12 February 2013

Childhood Memories - Week 06

 Let’s get physical

This week we are still roving around the junior schools of our childhood, in fact a grand tour might be in order.

How many schools did you attend over your junior years? Did you start and end your primary/grade school days at the same educational facility or did your family move around a lot when you were a child and you had the pleasure (or misfortune) of attending several? Perhaps generations of your family all attended the same school – how cool is that! Do you have photographs of your parents or grandparents at this school in a recognizable location? Perhaps your own children and grandchildren attend the very same school you did. Perhaps you might like to tell us about this wonderful family connection.

Can you remember much about the physical aspects of the school you attended? Was it a large sprawling series of buildings with many pupils? Was it a smaller school with limited classrooms and a small number of students? Was it made from brick or timber, on one level or several? Was it bright and cheerful or dark and imposing? Did you have large playing fields and playground facilities or did you need to go to other locations for sport and physical education classes? Let us know what it was like.

Was your school named for something significant? Many schools are named for local celebrities or notable citizens, others for significant events or landmarks – was yours one of these? Do you know the meaning of this name?

Do you now live close to where you went to school? Have you considered going back and taking some photographs of how it is today and comparing it to when you were there? You can do something similar on Google Maps or you might discover your old school has a website and an archive of current and historic photographs.

Above is a satellite picture of my old school site and I have to say the overall layout has not changed much at all in the intervening years. I can still pinpoint the buildings I was in for each year I attended here and locate the library block, canteen and various other landmarks. I can remember going around and around the rectangular playing field doing marching drills for the annual Anzac parade.

My husband spent his early childhood in the UK and on a return visit in 2009 he actually visited his old school and received a grand tour by the principal who showed him the changes that had taken places over the years and presented him with a copy of his initial school registration. Have you ever revisited your old school – physically or online?

Can you recall what your uniform looked like (if you wore one) and what it consisted of? Do you remember what the school colours were or the school emblem/flag/motto? Perhaps that is testing your brain a little too much!

Memories in this age bracket will tend to be remembered in snippets - specific days and events, particular teachers and the things they did (good or bad), daily occurrences that have stuck in your mind (assemble, school prayer or song, the home bell, recess and lunch), major events you were a part of (school plays, recitals, sports carnivals), particular friendships and the goings-on that circled around them.

Tell us more about your early school days and the school(s) you attended.

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