Monday, 13 July 2015

Vintage Treasures: 1948-9 Infant School syllabus and record book.

Hi again.

 I thought I'd start a new week by dipping into something old I discovered recently.

[At the time of writing you can become the next caretaker of this treasure of social history by dropping by for more details from my shop]. 

Can you make out just how old this is? In the bottom right where it says 'Year ending' '194' ... can you spot, just after it, the word 'July' and the number '9', in faded pencil?
Coming from the school year ending July 1949 makes this is a 66 year old traveller through time. And, as it's one made of paper and card ... it's doing exceptionally well for all that travel!

Now how about I introduce you properly? [After all, you know its age now .. it only seems polite to get to know more about it!].

It's September 1948, the start of the school year, in the rural village of Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire, England, and the school teacher of class four has just settled down to plan the year ahead for her infant class ... and this is the book she used:
When she begins recording her lessons it's the week ending September 16th 1948.

The 3rd anniversary of the end of World War II has only just passed [8th May] and bread rationing has only just ended over the summer. And before the end of the school term clothes rationing will come to an end but our teacher, and her pupils, will have to wait another 5 years before all other food rationing finally ends.

But through all this a new generation needs to be educated and between the covers of this wonderful, original, vintage, hard-backed book is where you'll discover just what they learned, week by week.

Inside there's a class timetable with the school day broken down into segments such as 'Nature talk', 'milk' and 'Papercutting'. and where the final lessons of the day include 'Percussion', 'Nursery Rhyme Games' and 'Dancing'.
There are also individual tabbed sections detailing the syllabus for each subject including: Religious Instruction, Arithmetic and Elementary Mathematics, Reading and Dramatisation, Music and Art.
And there's a 'Record of Work' at the back of the book detailing the actual lessons carried out week by week until they break for the summer holidays on July 21st 1949.

[If you're interested in the history of the school from which this came - after a little searching I reckon this is the school in question.]

Here's a lesson which sounds pretty fun 'Plasticine, Paper cutting - animals':
PLUS ...

Tucked inside the book there are a bundle of loose sheets of paper where the teacher has made notes on everything from the weight and height of each pupil, ideas for the nativity play and a supply list which includes 8lbs of plasticine and 500 wooden beads!
I know many of you enjoy working in old books, adding your own story and style to their pages resonating with history and life.
So you'd love the potential and promise of the blank pages inside where you can add your own creative touches.
And finally, if you are a teacher [or you need a very special gift for one] you would love leafing through these pages which give you in the chance to duck out of the National Curriculum and dip into a 66 year old syllabus which allows space for the 'free expression' of 'coloured chalks on a blackboard'!

**If this treasure has stolen your heart, like it did mine, then do visit my shop and secure its place in your hands and your home [as well as your heart] as it's available to buy here.**

There's such a lot to treasure about this book not least the fact that reading cast me back to my own infant school days which, I'm happy to report, didn't seem that different to the days depicted here. They dance, sing, looking at nature and spend time being creative  and it generally seems like they were allowed to be little children finding their way in the world of learning.

I'd like to think today's 5 year-olds would find it all very familiar too ... but I'm not so sure ...

Thanks for visiting today. If today's item isn't the one for you - do hop over to the shop as there are lots of 'new' vintage goodies available now including vintage index cards, menu cards, maps and more! 

Julie :-)


  1. Oh goodness what a find! How different things are now. And I'm not convinced all changes are for the better - let's start a campaign to bring back plasticine lessons! What a beautiful record of a much simpler time gone by, I am sure it will find a new owner who will enjoy owning such a piece of history.

  2. A beautiful book, indeed! It would be a great find for someone who does "character" journals and creates a unique personality based on what they find in the book. Great historical find!

  3. I think I might just have fallen in love with this book ...

  4. This is lovely! I just hope that I am weathering the years as well as this record book being the same age! I notice that you put "old" in italics; thank you for that because 66 to some of us is YOUNG! I like what debs14 said about the plasticine lessons - modeling clay, invented in the UK in 1898, by William Harbutt. So cool! 8)

    1. It's funny Hazel, that, when I#m calculating the dates/ages of things I see items as 'old' ... but not the people who are the same age! I reckon it's because 66 seems like a long time for something made of paper/something ephemeral - to have survived. Meanwhile humans ... well, we're just of tougher stuff! :-)

  5. What a unique record! An amazing find ... (I wonder if the school might like to buy it back from you? But perhaps they have some from that period already). Oh, the heady carefree days before SATS and the NC: a world where Ladybird books reflected life as it was, and you did PE skipping around in your knickers listening to the instructions on the radio programme for schools. Happy days! Such an intriguing find, Julie!

    1. Yes - I did wonder about contacting the school Alexa ... I might have a browse to see if they're on social media.

  6. Just FYI, I love your stuff. the things you find and love as well as your blog entries and your facebook posts. thanks for being you.

    1. Well, that's just a lovely thing to say Debbie. Thank you for taking time to say that - it made my day!

  7. I love the thought that this was put together just about the time my Dad went into teacher training :) Keep 'em coming!


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