10 things that happened at every Irish primary school in the 90s

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

10 things that happened at every Irish primary school in the 90s

We put beanbags on our heads...


This counted as P.E in the 1990s. Long before the days of groups being brought out rock climbing or kayaking, the kids of the 90s were walking around the P.E hall trying to balance tiny beanbags on their heads. It never made it past the Olympic sport application, though, but we hold out hope. Teachers really had it handy back in the day!

The bin was a social hub...


Getting continually chastised for talking in class was the bane of the existence of a 1990s primary school pupil. We found a novel solution, however, as we all bought 10p pencil pairers and took full advantage of the rule that said pencils had to be paired at the bin and nowhere else. The chats were had and many a firm friendship blossomed at the bin in the corner of the classroom.

The school tour game was weak...


In the 1990s, school tours normally consisted of a trip to a local farm where the farmer was only delighted to welcome 100 screaming children to his place of work. We spent most of the day looking at cows and chickens, complaining about the smell, and the highlight of the day was bottle-feeding a baby goat. Those were the days, eh? What we would have given for a day trip to Tayto Park like the kids of today!

The Don arrived...


Whether it was by chance or design, for some reason on a random day during the 1990s, artist Don Conroy from RTE's The Den turned up and drew an owl. We had to follow his instructions on a piece of copy paper and invariably ended up with a misshapen circle on top of an oval, after which we got distracted and went to the bin for another chat.

Mistakes were made...


At one point or another, someone in the class made an absolute balls of the maths problems and proceeded to erase every screed of writing from his/her page using a rubber. A smell of burning rubber wafted through the classroom and poor Peter's arm never recovered from the repetitive strain injury. What else could he do? Tipp-ex was strictly not allowed!

Our books were routinely wallpapered...


Covering school books was the order of the day because we all used the school's book lending scheme. You got the books that were used forty years early and in order to 'protect' them, your poor mother had to spend the whole evening plastering them in wallpaper. Colours and styles did not matter to your beleaguered mother; whatever wallpaper was left over went on. That was it!

The telly was rolled in...


At school in the 1990s, the telly carried with it a 'God status.' There was utter pandemonium when the teacher pushed it into class. The level of reaction could only have been equaled if she had pushed The Beatles in on a trolley. Absolute scenes! Invariably, the excitement dissipated when a farming or water safety video was produced, which was minus craic, but 'very important.' Nevertheless, that momentary thrill of hearing its wheels squeaking down the hall and emerging through the door was the highlight of our primary school education.

We had 'The News'...


In the very early years of primary school, we were required to write 'the news' into our copies. The news was far from exciting, and usually involved a classmate's tooth falling out, trips to the zoo, or other random happenings in our non-eventful lives. Those poor teachers' arses must have been in bits sitting on the edge of their seat all those years. 'Today is Wednesday...it is a rainy day.' Ah, the memories!

The Shatterproof Ruler Experiment...


All of us, at one point or another, splashed out on the 50p shatterproof ruler from the school shop and conducted our own unofficial experiment to see could we shatter it. We proceeded to bend and contort the unsuspecting ruler furiously, our faces grimaced in anticipation of the impending snap. The experiment had mixed results. Some of us lost eyes due to the shrapnel, others were simply left with a bent-out-of-shape ruler in their pencil case with white strain marks in the middle.

We had pencil toppers...


These normally arrived free in cereal boxes and we upended the box of Corn Flakes in order to be able to go to school with a troll on top of our pencils – the absolute envy of the entire class. Trolls were popular but the toppers came in all shapes and sizes. Hey Arnold's head certainly made an appearance at one stage. 

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