Thursday, January 15, 2009

School Memories

Little Cherub's playgroup is in the grounds of a nearby lower school. Walking past classrooms full of children beginning their school day made me think back to my own early school days. I'm going to share some rather random memories of the village school I attended from ages 5 to 8. Compared to today's schools it was positively ante-diluvian...

** First two years in Mrs. H's class. Mrs. H was an old-fashioned teacher even in the 1960s. We sat in rows at proper little school desks and behaved very well - I think she must have been the sort of teacher that exercised effortless control. I don't remember any misbehaviour, but neither do I remember her being a disciplinarian. We had a spelling test every Friday, always with ten rhyming words (ten, men, when, then ...). Sums were worked in little exercise books and when we had finished we had to take them up to the teacher's desk to be marked. There were afternoon handcrafts (I still have a simple cross-stitch mat I made) and nature walks.

** A young, up-to-date teacher from Liverpool in the next class up. The classroom was larger and we got to move around more.

** Separate playgrounds for boys and girls. In winter the boys made lethal ice slides in theirs. As we had to walk through the boys playground to get to the school entrance (children could only use the back entrance, not the front), the girls slid on them on the way in and out.

** An outside toilet block. Ugh. Unheated and bitterly cold in the winter.

** Walking down to the village hall for lunch as there were no kitchen facilities at the school. Lunches were of the lumpy mashed potato, lumpy custard and eat everything on your plate or else variety. I remember that smushing vegetables and potato together made it more palatable, particularly if there was gravy. After a couple of years the school got a kitchen and meals were eaten in the hall. I think the "eat it or else" rule disappeared at this time.

** Annual May Day celebrations during which there was a display of may pole dancing in the village square. Every child in the school had to take part.

** A TV bought specially so that the whole school could watch the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.

What are your earliest school memories?


Pam said...

I'm in Australia, so some of mine will be different:

Milk at recess time. Flavoured and coloured milk. Chocolate, good. Lime, bad.

Going home for lunch in primary school.

Oslo lunches- a healthy canteen. Ordering salad sandwiches every day for years.

Watching the moon landing in the kindergarten room all together. The teachers were all really interested, of course, but us littlies were bored for most of it. Still, I'm glad to say I remember watching it!

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