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In 1985 I was 11 years old, the same age my son will be on his next birthday.

In the UK, this is an important age as it is generally when children move from primary to secondary school.

I was listening to this song the other day when this occurred to me and I started to think about the lessons I should share with him.

The first lesson I need to share is to stick up for yourself. I remember during my first few months at comprehensive school being bullied by some boys in an older year group. After a few weeks I worked out the exact days and times when our lesson plans would coincide and did everything I could to be late for class so that I didn’t have to wait around beforehand and be subject to their bullying. This worked in the short term but I couldn’t avoid them all day long. The bullying only stopped when I faced up to them.

The second lesson I need to share is to pay attention and ask questions. A lot of my school reports from those days had the immortal words “easily distracted” emblazoned on them. Very often I was too busy playing up with my friends than taking in the lessons and being inquisitive to learn new things.

The final lesson I need to share is to enjoy it. School can seem like an endless stream of tests and exams but these aren’t the memories we take away with us. The memories should come from the friends we make, the learning we take and how we embrace new experiences.

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