Moving between schools is something we were all told would be a huge step, and as we approached the big first day at secondary school, we simply assumed that it was just meant in relation to the workload. What nobody ever mentioned was the shift in attitudes and atmosphere. It’s as if people grew all the way up and adopted that moody teenager persona as soon as they crossed the threshold. It was a really weird change that made me miss the simple days and realise why primary school was so much better than secondary school…
1 – Manners were upheld
Maybe it was just my secondary school, but when a student held the door open for a teacher, more often than not they would stride through without so much as a glance in your direction, let alone a thank-you. In primary school, not only were manners taught, they were acknowledged. If a child forgot them, they were reminded, and if a child used them, they were praised and encouraged to continue!
2 – Everyone was friends with everyone
Sure enough, you had close friends, but at the end of the day, there were no divisions in primary school. You got along with all your peers, regardless of gender, race or religion. At secondary school, as you met more people, you also judged more. You formed groups and tended to stick with the same people. This held me back from meeting lots of people and meant I only found my closest friends in the final year of secondary school. I take it as a personal loss that it took 4 years for me to socialize with them. In addition, I also found that I lost touch with classmates from primary school, just because we had different friends at secondary school, which is a shame.
What stage of your education did you enjoy most? 🏫
— OpinionPanel (@OpinionPanelEd) August 9, 2018
3 – The importance of trust
In my primary school, Circle Time was every Friday. For those of you that do not know what Circle Time is, it’s basically when the whole class (including the teacher), sits together, and talks about whatever people have on their minds. Any topics raised get discussed openly without fear. Everyone trusts the fact that what’s said in the circle stays in the circle, and no gossiping or secret-sharing takes place. Everyone leaves the circle feeling relieved and relaxed.
However, in secondary school, peers seem to think it’s entertaining to spill each other’s secrets. There’s gossip and bitching everywhere you turn, making it hard to know who to trust. I definitely didn’t feel as relaxed, no wonder so many students develop anxiety and depression.
4 – Everything was so exciting!
In the morning at primary school, students literally raced to get to their seats; they were always jumping around and hugging each other, setting the tone for the rest of the day from an early stage. Assemblies three times a week consisted of singing songs and handing out certificates.
In secondary school though, everyone walked into class in a bad mood and grunted simple monosyllables in response to questions, and assemblies were almost exclusively for catching up on lost sleep…
5 – Drama only lasted as long as the school day
Whatever issues had appeared during the primary school day were surely resolved with a quick “sorry”. Everything was forgiven and no grudges were held. Conversely, in secondary school, if you so much as looked at someone the wrong way, you risked being involved in some sort of scandal for the rest of your days. If only the quarrels could be solved as easily as when we were children!
While I do agree that you learn important life skills at secondary school, I do think there is an outlook of innocence that children have that we can all learn from. Maybe it’s nostalgia, or maybe it’s just a normal part of growing up, but there’s something much less wonderful about the days we spend at school during adolescence.