Welcome to the history section of our website. If you have any stories, memories or anecdotes to add, please do get in touch with the school as detailed at the end of the section.
Below is an article about our school which originally appeared in The Bradway Bugle in November 2017.
Fifty years and counting
Recently I’ve been reflecting on what I was doing fifty years ago and in the process I’m feeling rather old! I’m undergoing this uncomfortable personal reflection because this year it is fifty years since Sir Harold Jackson Primary School (the former name of Bradway Primary School) admitted its first pupils. These inaugural pupils joined the school in September 1967 so September 2017 was the beginning of our Golden Anniversary year.
I was five years old in 1967 and in Year 1 at a Primary school in Cambridge. I remember how enormous the children appeared to be on the playground, and feeling so small and insignificant next to them. The Beatles were in the charts and my favourite playtime snack was multi-coloured puffed rice called ‘Rainbow Drops’. Playtimes were spent playing hide and seek in the hedges that bordered the school and in lessons we painted a giant dragon, wrote very long stories, learned about hundreds tens and units or experimented with magnets and iron filings. Despite what appears to have been an interesting curriculum I spent a great deal of time outside the Headteacher’s office reading my book for reasons I can’t remember but which are unlikely to be good.
The school was named after Sir Harold Jackson who was chairman of the Sheffield Education Committee for fifty years and who was also Lord Mayor of Sheffield. The school was not officially opened until 22nd March 1968 with a total of 330 children then attending who were taught in eight classrooms. You may be thinking that 330 pupils in eight rooms would make rather large classes and you’d be right; there were classes with up to 41 pupils in them when it opened, at least ten more pupils than is the typical number nowadays and numbers were to rise further.
We still have the original school logbook which, although it was not updated very often, has some interesting insights into early school life. I have also found other historic records which have helped to build up a chronology of the main events. Apparently frustrations with the school building started almost as soon as it opened, with concerns about ‘its almost complete lack of stock rooms and tidy storage space’. ‘Tidiness is an ever present challenge’ commented the then Headteacher Mr Mallaband. Concerns about space continued for many years with the current Bradway preschool site being used as accommodation for Foundation Stage children for a number of years from 1967 until two mobile classrooms were added along with an extension in the 1970s.
As well as inadequate space in the main school building, The Bradway Annexe had 60 children in the building with only one boys’ and two girls’ toilets available for the children to use, plus a urinal and these were outside. In the 1970’s classes of up to 48 pupils were common and it is hard to imagine how difficult it must have been to teach and to learn in these conditions. Indeed the then Headmaster, Mr Mallaband, complained to the Education Authority in 1970 about the cramped conditions at a time when even the library was being used as a teaching space.
Managing behaviour must have been quite a task in these big classes too so it is perhaps unsurprising to read in the ‘Routine Procedures’ for teachers leaflet (date of publication unknown) that the Headmaster comments as follows: ‘I personally believe that a hand to the bottom administered in righteous but loving indignation never did anybody any harm and can indeed be positively beneficial.’ He goes on to say that ‘The use of canes and other blunt instruments is of course not permitted’, and these comments highlight just how much behaviour management and attitudes to corporal punishment have changed in schools since that time.
I have met many ex-pupils from the time before I became Headteacher and they have always spoken very fondly of the school at that time and of their memories of ‘SHJ’. Here are a few quotes from pupils who attended in the early days:
‘I went to Sir Harold Jackson 1970-1975. I remember Mr Mallaband being the headmaster....then there was Miss Young, Mr Morris - who also taught gymnastics. Lunch time recorder lessons!! and I loved the playground especially the concrete pipes to play on!!! Sports day down on the field’.
‘I spent 2 years in the school when it was new - J3 and J4, must have been at the end of the 60's and remember Miss Young and Mr Mallaband teaching recorder at lunchtimes, the school field, and the concrete pipes ring a bell. It seemed to be a happy school, or those are the memories I have of it’.
So it was clearly a lovely school community then, as it is now, with a high quality creative curriculum at the heart of children’s learning and, as the current Headteacher, I have done my best to continue that tradition despite massive changes to education and constant pressure to narrow the curriculum. Referring to the seismic changes to the primary curriculum which were made in 1989, Mr Driskell wrote in 1992 that ‘throughout the pressures of the last few years we have as a staff sought to communicate a positive and optimistic view of changes taking place’. I could have written those words myself in 2017; our education system continues to change at breakneck speed!
Interestingly, inconsiderate parking and driving on the roads around the school was a problem in the early days just as it is now, despite there being many less cars on the road. In a 1979 letter to all parents from the headmaster Mr Sharp, it warns that ‘the position is at times so chaotic that I am quite certain that ONE OF OUR CHILDREN IS GOING TO BE KILLED’. The capital letters show just how worried he was. He goes on to comment that ‘amongst the more reprehensible incidents that have occurred recently, on two occasions parents have backed their cars in to Bradway Drive whilst the crossing warden was actually shepherding children across’. In 2017 our school has been working with our new Community Police officer, Ken Blake, to try to tackle the problem of inconsiderate parking around the school so you may see him in the vicinity.
I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of the Sir Harold Jackson and Bradway Primary School story and I know that the many children, teachers and parents who have attended the school over the years will also share that sense of having been a part of something very special.
So in order to celebrate our Golden Anniversary in suitable style, amongst other activities, we will be holding an event in 2018 to mark the official opening of the school in that year. If you are an ex-pupil or ex member of staff from the early days and have any stories or pictures that you would be willing to share, we would love to hear from you and we hope to see you at our 1960’s themed community Golden Anniversary picnic on Friday 13 the July 2018. You can contact the school by email on email@example.com, telephone on 01142363723 or you can leave messages and any recollections on our website www.bradwayprimary.co.uk
Memories of a headteacher, Bob Driskell, at Sir Harold Jackson School 1980 - 1998
Mr Driskell speaking at our 50th anniversary assembly on 22nd March 2018.
I took over as headteacher at Sir Harold Jackson School in September 1980 and following my time in a wide variety of schools in Scunthorpe, Hackenthorpe, Parkhill, Stannington and Brightside, and five years’ experience as headteacher of an inner-city school in Sheffield, coming to Bradway represented an enormous change in my professional life.
Instead of trying to summarise 18 years of the busiest, happiest and most tiring days of my professional career I would like to highlight some of the memories that still stand out for me after all these years - those occasions I look back on most nostalgically and those I remember with slightly less nostalgia. Perhaps it should be mainly about the educational boundaries we hopefully pushed back from time to time and the improvement in standards I hope we achieved, but now after 20 years these are some of the memories that persist – and most of them are happy memories.
I couldn’t wait to get started at Sir Harold Jackson School. This was a much larger school than my previous one, set in the ‘leafy suburbs’ within easy walking distance of my home. To start and end the day with a two mile walk along a country lane and across a golf course had an enormous therapeutic effect over whatever stresses and strains the day had to offer. I already knew some of the families at the school and several were old friends dating back to my own days at teacher training college.
The light and airy classrooms, together with the attractive surroundings of the school and its extensive playing fields and distant views of the Derbyshire moors, were an added bonus. I remember, too, being struck by how enthusiastic the children were. Following my very first assembly, in which I posed one or two questions, I was absolutely amazed and delighted to be greeted by a little queue of children outside my door the following day wielding encyclopaedias and bursting with information.
I wasn’t only struck by the enthusiasm of the children; the parents were, almost without exception, supportive, friendly and easy going and offered so much in so many ways, both through the Parents’ Association and in other more informal ways. I remember parents turning up to help in one-off activities such as setting up the school pond and hedge-laying (to make the school boundary a little more intruder proof) along the side of the footpath. There are still traces in the hedge of a busy Saturday’s work under the guidance of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers in the early ‘80s.
Though I remember trying to participate wholeheartedly in the Parents’ Association activities I found the fairly frequent and popular discos and a line dancing session quite challenging. I realised that it was too late in life for me to ever become a ‘disco dancer’ and I was quite relieved when I was able to find my real calling serving at the bar!
I was far more at home leading weekend rambles with the Parents’ Association. My own family used to join me on these occasions and the walks proved to be an ideal way to get to know the parents and children in a different, more informal setting.
