First days at school

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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Katharine
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First days at school

Post by Katharine » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:56 pm

Reading the article in last Saturday's Times Colour Supplement about CH reminded me of my Mum expressing her distress at taking my brother to Prep A. Peter was only just 9 when he went, and my parents had forgotten to take anything with them to bring back his home clothes. She had to sit on the bus all the way back to Eastbourne clutching the clothes to her in a brown paper bag, that some kind person had given her. She said she felt absolutely bereft of her little boy.

Several years later when I started, she was more prepared, also I was just 12 so not such a tender age.

More usually we think of the children suffering home sickness, but do we care enough for the parents?
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Post by Richard Ruck » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:00 pm

I think my mother blubbed all the way back to Somerset.

I was 12 when I went to C.H., but by the time I was 15 or 16 she was probably glad to see the back of me at the end of the holidays.
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Thee's got'n where thee cassn't back'n, hassn't?

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Post by englishangel » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:45 pm

I was desperate to go to boarding school (too much Elinor Brent-Dyer and four Marys in the Bunty) and when I had changed into my uniform I went downstairs to the study to find my parents having a cup of tea.

My Mum still reminds me that I said "Haven't you gone yet?"
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Mrs C.
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Post by Mrs C. » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:55 pm

I know from when we ran the boarding house that many parents feel dreadful about leaving their offspring. However , for the majority , they soon get used to not having them around.
I was speaking to a parent only yesterday , who said there are 2 "normals" - one with her 2 children, and one without.
One or 2 find the separation very difficult - and it`s a bit like "Munchhausens"(?) - they almost want to believe that their child is unhappy, and perhaps make them so - but in fact the child is having a great time - apart from when they speak to the parents - and then they say they hate it here!

I think we spent as much time consoling grief-stricken parents as dealing with homesick offspring.
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englishangel
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Post by englishangel » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:04 pm

My husband is a twin and they are the only offspring of their parents so when they went to Uni the parents went from having a house full of enormous male teenagers to an empty house in 1 day. Ma-in-law always said that for the first week she and Dad were walking round the house bumping into each other.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Post by UserRemovedAccount » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:27 pm

englishangel wrote:"too much Elinor Brent-Dyer and four Marys in the Bunty"
This is too cryptic for me - please explain.

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Post by englishangel » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:37 pm

Elinor M Brent-Dyer (who actually came form a working class family in South Shields) wrote stories about a girls school in the Alps, the Chalet School series, where the girls got up to all sorts of jolly japes.

The Four Marys were in a girls comic called the Bunty (boys had Eagle or Hotspur) and they were four girls called Mary (surprise) in a boarding school who also got up to jolly japes. They were from various backgounds, one was the daughter of an Earl (Lady) one had parents who were teachers, one had a widowed mother and the other I can't remember.

They gave a very distorted view of boarding school in the 60s.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/comics/featur ... mics.shtml
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Mrs C.
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Post by Mrs C. » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:43 pm

I think I read all the Malory Towers and St Clares books , thinking how great life at a boarding school must be!!
I never experienced it myself, but my daughters have a semi- boarding life!

As Houseparents, however, you see the other side!!
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Post by Great Plum » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:19 am

Mrs C. wrote:I think I read all the Malory Towers and St Clares books , thinking how great life at a boarding school must be!!
I never experienced it myself, but my daughters have a semi- boarding life!

As Houseparents, however, you see the other side!!
I too, was one of the 'Non-Foundationers' who had a semi boarding existence...

On my seniors, I left home at 7.15 in the morning, getting home after 10.30...

Only on my Grecians did I live in the house...
Maine B - 1992-95 Maine A 1995-99

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Post by Richard Ruck » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:24 am

Mrs C. wrote:I know from when we ran the boarding house that many parents feel dreadful about leaving their offspring. However , for the majority , they soon get used to not having them around.
I was speaking to a parent only yesterday , who said there are 2 "normals" - one with her 2 children, and one without.
One or 2 find the separation very difficult - and it`s a bit like "Munchhausens"(?) - they almost want to believe that their child is unhappy, and perhaps make them so - but in fact the child is having a great time - apart from when they speak to the parents - and then they say they hate it here!

I think we spent as much time consoling grief-stricken parents as dealing with homesick offspring.
I think that pupils and parents seem to have much more contact now than we ever did, as they can talk on their mobiles pretty much whenever they want, send texts, have leave weekends instead of leave days, have longer half-term breaks, etc.

I would imagine that this can sometimes make the adjustment more difficult rather than easier.

When I was a junior, the majority of our communication was by letter and, from time to time, we got to use the 3 or 4 public telephone kiosks which were dotted around the school.

I suppose everyone just had to knuckle down and get on with it.
Ba.A / Mid. B 1972 - 1978

Thee's got'n where thee cassn't back'n, hassn't?

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Great Plum
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Post by Great Plum » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:37 am

I think that in the first term the squits aren't allowed mobile phones...
Maine B - 1992-95 Maine A 1995-99

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Richard Ruck
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Post by Richard Ruck » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:39 am

Great Plum wrote:I think that in the first term the squits aren't allowed mobile phones...
Good idea.
Ba.A / Mid. B 1972 - 1978

Thee's got'n where thee cassn't back'n, hassn't?

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englishangel
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Post by englishangel » Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:21 pm

We wrote home every week but we weren't allowed to phone.

At one time (1969ish?) the Royal Mail were on strike and we had to queue for the one phone, which was outside the physics lab if memory serves (strange place to have it!)

Unfortunately my family were not on the phone so I was completely cut off.

Re the seeing more of each other making it more difficult, my husband always said that if he had gone home from uni. for a weekend in his first term he would never have gone back. By the time he went home for Christmas he had settled in and he was fine.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Post by marty » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:42 pm

Great Plum wrote:I think that in the first term the squits aren't allowed mobile phones...
Mobile phones?!! Bl**dy luxury! In my day you weren't even allowed to speak unless your leg was falling off, we lived on a diet of coal sandwiches (without bread) and horse urine, got up before we went to sleep and every night the housemaster would come round and murder us in cold blood, just for good measure. And youngsters these days say they have it tough!
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Mid A 15
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Post by Mid A 15 » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:51 pm

marty wrote:
Great Plum wrote:I think that in the first term the squits aren't allowed mobile phones...
Mobile phones?!! Bl**dy luxury! In my day you weren't even allowed to speak unless your leg was falling off, we lived on a diet of coal sandwiches (without bread) and horse urine, got up before we went to sleep and every night the housemaster would come round and murder us in cold blood, just for good measure. And youngsters these days say they have it tough!
COAL SANDWICHES? HORSE URINE! Luxury compared to my day :wink:
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