Did you enjoy your schooling?

There’s an underlying theme through the home school ban which intrigues me. About what’s the best kind of schooling for the child. But I wonder? Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I think my school in the late fifties/sixties (which my parents bless them paid for because I was the brainy one, but we lived outside the catchment area) wasn’t in fact right for me. But at the time that certainly wouldn’t have been discussed. Knowing what I know now about what I’m naturally “good” at - my schooling should have been much more practical than academic. Shame they didn’t notice how much I enjoyed my brother’s meccano!
Did I “enjoy” my school? Not much. I enjoyed the theatrical stuff. Most of the rest of it was endured or sleep-walked through. Little or nothing stuck other than learning to bluff my way through things, which has been my life.
What was your schooling like?

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I loved it ,because of my Birthday I could stay after my exams had finished so I left at the last possible second

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Never wanted to leave primary school…
this has probably had an impact on my life.

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Ran away from primary school and got kicked out of grammar school, never did me any harm (luckily).

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My cousins mum once got home from dropping him off at primary school and found him on the doorstep

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Complex story - hated most of it I’m afraid.


Much like mine, Paul @anon88169868. Primary (1942-1945) war-time schooling was a haven of wrap-around care, pedagogic concern and genuine love from devoted teachers, including one Oxford MA teacher, a charismatic man whose smart singed hair-cut made me ask him why he had eggs in it.

Secondary all-boys Grammar was a cauldron of post WW2 conflict, teachers who terrorised, humiliated and lashed out in repressed cold fury at innocent pubescent boys; a few decent men with sturdy souls, progressive ambitions for us but battling a tide of hatred and resentment from war-damaged recently discharged combattants who needed looking after themselves.

No blame. It was the war that scarred us all, and still does.

I hated school I started working instead at 13

I think Roger Waters shared your experience.


I truly loved going to school and I even met my future wife there!

Apparently I was a right little git throughout school - but worked just about hard enough when I had to to get to Grammar School and the Uni.

To be at school doing a-levels with a car and a well paid part time job with my school friends was a fantastic couple of years.

@Mat_Davies Lucky you, I wasn’t old enough to have driving lessons when I was doing A levels, major source of frustration for me. Some of my friends had driving lessons and got out of school from time to time, so lucky …we were locked up in the 19th century, and we knew that boys at our sort of school had (infuriatingly for us) far more freedom than we did.
We were expected to overachieve, to win every match, to get better academic results than eg Eton or Winchester, our headmistress used to bang on about precisely that virtually every morning. You were segregated by results, as a result there are people who were in my year - and even in my house - I don’t know at all, because they were neither academic nor athletic, and life was probably even worse for them.
And we were expected to feel very lucky and privileged, which in many ways we were, and I shouldn’t complain about it now, but I’d have liked a bit of family life, myself. And it is difficult ever to feel you have done enough.
I think I’d have no trouble at all adapting to prison life should I ever be sent there.


I quite liked my various primary schools, Southampton, Manchester, Nottingham, but then, after passing the entry exams for various ‘good’ schools was then sent 20 miles to boarder at a fee assisted grammar school.

I hated the first year, ran away twice and found my own way home (in doing so discovered my love for lorries :roll_eyes:) but then got to like it after realising that rugby in those days (I hope it still is in schools today in this beefcake professional era) was a great leveller. Faced with a great mountain of a boy and unable to avoid him with my 9 stone 5 foot nothing, I tackled him from the front and was elated to see him face down in the mud. :laughing:

Never looked back and enjoyed every minute, even the occasional ‘gating’ for transgressing the great evil of the day, dating a girl. :astonished: :laughing: :laughing:

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Interesting reply David. I deliberately chose the word “schooling” rather than “school”. Seems to me that what you enjoyed was the extra-curricular activities rather than the schooling itself. :slight_smile:
Not many of us have said "I had the most wonderful maths/Latin/science teacher who inspired me to become … I remember reading an article in a publication that was produced on the 80th anniversary of my school. These were three women talking about their Latin teacher in the 50s and how she inspired them to go on to study Latin at university. Mind you, the teacher was exceptional. She was our head mistress and also worked with UNESCO, including in the Sudan.
I wonder how many of us were that privileged to have a teacher /teachers who inspired us for life?