I welcomed the friendliness and informality of the parents of course, but I didn’t always know quite how to take them! I remember one morning having to stand in for the school crossing patrol and being greeted by one parent cheerfully shouting “Found a job you can do at last Mr Driskell?”. This same parent was present along with other parents at an end of term Red Nose Day impromptu concert during which his son began to tell us all a joke he’d heard, quite innocently unaware of its full adult meaning and quite unsuitable for a primary school audience. It was only speedy and tactful intervention on the part of myself and the deputy head that the parent’s blushes were spared!
Without doubt one of the highlights of my time at the school followed our Ofsted inspection in 1994. We were only the second primary school to be inspected in Sheffield under the new Ofsted regime and despite our confidence in each other, and knowing that we were all working to the best of our ability with some of the most able children in Sheffield, there was nevertheless a feeling of great anxiety as ‘the day’ approached – Monday 26th September 1994 will be forever engraved in my memory.
The feelings of stress and anxiety may perhaps be best expressed by a direct quote from my personal diary of the day written late that night – “The day has arrived and is nearly over and I’m still here – bloodied but unbowed.” No doubt the rather overdramatic language reflected my feelings at the time! Ofsted inspections were still very much an unknown quantity in 1994. Not only did we have four days of intensive inspection from Ofsted, we even had HMI’s in school inspecting the inspectors!
One slightly disconcerting episode during the inspection was when one of the inspectors came into my room laughing – he had just asked one little girl in Y2 what she wanted to do when she grew up and she had replied that she wanted to be a headteacher like Mr Driskell. “Why” he asked “do you want to be a headteacher?” and the little girl said “Because he sits in his room and doesn’t do very much except tell everyone else what to do”! Though the inspectors were friendly and positive we were immensely relieved when they left!
The hard work and lost sleep seemed almost worth it when we received the report that followed, together with our inclusion in the Sunday Times ‘Good School Guide’ for the following year. Receiving an invitation to Highgrove House, along with some other headteachers from Sheffield and other parts of the country to meet HRH Prince Charles, was the ‘icing on the cake’.
Two years later we received another letter from Ofsted, announcing their intention to come and inspect us again. Coming so soon after our first inspection I don’t think I was the only one on the staff who wondered if we had the reserves of energy to ‘follow that’. This also made it slightly awkward for me as I’d already told the staff of my intention to retire and I think that there may have been a lurking suspicion in some minds that I’d had prior knowledge of this to motivate my retirement. It was with great relief that we received another letter from Ofsted a few days later with profuse apologies for all the needless anxiety they may have caused because it was all a mistake!
Another memory that gives me great pleasure is that of the multi-sport competitions we had with neighbouring schools which were open to all children at all levels of ability. I enjoyed these because, to my great regret, I was never good enough to play for sports teams when I was at school (except for the time when my father picked the team when he taught at the village school I attended – an early introduction to nepotism!). I felt that I was redressing an injustice I had suffered, as anyone in the relevant age group was invited to take part in any one of a variety of sports or games such as football, cricket, rounders, netball, padder-tennis, chess and draughts, for example.
Following the selection of the various teams I remember getting a phone call one day from an agitated parent who said “Mr Driskell, I’m afraid my son has started telling ‘porkies’– he’s come home very excited and tells me he’s playing in goal for the school football team. Now he’s a lovely lad, not given to telling lies, but ball games are not his strength to put it mildly”. I was able to agree with his dad that he was indeed a nice lad and that he wasn’t telling ‘porkies’ but he was playing in goal for what was probably our school fourth team against an equivalent team from another school. It was a great opportunity too to give the girls the opportunity to play in sports which at that time were not traditionally seen as girls’ activities.
We also played our best teams in competitive games but decided to drop out of the football leagues as they were getting too competitive. There was opposition from some quarters but we continued to play our best teams in friendlies against other schools. One exception to the ‘friendly’ ethos was when we played cricket against the primary school my son attended. He was a very good bowler but with only a developing understanding of what constituted a ‘no-ball’. When, as umpire, I kept calling ‘no-ball’ I had to caution him for arguing with the umpire and calling him ‘Dad’ in what I judged at the time to be a somewhat aggressive tone.
We had some heated debate at tea-time that day as I was accused, quite unfairly I think, of leaning over backwards to prove that there was no favouritism in the Driskell family.
