I have never been to a reunion before but this gathering was one I could not miss. It was to celebrate the 40 years that St Thomas More Primary School has been open.
Having worked there for 16 happy years, I was keen to meet up with old colleagues and past pupils. I left in 2001 so I was also interested to see how much the building had changed to accommodate all the educational innovations that have taken place.
And change it had! The entrance hall which used to be a small library, is now like a hotel lobby with a rather swish curved desk where the secretary works in an open plan office. The hall and kitchen have not changed at all, but the classrooms were very different. There seemed to be fewer desks and chairs for pupils and no large desk for the teacher. But the biggest change for me was NO BLACKBOARD! On the walls were white screens/boards, which presumable are linked to the bank of keyboards below. No huge computers now either, just small tablets (of the electronic kind) for every child. What a transition!
I was flooded with nostalgia at the memories of chalkdust, board rubbers and metre long board rulers, protractors etc.
In the corridor, there used to be a small special needs area for individuals or group who were struggling to keep up, or needed to be stretched. Now, that area is used by language specialists to help the many children for whom English is not their first language.
Of course most of the old team who worked at the school still get together now and again for coffee mornings, walks and meals out. But we don’t often get to see past pupils. It was a revelation and a joy to see so many of them there. Most of those who attended are now in their 30’s with careers and children of their own. Without exception they all had many happy memories.
The highlight of the evening for me was being back together with the A team ~ The first Headteacher, Arthur Beadle, his deputy, Hugh Bradley, and myself, who made a great trio even if I say so myself. I followed Arthur to become the second Headteacher in the school. Other highlights included seeing old photos on display, and being hugged by a tall handsome 36 year old man carrying his child. He, who shall be nameless, apologized for being such a naughty boy when he was a pupil. He remembered spending a lot of time outside the Head’s office door! He now has his own business and is very successful so he must have learned something!