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Headington Quarry School 1864-2014

I’ve written about my part of the world before, click here, and as you may know I attended my first school here, from 1976-1981. It was a happy place, even though the only time I ever managed to see out of the windows was when I returned in July 2003 to have a look round. It had just closed as a primary school, but happily it soon reopened as a foundation stage school for children aged 3 to 5, and so last weekend on its 150th anniversary, once again I had the chance to visit again and reminisce.

The fact that you’re reading this is down to the efforts of Mrs Eleanor Scott, the reception teacher with her books with the letters coloured according to the sounds they made. I’m told that it wasn’t quite what the school inspectors wanted, but she got the results and so she and her methods remained. 38 years later I still hold her in the highest regard, and she’s still with us, albeit in poor health.

Back in 2003 I marvelled at just how much smaller the place looked compared to my memories. The little chairs and tables I used to sit at that I couldn’t even get my feet under now, and the playground that I could cover in 20 paces now, that was big enough for an impromptu game of football back then.

But on this occasion you know what finally struck me after all these years? Its the shapes there, the place is full of them, from the windows to the curves of the school bell that I only ever rang once. There’s the old sycamore tree in the yard, the pointed doorframes, even the hatches in the canteen. How did I miss all this?

Perhaps education really is lost on the young…..