Back in Time for School

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Back in Time for School

Postby Ratatouille » January 4th, 2019, 10:14 am

I was looking forward to this last night, but felt it fell rather short of the brief. We both have a fairly good knowledge of Education history and we found more than a few inaccuracies. Did anyone else see it and what did you think? The tapioca episode was amusing though.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Herbidacious » January 4th, 2019, 6:38 pm

I saw some of it. I don't know enough of the history to judge how accurate it was, but it seemed like a bit of a 'medley' of concepts shoved together to get a taste for the time, rather than an accurate depiction. I wasn't quite sure what date it was supposed to be as I missed the beginning. 1902ish I suppose, if they were celebrating the first Emprire Day. I do have my great aunt's diary (talking about school and then working in a factory - horrible ongoing account of someone's accident with some machinery and the consquences) and school notebooks on how to do laundry from a little later than this... c.1910.

The instinctive naysaying no-can-do attitude of the children regarding most things was a bit irritating, but at least some of them did come round somewhat.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby earthmaiden » January 4th, 2019, 7:44 pm

During all the programmes like this in recent years which 'go back in time', I feel both nostalgic and annoyed as they never seem quite right.

I suppose that researchers always base it on real things but often seem to have little concept of what things might really have felt like.

There was little here which I did not recognise in some way from my own childhood, some 50 + years later. What surprised me was how much the girls and boys of that age were allowed to mix in the playground and classroom. What saddened me was that nearly everything was unrecognisable to the modern children.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby earthmaiden » January 10th, 2019, 8:25 pm

Oh please give them some blotting paper!
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby StokeySue » January 11th, 2019, 12:22 am

I had tonight’s episode on in the background while ironing

They started by talking the register in 1920 using only first names. They didn’t do that in 1960 let alone 1920. And that was my impression throughout - some interesting stuff, for example the Esperanto an the marriage bar, then lack of attention to some of the detail, which is irritating
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby suffolk » January 11th, 2019, 7:28 am

Ive found the whole series of Back in time for... hugely irritating because of inaccuracies and generalisations ... I’ve not bothered with the most recent one.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby scullion » January 11th, 2019, 9:09 am

having fallen asleep during the first episode, run it back and fallen asleep again i realised it wasn't holding my attention enough to bother with so i haven't watched subsequent ones.
StokeySue wrote:They started by talking the register in 1920 using only first names. They didn’t do that in 1960 let alone 1920.

maybe that depended on the school. i can remember that at my primary school they sometimes used the whole name/forename but sometimes didn't bother and just did it by recognition rather than making the children say 'here'. at my senior school they didn't take registers.

the trouble with generalising things like this is that they can meet no-ones experiences and so there's no affinity with the programme subject, especially if the treatment of the participants isn't really the same as it would have been in reality.
i wonder what subject they'll come up with for the next series - have they done medicine/healthcare‽
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby StokeySue » January 11th, 2019, 9:19 am

scullion wrote:maybe that depended on the school. i can remember that at my primary school they sometimes used the whole name/forename but sometimes didn't bother and just did it by recognition rather than making the children say 'here'. at my senior school they didn't take registers.

I nearly qualified that - with “at that kind of school ” - it was supposed to be the sort of very formal grammar school that had strict uniform rules and put pupils achievements up in gold lettering on wall plaques. In the context of that programme it was simply sloppy l, like some of the uniform
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Suelle » January 11th, 2019, 9:21 am

StokeySue wrote:I had tonight’s episode on in the background while ironing

They started by talking the register in 1920 using only first names. They didn’t do that in 1960 let alone 1920. And that was my impression throughout - some interesting stuff, for example the Esperanto an the marriage bar, then lack of attention to some of the detail, which is irritating


I'm guessing the BBC couldn't use surnames as it would identify the children too clearly.

My issue is keeping hats on indoors, particularly the boys. It wasn't happening all the time, but more than was likely considering the manners of the times.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Ratatouille » January 11th, 2019, 9:49 am

earthmaiden wrote:Oh please give them some blotting paper!

I was shouting that at the screen and also in the 1940s, never mind the 20s they would never have been allowed to hold their pens like that.

I agree with Suelle about the hats too. Perhaps the girls, but never ever the boys or the male teachers.At grammar schoop in the early 50s we were in terrible trouble if we girls were seen sans chapeaux when outside the school gates aand the boys were in equal trouble if they didn't doff their caps to adults especially teachers and well known figures.

I had to wear one of those three pleat front and back tunics until I got to the 4th form and a sudden surge of modernity hit the place and we were allowed skirts.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby suffolk » January 11th, 2019, 10:13 am

Even in a tiny village school with 13 children and one teacher the register was taken with full names in the 1960s.

At an all girl grammar school (again in the 60s) no male teachers were allowed unless they were middle aged and married. Almost the only men ever seen on site were the caretaker, the elderly lab technician and a male English teacher who lasted one term (the French mistress knitted him a scarf!!! We all knew about it :shock: )

We wore gymslips (straight up and down, no pleats) until we were in sixth form with a coloured 'sash' to show which House we belonged to ... brown Oxford lace-up shoes with five lace holes each side and our skirt lengths were measured at the beginning of each term. To be seen out of school without a beret earned a House Mark ... three House Marks in a year = suspension/expulsion. Being seen in certain shops and cafés in the town (even out of uniform) without a parent or guardian was also likely to result in expulsion. This was in a very 'genteel' historic market town ... there was nowhere 'dodgy'.
The class rooms were around the Walnut Lawn ... walking on the lawn (even he edge) was forbidden except for prefects and teachers ... again a transgression earned a House Mark.

