Chailey Heritage School Old Scholars Association
CHAILEY EDUCATION Sometimes, when I am relaxed, my mind goes back to Chailey and I remember the education I received.   I was incredibly lucky to be at Chailey when education there was changing from learning a trade to a proper secondary education. A time when academic learning was being tried out. It meant that learning was sometimes erratic as it had to fit around medical needs so they introduced the six day week. It ran from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday. The next six day week would start on a Tuesday. I can’t be sure if it lasted for more than one term. While it was in operation it did mean that if you were being fitted for callipers or shoes or had a physio session (which were on fixed days of a five day week) you would not miss out on a whole terms worth of English, Maths, or any regular lessons.   As I approached 11 I was told that I would be going to O Ward for an operation and would not be taking my 11+. Mrs. Cheshire surprised me with this piece of news one day, I didn’t even know that I was taking the 11+ but she consoled me with the news I could take the 13+ after recovering from the operation. I never did and I must have lost a whole three months or more of education. I never saw the lovely Mrs Cheshire again.   The school was not only divided into houses but also into streams, academic, commercial, and by this time children with learning disabilities. All these changes were bewildering. When I was at home during the holidays I struggled to describe what was happening at school as my education was so different to those of my sisters.   I had my first taste of learning French with Mr. Kaufman and horror of horrors my classmates were all boys! His way of introducing me to the class was to ask me to give a talk on how the game of cricket could be improved. Personally I thought that the game should be abolished but I thought that as the game was played by men I had better not. So I introduced the idea of pink outfits for the teams, shorter pitches and bigger bats to give the weak players a better chance to hit the ball. Everyone in the class was laughing by now so I brought my talk to an end with a red face and a ton of embarrassment on my shoulders.   I did sit my 0 levels, not brilliantly as there were huge gaps in education, but I did get a place in a grammar school in Devon to sit my A levels and that was all thanks to the kindness of many people but especially of Miss Bruce the head mistress who pulled out all the stops in the summer holidays. I don’t think I knew what was happening and I wish I could roll back time and say “THANK YOU” for the opportunity.   I must just mention Mr. Broadhurst the headmaster who I think was instrumental in improving the quality of the education at Chailey. A lovely gentle man. I can remember finding a cupboard full of books and he turned up and asked if I knew the English version of the French word Guillaume. I didn’t but with a few extra clues I came up with the name William. One day we were all called into the Dame Grace Kimmins Hall. We were sitting their waiting and whispering and wondering about the reason for something so unexpected happening. “Perhaps Mr. Broadhurst has dropped dead?” He had.
Annie’s Page
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