to think kids should leave school without all this fuss?

(112 Posts)
Newcupboards Fri 12-Jul-13 20:41:48

Leavers' Assemblies where every last ounce of emotion is wrung out of kids, parents and teachers with Year 6 murdering singing 'Slipping Thru My Fingers' whilst photographs of them from Reception to current day are projected onto the wall.

Then there's the Leavers' Proms! Bloody tacky American import angry

In my day we had a quick mention in morning prayers (primary) and a disco without a limosine and the same at secondary. Now it's squeals and emotional incontinence.

Can't we just get back a bit of British stiff upper lip and get on with life changes without making such a drama.

annabelcaramel Fri 12-Jul-13 20:43:35

grin I'm on the fence on this. But I do get where you're coming from.

Euphemia Fri 12-Jul-13 20:44:29

In my day we were wished well for secondary, and instructed not to come and visit the school at the end of terms, as the school would be too busy! grin

kotinka Fri 12-Jul-13 20:45:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MurielHeslopp Fri 12-Jul-13 20:45:50

I'm like Annabel I love and loathe this kind of thing in equal measure. grin

cory Fri 12-Jul-13 20:47:07

Not every school prom does limos and £300 pound dresses. Dd had her prom the other week: a friend's mum kindly offered a lift, I was going to suggest public transport. No ounces of emotion were wrung out of anyone as far as I am aware. I said "have a nice time, dd" when she left and "did you have a nice time, dd?" when she came back (and yes, she had).

pootlebug Fri 12-Jul-13 20:49:16

I have seen 'graduation' pics for nursery on Facebook complete with throwing hats in the air.... hmm

Newcupboards Fri 12-Jul-13 20:51:44

but why call it a prom, if disco is old hat then why not call it a dance?

(and may I just correct my spelling error: limousine)

HouseAtreides Fri 12-Jul-13 20:52:00

DD1 has just been to her leavers' disco; an actual disco and barbecue, no limos, no corsages, just a pretty dress from Primani smile

Newcupboards Fri 12-Jul-13 20:53:49

Thank goodness sanity reigns in one part of the British Isles (i.e. where HouseAtreides lives)!

cory Fri 12-Jul-13 20:57:44

In dd's case (leaving secondary) it was a meal + disco. I don't think there is anything particularly bad about calling it a prom rather than a meal+disco.

Yes, prom is an American loan word, but then dance is a French loan word; discotheque isn't very Anglo-Saxon either.

specialsubject Fri 12-Jul-13 21:00:50

it's several decades ago, but I remember leaving secondary school. (an all-girls one!). I think there were a couple of outings and a few small get togethers, but that was it.

as far as I was concerned, the school was tasked to educate me, and I was tasked to get educated. Business contract, end of.

and I have never forgotten hearing one of my friends say to one of the other girls 'have a nice life'.

BellaTalbert Fri 12-Jul-13 21:01:50

I very much appreciate that my dd's school has arranged a variety of different activities etc. for when they finish on the 23rd. I no doubt will blubber during the leavers assembly but hey I am a little sad like that.

mynameisslimshady Fri 12-Jul-13 21:01:56

Ds's school are having a barbeque and karaoke party and an assembly/play thing. That seems about the right amount of celebration to me.

Merguez Fri 12-Jul-13 21:01:56


DS has had a Leavers' assembly, Leavers' Tea, Leavers' Concert, Leavers BBQ, and Leavers Party.

Total cost of gifts, yearbooks, personalised hoodies etc almost £100.

All a bit much.

Amrapaali Fri 12-Jul-13 21:02:33

"Emotional incontinence" I like that- grin

Sirzy Fri 12-Jul-13 21:02:54

I dont like the use of the prom idea, disco is much better but when I left primary school many moons ago we had a leavers assembly and a leavers party.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 12-Jul-13 21:03:12

I'm all for a bit of British stiff upper lift.

GRADUATION is for those leaving University, not year 6.

Amrapaali Fri 12-Jul-13 21:04:02

Oh yes Merguez the year books. What goes into them? Our school Y6 children have gone on a fund-raising spree for these bloody yearbooks...

Wbdn28 Fri 12-Jul-13 21:06:32

YANBU. Just have a school disco and a sensible "well done and good luck" in assembly.

NumTumDeDum Fri 12-Jul-13 21:06:41

My dd's nursery had a mock graduation for the school leavers last year, but nothing mentioned this year so possibly they aren't doing it again. I'm hoping they won't as dd is the only one going to her school, everybody else got into the local school, we live about a mile further away so in a different catchment. I'm a little worried that the mock graduation would be a flashpoint for a monster teary tantrum.

