What I Learned in Primary School

Was it just my school, or were the seventies a strange time for primary-aged kids?

I don’t remember a lot about my education in the early years, but these lessons - taught by my teachers and through interacting with my fellow students - are the ones that have stuck with me:

·         Never ever run with scissors

·         The skills involved in high-jumping, long-jumping and triple-jumping will hold you in good stead for decades to come so you’d better master them. The fosbury flop and the scissor kick are particularly important if you want to succeed in life.

·         When walking with scissors, point the tip of the blades down towards the ground. If they point forwards, you may run into a fellow student and disembowel them. If they point upwards, you may fall on the scissors and disembowel yourself.

·         If you’re in the library, SHHHHHH!!!!

·         A beautiful title page is foundational to the learning of any new topic - Australian history, fractions, poetry, seed germination.

·         Needing to go to the toilet during class time is a crime and if you can’t get through maths without needing to wee then you deserve everything that’s coming for you.

·         Milk is good for you. Even if it has been sitting in the sun for three hours and has clotted into large lumps.

·         Those in possession of a 24 tin of Lakeland pencils in Grade 3 are destined to become the leaders of the western world.

·         Glue is more valuable than gold. Put only a small dab of glue on each of the four corners of a worksheet before pasting it into a book. Any extra dollops you distribute are Wasteful. Yes. Wasteful with a capital W! 

·         Always pass scissors handles first. This may seem confusing because it means holding onto the blades while you pass the scissors, and goodness only knows how many fingers could be severed if there is some sort of interference (earthquake, crash-tackle) in the middle of the manoeuvre.

·         Red and blue make purple. Red and yellow make orange. Blue and yellow make green. But if you don’t clean your paintbrush in between dips, everything turns brown.

·         If you don’t brush your hair before you go to school, the photographer will turn up that day to take the annual school photos. Truly. Every time!

·         Popularity is in direct proportion to monkey bar skills.

·         Eleven elevens are one-hundred-and-twenty-one.

·         Everything becomes a deadly missile, capable of taking out someone’s eye, when thrown through the air. Even a scrunched up ball of paper. Even a feather. So pass, don’t throw … unless you are in a war situation.

·         It is important to be able to grow wheat on damp cotton wool. Nobody knows why. It just is.

·         Sometimes the answers in the back of your Mental Maths books are wrong. Your sins will find you out so always calculate the answers for yourself.

·         Nothing says ‘I love you, Mummy Darling Heart!’ like a macramé owl.

·         Softballs are hard, despite the innocuous-sounding name.


What did you learn in primary school? Do share!