting for their SATs results: the biggest day of their academic life so far.
13. You’ve just about bankrupted yourself signing up for holiday clubs and activity days – but it’s worth it for the promise of a bit of summer holiday peace and quiet.
14. The ice cream man is raking it in by parking outside the school gates every day. Woe betide you if you leave your purse at home.
15. From lunch boxes and exercise books to school bags and trainers, everything is falling apart, but you’re determined not to replace them until September.
16. Your child comes home from school every day decked in daisy chains and with muddy hands from doing cartwheels on the field.
17. School report day is the most hotly anticipated day of the school year. You’re determined to play it cool, but can’t risk sneaking a look inside the envelope before you’ve even left the playground.
18. And then you can’t resist loitering on Facebook to see what the other mums have posted about their kids’ reports, even though you know you’ll end up feeling slightly queasy. Come on, they can’t ALL be a pleasure to teach and an asset to the school, can they?
19. You swear the teachers are letting their classes go a few minutes earlier every day.
20. You’re bracing yourself for the deluge of schoolwork, art projects and junk models that your child will soon be bringing home, and wondering whether it would be an unforgivable offence to ‘accidentally’ leave them in the park on your way home from school.
21. Despite there being a collection for your child’s teacher, someone will always try to get one up on the rest of the class by turning up with a lavish bouquet as well.
22. You’ve given up on making sure your child writes any reviews in the reading record book. Their report has been written by now, anyway.
23. The kids are getting competitive about holiday plans. You’re pretty sure Jake in Year 1 is NOT spending the whole six weeks at Disney World, but he’s done a good job of convincing your child.
24. The Year 6 leavers become more tearful and huggy with every day that passes. And that’s just the mums.
25. Your child has school uniform tan lines.
26. You’re busy planning all sorts of educational activities for the school holidays, from museum visits to handwriting practice, despite the fact that you know that, by week two, your child will be spending 90 per cent of their waking hours on the iPad.
27. You can’t wait for the bell to ring on the last day of term – even though you’ll be counting the minutes until the new term starts by the beginning of August.
28. You keep coming over all emotional. Another year has passed in the blink of an eye, and your child is getting more grown up by the day. Looking through their schoolwork and reflecting on how they’ve developed, learnt and changed over the course of the year brings a tear to your eye. Where does the time go?