Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wonder who remembers these?

School today!  I go in and teach French to each of the 12 junior classes (six one week, six the next) which is generally a real delight, as the children mostly love it and there's lots of fun to be had - songs to sing, DVD clips, games. Here's one of our favourites.

The only real bugbear is all the technology that one has to grapple with in order to deliver a lesson - computers, printers, photocopiers, DVD players and drives, interactive whiteboards and their special pens, CD players - any one of which can decide to play up and throw a huge spanner in the works! 

I mean, I'm not exactly a technophobe, but it can be quite a daunting at times. And as I go into all the classrooms, you never know which particular bit of their machinery is going to try and affect the smooth running of your lesson!

Today's broken machinery was all three of the school printers! That wasn't too bad, I just had to draw the pictures for a sheet I wanted for the Year 6 children.  I'm sure my 'drawings' must have amused them as I'm not much of an artist!

The anticipation of non-cooperative technology got me thinking about 'the old days' when none of this stuff existed.  How did we ever learn?  

And then I remembered these books.

R J Unstead's 'Looking at History' series.

First year junior meant 'Cavemen to Vikings'  with the inspirational Mrs Marks. The Bayeux Tapestry (was it really at Reading Museum?), licky-sticky paper mosaics and models of Viking long boats.

Sorry about the wonky scan!

Next, 'The Middle Ages' with Mrs Lonsdale, in J2.  More models - you've got to do a motte and bailey castle, haven't you? - and paintings of ladies in pointy hats.

Was this where dreams of a knight in shining armour started?

'Tudors and Stuarts' with Mrs Arch and a whole host of animals. (No, not my classmates - we had a veritable zoo in our classroom!) Tales of highwaymen and 'Cue for Treason' to listen to, read by our actual teacher!

And finally, 'Queen Anne to Queen Elizabeth II' in 4th Year Junior with Mr Pitson and Mrs Twyman.  I think we actually did the Victorians all year!  Allowed to choose our own Victorian project to work on on Friday afternoons, I designed and embroidered a sampler, a taste of things to come.

Each book was carefully written and presented for the particular age group, like a reading scheme.

Great teachers and textbooks!  That's how I learnt!

Don't forget my mini-giveaway!


  1. Cavemen to Vikings ..WOW!!!

    I have those books... and eventually they brought them out in one big fat hardback book..which takes pride of place on my bookshelves!!

    Oldies but goldies..bring them back!!! ;-)

  2. Yup! That's the one I've got too! Can't beat 'em!

  3. I really do remember them so well, I am sure I have them and had forgotten all about them till now! I an going to search, they will be great for my two!!!
    Enjoy your day,
    Andrea x