No one was allowed packed lunches. You had to eat everything unless you had a Doctor's letter. One girl was excused plums/prunes. She was made to have the juice from some stewed plums ... she vomited all over the canteen and we were made to clear it up.

Although I was academic and able I was thoroughly miserable there but no one ever thought that there was anything wrong ... very few of us expected to enjoy school.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby earthmaiden » January 11th, 2019, 10:32 am

Again, although it is too generalised, I think we all recognise certain aspects of it and it still shocks me that the modern children don't.

I too noticed boys with caps on in the classroom - I don't think that would ever have happened. I am still surprised to see boys and girls mixing so freely. They did mention during the first episode that boys and girls had been allowed to mix like that. During my short experience of a mixed high school in Australia as late as 1968, girls and boys had separate playgrounds and during class boys sat on one side of the classroom and boys on the other. I thought that was normal here in earlier times.

I think gymslips would always have had a belt or sash.

When my mother was in her teens they were not allowed to be seen in Woolworths even when not in uniform. One day she was in Woolworths with her mother and they bumped into a form mistress! Nothing was said :lol:.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby suffolk » January 11th, 2019, 11:16 am

At our little village primary school boys and girls mixed freely in the playground although the tendency was for the games we played to be different according to gender ... girls couldn't play football after all ... we tended to play 'house' or 'horses' or look after the 'little ones' but we were needed to be fielders in the cricket season ... sometimes we were allowed to bat but I can't remember ever being allowed to bowl.

At the end of playtime we lined up in two lines Boys to the right, Girls to the left ... youngest at the front ... and of course no boys or men ever wore a hat indoors ... that would have been the height of rudeness ... equivalent to swearing in front of a lady. ;)

Our grammar school didn't have a swimming pool ...it didn't have much of anything, not even a gymnasium ... if the weather was unsuitable for hockey netball or tennis we had to walk through the town to St. Michael's Room (the place where the meetings are in the Detectorists tv prog) to do country dancing or 'gym' with some rubber mats, hoops and a 'box'. That room is also where I sat my 'O' levels.

For swimming lessons we had to go after school in a mini bus to a school in the the next town (I was very travel sick in the mini bus). When my parents suggested that our school borrowed/hired the swimming pool at Framlingham College (the boys public school in the town that my bro and his friends attended) they were told that girls couldn't use a pool that was used by boys :shock: we were expected to know why this was ... all sorts of reasons were postulated by we girls :rolleyes: but no one came up with a convincing one.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Busybee » January 11th, 2019, 12:58 pm

My senior school years were 1977-1984, I can confirm that we had separate boys and girls entrances and some lessons ( teacher dependant) were split boys one side of the class room girls the other.

Haven’t managed to watch more than a few minutes of this series, although my sister and nieces are avidly watching.

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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby scullion » January 12th, 2019, 11:06 am

it shows how different school was for everyone.
i had left senior school by then, bb, but i had no uniform, no registers called (- i suppose they were filled in at 'company time' first thing in the morning), no separation of the sexes except in most games lessons, changing rooms (and dormitories if you were a border - but that didn't stop everyone) and the pool was used by everyone with no untoward result that i ever saw (including the occasional mixed skinny dipping). i did woodwork and some of the boys chose needlework etc - i think everyone in the juniors may have done cooking regardless of sex - i know my brother did it (i went to a different junior school - although i can remember making jam tarts there).
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby suffolk » January 12th, 2019, 1:30 pm

At primary school I was allowed to do some simple woodwork ... balsa wood ink blotters and little sailing boats etc. No opportunity for that sort of thing at an all girls grammar. :|
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby earthmaiden » January 12th, 2019, 2:18 pm

On arrival in Australia I was given a list of subjects offered by the (mixed comprehensive) school I was to attend. I was thrilled to see metalwork as one of the subjects offered as at 14 I liked the idea of doing blacksmith/silversmith based art. I can still remember the look of horror on the secretary's face. That was not a girl's subject and I must choose from needlework, art or home science - or commerce :( . That was why I did home science (I had already chosen art). I went on to an all girls high school once we had settled and moved so it wouldn't have been offered there anyway. I'd been at a girls boarding school in England where we'd been led to believe that girls could do anything (except wear trousers at tea or go without gloves to church if course!), it was my first taste of sexist injustice and the memory has stayed with me.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Ratatouille » January 12th, 2019, 2:43 pm

For O-level I desperately wanted to do art but wasn't allowed to. Why? Because I was in the A stream and doing sciences :rolleyes: The fact that , when I went to college I did Art/Ceramics as my main course was absolutely lovely.
At grammar school there were still boys and girls' entrances and cloakrooms and playgrounds at either ends of the buidling and the males and female staff rooms were there too. Only when in the sixthform could we use the mixed common room which was uo a flight of stairs in the centre. We used to play poker and smoke using the gas fire flue as a chimney. The head who was a fully paid up member of the human race used to say it was the only cas fire with a smoking chimney in the county.

However music, orchestras and choirs, drama and the sixth form clubs, debating etc were mixed . Mr R and I were even encouraged to play a piano duet in the school concert. Thia outraged the deputy headmistress who saw the fact that I always played the lower part as unseemly. She was a strange twisted woman. :scared:
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