Q: Where was your secondary school located?
The secondary school was where the library is presently, in the town of Cahersiveen.
Q: Did you walk to school or take the bus?
People within walking distance would walk but for people in country side, they would take the bus.
Q: Was your school a mixed school?
No, the school was all boys.
Q: Who were you taught by?
We were taught by the Christian Brothers.
Q: How many pupils were in your class?
There were around 21 in my class.
Q: How many were in your school?
There were around 100 in my school. Most of the other schools would have been smaller than that.
Q: How many classes would you have in one room?
You would have two classes per room.
Q: Did you have to wear uniform?
No, we did not have to wear uniform. We usually wore the same clothes for a few days to cut down on washing. There was no such thing as washing machines in those days!
Q: What sports did you play?
We played football mostly.
Q: Did you get a lot of homework?
Yes, we got a lot of homework. We seemed to get a lot more learning off than nowadays. We wouldn’t dream of going into school without our homework done either.
Q: Did you bring your own lunch or did you get to go home for lunch?
If you were from town you could go home and if not, you would have to bring sandwiches and usually a bottle of milk.
Q: Were you taught music in school?
No, we were not. So much time was spent on Irish, English, Maths and Religion, that we had little time for anything else.
Q: How big were the classrooms?
They were medium sized. We probably didn’t have as much furniture as nowadays.
Q: What did the rooms look like?
The classrooms were quite dull, had small windows, a big blackboard at the top of the room. The teachers table was very long and the pupils’ wooden desks were in rows behind each other.
Q: How many subjects were you taught?
We were taught around 6-7 subjects?
Q: How many teachers were in primary school?
There were 4 teachers in primary school. Just classroom teachers; no such thing as learning support teachers back then!
Q: How many were in each class?
There were 15 pupils in each class.
Q: What was the starting time and finishing time?
The starting time was 9:30a.m and the finishing time was 3:30.p.m.
Q: How long was lunch break in primary school?
Lunch break was an hour.
Q: Were there any fun subjects?
There were no fun subjects; no treats or school tours either. We spent most of the day at English, Irish, Maths and Religion.
Q: Did you speak any Irish?
We spoke very little Irish. Most of our Irish was written down.
Q: What did you do for heating in the school?
We either had a boiler or a furnace.
Q: Did you have a lot of books?
We did not have a lot. We carried the few we had in a satchel type of bag.
Q: What games did you play in the yard?
In the yard the boys and girls did not play together. The boys played football and handball and the girls played hopscotch and skipping.
Q: Were there parent teacher meetings?
There were no parent teacher meetings. Parents hardly went near the school at all.
Q: Were there inspectors?
Well if there were, I can’t remember them anyway.
Q: How many tests were there in the year?
We had Christmas and Summer tests. These were very big tests and we used to spend ages preparing for them.
Q: How long did homework take?
It took around 1 hour. A lot of that time was spent learning off.
Q: What were the main subjects?
The main subjects were Maths, Irish and English.
Q: After secondary school could you go to college?
Yes, you could. I went to an Irish agricultural college.
Q: If you did not go to college, what would you do?
Well, you would work on a farm or in a shop. Not too many went to college back then. It was very expensive and very few families could afford it.
Q: What kind of after school activities were there?
There was no such thing as organised ‘after school’ activities, but we always had plenty to keep us going.
Q: Was there a youth club when you were a child?
No, we were happy to amuse ourselves.
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