Gransnet forums


Your first day at school.

(96 Posts)
Daddima Thu 17-Aug-17 10:15:03

Looking at all the pictures on social media ( usually accompanied by, " Where does the time go?" , " Growing up way to ( sic) fast", " Our gorgeous girl/boy" etc, I have no memory of my first day. I do know that my mother only took me on the first day, then I just joined all the other children making their way there. Certainly no photographs, or parents in classrooms! Even when my children started ( nearly 40 years ago!) there were no photos in the playground, and certainly not in the classroom!

hildajenniJ Thu 17-Aug-17 10:22:08

I don't remember my first day at school either. I don't remember my mother walking me there, although she must have. I lived only a few minutes away from school. I went past the old workhouse, and across a field to my infant school. I used to like going on frosty mornings, seeing all the frozen puddles which had melted by lunchtime.
Sorry, I digress. I didn't take photos of my children on their first day at school either. I don't think I saw the need!

Welshwife Thu 17-Aug-17 10:29:36

I can remember my mother walking me to school and pushing my sister in the pram - she was about six weeks old. I think for the first week she collected me lunchtime too but I very quickly just joined in with the children living in the same road - most of us went home at lunchtime and there were older children in the group.
I can remember being given a small board and chalk to learn to write etc. When I went home at lunchtime I showed my mother all I had done in the morning on my blackboard! She had it set up in the kitchen for me!
I also remember children around me roaring their heads off and I just thought how they were letting themselves down by crying! This was Sept 1945.

tanith Thu 17-Aug-17 10:33:09

I have no memory of it all wouldn't surprise me if she just got my 5 years older sister to take me.

Liaise Thu 17-Aug-17 11:17:33

I remember crying my eyes out when my mother left me on the first day. I had no intention of going back on the second day. I think it was the realisation that life isn't perfect after all. Deep thoughts for a five year old. I don't remember ever having school photos at primary school but at grammar school we had the long ones with the whole school in them. You always had one boy who managed to get himself at either end. DH and I have still got ours.

devongirl Thu 17-Aug-17 11:28:03

Like others, I have no memory of my first day at school.

It struck me when my DD was at nursery, and we have some video footage taken then; maybe having a visual image of these times, which I never had at that point, enables people to remember them?

MiniMouse Thu 17-Aug-17 11:31:02

Can't remember my first day at school and yet, oddly, I can remember some days from nursery school confused

judypark Thu 17-Aug-17 11:31:58

I went to a small village school, mum took me on the first morning only. I learned to write on a slate too and had to walk home for lunchtime and back again in the afternoon. Out of curiosity I recently went on google Earth and retraced my route, it was at least over a mile there and back. This was late 50s. Amazingly my nearly 11 year old granddaughter is still walked to and met out (a short distance) daily.

shysal Thu 17-Aug-17 11:44:14

I can still remember the nightmare I had on the night after starting school. In it I was carrying the cushion I used to sit on for meals at home, and was being force fed gristly mince which we had had for our first school lunch in real life.
Because I was such a shy cry baby my brother started school on the same day. Why was I wearing my panama hat with the brim turned down all round? blush I am still slightly knock-kneed!

JackyB Thu 17-Aug-17 11:54:29

I can't remember the first day, I don't think, but do have lots of memories of the village school I went to from 1959-1962 (or was it 1963?) and the convent I went to from 1963-1965.

Singing along with Time and Tune on the radio, wetting myself at evening prayers as I didn't dare leave the room, getting a right telling off for scratching a plan of how I was going to tidy my desk on the lid of said desk with my needle in needlework. Playing the cymbals at Christmas in "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". Reading Ladybird books in the corner because I could already read when I started. Not enough writing exercises. My handwriting to this day is appalling! And climbing on the apparatus in the playground - hard earth underneath and no one supervising us!

My mother (97) still has a clear memory of her first day at school and was obviously traumatised by the headmistress going along the rows checking they had clean hands and nails. (Hers were fine!)

JackyB Thu 17-Aug-17 11:56:44

In Germany, where school doesn't start till one is 7 years old, the first day at school is a Big Event. A photographer will come and photograph all the new kids and they hold their conical "Schultüten", decorated with colourful pictures, and grinning with their front teeth missing. Everyone has a photo like this.

Oriel Thu 17-Aug-17 12:05:19

I don't remember my first day at school but I do remember being left at kindergarten. I was standing at a white picket fence crying my eyes out.

Greyduster Thu 17-Aug-17 12:08:02

I have a distinct memory of being terrified, howling dismally and wetting myself, but as there were no home telephones for the lower echelons in those days, my mother was not summoned to take me home to change even though we lived a short walk away from school. I had to wait until lunchtime! The only other early memories I have are writing on a slate, learning to read from cards until you graduated to a book, and exercising with bamboo hoops! Oh! And we had a short nap at some stage during the day, lying on mats on the floor!