HandMini Fri 12-Jul-13 21:07:41

Yes, it's bloody stupid and mawkish and I hate the over-dramatising of it. I accept I am a curmudgeon

Newcupboards Fri 12-Jul-13 21:11:03

Why are parents involved in the Leavers' Assemblies and obliged to sit there and smile tearfully or - to the mortification of their child - actually blub? During the school day parents should either be at work or at home MNetting, not sniffing into their tissues as they listen to their Year 6ers sing "The Way We Were"!

They're just going to secondary school - not being evacuated!

decaffwithcream Fri 12-Jul-13 21:11:20

I cannot imagine a group of children singing Slipping Through My Fingers. Or maybe I just don't want to grin

noooo, you have to have the leaving assembly! Our year 6 are having theirs next week, all of us staff who have shared in the growing up of your children will have to say goodbye. We have cuddled them when they cried, plastered them when they bled, counselled them when they are upset, nurtured them through family crises,sometimes see them find their forever families, taught them the flipping curriculum and watched them grow from littlies to big ones. I shall be bawling my eyes out. YABU!

ThePowerof3 Fri 12-Jul-13 21:13:09

The photo montage/song would make me cry but then I'm just wet

BuntyPenfold Fri 12-Jul-13 21:15:12

We had nothing at all. No acknowledgement made in any way.

I think the new way is nicer.

SkinnybitchWannabe Fri 12-Jul-13 21:19:45

I think its all a pile of old crap tbh. Proms are awful, most of the girls look like my big fat gypsy wedding rejects.

BuntyPenfold Fri 12-Jul-13 21:22:48

They are only 11, aren't they?

Arisbottle Fri 12-Jul-13 21:26:42

My children have all had a disco or a prom, not sure of the difference.

DD2 has hers next Friday, she will wear a dress she already has and will walk there.

It is most the prom/ disco that is the problem it is daft parents buying stupid stuff

JakeBullet Fri 12-Jul-13 21:30:28

Dont starte off. ..a massive fecking stretch limo turned up at the school this afternoon fot some of the Y6 girls.


Newcupboards Fri 12-Jul-13 21:30:51

Blueandwhitelover - just shake them by the hand, or give them a fond pat on the shoulder and wish them well in their new school, tell them to work hard, then get on with binning your classroom displays.

I think we should celebrate the passing of life in every way.

I have no photographs, no memories really of the 8 schools I attended - and the 20 plus house moves.

If that leaves me mawkish, sentimental, and nostalgic at 41 - so be it.

Better to remember the passing of every day than go quietly into that long goodnight, unmarked, unnoticed.

(Disclaimer: I've had 3 glasses) grin

miffybun73 Fri 12-Jul-13 21:34:36

YANBU, it's absolutely ridiculous.

EvilTwins Fri 12-Jul-13 21:36:53

I went to the Yr 11 prom last night (teacher) It was lovely. Most of the girls looked very elegant, and the boys were all very smart. They have out awards (most likely to be prime minister etc) had a buffet and a disco and enjoyed themselves immensely. What's wrong with it?? You're all miserable <gavel>

I'm American, we did not do proms or dances or discos or much else at the end of elementary school. That's completely a British thing.

imademarion Fri 12-Jul-13 21:37:44

BlueandWhite, what a remarkably lovely person you are.

Laurie, I could have written your post myself, and it's the unfinished unacknowledged sadness of all those leavings that cause me to don uncontrollably every end of term.

That, and the realisation if how quickly these precious moments go.

Mawkish Motherfucker T-Shirts available when I buy the fabric pens...

imademarion Fri 12-Jul-13 21:38:27

Sob, not don!

noblegiraffe Fri 12-Jul-13 21:39:55

At secondary we have a massive fuss about Y11 prom, the girls spend the whole year planning their dresses, kids turn up in limos, tractors, ice cream vans. Tearful farewells, speeches, signings of books and shirts.

Then most of them bloody turn up again in September for sixth form.

It's not very, very new though is it? I remember a big tear stained leaver's play when I left first school (can't remember the year - early 90's)

We also had a leaver's dance back in 2000 when I left secondary school. Some people went all out. I made do with a dress from topshop (size fucking six, could probably fit it on one thigh now) and getting off my face.

I like the idea of award ceremonies and big dressing up. I look forward to when DD does it.

And yes to the year 6 leavers. When DS and DD leave their primary school they'll be leaving teachers and pupils they have known since they were 3 years old. That's a big thing for them.

chocoluvva Fri 12-Jul-13 21:49:20

DS' year group trouped into the leavers' assembly led by a former pupil on the bagpipes (as if they were military heroes or royalty).

