Ham Infant School – by FH

And I stayed there until Ham Infant School was built in about 1972 that would be I think when all the infant departments from St Richards transferred lock, stock and barrel to the new building and we remained there until we closed down in about 1982 ish.  And we moved back into St Richards school site because there were fewer children and they had room and the infant school became the day centre for elderly people so it went full circle from nursery and infants to the elderly which is rather nice.

It was very avant garde with open plan classrooms and a central hall.  If you wanted to close off your classroom you could by sliding plastic doors but most of the time with the infants, and particularly the very young, the activities you just operated with the doors open.  If you wanted to be quiet at story time or something you could close the doors and feel that you were in a room.  But it was a curious building because to get to say the front door or the office you had to walk through the hall where there might have been a PE lesson or a singing lesson or dancing or whatever, so it was rather a public way of teaching which was nice but it had its drawbacks.

We had quite a nice big playing area with quite a lot of grassed areas so we could take the children outside – it was pleasant in some ways but you had to get used to it and the classrooms were in pairs and we shared a stock room between us so sometimes you would meet your fellow next door neighbour teacher frantically scrabbling for something in the stock room and you would dissolve in a heap of laughter, and go back to get on with what you were doing.  It was a friendly informal sort of school.