School Song Books 1950s

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School song books 1950s youtube

In my primary school I remember that a lot of lessons involved learning things by rote or ‘off by heart’ as we called it. The multiplication tables were recited by the whole class in unison first thing every morning – after the Lord’s Prayer and the alphabet. Then we recited other tables such as measurement – “Twelve Inches to One Foot, Three Feet to a Yard, 220 yards one-eighth of a mile, 440 yards one-quarter of a mile . . . ” and so on. The same was done for capacity, money, area and weight.

School Song Books 1950s Youtube

School

All our exercise books had these charts on the back.

'School Day' by Chuck Berry. Sometimes listed as 'School Days,' this little slice of teenage life. One thing we did all have in common is the classic assembly songs we used to sing! We’ve brought you a list of the most popular primary school hymns and songs from the 1980s that every kid used to have to sing. These may have varied slightly from school to school and region to region, so let us know if any of these resonate with you.

Our exercise books had all the charts printed on the back for handy reference although the rote learning ensured we didn’t need to fall back on that often!I certainly never forgot them! I also remember learning poems off by heart. I can still recite Cargoes by John Masefield.

School song books 1950s list

Songs Of The 1950s List

School song books 1950s youtube

Cargoes by John Masefield

The sad thing is that nobody talked to us about the meanings of the poems. I had no idea what half the words meant in Cargoes, which is a shame as it’s a beautiful poem.

Vintage School Books 1950

Primary school education was very ‘British’ – and in my case, Welsh. We didn’t have separate subjects called History, Geography Science etc. The history I learned was about the lives of British heroes – Scott of the Antarctic, Nelson and, of course, Saint David. We learned songs like Hearts of Oak, Over the Sea to Skye (which I can still play from memory on the recorder) and many traditional Welsh ones.

A wooden school recorder. The book which every school used.

Science consisted of nature rambles when it was fine in summer. We never had PE but I think that was our Head’s choice and lack of fondness for activity rather than the norm for the times.

In secondary school our learning was still largely based on memorising facts and writing down dictated notes in our exercise books. Individual research was non-existent.

In maths two pieces of equipment come to mind which are probably now obsolete – correct me if I’m wrong! One was the slide rule which was an ingenious way of doing difficult calculations using a calibrated ruler with sliding parts. The other one was the book of log tables. We all had them. They are a very simple way of working out very large multiplications such as four digit numbers X four digit numbers. Log tables do a lot more complex maths than that but I’m talking about how we used them in school. Calculators and computers have probably done away with the need for these but professional mathematicians might tell me different.

Primary School Song Books 1950s

A 20thC log table book. A page from an early log table book.

Cover of a 17th C log table book. A slide rule.

Children's Books 1950s

Books

John Napier. William Oughtred.

School Song Books 1950s Images

Both the slide rule and the log tables were invented in the 17th Century, log tables by John Napier and the slide rule shortly afterwards by William Oughtred.