Memories from 1931-1936

Olive Mary Godkin nee Oakey

My mother, Olive Mary Godkin nee Oakey, has given me permission to share the following memories of her school days at Chipping Campden School.
In 1931, when I was eleven, I sat the exam which was later known as the 11 plus. We had a mental arithmetic test, an arithmetic paper, an English paper, including an essay, and a general knowledge exam. I passed, and was awarded a scholarship to the local Grammar School. Until 1948, about half the places in Grammar Schools were awarded to winners of scholarships. The rest went to fee-paying pupils, many of whom were boarders who rather looked down on the day pupils. I think this was mostly by the girl boarders – the boys were not so snobby.
Later, my brother Angus, sister Joan, and brother Lawson all got scholarships to Chipping Campden Grammar School. It was one of the oldest schools in the country, founded in 1487, but of course it started off as a very small school and later moved premises several times. The new school building was opened about 1930 and the old school became the Boys Boarding House.
Grammar Schools were very academically orientated. We had form teachers, but all subjects were taught by specialist teachers. All the usual subjects were taught, as well as French, Latin, Chemistry and Physics. We were expected to work hard, do homework and sit the School Certificate and Matriculation Exam in our 10th year. We were allowed some choices of subject in the final two years, but the main choice was between Science and Latin. To pass the exam, English and Math were essential, plus Latin or Science and a total of at least six academic subjects. I passed my exam in July 1936. After getting my school certificate I went back for another term and took shorthand and typing. I left school in December 1936.
Sports played a big part in school life. We had ‘houses’ named after the three founders of the school. The girls played hockey and netball in the winter and tennis and rounders in the summer. The boys played football in the winter and cricket in the summer.

This page was added on 26/04/2015.

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