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What was your first day at school like?

edited September 2011 in - Writing Tales
My granddaughter, Maria, starts school today.
Do you remember your first day at school? I remember mine as at the end of the day I thought my mum had forgotten to collect me ( she had got the home time wrong it was 3pm, she thought it was 3.30!) Thinking she had forgotten me I walked out the gate , crossed the road then along another road, crossed another road and another and then crossed the busy A23, all on my own. I remember that walk so clearly ,I was lucky that nothing happened to me. Mum was cross, but more relieved that I got home safely.


  • edited September 2011
    Kateyanne, that is awful, thank goodness you arrived home okay. Bet your mum was beside herself when you turned up :)

    Yes I can remember the first pre school I went to, (not baby and toddlers) what I wore and some of the things I did

    I can remember my first primary school day in a village school

    I can remember when I moved to a town in a different area and joined an already established class of seven year olds :)

    Can't remember first day at secondary school, thankfully all that is just a blur
  • The only thing I remember is that I kissed a boy on my table and got told off by the teacher.
  • I should think so too. After all, what behaviour is that to carry out on a school table?
  • At age 5 , Heather?
  • I was sick every day during year one and two because I didn't want to leave Mum. I thought she was leaving me forever...

    When we moved house I settled in fine but I drip drop my lunch all over the floor. Then I used my nose as a brake and was sent home which was a shame because I wanted to stay and play! I'm still friends with the people who played with me that day.
  • edited September 2011
    Oh, St F! How sad. :(
  • Yes, kateyanne - start as you mean to go on, clearly :)
  • I was four, and the school was near my Dad's office, which was in Preston. He took me to school, and left me there, miles from home and the people I knew. I was horribly shy and cried most of the day.
    I was thrown out of school dinners at the age of 9 for refusing to eat what was put on my plate. They made me take the dinner back to class, and I still didn't eat it. So eventually I had to go walk across town and catch a bus on my own every lunchtime, and be back for class afterwards. What larks (not what I thought at the time).
  • I was a bit older, Heather, I had my first kiss, age 7, kiss chase in the playground!

    ST Force that is so sad. Your mum must have found that hard too.

    BB that sounds awful. I was made to eat my beetroot once, age 6, the head took me in her office and said 'eat it up,' as I had left it on my plate, but I didn't eat it.
    I love beetroot now.
  • They do say that as you get older your memory tends to reach back further in time (you forget what you've just come into the kitchen for, but you remember something that happened when you were four years old). Nevertheless, starting school was a very long time ago, and I haven't managed to remember that far back yet. Ask me again in ten years time.
  • As an only child and living in a tiny hamlet (no pre-school or such like), school came as a huge shock. Spent the entire first day sitting on the teacher's lap, blubbing.

    First day at secondary school was memorable in that the kitchens weren't up and running, so we had lunch - cottage pie - shipped in from somewhere or other. Guess who discovered the maggots?
  • We had to wear a sort of badge with our first names on.
  • I heard a funny story once about a little girl who was upset after her first day at school. When her mum asked why she said, 'Well, the teacher told me to sit here for the present. So I sat there but she didn't give me one!'
  • edited September 2011
    "All things bright and beautiful,
    All teachers great and small."

    (I was only little and it seemed logical.)
  • I was late, because mother had forgotten my gas mask and we had to go back for it.When we finally arrived I was stuffed inside a Wendy-house with a gaggle of stupid little girls and left to fend for myself. Traumatic!
  • I can't remember mine. But I do remember wetting myself a few weeks later when I needed the loo but didn't think I'd be allowed to go so didn't ask.
  • "gasp"

    I remember wetting myself in science once, 'cos my friend made me laff so much :)

    I felt sorry for the next class in that room, but not for long.
  • Ooh, there are some brilliant stories on this thread!

