Starting School in 1950's St. Columbkilles Rutherglen

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Starting School in 1950's St. Columbkilles Rutherglen

Post by Geraldine » Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:58 pm

Saint Columbkille's Primary School, in Farie Street
When I started primary school at Farie Street in 1955 it was very different from how children are introduced to school nowadays and individual experiences differ greatly.
There was no nursery school preparation, in fact, no preparation at all, I remember being torn away from my mother. the three Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic), neat handwriting, shouting out your Catechism, at least forty children in a class , a lump of sugar with polio vaccine, cod liver oil and orange juice being forced down your throat and constant checks at home by my Mum for nits.
It is important to remember when we read about ‘getting the belt’ we have to put that in the context of the time. In the past the belt was seen as an acceptable punishment for all schoolchildren. All forms of physical punishment were considered ‘character building’ and a natural part of the education process. This does not sit well now and attitudes to corporal punishment have changed for the better.
It was not until 1986 that physical punishment was finally abolished in all United Kingdom State run schools.

Do you remember starting primary in the 1950s or 1960s? What was it like for you?

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Re: Starting School in 1950's St. Columbkilles Rutherglen

Post by AndrewP » Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:47 am

When my big brother started primary school in 1967, the headmaster that was there then used the cane as an acceptable form of punishment. That headmaster had retired by the time I started at school two years later.

For those who struggled with some of the mainstream lessons, there was a teacher that they were sent to for 'adjustment'. Soon after that was re-named as remedial; I think now known as learning support. The adjustment teacher was known for throwing books at children who were not paying attention. Some of the children in that class would have been dyslexic, but that was not commonly diagnosed in these days.

When I was at high school, if we had a formal dance coming up, one of the female Physical Education teachers would teach us Scottish Country Dancing; normally for general PE the boys were taught by the men teachers, and the girls were taught by the women teachers. One of these woman PE teachers was the wife of an Olympic runner. After she taught us for a few sessions, we understood why her husband ran (we would have kept running if married to her).

All the best,


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