Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Breaking up for the Christmas holidays

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    3,397

    Default Breaking up for the Christmas holidays

    I was actually thinking about when was the final school day before Christmas - was it the Friday before Christmas Eve aka Mad Friday (and not Black Friday anymore in recent years for all the obvious reasons), and did the school day end at the usual time, or was it earlier on in the week such as a Wednesday, depending on which day of the week that Christmas Day would fall on that year? I would hazard a guess it would be around 18th to 21st December, or the closest Friday to those dates on the calendar. When Christmas Day fell on a Sunday like it did in 1988, we had three weeks off for Christmas and New Year, and it was a Friday to Monday holiday as well thanks to Nottinghamshire County Council's school term times. (Never liked the City Council becoming a unitary authority to be honest).

    I know that school went eccentric with parties, games, watching a film (sometimes from an old videotape, recorded a few years before), and all that, and not the usual English, Mathematics, or PE scheduled in the timetable in the final week of school - someone I know who works in teaching says that these days it has to be business as usual right until the end of school on the Friday. Back in the 1980s I know that there was something special going on the hall, and then if it was a Friday, we would have afternoon registration (which would almost defeat the object in hindsight) and around an hour later, we would be allowed to go home early.

    It made me think that truancy would have increased as a result of being close to Christmas (especially in inner-city areas where city centres are a lot closer then suburbs are), and some "opting out" to do Christmas shopping or other Christmas things when they should have been at school - as a result of that, it did make me think that all these "treats" of parties, games, and special lessons was indeed a mere ploy (and perhaps even a bribe?) to keep kids in school where on the whole, things were a lot more interesting and exciting, not to mention the traditional elements such as the nativity play.

    In comprehensive school, we would go back to our form tutors for an afternoon tutor period and not long afterwards, we would be allowed to go home, although it was a lot more lowkey compared to its Primary School counterparts, probably because of the different rooms and teachers that we had our lessons from during the course of the school day.

    How "eccentric" was school during the final days before it closed for the Christmas holidays? - was it fun and games all the way with an early finish on the final day, or was it English and Mathematics all the way with a normal finish on the final day instead?
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: Breaking up for the Christmas holidays

    I really don't remember the timeframe around xmas at school. All I know is that it was a magical time at infant/juniors, with preparation for the school play, carols in assembly, and xmas deccos everywhere for the xmas party.
    I seem to remember watching videos on the TV in the Lecture Theatre at Senior School but at Infant/Junior School in the wind down we'd watch movies in assembly on the projector, usually Children's Film Foundation ones, like Robbie's Robot etc.

    It will be odd here when my boys go to school as the Xmas holiday is also the Summer Holiday so the longest of the two. Damn that summer holiday as a kid seemed so long! I did read it's because compared to the percentage of life you had lived thus far it was a longer timeframe than it would be now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    3,397

    Default Re: Breaking up for the Christmas holidays

    Yes, Christmas discos - someone showing off on the dance floor, no doubt. We didn't do Christmas carols unless it was in lieu of singing All Things Bright and Beautiful in assembly.

    We watched the Disney film Dumbo one year, and I found out it was from a TV broadcast as a commercial break came up on the tape which fascinated me so much as it was before my family had got a VCR.

    Toy Day, I think, was limited to the end of the school year in July rather than Christmas - besides, most of us would get new toys a few days later when one thinks about it!
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breaking up for the Christmas holidays

    There was definitely an air of excitement at infant and junior school prior to the Christmas holiday. I can remember having a toy day, but it was just after coming back in the new year, when we would bring in things we had been bought as presents. There would be the annual event of making a Christmas card for your parents, which usually involved using cotton wool for snow or for Santa's beard, plus glitter that seemed to get everywhere. We would have to bring in a plate, bowl and spoon for the Christmas party. There would be several postboxes for sending cards to classmates and teachers. Yes, carols at assembly and the nativity play. I was Joseph one year, my most prominent role.


    At secondary school, there were also postboxes for cards, carols at assembly, plus a carol service at the local C of E church. There was an annual play, usually a musical like Oliver, though the one year I got roped into it, they decided to put on a production of The Crucible, a play about the witch-hunting frenzy in 17th century Salem, most un-Christmassy. A couple of days prior to breaking up, we would all be marched into the hall and shown a film that had been rented. This was before videos and VCRs, so it was a 16mm film projected onto a screen. No idea if they also had to rent the projector and screen. Films I recall seeing include Abbott and Costello go to Mars, Johnny Ringo and his Golden Pistol (a spaghetti western) and a version of The Anderson Tapes with all the adult bits cut out (boo! hiss!). I think the first year pupils might also have had a Christmas party. At infant and junior school, there were decorations in each classroo,, but there were none at secondary school.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Brummie in exile in Essex
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Breaking up for the Christmas holidays

    My Christmas memories of primary school are dominated by the Nativity play. I never got one of the big roles, but I do remember wearing a tea towel on my head, so I was probably a shepherd!

    At secondary school my main memory is of the couple of weeks before Christmas and the internal card post. There were 300 kids in my year, so it was quite a job to organise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    3,397

    Default Re: Breaking up for the Christmas holidays

    Quote Originally Posted by staffslad View Post

    At secondary school, there were also postboxes for cards, carols at assembly, plus a carol service at the local C of E church.
    The postbox thing was mostly a Primary School thing rather than Secondary School - it was usually a papier mache thing painted red rather than some Royal Mail loaned thing.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

Similar Threads

  1. Breaking up for the summer holidays
    By George 1978 in forum School days
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 22-07-2019, 22:02
  2. Holidays - Where did you go?
    By MommaMystique in forum Holidays
    Replies: 186
    Last Post: 21-08-2017, 08:58
  3. Tarzan Films During Christmas Holidays
    By dannyboy in forum Television
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 29-12-2011, 13:36
  4. Breaking the law!!!...
    By Moomin Dave... in forum Miscellaneous memories
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 24-05-2011, 19:01
  5. !!!BREAKING NEWS!!! About Bigtrak
    By Venom in forum Toys
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-05-2010, 17:33

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •