This excerpt is taken from the memoirs of my late mother, Jessie Gorton. I am currently busy typing these out from notes I made as she reminisced about the early days in Worcestershire.
Jessie joined Bentley Pauncefoot C of E School in the 1920s. She loved it! The teacher was managing three groups of children in the one room.
There was a big round stove in the room, with an iron guard round it. Across the passageway was a smaller classroom for Standards One and Two. That teacher was plump, kind and friendly. The children used to collect her on the way to school and walk along with her. There was a little coal fire in that room, sometimes meetings were held there. The third room was for the Top Class. There were double desks with lift-up lids and bench seats. The desks had inkwells.
In the one room, there was a dias at the one end, which was used for plays and singing. At Christmas the children took part in plays and Armistice Day was a big event. Assembly was held in that room. A teacher played the piano for accompanying the singing. Sometimes the vicar would visit.
In the classrooms, some things were whole-class activities, such as singing or listening to a story. At other times, several groups would be doing different things.
One girl was really good at art and other children copied her. One Christmas she did a big 'v' shape and decorated it with leaves and at least three children copied hers!
There was supposed to be a school uniform which was, for girls, a navy blue skirt and a white blouse. The boys and older children didn't usually wear uniform.
Even in cold weather, the children had to go outside for PT. They exercised in lines, touching their toes, stretching up, etc. If it was raining heavily outside they had to stand by their desks in the classroom and do exercise. The school had a field so they could do sports and games such as cricket, high jumps, long jumps and running. Outside, there was a gravelly playground and lots of children fell over. At dinnertime, the teacher went home for dinner, so did many of the children. At dinnertime the children could do what they liked. The older children were supposed to look after them.
A memory shared byon Jun 15th, 2011.
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