Thursday, 22 March 2012

School Days

I have to hand it to him, my wondeful hubby has been amazing whilst i've been at home on maternity leave after having Baby Boy. Every morning he takes Mia up to the Breakfast Club at school for before going to work, and this morning I just had to smile whilst i watched from the window as they loaded the car - you would think they were going on holiday the amount of things she had to take to school;

The budle consisted of;

1 Violin
1 "Book Bag" containing;
*reading book,
*Homework folder,
*violin music book
*envelope containing dinner money
* envelope containing school trip money & slip
*envelope containing choir slip
* envelope containing cross country club slip
1 Cross Country bag with kit & water bottle
1 overnight case (as Mia was staying over with her Dad)
1 large carrier bag of old newspapers (our neighbours give us these for the Guinea pigs) which the school had requested we bring in for paper mache
1 purse with "snack" money £1.00
Plus the usual coat, gloves, and shoes.

Goodness, what a mammoth task it is the night before to prepare everything ready in the hall for hubby to grab enroute to the car, we'd never get by without the planner on the wall, reminding us which days are choir, cross-country, gymnastics club, girls' football practice..the list goes on!

Still, that said, i think the opportunites that children have in school today are fantastic - we didn't have half as much in our very small, village school in the early 1980's. However, i loved our school, i was reminded of it very recently when i read "Miss Read's Village School" over Christmas;

Although set at least 3 decades before i started school, Miss Read's description of the building was very, very much like our own, even down to the high arch windows which the children were too small to see out of. I can even remember the very old Headmistress who retired not long after i arrived, but whom had been there since the 1950's, and so much of the furniture and equipment dated from that era too. We had no such thing as a "Book Bag", and learnt to read from Ladybird's "Peter & Jane"; in later years i actually bought some of the very same books from the school jumble sale;

And every morning we had Assembly and sang from the classic "Come and Praise" Hymn book;

Just the first line of "Give me Oil in My Lamp" transports me straight back to 1984 and those first lovely school years - we even chose this and other hymns from this book for our wedding!

Sadly today my lovely little school is under threat, yet again, of closure - as with so many small, rural village schools. The building itself has long since been modernised, the adjoining school-house and outbuildings have been demolished, blackboards replaced with modern alternatives, and no hint whatsoever of our beloved "Peter and Jane"! Still, I feel very lucky to have experienced it before it was "spoilt" and enjoyed school days very similar to those described by Miss Read..minus The Cane..thank goodness!!

I would love to hear about your school days? xx


  1. Gosh that is a lot of stuff for a little girl to take to school! But you are so right - kids today get so many great things to try out. I love your vintage books. I think the biggest difference between my time at school and my young sons' is the commute - we walked (quite a long way up a very big hill) in all weather, while my young darling gets driven home from school each day (he walks there in the morning, but has trouble 'remembering' to come straight home after school!). Becks xxx

  2. I remember my primary school so fondly.It was in a lovely old house with a beautiful big garden with lots of trees.It was run by two kindly ladies,probably in their eary 50's,but to me they seem ancient,and we used to call them 'Auntie' so and so.We had poetry classes,Greek dancing,and made music pipes out of bamboo(I still have mine).The only thing I didn't like were the little bottles of milk we had to drink at break.They were always warm...yuuk! :0)

  3. I do know just what you mean about getting ready for school - there's so much to prepare! This morning we had quite the hunt for one pair of sneakers only to discover that they were where they should be and not lost at all. siiiiiigh!

    Those vintage books are so colorful. Not only did ours, here in the States, look similar but I, also, had some of my mother's books that I read that dated from the forties. I love the illustrations and looking at them takes me right back to a feeling of safe and contented childhood. I like that, in these illustrations, the children look real and not like cartoons. They, also, look sweet and innocent and like....children. What a thought!

    Miss Read! =] I owned a copy of the first book that I started to read when I lived in L.A. I just couldn't connect with it, though, and put it down. Then, on a dreary winter's evening, five years after I'd moved to rural Vermont, I picked it up, again, and was riveted! I've been meaning to read more. I seem to remember that it brought tears of laughter...;)


  4. We still use Come and Praise in our school, although the music is on an i-pod and docking system! Good tunes never date!

  5. Enjoyed reading your post. My old primary school celebrated its 70th anniversary a few years ago and invited ex pupils to an open day. The minute I walked through the door it smelled exactly as I remembered it from my school days. Not sure of what but it took me right back to my first day back in the 50s. The reception class where I went on my first day was still there minus the sandpit and play shop! Oh this has evoked some lovely memories - thankyou.

  6. I love the old books also....the illustrations look so sweet, simpler times now look at what are kids have to haul to school have a great hubby!
    congrats on your new baby!

  7. I seem to be getting a collection of ladybird books, but when you see them at really cheap prices (in some places, though not many by me!) I can't resist! Some of them are really informative aswell and I've learnt a few things. Second childhood? I'm now following you. Suzy x

  8. Wow that sure is a bundle to take to school!
    I love the lady bird books, they charge so much for them over where I am..such a shame. I do love the illustrations in them though.
    I grew up in a small town in Alberta Canada, every morning at school, we would sing 'O'Canada' morning in English then the next in French (to this day I still remember the French version better then the English :P).
    Have a lovely weekend x


Thank you for your lovely messages! They really do brighten up my day xx