Written pieces by the children: The lessons

Many of the children remember interesting lessons:

A Good Lesson

Bang! The smoke filled the room up. There was a sizzle from the giant pile of potassium permangenate. It was glowing red and ashes were flying everywhere. It was just like a volcano erupting. It was turning orange and green and black, and lots more. You could feel the sizzle going through you as it burned down to the last piece.

Week Days

Monday is suicide ... or piano lessons
And getting the giggles.
Tuesday is two great periods of English
And too much time revising Vikings

Traditional British prep schools were boarding schools, but day schools in recent years have become increasingly important.
Wednesday is Fish n'Chips; gooey
with glue and paint; and
book reviewing.
Thursday is missing high notes
And splashing each other in the pool.
Friday is catching boy disease
And the end of a hard worked week.
Saturday is getting up late and
having delumptious din-dins,
And blotching ink on your jotter.

- Helen Nesbitt, J5, The Beaconhurst, 1988-89.

Examination Fever

Sweaty palms with glue like quality
thoughts bubbling through a paltry pin
pricked hole in a swollen fumbling brain.
Then oozing onto paper, pen bulldozing
reasoning into scribbles.
Silly mistake, cross out the wrong word
the sentences stumbles and falls dejected
into unmeaning.
Your essay is finished.
The examiner with false peevish eye
takes the sticky paper, glances and scans
the uncrossed 't'.

- Piers Gibbon, aged 12, The Cumnor House Magazine, 1978

Of course there is endess classroom humor:

Teacher: "What should you look for in horse troughs in winter?"
Boy: "Sharks!"
Teacher: "Well are there any in your father' trough?"
Boy: "No, because I killed them."

Geography student: "Please, miss, where are the outer hernias?"

Maths teacher: "Now that we have seen that area is a measure of
surface, what does volume mean?"
Boy: "How loud something is!"

A boy was telling the new riding mistress all about life at Perrott. As the stories grew more fantastic she eventually said, "You must have lessons in tall stories." "Oh, no,"he replied, "but we have Scripture lessons."

Like children every where, there is a good deal of daydreaming:


Wondering, thinking of imaginary things.
Things like witches and magical rings,
And making up stories that might happen to me,
And all of the strange things that I might see.

I think of lots of fantastic things,
Like evil goblins and elven kings,
I know they are not really true,
But I do love to daydream, don't you?

-E. Coate, aged 9, The Winterfold Review, 1988.


Most lessons are boring
If you see what I mean,
Geog, Is just a bad as Frog,
Scripture ... well
That ain't swell,
Maths, We do get some laughs,
History, there's nothing to say,
Except we get it every day.
Bio is just plants and stuff,
I think it's just a load of bluff.
In Art, We draw things like houses or a cart,
Music is quite a cool thing,
We only shout, never sing.
In English, We read out our work, or even a play
That's really all I have to say,
Lessons can be good or bad,
Most of them, drive me mad.

- Benjamin Littlewood, Hordle House Magazine, 1987-88

Boys' Preparatory Schools
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