Last Friday our little grandson went to ‘big’ school for the first time. It was only for an hour, and he was accompanied by his mother. He goes again today, and for the next couple of weeks prior to starting school in a part-time capacity in September. He is 3, will be 4 by the time he starts, and is well prepared thanks to nursery etc.
How different it is to my first experience of school.
I was born after the war, but there were still shortages in many areas including accommodation. There were no school buildings where we lived, so my early days in school were in a Civil Defence building. This may not sound particularly troublesome, but it basically consisted of a large room divided with screens which served as classrooms, with no outside area. We had a play area. It was an enormous cage – bounded on three sides with walls in which there were no windows and on the other a wire screen with a door through which we entered. There was no natural light. It was illuminated by a dull bulb in the centre of the ceiling. Approximately 50 children aged between 5 and 11 ‘played’ here, and it gave me nightmares.
After a while we moved into a new purpose-built building. It was in a large green area and much more pleasant – except…..
It was built on land that had previously been home to many adders. They came calling on a regular basis. Their favourite place to visit was the girl’s lavatories, where they would curl up behind the cistern. Not fun!
Thankfully, things have changed, and I won’t be telling our grandson this story!