Wanna go Fishing son? No, Dad. I want to go to School

I was a good boy at school. I’m pretty sure there was one year at school when I had 100% attendance. I had no days off ill, or doctors appointments or days truant. Im sure there were some people who did better than I did over the course of their school years, but I was still pleased with the achievement of that year.

 Guess what I got to celebrate that achievement? A car? Don’t be ridiculous! A month without homework? Not a chance! A week off? Not happening! Maybe a handshake from the head teacher? Nope! A certificate? A piddly simple little certificate to say I had achieved something no other pupil would respect? No. Not even a certificate.

Pin this on your blazer. You’ll be the envy of the school!

 I wish I could show those teachers this wasn’t the case in 1904! Not only would I have got a handshake but I would also have received a medal! It’s worth remembering that school was a very different place in 1904. Teachers were stricter, lessons were not designed to be fun or interesting and the shadow of the cane loomed large over the classroom. To have 100% attendance in 1904 would have required an iron will and an iron backside!

 It’s worth remembering that during this period there would be many parents that would prefer their children to be at work rather than at school. So maybe the medal wasn’t just for the children, it was an incentive for the parents as well.


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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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