Juggernaut Thu 17-Aug-17 12:13:20

I don't remember my first day at school, but I distinctly remember the second!
Mum walked me to school, if you turned right out of our garden gate, there were no roads to cross.
I went and lined up with my new classmates, then as soon as mum waved and walked out of the gate, I sneaked away from the line and followed her home,
When I got home she obviously took me straight back to school, and made me apologise to the teacher.
I know why I did it though, I'd been told that I had to go to school, and I my mind I only had to go once, and I'd been once, so...............
I was a child who took things literally!

devongirl Thu 17-Aug-17 12:44:04

My DD (now 24) tells me that in Reception the teacher had a box full of spare clothers, she says children frequently used to wet themselves.

I think the absence of home phones, let alone mobiles, must have been a blessing to our parents - ignorance is bliss!

Welshwife Thu 17-Aug-17 13:09:25

I always had a box of spare clothes in my cupboard when I was teaching - that way if a child had an accident it could be dealt with Straight away with no trip to the office needed.

nanaK54 Thu 17-Aug-17 13:24:41

I remember my first day at school, mum took me in the little seat on her bike!
I can even remember the first thing that I played with - a set of balance scales.......I loved my little village primary schoolsmile

M0nica Thu 17-Aug-17 14:32:03

I cannot remember my first day at school either. I only went to it for three weeks before we moved to another part of the country. Our cleaner had a daughter three or four years older than me who lived down the road, so as she went past the door she picked me up for the 200 yard walk up the road to the school. I have no idea whether she did this on the first day as well.

Willow500 Thu 17-Aug-17 15:13:31

I can remember my first day - playing in the water trough with a plastic funnel and pipe and in the sandpit. I couldn't understand why the girl I was put with was crying all the time. I had been to a nursery school before that though and could read and write when I started proper school so that probably prepared me. I do remember an earlier time being taken to a different nursery at 3 and screaming my head off the second time I went as I'd been told it was an orphanage and my parents had left me there and wouldn't come back. My dad had to take me home again and I never went back. No photos of the first day or of either of my sons. The youngest one did cry as they refused to take him due to us moving 3 weeks later - he was devastated as he'd been looking forward to going smile

ninathenana Thu 17-Aug-17 15:36:56

I don't remember my first day but I do remember the school. I have one official photo taken there but none from my subsequent schools. The school was brand new and diagonally opposite our house. Mum would see me across the road and watch from the garden gate until she saw me on the playground. I remember the parkay flooring in the hall, which doubled as the gym with wall bars and fold out equipment. I left there at 7 to go to juniors which meant getting a bus by myself.
I have photos of both C on their first days at primary and senior school that I took in our garden.

oldgoat Thu 17-Aug-17 15:38:47

I remember the day my twin sister and I started school. Mum took us in the morning but at 'dinner time' we walked home on our own - only about a quarter of a mile. On the way, a naughty boy called Vivien ran up and kissed me on the cheek. It never happened again.
We also met our life-long friend who was younger than we were but much bigger. "You can't possibly be nearly five" she said "because you are so small!" (Made up for it now though.)

ninathenana Thu 17-Aug-17 15:50:05

I couldn't understand the mums that cried at the gate when the took my children's classmates to school on their first days. The children yes, but not the mums. I was allowed to take D into the classroom on her first day, she immediately got stuck into playing and when I said "mummy is going now" just said "ok" without a backward glance grin
S was fine too.

M0nica Thu 17-Aug-17 16:09:54

I wasn't a weeping Mum either, nor were my children.

I kicked my heels up and went to the nearest town and had a lovely leisurely morning walking round the shops, after 5 years of always having children with me when I shopped or parking them briefly with DH/ grandparents while I dashed to somewhere to shop and came back, it was so nice to wander round in a leisurely manner on my own.

callgirl1 Thu 17-Aug-17 17:25:20

I can remember being at school on my first day, in 1948, but can`t remember how I got there, or who with. The only photos are the official once a year school photos. The teacher was Mrs. Oxley, she must have been ancient because she had white hair, actually, she probably was, my step-father said she taught him a well. She sat at a very high wooden desk, painted white, with a couple of steps up to the seat. We had a nap mid morning, on camp beds, we`d get told off if Mrs. Oxley saw that we weren`t asleep! Liaise, I have one of those long photos of the whole school from when I was at Rochdale Girls Grammar, taken for the school`s 21st birthday in 1956. The photographer set us all up in a curve, but in the actual photo we`re all straight but the school building is curved.

fiorentina51 Thu 17-Aug-17 17:47:11

My dad took me as mum's grasp of English was still work in progress. I met my first chum called Sadie Kearns, played with most of the toys in the classroom then landed up being told off for fighting. ?
My big brother took me home with him for lunch then back again for afternoon lessons which I wasn't too happy about.
Mum was waiting for me at home time.
No photos or videos etc.
My school was in the centre of Birmingham and I lived in a back to back a few streets away, surrounded by bomb sites.
My, I do feel ancient!