Each child read a carefully vetted and sometimes censored 'memory' and they all sang 'Memories' from Andrew LLoyd Webber's 'Cats'.

NoComet Fri 12-Jul-13 21:49:59

Several of DD2's bunch were going to different schools and they wanted to say good bye properly. They did an activity together not a disco (small school, it would be a bit of a lame dance).

DD1 is looking forward to her prom, she's an artistic sort, ball gowns appeal far more than high fashion.

Anyhow, they have to have something formal, long gone are the days when the HT says "I know where you lot are off to, don't come back to school until bus time. You are not to set a bad example to the younger ones".

We of course spent the afternoon in the pub and I was indeed the worse for wear by bus time.

HenWithAttitude Fri 12-Jul-13 21:50:32

I'm envisaging a whole load of limousines blocking the road outside school on the last day. It's gross. Naff and following the herd preciousness

Other than that...I'm on the fence

Secretswitch Fri 12-Jul-13 21:50:56

I have to agree with LittleSporks. I am currently living in the US. There has not been any of these gratuitous leaving ceremonies here. The senior high school prom is a big deal but that does not happen til grade 12. I'm afraid you cannot blame the Anericans for this peculiar activity.

VodkaKnockers Fri 12-Jul-13 21:52:00

When I left primary, the class went on a day trip to Millport. Was great fun.

No big ceremony or fuss.

Leaving secondary, we had the Leavers Ball in a hotel that we had to fund ourselves

SandStorm Fri 12-Jul-13 21:54:45

DD left primary 5 years ago so not that long in the grand scheme of things. There was a leavers' service (CoE school) and a picnic in the park organised by the parents after school on the last day. We all brought our own food and drink and one of the dad's was on BBQ duty. Fab time had by all and it's since become a bit of a tradition.

CoolStoryBro Fri 12-Jul-13 22:08:23

Another one in the US vouching for the Prom being a Junior and Senior activity only (ie Lower and Upper VI). You can blame the US for many things but I do find them much more sticklers for activities being age appropriate.

I blame MTV!!

CaptainSweatPants Fri 12-Jul-13 22:15:25

Oh god I'll blub at 'one more step along the world we go '

LynetteScavo Fri 12-Jul-13 22:22:52

I am actually quite excited having seen a leavers hoody with the names of all of Y6 on the back.

Limousines just don't seem to happen (thank God!) at DCs school. I've seen on FB some DC have been to their infant school leavers disco in a limousine. Yes, 6 and 7 year olds. It will be nursery DC next.

ThePowerof3 Fri 12-Jul-13 22:28:55

Me too Captainsweatpants

Newcupboards Fri 12-Jul-13 22:47:53

"they all sang 'Memories' from Andrew LLoyd Webber's 'Cats'"

Nooooooo! I hope DD's music teacher isn't on MN - that'll inspire her for next year's mawkish Leavers' Assembly.

Apologies to Americans for blaming this nonsense on them; but you do have to take responsibility for "prom" and "year books".

Nearly all of the year 6ers at DD's school will be going to the high school up the road, where they can carry on bitching and bullying seeing each other. So no need for big carry on and fond farewells.

Greydog Fri 12-Jul-13 22:57:24

a nursery school near us had a graduation ceremony, with caps and gowns, for the children going to primary school. They had awards and certificates ("Best at colouring in") and pics in the local paper. Made me feel queasy.

Jinsei Fri 12-Jul-13 23:43:31

Oh, what's the harm in kids marking the events that seem to them like major milestones in their lives?! Why shouldn't they look back fondly and celebrate the good times they've had. What a bunch of miserable people! The stiff upper lip is totally overrated in my view.

KansasCityOctopus Fri 12-Jul-13 23:49:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oldandcobwebby Fri 12-Jul-13 23:57:31

I'm glad I'm old (and cobwebby). I would have absolutely hated all the prom crap that kids are press-ganged into nowadays.

Vagndidit Fri 12-Jul-13 23:57:55

Another American here and very little if anything is done to mark the end of primary school in the US. If anything, it's more a celebration than the weepy, sappy thing Britain has turned it into. Gah!

Proms are an upper high school thing only and an utter waste of money

JoInScotland Sat 13-Jul-13 00:08:38

Yearbooks have been around in the US since the 1860s. It was a Victorian idea, to collect poems, signatures, little reminiscences from your friends at the end of school - people moved around a lot on the frontier, etc and might never have seen their school pals again.

