The Junior School at Portsmouth High resonated with the sound of laughter this week as grandparents visited all the year groups and shared memories, memorabilia and stories of their younger years.
Grandparents across the school sat with their granddaughters in their classrooms and took part in lessons as well as sharing stories and being interviewed by their granddaughters and friends.
‘The difference in the class sizes is tremendous,’ said Mr Wellman, grandfather of Sophia Alani, 8.
‘We had forty in a class with one teacher,’ he continued. ‘The schools were mostly Victorian buildings and much darker so we didn’t have any view like you have here.’
Mr Wellman brought in an old Bakelite telephone to show the girls. ‘There were no mobile phones then and most homes didn’t even have a telephone.’
‘You arrive in this school and everyone is happy. School is a happier place now than when we were there,’ said his wife.
Alani, 8, added, ‘It has been lovely having my grandparents here today as they live in Essex so I don’t often get to see them.’
Girls’ imaginations were captured by tales of ‘putting on a record’ and ‘playing a vinyl’ as well as asking questions about money, rationing, games played in the playground and types of sweets eaten as children.
Questions ranged from, ‘If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?’ to ‘ What games did you play?’
‘Laugh a lot and have fun!’ answered the grandparents in unison.
‘We never stayed indoors as we didn’t have televisions or computers,’ said one grandfather. ‘We had to make our own entertainment so we were always outside and always exercising, from football to building tree houses and playing hopscotch.’
Ms Cunningham, Deputy Head of the Junior School added: ‘This was a wonderful opportunity for our girls to entertain their grandparents in the school and for whole classes to hear experiences and share their knowledge.
‘We can learn so much from this generation and the grandparents can have a real insight into what the girls learn in school.’
‘What would you go back and redo?’ asked one inquisitive granddaughter. ‘Study more at school,’ was the mischievous reply.