He’s 36 now and the grudge still surfaces from time to time!
The friendly games were also an opportunity to give the girls a chance to play in a football team as they were not widely accepted or, as I was given to understand, even allowed to play in the official school competitions.
One of our girls was amongst the best in the school and would have been an automatic choice for the football team. She was always one of the first to be picked in the games at playtime. Despite my best efforts it was not possible for her to play in ‘official’ football competitions. I trust that this would not be an issue in 2018 and hope that she got the opportunity to play later on in life.
The Annual Summer “Cricket Festival”
Once a year we’d invite all the children in the junior department who wanted to play cricket to come into the scout hall and they would be divided into eight teams. We’d choose a Friday afternoon towards the end of term just after school and pray for good weather. On the day, chairs would be placed round the boundary, bunting would be put up and the parents would provide a drinks stall. A local elderly resident umpired and everyone seemed to enjoy the occasion.
What gives me most pleasure, looking back, is remembering the mature and caring way our year 6 children would nurture and encourage the least able of the youngest year 4 children in their teams. It was around that time of year that I did something that I now look back on with some degree of mild embarrassment. My cousin, unlike me, was an excellent batsman and made the headlines of his local newspaper with ‘Driskell scores a 100’. I displayed the cutting on the main school notice board and I don’t think I made it very clear that the Driskell in question was not me!
Christmas at SHJ
I think I miss Christmas at school the most; the concerts, the Nativity Plays, carol singing in the community and of course the Christmas parties and the visits of Father Christmas to the infant parties. We would hear the sleigh bells first of all and then he would appear and talk to the children, and he somehow seemed to know nearly all of their names! The Christmas memory that stands out most for me was the one time I had the pleasure of taking my younger son to meet him at the Christmas Fair - my wife was the one who usually had the opportunity. I shall never forget the look of wonder in his eyes as he came face to face with him.
The School Building
When I started working at the school I was struck by how ‘pre-fabricated’ the building appeared to be. It was built to a standard, economic specification known then I believe as a “Scola Mk2” design which was replicated in several other schools in the Sheffield area at that time. Though they could be erected quickly and cheaply they were subject to frequent roof leaks. During wet weather the sight and sound of buckets and dripping water was omnipresent.
Outside doors opened directly into working areas, insulation was non-existent and because of the preponderance of glass it could feel very cold in the winter and ‘greenhouse tropical’ in the summer. It was with some relief therefore that a scheme was introduced to re-clad all of Sheffield’s Scola Mk 2 buildings, with amongst other things, brick walls, less glass, a waterproof roof and higher standards of insulation. This necessitated each room in turn being vacated as it was virtually rebuilt and despite the inconvenience and disruption over many months it was well worth it. The final result was very much a new building and in all essentials the school we see today.
The induction of the new deputy-head
Our newly appointed deputy headteacher arrived at my door on the first day of the Autumn Term and shortly afterwards he was followed by a rather agitated small child who came to my door to inform me that someone had been sick in the doorway leading in to one of the infant cloakrooms, and nobody wanted to go inside as a result. This seemed no way to welcome very young children back to school after the long summer break and not wanting to disturb the caretaker who was not officially on duty at that time I saw this as an opportunity to pass on the benefits of my experience in crisis management to the deputy head.
“Follow me and ‘look and learn’” I said as I strode confidently to the scene.
I knew the fire hose was located nearby and, being careful to aim the nozzle in a direction which would clear everything out of harm’s way, I turned it on. Unfortunately, I turned it on too high and the resultant high-pressure jet of water ricocheted off the floor drenching the deputy head in a foul-smelling mess. As a result of that early baptism he was to become slightly hesitant when taking my advice and it took some time to rebuild some of my professional credibility in his eyes.
Retirement and beyond.
I decided to retire eventually after 18 years of what were the happiest years of my working life. I left a little earlier than I needed to because I was getting very tired keeping up with the pressures of the job. My wife, who was teaching at a local school, had just started working full time and she said she’d be happy if I retired a couple of years early and did the shopping, cooked the meals and did the cleaning. I excelled at the first, was passable at the second and failed miserably at the third. She retired soon afterwards.
