Friday 26 December 2014

Smiles and tears as children start their first day in 'big school'

Sarah Stack

Published 28/08/2014 | 10:49

Caoimhe Lynn (4) with Dad Kevin and Mum Alison  on her first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords.
Caoimhe Lynn (4) with Dad Kevin and Mum Alison on her first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords

THERE were more smiles than tears at one north Dublin school this morning as 180 newbies started their first day at big school.

The Holy Family National School in Rivervalley, Swords, took in one of the biggest influx of junior infants in the country, swelling its population to about 700 – with another 100 children on a waiting list.

Armed with their schoolbags and lunch boxes, and spruced up in their new uniforms, the tiny army of grey uniforms were flanked by sea of emotional parents.

Proud mum Alex McEvoy said the day was much harder for her than four-year-old son Killian Anelli.

Alex Mc Evoy with her Son Killian Anelli (4)  on his first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords.
Alex Mc Evoy with her Son Killian Anelli (4) on his first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords
Little Aaron Leung with his Dad Eddie on his first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords.
Caoimhe Lynn (4) with Dad Kevin and Mum Alison on her first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords
Cheyanne Mc Carthy (10) with her sister Jessica (5) on her first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords.

“I’ve done it,” she said, as she walked out of his class.

“It’s such a big deal, they are just so independent in there. I’m very proud of him. It’s just me and him and he is gone in there on his own like a proper boy.”

Four-year-old Emma Faughnan said the best thing about starting “big school” was “making new friends”.

“We’re all excited,” said her mum Elaine.

Twins, Clodagh, left and Edel Mccarthy, 5, on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 28/8/2014
Twins, Clodagh, left and Edel Mccarthy, 5, on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Aidan Tighe (5) with Eric Woods (4) on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
All packed for school. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Ellen O'Grady age four from Narraghmore. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Ellen O'Grady age four from Narraghmore with her family on the first day of school. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Ben Treacy age five from Narraghmore. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Cillian Kelly age five from Kilmead getting settled in class with mother Grace Rowe. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Qin Lin and son Ryan Lin age five from Narraghmore. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Parents and teacher getting the children settled into day one of big school. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Very happy girls on their first day of school. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Emotional parents looking on at their children. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Louise O'Mara age five from Balitore. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Brenda Corcoran and happy son Jack Robinson age four from Balitore. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Louise O'Mara age five from Balitore, Eoghan O'Mara and mother Annette O'Mara. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Jack Fitzgerald age five from Crookstown, father Richie Fitzgerald and brother Dylan age three. First day at St Laurences National School, Crookstown, Ballitore, Kildare. Photo:Michael Donnelly.
Jazmine Joyce (5) Sophie Kirwan (5) and Holly Moore (4) pictured on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Cheyanne Mc Carthy (10) with her Little Sister Jessica (5) on her first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Twins, Clodagh, left and Edel McCarthy (5) on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers 28/8/2014
Jazmine Joyce (4) left, and Evie McConville (5) on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Jazmine Joyce (5) Sophie Kirwan (5) and Holly Moor (4) and her twin brother Mathew (4) pictured on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Kathy Nolan (4) right and Lucy Miley (4) on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Twins, Holly and Matthew Moore (4) on their first day in primary school in Holy Family National School in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Alex Mc Evoy with her Son Killian Anelli (4) on his first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Caoimhe Lynn (4) with Dad Kevin and Mum Alison on her first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Little Aaron Leung with his Dad Eddie on his first day at school at the Holy Family in Rivervalley Swords. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

“Emma’s our first so we’re a little bit emotional. She’s very independent. She’s very outgoing and she’s happy to be going off herself. She’s grand but it’s hard to let go.”

A teary Karen Rafferty was sad to see eldest daughter Niamh, five, head through the school gates.

“She’s been up since 5.30am, she jumped in to bed dying to go,” she said.

“She’s really excited, mammy is okay, so far. When I go home I’ll have to get a cup of tea and box of tissues out.

“It’s the start of her life and the start of her new friends she’ll have for her life. It’s a bit sad. Sad and happy.”

Little Aaron Leung was first at the school gate, at 8.15am, with brother Alex, 10, and dad Eddie.

He revealed his special Transformers bag was packed with books, pencils, homework and his lunch.

“Cookies and one apple,” he grinned.

Mark Cunningham, principal of the junior school, said it was a joyous, sad and traumatic day for parents, but the first step to independence for kids.

“I’m doing this 40 years and there’s no such thing as a child that doesn’t settle, children love the security of school, they love the rules and the regulations, they keep them safe,” he said.

“It always runs smoothly, although it looks chaotic.

“We may have some tears, we may have laughter and we may have great excitement but at the end of the day all the children will settle.”

Alison Lynn revealed she was hard to see her youngest of three, four-year-old Caoimhe, start school.

“It came very quick because when we first started school she was a baby in a buggy, and here we are in a few short years going in to school,” said Mrs Lynn, with husband Kevin by her side.

“She won’t be teary, she’s ready, but I’ll probably be teary.

“It’s all good but she’s grown up too quick.”

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