Tag Archives: schooldays

Memories 1. Early Schooldays

They say you always remember your first day art school. Well I must be strange as I don’t specifically remember that day.

My first school was nearly a mile from my home. I don’t remember being taken by an adult at all, although I must have been for the first few days at least. What I do remember is walking with a girl a few years older than me. I can’t see this happening now: a slightly older child being allowed to take a 5-year-old to school for nearly a mile!

I remember my first teacher. Her name was Mrs Rose, and she was lovely. She had white hair and was rather plump. At least, that’s the picture I have of her all these decades ago. We all thought she was as old as the hills. She loved her ‘babies’ as she called us.

Then I went up to Mrs Buckley’s class. She was as different as you could imagine from Mrs Rose. She was very strict and ruled her class with a rod of iron (almost literally.) If you got your sums wrong, you got rapped across the knuckles with a ruler.

The desks were double desks with an inkwell in the right hand corner of each half. We weren’t allowed to use ink, though, as we were only just learning to write and would have made a mess. Pencil was the rule. By the way, we were taught how to hold a pencil. I wonder if children are taught to do so today as many of the young people I see hold their pens in a most peculiar way. Not a way where you can have fine control. I’ve tried it.

I don’t think that there was a fixed timetable. It seemed that the teachers taught what they wanted whenever the fancy took them. I say this, because we never knew when we were going to have what was called ‘painting’. It was always in the afternoon. Sometimes we’d go in after lunch and find the desks pushed together so four could sit facing each other. When this happened, we went into the classroom and said ‘Oh good! It’s painting.’ We never knew when this treat was going to happen.

Another thing that we enjoyed, but only happened from time to time, as I remember it was ‘drill’. This would now be called P.E. Drill consisted of going out into the school yard and lining up in rows. It was a bit like you see on films of the 2nd world war when soldiers are training. Marching on the spot, star jumps, arms up, out, forward and back. Things like that. We never played any team games. But we enjoyed our drill. It was outdoors, at least.

Strangely, I don’t remember having any friends at this school, but I did have an enemy. One girl bullied me. She used to hit me if I didn’t do what she said. Some of the other children were sympathetic, but no one would even consider going to a teacher about it.

I will continue with my early school memories in another post.

Do you have any early school memories? Let us know in the comments box.

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