As children across the country return to school, here are some of our strongest memories of our own school days.
Lydia Slaughter: I would love to say that my favourite thing about starting a new school year was something academic, but in all honesty…it really wasn’t. For me, it was always that feeling of new beginnings that came with the month of September and going back to school. Shiny new shoes, a fresh new uniform, a sparkly new pencil case filled with new stationery, a new school bag…you get the idea. I used to get quite excited about meeting my new teachers as well – I had two older brothers, so there was always an element of challenge in making sure they didn’t form an opinion of me based on them!
Rebecca Rocca: Stationery. In primary school, it was all about stationery! Fancy new pencil cases, filled with pencils that smelt like strawberries, sparkly rulers and multi-coloured pens. And fancy new copybooks, carefully adorned with the craziest stickers I could get my hands on, you know those ultra-cool ‘My little pony’ ones and the likes. In secondary school it was all about the boys! As a country girl, a lot of my friends lived miles away from me, so we wouldn’t see each other much over the break; needless to say, there was a lot of excitement around that first day back! Meeting up with the girls was great, but the real excitement came when we met up with the boys. But for me, there was always one boy in particular…my now husband. Awww..
Louisa Wetton: The highlight for me starting any new school term was always seeing my friends! I loved the fact that I could spend all day every day with my best friends and although I would spend time with some of them in the school holidays, it was never enough time! We used to run around the playground at break and lunch times playing the classic games like ‘it’ or ‘stuck in the mud’ (this was at primary school of course!!) For me, primary school was definitely the place where my fondest school memories were made.
Liz Moore: The new school year always felt like a chance to do something different! I’d always try to find a new activity each year, whether that was joining the choir, trying out for the netball team, or getting involved with the art and drama group. One year, I even decided to do an amateur communication radio course! It made for a very weird set of hobbies at times, but it was certainly never boring!
Sue Murray: Buying new winter shoes before returning to school was almost a full day’s activity. My parents insisted that our feet were measured from every angle possible with room for growth at the local Clarks Shoes store. Once it had been narrowed down to one or two shoe options (I had very little say in the matter) I then had to try them on and walk around the shoe shop for ages with endless questions about how they felt. My toes would be squeezed and I’d have to stand on my toes to ensure I didn’t slip out of them…..and so the process went on. Of course the shoes had to be buckle fastened as shoe laces could come undone and cause injury!! However, once the trauma of shoe shopping was over, I got to take my super shiny shoes home in their very own box. I would use bits of material to rub them to try to make them even more shiny, and then when it came to night time, they would be placed by the side of my bed, in their box, so I could look at them with pride, until I fell asleep.
Rachel Womack: I loved the feeling of starting a new year in school. Partly because I lived in a remote area and I got bored towards the end of the six-week summer holiday. But mostly it was just exciting. Seeing my friends, having a new uniform (some years. A couple of years I just didn’t grow, which is still a source of massive disappointment to me), new exercise books, new stationery, new classes, new topics to learn. As my fourth year started, the town sized crush I had on David Brooks lent a new importance to getting ready for school. I remember being very preoccupied with making sure my perm looked curly rather than frizzy (yes, perm. It was acceptable in the eighties*, as the song says) and spending an inordinate amount of time making sure my socks were ruched just right. Crucial stuff. Even now if I hear any of the songs that made it onto my mix-tapes it takes me right back and I can practically smell the textbook, chalk dust and Smash instant mash. Ahhh school. I loved it.
*It wasn’t acceptable. Don’t believe the song.