So while the idea of the "yearbook" might have come from America, it is by no means new there.

I grew up in the States, and nothing was done at the end of primary school. No dance, yearbook, etc - that's for when you're 18 and graduating from High School after 12 years of schooling.

Bakingnovice Sat 13-Jul-13 00:25:23

Forget year 6, my dd aged 3.5 is having a full graduation ceremony (been measured for hat and gown!) next week as she leaves for reception! This includes speeches by staff, a short performance if twinkle twinkle and a photographer. Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Newcupboards Sat 13-Jul-13 07:18:18

But why do we parents stand for it? Cos some absolutely love it! There's a thread over on Chat where the mums are trying to out do each other with their stories of how frequently they have blabbed at various school events over the years and how much they sobbed at Leavers' Assemblies! They've got to be stopped! One school sang "to sir with love" cos the Head was leaving too. Another school are going to inflict 'eidleweiss' (can't spell it) on the poor caretaker!

Newcupboards Sat 13-Jul-13 07:19:12


AChickenCalledKorma Sat 13-Jul-13 07:25:42

DD1 is currently learning "We don't need no education" for her Leavers' assembly. I like her teachers' style!

She also went to the local cathedral for a massive service, when they sent the kids out with their heads held high, ready to take on the world. Yes, I cried. But I wouldn't have missed it for the world, and she has the photographs to remind her for years to come.

BegoniaBampot Sat 13-Jul-13 07:30:09

What's wrong with the idea of a special last assembly and a yearbook for the kids? It is a big deal for them, my son will be saying goodbye to kids he's been in class with for years and won't see some of them again as our school really splits up for high school.

And just a disco on their last day, nothing fancy. All sounds fine and FREE which is ok by me as the money spent on proms (especially the girls) is outrageous.

AnotherWorld Sat 13-Jul-13 07:51:23

YABU - and very grumpy too. It's harmless and affects no-one else. Each school does their own thing. Leave them be.

SoupDragon Sat 13-Jul-13 07:53:44

Some people are utterly joyless.

It not for you, it is for the children.
Who seem to enjoy it.

SoupDragon Sat 13-Jul-13 07:54:24

But why do we parents stand for it?

Because not all "we parents" are miserable fuckers.


Here here soupdragon! Lets just have every day of our lives the same as the one before shall we? Lets not go overboard and celebrate the milestones in our or our kids lives with a bit of fun and nonsense - no that would be silly and we must all be sensible at all times. You bunch of bloody miseries.

I for one am looking forward to next week; school production that loads of work has gone into, leavers disco that parents go to too and have a laugh. Then after the assembly, the kids are going off to TGIF's in limos for a meal together (total cost of that was £30).

It will be great fun and will create great memories for all of us.

Newcupboards Sat 13-Jul-13 08:12:29

There's no joy in singing dreary dirges to mawkish parents.

School disco = fab. Sob fest = cringed.


Feminine Sat 13-Jul-13 08:15:49

When I left Primary...I received a bible.

back in 1983

My dd's Pre-school even does a little ceremony!

Panzee Sat 13-Jul-13 08:19:15

I always cry at One More Step too confused

Ledkr Sat 13-Jul-13 08:19:22

We've had the BIG LEAVERS SHOW.
Roughly ten children with fab parts,great scripts and lovely costumes.
The remaining 80 had crappy background roles and had to go in every hot night this week till late then stand and watch their mates revel in the glory.
Ten sets if parents sat glowing with pride whilst the rest of us sat and sweated and yawned and waited for a fleeting glimpse of our own child.
Last night dd developed a migraine during the final night and was refused a call to me to come home.
She vomited as soon as she got in (his I wished she'd done it at school)
Next week leavers service and leavers party (some in limos)
Peppered with a sodding swimming gals.
I'd prefer to be out buying uniform for September or packing for our holiday.

Foundapound Sat 13-Jul-13 08:23:37

I'm from Glasgow, and we had at my primary school (in 1980) what was generally known round about as "the Qually Dance". We learnt Scottish country dancing at school for months before, got dressed up, got collected by boys from home and walked up to school (in a big giggly gang). Was quite a big deal. From what I understood this had been happening for decades. Can't remember if there was any food. Was great fun.

Qually is from Qualification - was from that being the Qualification year I think.

Leaving secondary, there was the Prefects Dance. Same deal as prom, but held in school - most round here seem to be at "venues".

It's all fun till they get limos involved, imho.

