Any investigative documentary producers out there?
With all this talk of the resurgence of grammar schools it’s got me a thinking about my upbringing and as to whether we were part of some grand educational experiment.
Let me elucidate.
I was born in to a post war council estate on the edge of the green belt in Northolt, Middlesex or West London in new money.
The Infant and Junior schools was the first thing, looking back, to seem a strange set up with one Infant school and 2 different Junior schools on the same site, with the Junior schools playgrounds occupying the same vast acreage of tarmac with an invisible border that you daren’t cross, save to retrieve your footy if it had strayed. We also shared the same sports field. So siblings, friends and neighbours attending either school hence no inter-school animosity at all except the annual snowball fights that is.
Then came the tests (we never called them exams in Junior school) and apparently I’d passed the eleven-plus and was off to grammar school! Big excitement in the family, proud parents and so on. “Another brainy Cornwell” (Mum’s maiden name) piped up Aunty Nell.
“He’s a bloody Brennan” retorted Dad, a Manchester man of few words but when he spoke you listened!
So any how off to good old Eliots Green grammar school, a post war edifice built, yes you’ve guessed it next door to the secondary school, which we had to walk past to get to ours. But again, and this is only my take on it, no animosity between the 2 schools. My brother and sister both went to the secondary school but were proud of my achievement such that it was. Pupils from the 2 council estates again had friends and siblings at both schools so there never really any aggro between.
The secondary modern called Vincent was streamed whereas we weren’t of course but any pupils achieving good grades at ‘O’ level then moved over to our school to carry on with their ‘A’ levels. It all seemed to work.
The whole set up of the schooling looking back seemed experimental, I certainly don’t know of any other set up like it, so any investigative journalists out their fancy doing a bit of digging?