I realise increasingly now, with the benefit of 20 years of hindsight, just how lucky I was to work in a school like Sir Harold Jackson School. I can honestly say that it was a privilege to work with such committed, dedicated and friendly people at all levels of responsibility – governors, teachers and non- teaching staff. It is for this reason a part of me still wishes I was back here where it is quite apparent that the same level of commitment and professionalism continues.
Despite the changes from chalk and talk, blackboards to white boards, letters to emails and so on it is the people in the school who still matter most. It has been enormously satisfying, following my recent contacts with Bradway Primary School, to see it in such capable hands today as it continues to develop to meet the demands of the 21st century. I wish it continuing success during the next fifty years.
R O Driskell
Quotes from the first pupils at Sir Harold Jackson - 1967
I attended SHJ the first year it opened in J3/4 - Miss Young was my teacher for the two years that I was there. Mrs Hammond was then my teacher for a couple of years before I went on to King Ecgbert School along with some of my friends. Mr Mallaband was the head teacher - a very nice gentleman. The whole building was probably made with a shortish lifetime, but in the first years it was modern, clean and well equipped. The music room was a big part of the school - I learned the recorder and we were encouraged to take part in school concerts. The classrooms had, if I remember correctly, a room for more messy work attached - painting, possibly cooking etc. Another memory that stuck with me was growing hyacinths in the caretaker's garage each year to take home at Christmas. Fond memories.
We were also lucky to have a large playing field - infants and juniors were separate as well as a playground with concrete pipes for adventure play - frowned on these days. I had previously attended Bradway annex as an infant and the Greenhill junior and infant school before SHJ.
– Nick Barnes
This is a class photograph taken in 1971. The boy in the back row in the blue jumper is Russell Wilks and he sent me the photo. He joined Sir Harold Jackson as a seven year old when the school first opened in 1967. All his children have been pupils of the school and he served for 9 years as a school governor at the school. I wonder if anyone else in the photograph will get in touch to add some more information about these early years in the school's history.
– Russell Wilks
Here is Russell's report from his final year at the school when Year 4 was the top year (our current Year 6)
Ex-pupils remember their days at Sir Harold Jackson
Some of the extracts below were taken from a 2012 Sheffield Forum discussion about what it was like attending the school in the past
I attended the Bradway school (top of Twentywell Rd) in 1951, as the Greenhill school at the top of Bocking wasn't built then, oh such memories.The school only had 2 classrooms, both with an open fire in the middle of each one, outside toilets, very cold in winter. School dinner,s just consisted of salad, cannot remember eating anything hot, but i suppose we must have.
I attended this same two-roomed school in 1966, Mrs.Platt and Mrs.Brown were the two teachers. The following year '67 Sir Harold Jackson school opened, about 0.3miles nearer Bradway opened. Mrs.Platt moved there and taught me again.
I went to SHJ school in 1983-1987 what a fantastic school it was, Mr Driskell was the head, there was Mrs Noble I had her for two year i remember her been really strict but fair with everone, does anyone remember the school plays? there was Sweeny todd and the one that sticks in my mind is jack and the beanstalk, jack was played by James Filby the giant was played by Robert Warren, i had a video of it but i lent it out and never got it back, i would love a copy if any one has one.
Those of us who were in the Infants in the 1970's will remember Mrs Cunningham playing the piano,she had a march tune she would play to file us all out of Mrs Regents assemby ,what is the name of the music please and is it availabe on itunes?
I left Sir Harold Jackson in 2003, while I was there we had 3 different head teachers, Mr Driskell, Mrs Connor and Mr Stockley (not sure if I spelled those right).
I remember you had to answer the register with 'dinners' or 'sandwiches' and whether you had milk or not. There were 'Milk monitors' and you all took it in turns to take the register to the head's office.
Teachers I remember, Mrs Truelove, Mrs Suter, Mrs Wildsmith, Mr Julian, Mr Bocking, Mrs Hailwood, Miss Pilley/Mrs Wales. (again, not sure if I've spelled them right). I remember once in year 6 with Mrs Wales that she made a film case explode and we all got covered in vinegar I also remember Mrs Smith who taught us cooking and sewing. Mr Barnsly the old caretaker and Mr Gore. Other teachers: Mrs Scofield, Mrs Wise, Miss Sibald, Mr Bromage, Mrs Wilkinson/watson(mrs Brindly), Mr Smith, Mrs Bainbridge..