    Come on everybody; get writing.
  • As I wasn't five until the November I had to wait until the January to start school. I remember on my first day Mum took me to the Headmaster's Office as pre-arranged. There was a little talking and then another member of staff took me to my classroom. We had to walk right across the big playground and up a few steps into a wooden fascia single storey building, the corridor had pegs on either side of the wall.
    Class One was to the right and I was taken inside and left with the teacher and other children.
  • We used to have an afternoon nap every day, on little camp beds, supervised by a nun (I was Convent educated all the way through - and it shows...) I used to be too shy to ask for teh loo and had accidents, but within 6 months of starting school I was in hospital for 2 months with kidney problems, so I am putting it all down to that.
    There were boys in the kindergarten classes, but they had to leave at the age of 7. Nuns couldn't cope with them after that
    Worst school memory: being dropped off by Dad at the usual rear entrance, which was up a very steep slope. It had been snowing and the whole slope was sheet ice, and I tried and tried to climb it but couldn't. I got half way, to a leaky downpipe, and clung there for a while, but couldn't get any further. I remember sobbing my little heart out with fear and impossibility, and finally having to work my way round to the front of school, all the way round the block.
    Must be 50 years ago = but I'm not old enough for that (not inside my head, anyway).
  • I hope your little granddaughter likes school, Kateyanne.
    I remember my first day at school. I was five years and two months. I hadn't been to pre-school or nursery. There wasn't one. Just straight from being at home with mum. I was terrified and hated it. I refused to put my PE bag on the peg in the cloakroom and carried it around all day. I guess it was a kind of comfort thing.
  • Hi Daisy,
    Thanks, yes she loved it, walked in with confidence her mum said.
    Her dad wasn't so keen on his first day, like you, and refused to take off his clothes to change for PE. I had to go up to the school because he was crying.
    My daughter started school with no problems.
  • I was left at a boarding school at about eight years old. Thought it was a great adventure as having been an evacuee I was an independent worldly wise young fella.
    There were kids there in floods of tears which I thought hilarious. Moral is. don't molly coddle your kids.
  • Probably true, Pongo, but I am a Molly-coddler through to the core and I can't/won't/refuse to change. (And just to set the record straight, my children never sooked about school. I believe it entirely depends on the individual.)
  • I remember two specific events about my first day at school.

    - when we out into the playground at 'milk play' (remember that??!) I immediately ran to the Junior playground to find my sister. She was mortified and ordered me back to the 'Baby' playground

    - at dinner time I didn't know that I was supposed to have my school dinner at school, so I went home. (No big roads, but quite a long walk.) My mother was horrified. When she returned me, apparently my equally horrified teacher said "I would have had kittens if I'd known".

    The fact is - in days of yore - a five year old walking around alone was relatively safe - wish it was still like that.
  • Daisy reminded me of my PE bag...blue and white check, made from a new tea-towel. I thought it was beautiful. Also, on the first day in the playground while waiting to go in, I saw a girl my age that I knew, called Anna. I remember thinking she was such a baby because her Mum had taken her to school in a push chair!
  • I lived at the top of the hill that went down to school and my mum used to collect me at lunchtime, we'd walk home have lunch and she'd take me back in time for the afternoon.
  • We had moved around a lot already - I went to a nursery in Wales first, and can remember the girl opposite me who always had a runny nose and a hanky safety pinned to her red-checked dress. The loos were outside and separated only by chicken wire, girls and boys, loo from loo, so I always went in lessons so I could go on my own. It was cold!

