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Discussion in 'Primary' started by fishtoe, Feb 7, 2009.
Sorry for lack of paragraphing - they were there until I pressed Send.
I went ot an open plan junior school in the seventies. We could do what we liked. Our teacher in thrid year juniors was horrified at how little we knew and made us do an hour of fraftions and percentages every morning, very much against school policy. You had to do a piece of Maths and English every day then you could, very literally, do what you liked, and the Maths could be the first page in the easiest book and for English i often wrote a poem, or did an SRA card with the answers by my side. It was rubbish as formal education but the people who went to my school who were clever did exceedingly well. It was terrible for anyone who needed a bit more help.
There were spankings in assembly, and lovely dinners with puddings and custard, and far too little supervision, but we were very self sufficient and could do loads of things today's children can't. We didn't know what 'instructional texts' were but wedid excellent creative writing, probab;y because it was a piece of English you could do quickly and enjoyably.
I went to infant school 1972 - 75, then junior school 1975 - 79. It was very much like everyone's I've read so far! I remember Maths in the "second year" (Y4) at junior school was just the blackboard full of sums and if you weren't quick enough it would get rolled round as the teacher wrote more on and you got into awful trouble and had to wait til break time for it to rolled back for you to catch up. We did lots of topics on transport and suchlike that took up all afternoon every day. We sat on tables depending on your ability with the cleverest nearest the teacher's desk and the 'low flyers' nearest the window (bad idea!).
Science in the fourth year (Y6) has always stuck in my mind. You went out of the class to another room - unsupervised - picked a large blue box that you hadn't done before, opened it up, did the experiment or whatever was inside, then packed it all away and went back to class when you'd finished!! And we all did the work, no-one seemed to consider not doing. I remember doing rather a lot of country dancing too. And exciting gym with bars and horses and other such things that we did madly dangerous leaping about on. And break times were always unsupervised too - if anything went wrong a teacher had to be fetched from the staffroom, and we all free ranged in ten acres of land which had plenty of areas that couldn't even be seen from the school building.
I loved school, and I'm sure I learnt lots. We were told when we went to 'big school' that the pupils from our junior school were head and shoulders above the rest, and the top two forms were mostly populated by ex-pupils of that junior school so they must have been doing something right as most of us went into 6th form and on to Uni. Aye, them were t' days!
junior school in early 60s - like an earlier poster we had apparently unsupervised playtimes, with well-publicised and organised fights where we all made a circle and watched two children fight in the middle - no idea whta any were about. our school was a wooden prefab and it was everyone's ambition to set fire to it with a magnifying glass - nobody succeeded but the walls were dotted with innumerable burns - did no-one notice? MY teacher's slipper was not kept in the office - I was slippered at least 3 or 4 times, once for cutting out pics of bras from magazines, once for making a <u>second</u> mistake in the Platignum pens handwriting competition - we had to write out Robert Louis Stevenson's poem "land of Counterpane" - I know it off by heart even now. The head prepared the chosen few for the 11+ by reading Which reports - genre writing before its time. I wrote the school Christmas pantomime (in rhyming couplets) in my last year (Y6) , as a way to keep me occupied I believe. We paid to look at willies in the toilets. (sorry Gerald -yours was very small) Despite all this, I loved my primary school, which was seen as modern and ahead of its time.
Teaching in 70s - Fletcher maths workbooks, with practical activties as well. There was a huge emphasis on individual work cards to be worked through in order. The standard the children achieved in all subjects was WELL below what we expect today. All science was nature, with pretty nature tables, aniamls, colours or ourselves. We did no assessment and there were no benchmarks for this anyway. One HMI visited our school and wrote a report on how the children did not wash their hands thoroughly before lunch. I can't remember doing much work at home apart from making and taki-baking work cards.
Ooooh Binca embroidery... it was a big day when you "went up" from running stitch to cross stitch, and if you were REALLY good, to Herringbone stitch! Had even more fun freaking out the girl across the table from me by poking the needle under the top layer of skin on my finger when the teacher's back was turned...
And country dancing... I could probably still sing the moves to the Virginia Reel etc.
I have a vague memory of a side room with little camp beds for naps after lunch at one school.
And a very CLEAR memory of a left-handed boy having his hand tied behind his back to make him write with his RIGHT hand... still makes me shudder now.
My post on page 2 meant to say
Primary early 60's - not late 60's
I can't remember doing much work at home apart from making and taki-baking work cards.
Me neither - I used to work in a pub every night during the week and spend the weekend with my boyfriend.
I was in primary until 79, I remember in junior 4 (year6) my teacher NEVER came out from behind her desk- she sat there ALL day. (I wondered if she actually had any legs..)
We worked through maths text books page to page and if we needed help or work marked we queued up. sometime you sould spend all morning queuing to have 20 minutes worth of work marked.She marked from an answer book.
the desks were good though- wooden lift-top desks- they had HUGE amounts of space inside so we kept all our books in them- (no ice-cream tubs round the room splitting from the strain of 30 exercise books inside), and the desks were more private than the piddly plastic drawers we give kids these days- at the end of the day you stuck your chair on it and nobody ever went in someone elses desk- they were sacrosanct, aswell as copious.
I remember lots of times tables rote learning, lots of greater than and less than sums and also cuisenaire rods, I cannot think of the number 10 without thinking of the colour orange.We had vanguard work books and we learnt about imperial and metric syatems although I never understood metric and still don't also we had the great decimilisation campaign .