I remember when we used to have Teams for sportsday, Scott, Ralleigh, and two others that I can't quite remember..
During my time at the school this changed to Fire, Air, Earth, and Water, you got 'team points' stickers for doing well.
I remember singing in Assembly, and Mrs Freeman on the piano; and singing 'lilly the Pink' at sportsday. I sort of remember getting 'special mention' stickers or womething like that which I think 2 people in each class got in assembly whenever parents were there.. they were red and silver shiny stickers I think..
I remember Mrs Stacey, Mrs Oxendale, Mrs Robinson + Mrs Longstaff who you never saw apart, Mrs Davies the dinnerladies. I still see Mrs Davies and Mrs Oxendale around. I remember the clay pipes in the playground, the infant and junior playgrounds. The Pipes have been taken down and turned into an obstacle course in the infant play area and into huge tyres in the junior playground. The Climbing frame is still there I think! I remember the death drops on that thing.. you were the coolest in the school if you could do the 'year 6 deathdrop' which basically involved jumping off the climbing frame from a high bar.
I remember school plays and the special parents assemblies. I remember sometimes we had assembly in the scout hall which was always quite exciting (for a 7year old anyway..)
I have so many memories of that school, quite sad that it's called 'Bradway Primary' now.. though it will always be 'SHJ' to me.
I went to SHJ in the 80s, and have vague memories of Mrs Harrison, Mrs Ewens (sp?), assistant ms Blundell, and Mrs Williamson - who I remember as quite scary! Mrs Ewens used unifix for counting etc and we sang Autumn Days a lot in assembly - "...AND A WIN FOR MY HOME TEAM!..." , and played on the big concrete pipes at play time. Would love to see any photos of SHJ if anyone has any!
I went to Sir Harold Jackson 1970-1975 anybody else out there go at this time.......I remember Mr Malliband being the headmaster....then there was Miss Young, Mr Morris - who also taught gymnastics. Lunch time recorder lessons!! and I loved the playground espeically the concrete pipes to play on!!! Sports day down on the field.... :O)
Miss this place to bits!! Was there from 91 to 98. Nostalgia really kicks in here lol. The summers at playtime on the newly mowed lawn were the best.
For anyone who remembers, Mrs Harrison was the nicest teacher I ever had. Poole was a legend, that goes without saying.
Hey I went there 1982 to 1989 and remember all those teachers Mrs Williamson etc. I remember a certain pupil throwing a chair at Mr Maddox with the warts on his hands and Mr Driskell the head teacher.
Actually strange as it may be but both my children go there now and they still have the same dinner tables and chairs from the 70's and I am now a parent governor.
Excellent school, great memories and still great now.
I was there mid to late 70's before going to Jordo. Remember Mr Julian and Mr Bennet who used to give peanuts as prizes. Also remember when the snooker table arrived and there was about a 3 month waiting list for a game.
My Schooling in Bradway and recollections of Sir Harold Jackson (Bradway Primary) School (By Russell Wilks SHJ 1967-1971)
Having a September birthday, I started my schooling, as a 5 year old, in September 1965. At that time my parents lived on Prospect Road, Bradway. This was before the opening of a primary school in Bradway, children of primary age would have to go to Totley County School (Totley Primary) or Greenhill School. The only school in Bradway at that time was Bradway annexe on Bradway Road, now Bradway playgroup.
The first two years of my school days were spent at the Bradway annexe. The building housed 2 classrooms, a cloakroom and a kitchen. The toilets were outside separate to the building so extremely cold in the winter. I remember having school dinners and being made to sleep after it prior to playtime. The two teachers were Mrs Brown and Mrs Platt. I remember walking to and from school along he footpath between Bradway Drive and Kenwell Drive with my mother. She pointed out the school being built and I remember seeing the building in the middle of a bare soil field. She told me that this would be the school that I would be going to.
I started at Sir Harold Jackson School in September 1967 in the same classroom that is probably still used today for Y2, my teacher was still Mrs Platt. I remember the school being built of a coloured plastic type material either green or red, this was typical of schools built in the 60’s. I remember school assemblies every morning and singing hymns in the school hall. One assembly I remember was attended by Sir Harold Jackson and being told that he was the person that the school was named after.
