A dad’s mission to help his daughter’s school year mark their move to secondary school has been a hit with parents and pupils.

Paul Wadcock organised an ‘Alternative Leavers Event’ for Roman Way Primary School after the official event was called off over Covid concerns. The 41-year-old father decided to put together his own assembly with the support of other Year Six parents and staff members, with a DJ hosting a party for the pupils.

“The event went very well,” Paul told the Advertiser. “We had a good number attend and the weather held off. The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves and we achieved what we set out to do!”

The idea for the event came about when Paul’s daughter, Elizabeth, found out that the planned leavers event at Roman Way would not be going ahead in July.

“My daughter was in floods of tears and was so unhappy that she would not get to spend her final day with her school friends,” the insurance advisor said. “She wanted to get to say her goodbyes to her friends and teachers, receive her end of year awards, get her shirt signed and generally enjoy her final day as a junior school pupil.

“My sadness then turned to anger as the realisation that Covid had stopped the children from doing yet another school activity set in. They had missed so much time together already and this was the final cruel act!”

Paul said that he couldn’t stand to see Elizabeth so upset, and was spurred into creating an alternative event.

“It was a bit of a knee jerk reaction,” he admits, “but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it was possible.”

After posting about the event in a Roman Way School Facebook Group, the post was warmly received by other parents, who wanted to help with the event. Paul was helped by teaching assistant Zoe Hathaway, who supplied all the leavers packs for the children, including t-shirts, signature books and awards. Local organisations also donated their time and effort to help make the event a success.

The event took place on Friday, August 20, with pupils picking up the signatures of their friends and having fun into the evening on the field outside the YMCA Nursery on Smannell Road.