Alison Garland – ex Shirebrook Pupil
I am a teaching assistant at Shirebrook school and was a pupil there when I was younger.
I can tell you what kind of punishments we had at school when I was a pupil at shire brook. We had detention like you do now, hitting children with the cane had just been stopped luckily. You could be suspended just as you can now but what I hated were lines. If you were talking in class or something naughty the teacher could give you a hundred lines. That meant you had to write out something like “I must not talk in class” a hundred times. That was very boring and taught you not to do it again.
I was not very naughty but my friend was and she was always in trouble. I remember once that she had been told off for coming in the wrong colour uniform and the next day she came dressed differently. The French teacher whose lesson she was in went mad. He made us all go outside while he told her off. She was supposed to have come in a black jumper and a maroon skirt but she come in a multi coloured skirt and told the teacher that all the colours must be in there somewhere. He got redder and redder as he shouted at her and we watched through the windows and couldn’t stop laughing. If aliens landed at our school I might take them to the science room or more likely the dining room to see what we eat. School now is much better than I went to Shirebrook. There is so much more technology, we had never seen a computer. Metalwork, woodwork and cooking were separate lessons, now they are called DT. I am glad that girls can play football in school now. I wanted to play football when I was young but it wasn’t allowed.
If there is one thing that I like about school it’s the job that I do now, teaching assistant. I love helping and giving positive support and reading in exams it is enjoyable to help pupils.
When I was at school my favourite music was from the 1980s and I loved bands like Duran Duran and Wham. I used to play lots of 1960s Tamla Motown records as well. Tamla Motown was dance music and I would dance and to it in my bedroom using the hairbrush for a microphone and watching my moves in the mirror. I still have some photographs of me as a schoolgirl and my mum occasionally brings them out to embarrass me. I had a favourite teacher when I was at Shirebrook school, I think everyone does. He was called Mr Harris and he was brilliant. He would have a laugh with us and then it was down to work and we worked hard for him because he was so nice. I remember once that there was a football match on the telly and he said that Liverpool would lose. He was so sure they would he told us that if they won he would take off his shoes and socks, roll up his trousers and dance a jig. Liverpool won the match and next day we couldn’t wait to see him do his dance. We waited almost until the end of the lesson and he must have thought that we had forgotten his bet. Just as the lesson was finishing we all shouted that he should do his jig and he did. He took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his trousers and climbed onto a table. He began to dance a jig and just as he did another teacher came in and couldn’t believe what he was doing. I had my head on the desk and I began to cry with laughter. He was a brilliant teacher and I loved his class. I was good at English when I was a pupil but I really loved History. I think my mother helped me with history. When I used to come home and tell her what we had been doing in history she would take me to see some of the places and things we had been studying and I really enjoyed that, it made history come alive.
I won prizes for attendance and taking part in sports and things but I can’t remember what subjects they for.
The lessons today are more or less the same as when I went to school but now you have super learning days. That is when you look at one subject all day and study it in depth, that works well I think.
I met my best friend on the first day at Shirebrook academy and we are still friends after thirty years. We have stuck together through thick and thin. I am godmother to her children and we help each other when we have a problem. I remember that we used to go to her house at dinnertime to eat our sandwiches because I didn’t like to stay in school at lunchtimes. We would chat with her mum who was really nice. On Fridays we would go into Mansfield to the cinema to watch a film. I can remember what we saw as well. It was Beverly Hills Cop and Crocodile Dundee, they had just come out. That sounds a long time ago now doesn’t it.
Do you know that if there is one thing that I would love to take to the new school with me it is the kids because I love them so much.