Newcupboards Sat 13-Jul-13 08:34:03

Same at DD's school, Ledkr. Every year at every assembly/church service/fete/excuse to fleece the parents, it's the same handful of kids given the "starring" roles and it ain't down to their talent grin

And before anyone accuses me of being bitter, I'm not - I'm quite happy watching Dd standing there looking gorgeous and happy.

Whothefuckfarted Sat 13-Jul-13 08:40:09

As long as it's not called a fucking prom it's okay with me.

OctopusWrangler Sat 13-Jul-13 08:43:51

The year six lot at school this year had an assembly. Same as usual. They also did a play, but every year group do a play in the summer term, so its not really a 'leavers' event. There was no specific party for them either, they went along to the KS2 almost end of term disco last week and rocked out to crap music while eating hot dogs and drinking slightly warm pop. Job done.

Apparently one of the mums tried to get school to agree to a proper prom because her daughter is an overindulged spoilt brat thought it would be nice. She was shot down at the first hurdle and school have reiterated that proms will never be happeninggrin

Ledkr Sat 13-Jul-13 09:06:30

Well I was a tad bitter grin because a. They promote it as the big finale to their time at the school and b. the level of cost and commitment was the same across the board which for some was a lovely experience and others massively underwhelming.
There must be away of involving all the children who want to be involved.
I just felt jealous a bit sad that for a few it was a memorable time but for the majority a bit humiliating and exclusive.
Glad I wasn't there last night when there were big speeches singling out all the main roles for big praise while the others just stood there.
Not right surely.

martini84 Sat 13-Jul-13 09:14:44

I am teary just reading this thread. Absolutely dreading leavers assembly.
Although I still wouldn't miss it for the world.
Other than that they are just having a disco.
Do think proms and limos etc for primary aged is just plain crazy and ill advised for even secondary.

KingscoteStaff Sat 13-Jul-13 09:17:10

We have cunningly scheduled our Year 6 leavers' disco and party from 4 until 5 so there is no chance of them going home to change!

Leavers' Assembly is on the last morning, but we finish at 2.30, and I think most families are planning on heading off for a monster picnic/rounders match in the park.

I will be tearing down the final displays and running for the hills!

martini84 Sat 13-Jul-13 09:18:17

Yearbooks and discos are not free though. Inexpensive compared to proms but still £15 at our school.

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 09:28:03

DD left primary school yesterday. It is a big thing for children, let them celebrate it, show some emotion and then remember the fun they have had.

DD goes to a small school and it is like a family. The girls have mostly known each other from reception, and the parents have made friends too. They've had such great time there, and some sadness too (last summer her teacher died suddenly). Why would she not want to remember all that and just move on with no reflection?

The leavers made their own year books in ICT which cost nothing and are really lovely. They did their own leaver's assembly too. I couldn't go as I was on a trip with my own school, but DD went and I have seen videos and photos. They wrote the whole thing themselves with photos and videos of their time at the school. they even finished with their own rock band and song about their time at school. DD was on lead vocals and loved it. yes, again the girls cried - but soon replaced by hugs and laughing.

Yesterday was a fantastic day for all the girls there, and the parents. Prize Day, celebratory drinks in the playground, gifts for staff, many lovely words, then the leavers got their hoodies, went for lunch together and then a photo shoot together. And yes, there were tears early on, but it was soon laughing and excitement.

DD's already had the leaver's BBQ previously - which is held instead of a parent's evening in the last week. A lovely time had by all. And an emotional moment when the girls placed a balloon by their teacher's memorial bench and wrote messages for him, to hang on the bench. They will later be passed on to his partner.

I am sad that DD is leaving. DD is too. She is also excited to be moving on to her new school.

As for cost, ignoring end of year presents which we always chose to do anyway, it has cost us about £40 (hoodies, food for BBQ and yesterday's lunch, photo shoot). I don't think that is bad at all.

Why would I want to just ignore it was happening and ignore DD's moving on?

WidowWadman Sat 13-Jul-13 09:36:12

I feel actually quite bad that my daughter can't go to her nursery leaver's party, because we're on holiday. She spent 4 years at that place, starting off as a baby, often carried by staff in a sling, and is deeply bonded to a lot of the nursery nurses there and the many friends she made there, a lot of them going off to different schools.
I think having a little party to celebrate the good times she and her friends had there, and to celebrate that they're moving on to a new exciting stage of their life is a good thing.

