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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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby earthmaiden » January 18th, 2019, 5:13 pm

Another decade - still no blotting paper but girls and boys segregated more.
Would grammar school boys really have been the ones chosen for fruit picking?
Was daily milk given to secondary school children?
There was no mention of how to get hold of money to enjoy clothes and visits to the milk bar. I think in many households it would have had to have been earned.
Interesting to see today's lot struggle with copying from the board!÷
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Amber » January 18th, 2019, 8:10 pm

I haven’t seen any of the programmes but yes, we had (warm :( ) bottles of milk at grammar school, mid-late 60s.
:o am I really that old??

We had two ‘quadrangular’ (is that a word?) buildings, with entrances at each and every corner. One building for the girls, and one for the boys. And never the twain shall meet. Until....

When I started (1966?) it was all girls in one building, all boys in the other. Gradually, boys were allowed into ‘our’ building, then the next year we had some mixed lessons, and the following year we had mixed forms. :D :D

And... we had to wear proper tunics! And blazers! And hats!!
And our skirt lengths were frequently measured...
I can’t remember, but think it was something like no more than 12-14?” Above the knee when kneeling in the ground.
But no ties.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Amber » January 18th, 2019, 8:17 pm

Because I was in the top stream, I wasn’t allowed to do more than (the compulsory?) six weeks of cookery, needlework, or pottery.

But, and I’m still proud of it, rightly or wrongly, I refused to study Latin (that didn’t go down well :? ). I love languages, but didn’t want to study a ‘dead’ language. I did Italian O-level in a year instead.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Ratatouille » January 19th, 2019, 9:50 am

earthmaiden wrote:Interesting to see today's lot struggle with copying from the board!÷


Not to mention the actual process of writing. They have clearly never been taught how to hold a pen, especially if left handed. We had one of those sort of teachers for history only he didn't even wrtie on the board he just dictated. He couldn't count either and never took a register but merely counted heads. As 2 members of the class were absent for the first lesson we made absolutely sure he never had the correct number but had a rota to skip the lesson and disappear to the local milk bar. 2 people ut carbon paper under the page in their history notebooks and duplicated the dictation to givr to the lucky two absentees. All that is except the pious Ann who said what we were doing was wrong! Fortunately there was an odd number of students registered for the class. We did all pass :l if not with especially high marks and that included Ann :lol:
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby StokeySue » January 19th, 2019, 10:53 am

Amber wrote:I’m still proud of it, rightly or wrongly, I refused to study Latin (that didn’t go down well ). I love languages, but didn’t want to study a ‘dead’ language. I did Italian O-level in a year instead.

:hi5: :hi5:
We all had to do French which we started at age 11
Then in our second year in high school we had to start Latin or German. We were consulted and a letter of recommendation was sent to our parents. Mine said that as I was academic I would have been automatically put into the Latin class but as it was no longer a university requirement and I had made a strong case for preferring to learn a living language I’d be put into German unless my parents objected. Never regretted it, I’ve used German a lot.

This was in 1965/6. In 2010 my friend was caught on the hop at a parent teacher meeting and asked if her son should do French or Spanish? She said French, got home and found he was dead set on Spanish and the school refused to change (she had no warning she would be asked). So after more than 40 years there’s less pupil power? Less choice? Surprising.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby scullion » January 19th, 2019, 11:25 am

Amber wrote:And our skirt lengths were frequently measured...
I can’t remember, but think it was something like no more than 12-14?” Above the knee when kneeling in the ground.


hmm - that was very liberal!
friends of mine who went to schools where skirts had to be worn said theirs had to be no more than four inches.

the first thing we made in sewing, at school, was a skirt - mine was a large waled cord, bright cerise mini, a thing of sheer beauty, which must have been at least nine inches above the knee when i was eleven. the hem was closer to my waist than it was to my knees. it quickly left my knees even further away.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby earthmaiden » January 19th, 2019, 11:37 am

Our skirts had to measure no more than 3" above the knee when kneeling. At the school where we wore skirts, it meant that we rolled them over at the waistband most of the time to shorten them - we preferred a fat wodge at the waist than the horror of a long skirt :lol:. At a later school we had belted gymslips in winter, it was easy to create a fold over the belt to get the skirt really short then let it down if measurement took place. The unbelted summer dresses were more of a problem.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby suffolk » January 19th, 2019, 11:45 am

scullion wrote:friends of mine who went to schools where skirts had to be worn said theirs had to be no more than four inches.


We started off with ours having to touch the ground ... eventually they went up to 4" above the knee ... and as we wore gymslips there was no way of rolling the tops over.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby scullion » January 19th, 2019, 11:56 am

my great aunt made my gym slips. they were even shorter than the mini skirt and lovely, a much better style and cut than the ones that the uniform shop sold. i carried on wearing them (with the 'girdle') after everyone else changed to little nylon skirts.
the games kit was the only uniform we had - on cold days the jumper was worn with our normal jeans during lacrosse.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby earthmaiden » January 19th, 2019, 12:02 pm

Think yourself lucky. It was shorts for us in lacrosse even in freezing weather (the sort of shorts that looked like a skirt) and games jumpers off so that we were in short sleeved shirts once we had 'warmed up'. I spent some of the most miserable moments of my life shivering on the frosty lax pitch (never being one to run far!).
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby scullion » January 19th, 2019, 12:39 pm

we had those culottes, too. i was still wearing them when i was in my early twenties for cycling in. other than the itchiness of the wool i rather liked the cut of them (double button sides).
i also loved lacrosse - i was a runner so was centre in lessons and, i think, third home in matches.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Suelle » January 19th, 2019, 12:51 pm

We didn't have shorts for games lessons - just thick navy knickers worn over our normal underwear. :lol:

Everyone's individual experiences just goes to show that one hour of TV can only encapsulate the general ethos of the time. Uniforms varied, strictness varied, lessons taught varied.

At my girls Grammar School, in the 60s, the A stream had to learn Latin, as it was considered essential for University Entrance. There was only domestic science in the first year, before O level exam subjects were started. We had only one male teacher, who just read from a Biology textbook. And no sex education at all - I learnt from a girl who became pregnant at 15, and drew diagrams in the high jump sand-pit! :shock:
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Pepper Pig » January 19th, 2019, 2:20 pm

We had free school milk up until when I left grammar school in 1971 but I am quite sure we drank it straight from the bottles, no straws.

The clever ones did Latin or German. The B stream were left to rot. I was B stream.

I loved the Cycling Proficiency bit. Brought back memories.
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Re: Back in Time for School

Postby Ratatouille » January 19th, 2019, 2:34 pm

We had straws, I know because i was straw monitor and was under strict instructions to only allow one per bottle. As they were paper and got very soggy. The slow, reluctant drinkers who chewed theirs had to end up drinking from the bottle.

Navy blue knickers for me too even in the snow in a NE winter. It was sheer child abuse! No wonder I took up the cello because music lessons were on games afternoon!

I made absolutely sure I failed 3rd year latin so I wouldn't have to take it at O-level. I still have the report for that year in which the latin teacher said She srtuggles with latin but is very careful not to make too much effort to improve! On the other hand Mr R did A-level Latin and got an A.
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