    My first real school day, all I can recall really is walking down the outside with my mum - i was scared but also excited, and i didn't cry although lots of others did. Other things I can remember about that year (we went to another school soon after) is in the big school hall there were large trucks and wheeled toys you could ride on - but I never got a ride as I was too shy to ask, had no friends and didn't really understand how to make friends. I can remember being bullied and standing on the edges of the playground gazing at the big, blue doors and longing to be able to go back into the safety of inside. Standing as close as possible to teachers (not near that they'd notice me, I was too shy for that). I can recall being taken outside the classroom, the teacher sitting on a chair and testing me on reading, and her being surprised at how far I got on the lists and putting me up to a higher group. And I can remember having to go through little lists of maths questions on bookmark sized paper, thy were at the front of the classroom, you went and picked one up, took it back and did the sums and then went and got another. I spent my time getting another as I couldn't answer ANY of the questions!
  • I still have the mental image now of walking across that big playground on my first day.
  • I started at a brand new school at the age of 5yrs 3mths (May birthday). some of the pupils had been transferred from another school in town and I can clearly remember not wanting to mix with them in case they had 'germs'. My mum had taken me to school, and I remember sitting on a table threading blocks onto string. Fairly certain I went home for lunch with mum and told her I was a big girl and didn't need her to take me back. There was only one road to cross, and I'm fairly certain she didn't take me back. I stayed for school dinner one time (mum had gone to work) and it was cheese pie. I hated cheese at the time, so I left it. Teacher forced me to eat it, so was sick over her!!!!! Served her right. Another time (same teacher) somebody was dragging me around by the ankles (playing) and hit my head on the table leg. well, I didn't like that bit, so got up and grabbed her head with both hands and smacked it on the wall. Teach saw that and told me off. She had totally missed the preceding bit - I was most miffed as I had a huge bump where my head had hit the table leg. other memories form that school were playing in the girls playground (yes, we were segregated at playtime). Favourite games were The Farmer's in his Den and Poor Jenny is a-weeping. we also skipped a lot, with mum's washing line, played ball games (trying to learn two-ball) and knitted. Of course we played conkers in season, as well. I was sent home (alone) one day as I had a 'bouncing headache' - turned out I had scarlet fever!! Can recall the reading test to see if we deserved a Hymn book at assembly - I wasn't good enough, so shared with Vanessa. One morning she wouldn't share properly, so Headmistress came and took book off her and gave it to me! I also recall a couple of things that happened in lessons. I did a painting and joined the sky to the earth, as it does, rather than do a blue strip at top and a green strip at bottom and teachers were amazed. Asked if someone had shown me 'No' I replied. Then why do it like that?' they asked 'because when you look at it there isn't a gap' I replied. I also recall a reading lesson. I had finished the first few Janet and John books (I could read before I started school) and was on a series of books (32 in all) with short stories in them. They didn't have many pages in them and I zipped through them very quickly. The grotty teacher was in charge and when I went up for my THIRD book in the same lesson she said 'you can't possibly have read that properly'
    'I have, miss'

    ' then tell me what it's about'

    I recited it practically word for word - she never challenged me again! I left that school after two years as we moved to the other side of town/ Don' t remember the first day at next school.
  • [quote=Carol] I have the mental image now of walking across that big playground on my first day. [/quote]

    "gasp" how uncanny, we could be twins, Carol, for I too have a mental image.
  • Yes, but Carol's mental image is a memory. Your mental image is one of insanity.
  • edited September 2011
    "delves deep into trouser pocket and has a good rummage around"

    Hmm, think I must disagree with that comment Liz
  • Well, that JUST goes to show. Denial is of course the first stage of acceptance.
  • I can't remember my first day at school but I can 'taste' the milk that we were given to drink each day. Our teacher gave us the bottles of milk in the afternoon. BY then they were warm and horrible and I threw up on several occasions. Hugely embarrassing. I still can't cope with drinking milk now.
    Then after one school dinner I told my Mum we'd eaten grass. That turned out to be cress.
  • I remember my teacher was Mrs Harper. I was very shy and didn't talk much to anyone (made up for it since). At break time when I was in the girls playground my Grandad came around to see me. He had his brown bib and brace overalls on and a flat cap. I can't ever remember My mother taking me to school or meeting after that.
  • Ugh, I remember gazing in trepidation at the milk crate in the sun in our classroom, Book Buddy! It used to make me ill too, and I have always hated milk. My children were both allergic to it, as am I now, so I think a big aversion is nature's way f telling you something is not right for you.

    Book B, are you new, have you introduced yourself -Welcome writers thread?
  • I hated the school milk too, it was always warm and tasted and smelt vile.
    One boy loved it and always asked for 'spares' - the ones left over when people were away from school.
  • Kateyanne: I hated school milk too, I never drank mine, even now I can't drink milk on its own it has to be in tea and on my morning cereal I just make it 'damp'.
  • My brother and I always had cereal dry we hated milk so much!
  • I don’t remember much about my first day at school, so it probably wasn’t too traumatic, but I do remember my stay in hospital when I was six. It wasn’t the first time I’d been in hospital, but on this occasion I spent the first day in tears being carried around by a nurse. One nurse abandoned me in a bath, and I eventually got out when the water was cold. Another kept urging me to eat an egg sandwich until I burst into tears and said that egg made me sick. And the teacher there slapped me as she thought I’d been cheating.
  • Good heavens! I definitely think nursing has improved over the years, despite complaints.