MrsGrowbag Sat 13-Jul-13 09:57:27

My DC had a leavers assembly when they left primary (complete with the photos from reception onwards beamed onto the hall wall), there was also a pool party and BBQ a couple of days before the end of term, which they loved.
Secondary school is a whole different ball game - completely OTT and very expensive. There is a leavers assembly, fair enough, but there is also "last day" which happens on the last school day before exams, complete with bouncy castle, bbq and ice cream van. Then post exam there is the "summer ball" in a Cambridge College, with sit down 3 course meal, plus disco plus professional photographer who kindly takes your photo for £20!!! . Of course, you can't get dropped off by your parents in their ancient filthy peugeot as that would be naff, so parents fork out for limos, party buses etc. Then there is the year book, and of course the hoodies. I think the total cost is over £100.
A friend of mine has a year 11 daughter who has just done all this, she booked her daughter a facial and make up session for the day 6 months in advance, and then also paid for sessions if fake tanning spray in the run up! she also told me that the local shops all keep lists of which girl form which school has bought which prom dress from them so the is no possibility that 2 girls will turn up in the same dress. I asked her if the shops do the same thing for the boys so they won't all turn up in the same outfit but don't think she got it.....

In my day we had an end-of term disco at the end of the 6th form. And were jolly grateful for that. I do worry that there is a lot of pressure on parents who can't afford to subsidise all of this. £100 for the activities, before you have bought a dress or arranged transport is not trivial.

lljkk Sat 13-Jul-13 10:05:41

Love looking thru my mom's (1950s) & grandad's old year books (1910s).

Prom is just a Disco, no? English DH went to a y6 Leaver's Disco in the 1980s. Wasn't a feature of leaving elementary school for me either in 1970s California.

I have promised DD I will stoic & indifferent at the Assembly. Why would I cry? confused The rowdy lot of monkeys are more than ready to move on. Am delighted to beg off the rather long evening y6-Play (argh). I've done my duty over the yrs already.

freddiefrog Sat 13-Jul-13 10:07:08

My eldest leaves this Friday.

We have a big leavers breakfast before school with an assembly first thing, then a big BBQ and disco in the evening. £1 each for the breakfast and £1 for the BBQ and disco.

I think it's good to mark the end of one chapter of their lives, but agree that expensive proms and limos are a bit OTT, but if our school had one and DD wanted to go to it then fine, I wouldn't stop her going just because I think it's silly

littlemisswise Sat 13-Jul-13 10:15:43

I enjoyed all of my DC's leavers assemblies, and seeing both of my DC's and their friends dressed up for their Proms. At the end of Yr6 they both did musicals DS1 hates performing so he did all the lighting, DS2 got the main part.

DS2 had his prom 10 days ago, his best firend was his date, she moved away on Monday. She looked absolutely stunning, as did most of the girls, DS2 looked so handsome and grown up. They shared a car with another couple, and all four of us mums shed a few tears.

The fuss and farewells are for the kids, not for the parents. If you don't like it, don't go!

RoooneyMara Sat 13-Jul-13 10:20:32

I'm with the OP. I can't bear enforced emotional experiences.

Our levers do is next week and I'm not going. Luckily my children aren't leaving yet.

I don't like events where everyone is supposed to cry. I spent my grandmother's funeral resisting crying because I didn't want to in front of other people I don't know very well and who barely even met her. So now she has gone and I haven't got that opportunity again, but what can you do?

Bit off topic, sorry. But I just hate the whole bloody thing.

SoupDragon Sat 13-Jul-13 10:27:03

DSs Leavers Assemblies were celebrations of their time at the school. Not enforced emotional experiences. The yearbooks were printed at school and each child had written down a memory of their time at the school.

No "sob fest"
No limos
No prom dresses at their leavers disco
Picnic and games in the park on the final day of term.

Look at the children - are they enjoying it? That is what matters.

Newcupboards Sat 13-Jul-13 10:39:48

But <old gimmer alert> we managed to leave school with a mixture of sadness and relief without tears and hugs ... Without sappy songs sung to sobbing parents. Most 11 year olds are indifferent to all but a handful of their peers anyway. They couldn't give a toss that they've known X since Reception.

The Leavers' Assemblies are IMVHO often not for the kids but for the parents who enjoy getting maudlin (probably the same folk who enjoy the sob stories on BGT and the like).

Let's put the backbone back into Britain!

When I left primary school there was no leavers assembly, no disco, no party, nothing. It felt very flat.

My DS3 leaves on Friday. They are doing a leavers assembly at which I will cry, though they have abandoned the sad song as it caused too many tears in rehearsal, apparently. Parents have organised a decorated Routemaster double decker bus to take them to their party. I can't see the harm.

Leaving secondary school in 1981 was a complete non event for me. Easter leavers, who were already 16 could leave at Easter without taking any CSEs/O levels if they wanted. Everyone else left on the last day of whatever exams they were doing, so in dribs and drabs. No leavers disco or anything.

I would have liked some marking of leaving school. It was the end of 11 or 12 years of daily education. I guess many now go on to 6th form, though. In my comp only 10% went on to do A levels, so we really were saying goodbye at the end of the 5th year.

RoooneyMara Sat 13-Jul-13 10:43:44

Soup - you haven't met our HT. smile

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 10:44:54

Newcupboards - yours might not be bothered, but I know my DD most certainly was. As was the other 10 girls from her very small class of 11. Especially the 4 not going on to the next school together, and even the 7 that are realise that it won't be the same any more and they are being split between classes, etc. It is a big thing for me DD and her friends, hence I have no issue whatsoever of making it special. It's not cost ous loads but she has certainly had a nice time and will remember her time fondly.

80sMum Sat 13-Jul-13 11:02:30

When I left primary school there were no special assemblies, no discos, no parties nor any other event to mark the occasion. Some of us exchanged addresses or wrote each other little messages in autograph books and that was that. When the final bell rang we all just went our separate ways.
It was exactly the same when I left secondary school 6 years later.
That was in the '60s and' 70s.

I think it would have been nice to have some sort of event to mark the occasion. I particularly felt this when I left the 6th form, as we all just drifted away at different times, after we had sat our last exam.

namechangetocover Sat 13-Jul-13 11:03:30

When we left primary we had a normal day- however our school had been burnt to thr ground 3 years before, we were being schooled in portacabins.. On the last day of term the contractors handed over the keys to the new school during assembly.. My year group, having been the final group to have been directly involved with the school burning, were allowed the first look at the new school. That was far more exciting than a dance. We had a concert too, and a small party with punch and an Atomic Kitten CD afterwards.

Secondary, we did nothing other than throwing water bombs. We didn't even get a year book.. Bought some juice and donuts for lunch and I have a signed top but nothing else. My school held the dance - a ball - in February for some reason.. That did involve limos etc.

namechangetocover Sat 13-Jul-13 11:09:10

When my sister (severely autistic) left school we had a fab time, her teachers produced a slideshow of photos and played varying 'meaningful' songs, her classmate (has downs syndrome) read something and my sister sung some Hannah Montana song (The Climb or something) , the local MP presented awards. Was lovely smile My mum did cry but so did the headteacher, and various other staff. I'll never forget the classroom assistant snivelling away and passing tissues to my mum!

mrspaddy Sat 13-Jul-13 11:13:56

I still have my signed school shirt.. 'Live fast, die young, may all your men be well hung'..

ha ha.. went to a Convent school blush

GertrudeMorel Sat 13-Jul-13 11:32:03

We've got it all to come this week.

Leavers' play, leavers' service and barbecue, leavers' assembly, leavers' party.

My dh has been to one production of the play - he said by the end most of the mums had their sunglasses on to conceal the tears.

Then there will be the leaver's book of achievements, hoody and bible. I have lost count of how many donations we've made for it all.

It's like they want to make everyone cry.

When my eldest left - the leavers' service was excruciating. The children were crying, the parents, and most of the teachers.

I am steeling myself - I am not going to be crying. My ds will cry if I cry. I want it to be a happy week after such a happy time at a great school, not one spent bawling.

geeandfeesmum Sat 13-Jul-13 11:33:57

I disagree with OP. When I left school we were just sat in our Science lesson and then the headmaster came in and said "Ok, you can go now."

It was horrible. We never got to say goodbye properly or feel as though the occasion had any importance.

I always wished that we had have had a prom or disco or something to let us mark the occasion.

SoupDragon Sat 13-Jul-13 11:38:53

I felt emotional at both DSs leavers assemblies and Y6 play because they were having such a fabulous time.

hernow Sat 13-Jul-13 11:40:26

OP I'm with you. When we left school each stage was just hugs even those you didn't like you hugged as it was an ending. Teachers were lovely and hugged too giving lots of words of encouragement now you were going. Everyone happy to move onto the next stage. Now it's expense/cringing moments/worrying about not being miss or master popular - awards and prizes for the popular or brightest and of course the "best awards" go to those who really tried but were still rubbish at school stuff.

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 12:29:41

Exactly soupdragon.

As all the parents were saying at dd's leavers stuff yesterday, it's sad because the girls have loved it all so much and that chapter is now over

jamdonut Sat 13-Jul-13 13:53:48

Every year Leavers Assembly (primary) makes me cry. I just can't help it ...and I'm staff!

As for Prom,my daughter was on her school's committee. We spent an entire year having to think about it!

In the end, we personally spent about £80...that was a short dress from Ebay for £33 which looked GORGEOUS,shoes, bag,make-up. Hair and make-up all done by herself and she went in an ordinary people carrier with her several friends. I noticed girls wore much more sedate,classy dresses this year. Presumably no-one wanted to look as if they were out of Big Fat Gypsey Wedding!! However ,there were some who had spent hundreds on dresses,and all the the rest, including limousines. Seems a bit over the top to me.

They had a lovely night though!

nickymanchester Sat 13-Jul-13 14:31:08

As others have said, it does seem to have gone overboard now. However, I'm sure that they'll still remember it when they are grown up.

We had a Leavers assembly at junior school, the whole school attended, and the one thing I still remember very vividly from that - as they played it every year - was a piano duet version of ''Fings ain't wot they used t'be'':-

Don't know why they did it but I still remember it to this day. So, I'm sure kids today will remember these things when they're grown up.


I've spent a few years abroad and, actually, I think that it's a shame that we don't celebrate the start of the year as well.

When I lived abroad, the first day of school was a really big deal with speeches, new pupils giving flowers to the teachers and a ceremonial ''First Bell'' being rung jointly by the youngest pupil in the school and the oldest pupil in the school.

For anyone interested, there's a short video here with English subtitles:-

piprabbit Sat 13-Jul-13 14:36:37

When I left secondary school, we were escorted from the premises on the day of our last exams (obviously everyone did different exams so difference people had different leaving dates) and told to never darken their door again.

There were people who I had been friends with for many years and I never got to say goodbye. It still makes me cross that we were denied the chance of a proper goodbye. I don't know why the school chose to treat us like this, previous years were treated a 'special', we got treated like shit on their shoes. It probably stems from the same attitude that lead to the teacher in charge of supporting students through UCAS and clearing, booking his holiday to coincide with A-level results coming out.

Panzee Sat 13-Jul-13 17:56:05

So who remembers this one?

Clary Sat 13-Jul-13 18:01:21

I hate the limos for yr 6 tbh. A friend just mentioned he had had to pay out £35 for one for his dd.

£35 is a lot of money in this house. I think it's a bit silly. I have already told DS2 no for next year.

I do like the leavers' play and disco etc tho.

manicinsomniac Sat 13-Jul-13 18:18:25

Try witnessing the mass emotional hysteria that comes with 13 year olds leaving their boarding prep school. I felt drained and headachey by the end of it just watching all the hugging, sobbing and theatrics.

But even I (as a teacher not a parent) felt teary. When you've watched the children develop from age 7 into what they are now it's hard not to.

And I can't really blame the children either. They're hormonal, they've grown up together and are, in many ways, all brothers and sisters. They don't live close to each other and they're going to a wide range of different senior schools all over the country. Certainly the end of an era.

dementedma Sat 13-Jul-13 18:24:17

Ds had just a leavers Mass a few weeks ago for leaving primary which was lovely. When the dds left high school ( I have a big age gap) they had a leavers ball but it was sensible and pretty ball dresses for the girls and kilts for the boys - not a limousine in sight.

cardibach Sat 13-Jul-13 18:31:11

It's not new, though, just a change in terminology. I am old and when I left primary school in 1976 we had a Leavers' Disco and a special Leavers' Service in the evening in the church (state primary, but with church links) at which we were all presented with a bible and there were speeches, hymns and performances.
When I left Secondary in 1983 we had a 'Dinner Dance' (a prom by another name) which necessitated dressing up. It was at a local hotel and we all loved it.
I think the excessive dressing up/limos etc at primary is OTT, but the principle is the same.

sensesworkingovertime Sat 13-Jul-13 20:02:09

YANBU I hate hate hate all this prom stuff with 16 girls looking like Katie Price or someone off TOWIE it's just urrrggghhhh. For my leavers disco in 1982 it was the time of Dexys, hence I had the dungarees etc I would have to be dragged kicking and screaming to all this shite they have these days.

SelectAUserName Sun 14-Jul-13 06:45:42

I think there's a middle ground between nothing to mark the occasion at all and a full-blown sobfest at every stage, and I think it has swung a bit too far towards the latter these days.

Whatdoiknowanyway Sun 14-Jul-13 09:09:31

I went to a convent school. We had a leavers' mass. We got to choose our own readings and hymns.
I prefer the modern way, a prom and muck up day.

We had the leavers' assembly today, I cried.
We had wonderful news about one of the children yesterday which meant so much both to them and those of us who have been with them over the last few years. (some of us including me shed tears over it yesterday too!)
We are professionals but we do care!

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