An Eighties Education

An Eighties Education

If you were at school during the 1980’s then I’m sure you can recall things that happened that would never happen with our children now. For better or worse, they seemed like care-free and simpler times but let’s take a look at some of things we got up to that, as children, we would not experience now.

The tuck shop sold sweets and crisps every day. Doughnuts, iced buns and lardy cakes were totally acceptable forms of nutrition back in the 1980’s and 1990’s when I was at school and yet there weren’t very many overweight kids! Possibly because we played British bulldog every playtime, at least, we did for 5 minutes before the bell rang due to spending most of playtime going around in a huge gang crying ‘Anybody wanna play British bulldog?’ By the time we had more than enough players, it was time to go back in!

Teachers would randomly throw items across the room at anyone who dared speak out of turn, the one to be feared was the chalk rubber and boys would regularly be led off to the Headmaster’s Office by their ears. Country dancing and the Maypole all featured far too often and involved holding hands with the boy who picked his nose!

There were no gates or fences and anyone could wander in and kids would regularly wander off and skip lessons. These days, for better, there are gates, doors and intercoms and anyone coming into contact with the children must have a DBS Check. For more information, visit

An Eighties Education

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Cycling proficiency was completed without helmets and visitors to the school could often be seen smoking. Things we perceived as normal back then just couldn’t even be imagined in today’s schools. Thousands of Primary school children became terrified of High School thanks to Grange Hill on the telly. With gritty themes and hard hitting drama, it made big school look like a bull-infested, drug addled nightmare.

We were content with the blackboard and chalk whereas today’s classrooms all contain state of the art whiteboards or smartboards. A game on a computer would take forever to load onto a cassette whereas today’s children have instant access to a wealth of educational apps on school ipads. Our playground games were quite possibly not as politically correct as they are now. We didn’t know any better of course. ‘Cowboys and Indians’ and ‘Cops and Robbers’ to name just two but also any other war games involving much violence and death.

School lunches had the most amazing puddings. They were stodgy and you could probably build houses with the stuff but if it was covered in custard, especially the pink kind, then we were happy. Fruit was definitely the enemy and if a meal wasn’t served with baked beans or custard, it was going nowhere near our mouths. Healthy eating is huge in schools now with a real focus on locally sourced, organic goodness.