I got a surprise post from my Father back in the UK today, it was a report card from my first year at Longfield High School from way, way back in 1985. I believe I was twelve at the time and my year that came up from Swallowdale, and other surrounding schools, completed the first full complement of students for this new three-year school.
Before I go on, I feel I must explain that the school system in the UK is a little different, here in the USA you go by grades one through twelve, this signifies what year you are in, and what school. In the UK, that does not exist. Instead, the count begins from one, as you move from school to school. For example, Longfield would be considered Middle School here in the USA, and this report card is from my first year there… Making me a first year. When I left the school I would be a third year student. to go to Grammar school as a first year. Confusing? It is okay, I am still confused by the grade system here in the USA.
Now… With that being said, I received this report card from my Father in the mail, I have no real memory of it and it was fun travelling down memory lane as I read what the Teachers at Longfield thought of me, as a first year.
My 1985 Report Card
Headmaster MacDonald-Pearce was only there for our first year before moving on to another school. I remember him being very Scottish, with huge bushy eyebrows.
We took Drama as a class at Longfield, I remember it being very awkward and feeling extremely lost during these sessions. I am sure it was a sign of how progressive the school was being, it frankly terrified me.
It is good to see my English has only improved slightly, although it is interesting to see what held my interest then, still holds my interest now. But, back then I wasn’t writing about Teddy Bears. Coincidentally, 1985 was the first year I read The Lord Of The Rings.
Enquiry was another oddity that you would only find at Longfield, it was a three-hour block set aside on Friday where we were encouraged to follow our own projects, and to explore the world. Each project could be no more than four Enquiry sessions, and you could incorporate video and other AV stuff. Apparently I was all about trains – it was a much more innocent time.
It was French, and this was about as advanced as I ever got in the language. Sorry… No, amazing insight just found no use for it.
I found Humanities, a mix of history, current affairs, politics, and life science, a very interesting course to take. I remember building this Roman Fort and all the markers, my friend and I burned through coloring it. I also remember making a lot of Roman Soldiers for it, perhaps a precursor to my interest in toy soldiers.
Yeah, even then Math was not strong with me. just couldn’t ever get those numbers work for me.
What can I say? I liked making a noise? It only got really tricky in the second year when they started to make you read music and keep time. Up to then I enjoyed this class.
Dude, I had asthma, and it took a long while for me to finally get something out of cross-country running. Although amusingly I almost speared Mr Evans during javelin practice in my second year.
Never mind the science of it, I enjoyed making things fizz and go bomb.
Tutor was home room, were we took registration and assembled after lunch. I remember 1JW (my class) not being very well-behaved for our Tutor Teacher, which is one of the sad things I have to report from my first year at Longfield.
Summing It Up
There you have it, a report from my first year at Longfield High School, it is interesting to note, that back then my imagination and creativity were coming to the fore, and you could see who I would become, even at such a young age. Strangely there was no creative arts report in that section, and I do remember sitting through art in my first year. I am also heartened to read that Swallowdale, despite its best efforts, didn’t crush my spirit in my completely and signs of it appearing where showing. Although that school did instill a still awkward shyness in me, (because of its fondness to humiliate students), that I still lapse into from time to time even now. My High School years were the time I started to find my feet and realize the direction I want to go in, so in many ways it lived up to its motto ‘In your own way success’
Kind glad I was the last of the Longfield originals, please leave you comments and thoughts below.