Saturday 30 July 2016

My School Years

Apparently I cried on my first day at school - not because I wasn't excited to start, but because I had two younger siblings and one of them was turning one on that same day and I didn't want to miss the party.  I had just turned 4 and with a late August birthday I was one of the youngest and smallest in the school.  This photo is from my first day (clearly before the tears) and I remember the smart red uniform so well.

School was very different 'back then' and my experiences at a private primary school are very different to Dylan's at a small infant school.  Whilst his school is considered small with only 180 pupils, that is double the number that attended mine.  My uniform was smart and strict with a summer and winter look.  Red blazers and hats and very specific brown shoes.  We wore a shirt and tie from Kindergarten although I think for the first year or two our ties were elasticated.

Dylan's uniform is still smart, but more practical.  He wears Polo shirts under his jumper which are much easier for him to get on and off and his school shoes must be black (much simpler to find).  Velcro seems to be the most common style in smaller sizes which is perfect as I haven't taught him about shoelaces yet!  

My mother bought my school uniform from Marks and Spencers and twenty something years on, that is where I am shopping for my son.  Their stainaway technology on their shirts is necessary when you have a four year old eating lasagne with his friends and the non-scuff shoes can withstand the battering he gives them in the playground.  Marks and Spencers asked me to look back at my school days and see how things were different, and they definitely were.

My first year of school was spent in a classroom and we learnt History and Geography alongside English and Maths however Dylan learns Phonics and Numeracy without even realising it.  His days are spent doing 'challenges' and the classroom is far more than one room, with his days spent between the playground, the IT room and the traditional classroom.  

The resources his school have are amazing compared to mine and the topic based learning means that part of the classroom is transformed into a pirate ship or a new planet in a way that encourages his imagination as well as learning.

My breaktimes were spent doing cartwheels and handstands up against the wall.  We played Bulldog and kiss chase and entertained ourselves with just our minds.  We made daisy chains and on sports day we competed in races, cheering when we won and being upset at coming last. Parents took photos and videos that we can still look back on now.  Dylan's 'sports morning' involved no competition, they just took part in sporting activities whilst the parents watched on aware that sharing on social media was prohibited.  His playground is painted with hopscotch, letters and numbers to encourage games and health and safety rules.

Both Dylan and I started school so young and the photos above - my first school photo at the end of the school year and him this week trying on his new uniform show us both at nearly 5 having learnt to read and write and count and learn alongside our peers.    We both love school and are keen readers and we both walked in every day of our first year in M&S Schoolwear.  

 Marks and Spencers are celebrating their back to school range by looking at how things have changed and evolved over the years.  If you want to share photos of your schooldays with them then use #MySchoolYears

Disclosure : This post is in collaboration with Marks and Spencers

1 comment:

  1. Do you know the first thing I noticed? Long socks and those cute shoes!! Now I know why you were wanting a shorts and long sock combo earlier in the year haha! Funny how schooling has changed isn't it? Much prefer how they do it now x


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