By Emma Horn
For the rest of the school, when the bell rang at the end of the final day, it meant the holidays had officially begun.
But for the Year 6 class at Saint Patrick’s Primary School in Murrumbeena, south-east of Melbourne, Victoria, it meant saying goodbye to everything they’d come to know over the past seven years.
New uniforms, new faces
The next time they’ll hear a bell ring, they’ll be walking through the gates of different schools, wearing new uniforms and seeing a sea of fresh faces.
Rory Murphy and Sam Bolton, both 12, will start high school in Toorak.
Charlotte Imbert and Lara Horrigan, also 12, will begin high school in Brighton.
And Saffy Davey, also 12, will join her older sister at school in Hughesdale.
Not so nervous now
“Keeping up with all the homework from all the classes makes me kind of nervous,” Saffy says. “In high school, I guess it’ll be a bit stricter and you won’t get free time.”
Lara says she felt the same way until she went to her high school orientation day.
“We went and found our classrooms and met some of our teachers so I don’t feel as nervous any more,” she says.
“Something that surprised me was that teachers are not always mean. My homeroom teacher was actually really funny.”
Start earlier, travel more
Rory used to walk to school but now he and Sam will be catching a train.
“I’ve only caught the train once before,” he says. “I’ll have to get up earlier to get it because school starts a lot earlier.”
Charlotte will also have to wind her alarm forward. She used to ride her bike to school, but she’ll catch a bus in 2018.
“I’ll definitely need to get up earlier, and I’m not very good at that,” she says.
School uniforms are also causing a bit of a worry.
“There’s a spray jacket, an actual jumper, a blazer, and a sport rugby top,” Charlotte says. “[In primary] I only had a rugby top, so I’ll have to figure out which ones are worn when.”
Rory and Sam will have to wear ties.
“I haven’t even tried to tie one yet,” Rory says. “It’s going to be a mess.”
Sam says: “I’ll have to get some tips from dad during the holidays.”
The night before
They all agree the night before school starts will be the hardest. But there’s some comfort in knowing they’re not alone.
“I probably won’t be able to sleep,” Charlotte says. “I think in the morning though all the stress will probably be gone.
“Every year you get a bit nervous, because you don’t know which class you’ll be in or who your teacher will be. Once we get through the first week, it’ll all be fine.”