I started school in 1957 and went to secondary school in 1963. I remember my infant and primary days fondly and I do remember learning to read and look-say but it always seemed to be such fun. I remember being told loads of stories and being told to put your head down on folded arms whilst listening to them. Inner city London (Camden Town) was a poorish kind of place but school often seemed interesting though I never mastered the use of those funny ink pens and ink itself always seemed to over my shirts etc. The nature tables were great and I remember so many great teachers especially Mr Love who got arrested on the first ban the bomb march, he taught us about A Girl called Moses when we did a project on slavery Harriet Tubman and those lessons never left me I still talk about them today and much of my political awareness stems from those days.
I wouldn't knock those days-now too many of us professionals just hide behind the 'I'm only following orders' brigade!
What I remember from being at (secondary) school in the late 60s was pain, pain and more pain!
My Maths Teacher (and most of the others) would hit anyone who failed to answer any question correctly the first time or if I turned around to see who kicked me or for any other reason whatsovever.
I had to go to the hospital 3 times a week for asthma treatment and I had an eye complaint, therefore I missed quite a chunk of school - that made me his No 1 target!
He would pick up kids by the hair, hit them hard with wooden blackboard rubbers, and hit us with a huge slipper that he had concealed in his jacket.
I used to cry every day on the way to school because I knew what was coming.
Should any pupil get hit by the Head, they would not be able to sit down for days. Taking off your trousers was agony because they would be stuck to you with dried blood.
I left school at 15 as soon as I could.
Who would have thought I would be a teacher myself and have two training companies providing corporate training.
I only started learning when I left school. I loved learning and still do, but I taught myself all I needed to know whenever possible.
I realise this is a very different view from everyone else, but when I saw the topic I had to write my experience down. It still affects me now even though all that happened so long ago.
I went to a grammar school. We had five lessons of maths a week: one each day.
Each lesson was devoted to a different aspect of maths:
theora: proving and understanding why 'it was so'
basic arithmetic skills: 'sums'
In addition, those of us in top set were entered for our Maths O Level in november of 5th form (Y11) and then began the A Level course immediately after the Christmas holidays and before the results were out
There was no CSE........
New work was introduced for about three lessons and then we left it and went back to something else for about a week or so. Then when we returned to the 'new' work, it did not seem so daunting.
My major recollection was the fact that the maths teacher could stand sideways on to the board and write with hte chalk sticking out of the back of her fingers and therefore opposite to the way we would hold a pen.
In primary school we did arithmetic exercises: 6 a day, 7 a day and so on depending on which year you were in. By the time we were in top juniors (Y6) we were on 10 a day.
Of course at that time the 11plus was still taken by evryone where Iived (West Essex LEA)
hope that helps.
I remember in the late 60's early 70's the 11 plus books working through pages and pages of logic tests and patterns such as if cat is to dog then cow is to............ I also remember my headteacher bringing in her own tv from home to watch the space launch for the first men on the moon. We'd never had tv in school the (imagine that now!) We also had a nature table where I remember anyone brought in nature things including poisonous toadstools which we all touched and were oblivious to any health and safety issues. We squeezed puffballs at others great fun. We had a thrid of a pint of milk each day warmed on the boiling hot radiators. At Christmas we made snowmen collages by screwing up torn pieces of tissue paper glued onto an ouline (same one used every year, or we licked sticky paper to make a collage santa(I had to go home sick one day as I had licked so much glue) We also played with endless plasticine. For counters we used shells or pine cones. We all worked in vertically grouped classes as there were only 60 in the school. We did drama by putting on a record of Peter and the Wolf and taking it in turns to be the bird or the cat etc. Singing together was the radio heaven. We were such good listeners and really enjoyed this. It was live radio, no pre recorded stuff. The ouside loo's were awful, dark, smelly and full of spiders, you didn't ask for the toilet during lessons or any other time for that matter. We didn't have much in the way of resources but what we did have was a carefree, happy childhood which I enjoyed so much I made a career out of it.
I was also at school them and remember Alpha Maths, Beta maths was done by the 'other' class. We also did '10 a day' and lots of long multiplication and division. We measured lots of things with rulers and tape measures and coloured lots of graphs.
No photocopies then, just banda copies which left blue carbon marks on white school shirts, so all our maths was from the board. The only differentiation was that some finished and some didn't. I don't ever remember being told why things worked, just that they did.
We also had times tables tests every Friday and the results were posted on the classroom door. These carried on for all 3 infant years.
I agree with what has already been said - mental maths - by the load, feet and inches as well as £ s d and pounds and ounces. If, then and therefore problems ! Most of the stuff as I remember in first year secondary is what seems to be done in Yr. 6 these days. Method was everything and concepts which I think for small children are difficult to understand came later. You may not have known what on earth was going on but you did feel good when you go a row of red ticks !
At infant school (1966-1969), my only memories are of basket weaving and cross stitch in the classroom - and being made to stand outside in the cloakrooms if we talked too much - we had to stay out there until the Head Mistress found us on her rounds and after cross-questioning, we were given permission to return to class. We sat at long refectory tables for lunch and each day, we could put our hands up at the end of the meal to go and "scrape the bowl" - I always volunteered when there was spare custard. Oh, and we had weekly elocution lessons as well (and it wasn't a private school).
Junior school (1969 - 1973) brings back memories of warm, bottled milk every day, fountain pens that leaked all the time and the cane. We played on a purpose-built "Roman Fort" which reusulted in cuts and bruises every playtime. Needless to say, it was pulled down some years later (Health and Safety but we loved it.
All in all, I think I had a very good education at primary school, even though it was very strict and formal.
I left school in 1972. They still had logarithmic tables; and instead of scientific calculators there were slide rules. I did a course called "Modern Maths" in which I learned to do arithmetic in binary and hexadecimal (and other base numbers for good measure). I think they expected us all to need to compute in machine code by the time we were adults. There are benefits; for instance, I understood the T-shirt logo "There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't"