    I was also in hospital aged 6, as I was always ill (every few weeks) with tonsils, earache etc, so they took out my tonsils and adenoids. I can remember my mum prepared me very well and I wasn't scared at all - the girl in the next bed cried all the time, my mum thinks because her mum just left her without any explanation and rushed out (looking back, she was probably scared and upset herself, but it didn't help her daughter). However she could only visit once a day with my brother who was 4 as the hospital was several bus rides from our home.

    I can remember several things - they had toys up one end of the ward on shelves, one of which was a big white teddy. I asked if I could cuddle the teddy and was told he could sit on the end of my bed for a few minutes, but he was just for looking at or he'd get dirty!

    I can remember after the op having a sore throat and being given lovely, cool ice-cream. The girl in the next bed was screaming as usual and i could see her bright. red throat and realised mine must look the same.

    And I can remember being taken to the ante-room of the operating theatre, or it may have been the theatre except it was very small even to me, and being given a sort of hose to put in my mouth that tasted of mint and being asked to count backwards. Recalling now, I wonder if children of 6 would be asked to do that and whether they could?

    And I can remember being given little gifts by my mum every time she came, and when she came to get me she took me to a toy shop and I came away with two bright yellow balls and some crayons.
  • My sister and I hated the school milk too. Mum never believed us when we tried to explain how vile it was! What on earth did they use to do to it? Only school milk in those little bottles tasted like that.
  • Fortunately, I'd stopped drinking milk even before that. I've been allergic to it all my life. When we go to one school year there were only me and one other boy still entitled to it. He used to drink mine as well. We are still in touch :)
  • [quote=flyingtart]I heard a funny story once about a little girl who was upset after her first day at school. When her mum asked why she said, 'Well, the teacher told me to sit here for the present. So I sat there but she didn't give me one!' [/quote]

    That reminds me of the little boy from Cyder with Rosy. My first school was at Urqhart up in Scotland. I thinked I enjoyed my first day although sums somewhat stumped me. Before I started school, Dad tried to introduce me to numbers and arithmetic with dots so when I was faced with actual numbers, it was a bit alien to me. I picked up the art of reading pretty quickly. At the end of my first term however, I developed measles, the full blown variety so because it was not that long ago since I first had my left eye operated on at Aberdeen Sick Children's hospital as I developed a severe squint, all the curtains in my room were drawn. When I had the eye operated on before I started school, I had the emotionally painful experience of being without my mother except for visiting times which were very brief. Worse still, both of my eyes were sheathed in bandages so I could not see her. All the time, she told me it was for my own good and I was also tied to the bed. Apparently when I arrived home eventually before Christmas, I hardly spoke because I was so traumatised so I reckon attending school was delayed for a short while until I had recovered from the worst. In those awful days during the late fifties, mothers could not stay with their children while they had operations - it was deemed as spoiling them and had to be toughened up.
  • They were even doing that into the 60's. I had to have my adenoids and tonsils removed as a two year old and I still have very strong visual memories of standing up holding the cream coloured metal bars of my big cot, looking out the window where I could see the front entrance of the hospital and my parents leaving after visiting time.
    Some traumas stay with you forever.
  • Awww Carol

    and Awww Woll

    just awful :(

    (((Woll))) ((( Carol )))
  • I can remember only one part of my first ever day at infants school - come first break, we were all given our traditional 1/3rd-pint bottle of milk...and the brat sat next to me turned nasty for no reason, elbowed me sideways and toppled me and my chair over...then grabbed my milk as it landed on his foot, and tipped it all over me... I can recall my Mum being called to the school to take me home (in tears, naturally), stinking of sour full-cream milk...

    Sadly, this set the pattern of bullying for the next 11yrs, through two schools - couldn't fight back, there were just too many of them... and I was actually just as scared of my Dad's reaction to my "failure" to stand up to them...

    That particular nasty little oik eventually suffered for his psycho-kid stages - he ended up as a psychotic alcoholic drug-head, in & out of prison - and I heard he'd pickled himself into an early box, thankfully...

    ...So watch out for that novel of revenge against the school bullies & gangs, on the roll now & not far from MS completion! Ah, maybe success from his failure!?!? I hope so...
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