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Well, it was the rugby that I suppose dispelled my feeling of inferiority as smaller than most of my peers, but, although I did enjoy it after that, that was only a small part of it. I can’t point to one individual teacher who was particularly inspiring, but I did enjoy the whole of it in spite of the occasional brutality of some of them.

I even lost the feeling of resentment at having less freedom than my friends at home to the extent that one Easter holiday I remained in the house reading.

I must mention one teacher though. He taught French and German having self taught himself at the outbreak of war in order to get into the security services. I met him a few years ago at a reunion long after I came to live here, but refrained from telling him where I lived in case he launched into French and left me in confusion. :laughing:

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I wasn’t at home at infants school. But I loved junior school, and when asked “what would you like to be when you grow up” I invariably answered “a teacher”. My secondary school was a direct grant girls’ school. I felt like a fish out of water. I only felt part of it in the sixth form - when I could avoid games lessons, and fewer of the teachers were tyrannical old maids. I once went back for a reunion. Never again, because it brought it all back! Needless to say I was totally cured of wanting to be a teacher.

I did have a very good pure maths teacher in the 6th form, a former pupil who had returned after getting her degree. She was a ray of light and an inspiration.

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We had an inspirational music master, a down-to-earth Brummie, who taught music and led the choral endeavours of 350 variously spotty, uncouth and intransigent male youth with unrelenting enthusiasm and a copper-bottomed but light discipline.

His class lessons always involved singing, a d the boys raised the roof with jolly ditties and anthems to bring the angels to tears of ecstasy.

Imagine the talent of a man who could coax the sweetly lyrical lines of ‘Nymphs and Shepherds’ from the guttural throats and unreliable vocal apparatus of youth on the last period but one on a Thursday afternoon!

His name was Mister Alcock. Just conjure with that amongst adolescent heathen.

I sang second tenor in his school choir and was regularly seconded to the magnificent Birmingham Choral Union choir that accompanied the CBSO in performances of choral pieces under the baton of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Malcom Sargent and Sir John Barbaroli. Alcock was a Brummie pedagogic giant, a wonderful male role-model, and I am forever in his debt of gratitude.

A pat on the back to @SuePJ for your initiative in turning over this particularly mossy stone, you’ve done us all and our teachers à worthy service of recognition and sweet nostalgia for the best of our motley pasts.

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Well I had not much success in school with French and the first teacher was an american lady, that had thick glasses and we could leave the French book open on the desk during the test and she did not get it. We all ended up with good grades.
Then a french man took over the schooling and our grades fell tremendously. He gave me a passing grade under the condition, that I would never take French again. I obeyed and the rest is history!

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I hated every second of the primary schools I went to and the secondary, the exceptions were English for two years with a brilliant teacher, ditto history during the same two year period, and drama because the teacher was one of those rare teachers who recognised that you may not be great at drama but you needed it for your wellbeing. Being able to go to the drama room at breaks and lunch times meant i was able to escape the bullies. I didn’t fit with the snooty academics but didn’t fit with those who didn’t give a damn, I was artistic but loved English and history, I also enjoyed languages (Latin, French and German) and music. But thanks to my Fragile X gene I struggled like mad with maths. I enjoyed biology and chemistry too but struggled with physics for the same reason as maths, if only the wayward gene had been known about then it would’ve explained a lot and made life much easier.

I left school and home at 15 (late August birthday) because my parents insisted I did further academic subjects at college. I got a job as a lifeguard and got my first mortgage at sixteen then paid to put myself through college taking vocational subjects, after a few years having a ball in a career I loved I decided to teach thanks to being pushed by one of my college tutors, I took my teaching degree and taught for a few years before my addiction to learning found me doing more studies/qualifications. Learning as an adult is far better than a one size school system that doesn’t fit most. I was at school in the 70s.

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I was home educated and I loved it.
It gave me the flexibility to explore the subjects I was interested in and I now have a life long love of learning.

It also gave me the opportunity to progress in sport to a professional level. Something which would not have been possible in my chosen sport had I attended a traditional school.

It’s nothing something that would work for every child or every family but for me it was brilliant.

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sounds wonderful.

Perhaps this is why “sporting prowess” is one of the permitted exceptions mentioned in the proposed French state education laws … :relaxed: