How has school changed since you saw Nitty Nora?
If your child is just starting school, brace yourself -- things have changed since you last walked out of primary.
Chances are, unless you are a teacher, you probably haven’t been in a primary school since you left at the age of 10 or 11. And, you’re right, some things haven’t changed at all... the smell for one.
I remember my first look-see visit for my eldest child – who has just started secondary – and how it felt. It’s the oddest thing. The smell and feel of a primary can whisk you back through time just for a moment to your own school.
But before you get carried away with your childhood self, it’s really important to know that some aspects of primary school have changed a lot.
In our day: It was the free-wheeling 1970s, so we wore what we wanted. I only remember most things had big collars.
Today: Sweatshirts with school badges and trousers from supermarkets.
In our day: Shoes had squashed down heels because we had to tie laces and most of us didn’t bother.
In our day: Division where you “carried one”.
In our day: You saw them on the telly.
Today: Rooms full of them and kids who use mice before they can write.
In our day: You kept your coat on and got on with it. And you put an extra pair of socks under your wellies.
Nowadays: Kids get sent home for health and safety reasons. And girls wear Uggs.
In our day: Hopscotch, skipping, jacks, cats cradle, British bulldogs and conkers.
Nowadays: DSi, Xbox and PlayStation.
Health and hygiene
In our day: Nitty Nora conducting head inspections in class.
Nowadays: Schools can’t tell you if you’ve got an infestation.
In our day: It was PE and they picked teams like a popularity contest. Oh and you went outside no matter what the weather.
Nowadays: It’s gym and they do yoga and dance.
In our day: Liver and boiled potatoes with pink sponge and yellow custard. And kids getting free meals formed a separate queue.
Nowadays: Chicken nuggets and chips (in spite of Jamie’s best efforts). And no one knows who’s on benefits.
In our day: It was free and came in titchy little glass bottles with tinfoil lids.
Nowadays: You buy it at the serving hatch and it comes in a tetrapak.
In our day: You went out to play as soon as you got home and didn’t come in til supper time.
Nowadays: Adopt a position on the sofa or get ready for after school activites.
In our day: it was sex education.
Nowadays: It’s personal and social development.
In our day: Join the Tufty Club and don’t talk to strangers.
Nowadays: Don’t give out your details online and remember your booster seat.
In our day: There was a remedial class.
Nowadays: Every child has their own learning programme, so they’re not so special after all.
Crime and punishment
In our day: You got sent to sit on the prickly mat – the doormat at the main entrance.
Nowadays: A firm talking to from the head teacher and a phone call to mum.
What else has changed since your day?
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