The things that I remember of my time at Sir Harold Jackson School :-
There were 2 classes in my year group and in my first 2 junior years (Y3 and 4) there were 6 pupils in our class from the year group above. We must have been the oldest of our year group and the 6 pupils the youngest of the year above.
We had small bottles of milk to drink each morning, this was warm and not that nice to drink. As I got older parents could choose if you had milk or not so that’s when I told my parents that I didn’t want it. When I was in J4 (Y6) I was a milk monitor and would collect the milk from the school kitchen and take it to the classes.
All the time at school I had school dinners, these were cooked in the school kitchen. There were 2 sittings, infants then juniors. There were 8 children to a table, the food was put on the table and 2 children would be the servers and serve out the food. After dinner the tables would be put away in the kitchen entrance by J4 boys, these were called table monitors.
Every Friday afternoon there was a school assembly where various activities would take place and awards given out.
The junior years were put into houses, Scott (blue), Nelson (green) Drake(red) and Raleigh(yellow), I was in Raleigh. Points were awarded during competitions held at the Friday assembly such as quizzes, spelling etc and also at the annual sports day. I remember running in the marathon on a sports day, this was 2 laps of the school perimeter.
At this time corporal punishment was still allowed and I remember children who were naughty in class being hit on the bottom with a slipper in front of the rest of the class. I am glad to say that this did not happen to me.
I remember times table charts on the classroom wall, having to recite and being tested on them as well as spelling tests. There were writing lessons and we would progress from block writing in pencil to joined up writing in pen by J4(Y6). In J3 we were taught some basic French. We made models from cardboard boxes and painted pictures in our art lessons. In J4 pictures would be chosen to be put forward for a competition where the winning pictures would be put on display in Sheffield Central Library. One of my paintings was put forward but did not win, I remember that it was a painting of a JCB digger. In J4 we would do mathematics from Alpha and Beta books, we also had mental arithmetic books. These were called ‘6 a day’, when you finished that you went on to ‘7 a day’ etc. I became addicted to these and would spend a lot of time doing mental arithmetic to progress though the books. This resulted in me getting the 3rd highest mark for my year group in the final maths exam, to the surprise of my teacher I think.
In those days there was no internet, DVD or even video recordings. The only television was in the medical room, later to become school reception prior to the new one being built. As a class or year group we would all sit on the floor to watch an educational television program at the time that it was broadcast.
I remember that a school play was put on for parents and the rest of the school at Christmas time. My first involvement in this was as an 8 year old in J1(Y3). I still remember the first line that I had in the play. I walked to the stage through the audience from the back of the room and my line was ‘Put the keg down here Henry’ at which the audience of parents burst out laughing. Probably the sight of me in walking boots shouting out my line. In J4 I was cast as Abanazar and the Lord High Executioner, alternating performances with another pupil. I found it easy to learn and deliver lines and would often learn other roles as well as mine. This set me up for my years in panto later in life.
I remember going on school trips, especially in J4 when the trip was to London travelling on the train. I still have some of the photographs that I took while we were there. We went to the Tower of London and saw the crown jewels. We went up the monument to the fire of London, saw the cenotaph, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. We then went to London Zoo before travelling back on the train.
Sport was a big part of the school and in J4 I played in the school football team, the pitch being on the school field, we would play against other Sheffield primary schools. In the summer the sport was rounders and I played for the school at this also. At junior school my main sport was swimming. I remember that for a term J4 children would have swimming lessons at Glossop Road swimming baths. I think these were on a Monday morning, pupils would board a double decker bus and be transported to the baths. As an 8 year old I was a very good swimmer and was allowed to go with the J4’s on their swimming lessons, this continued through all my junior school education. I don’t know if this would be allowed today. At the end of the year there was an all Sheffield school swimming gala at which I won many races. I later represented Sheffield school’s teams in swimming around the country.
My primary education at Sir Harold Jackson School prepared me very well for my later life. In addition to the more formal education an interest in acting was started leading to panto performances. My interest in sport was started, I still compete and do well in a National Police swimming event every year.
The first pupils at Sir Harold Jackson school in 1967:
I attended (what I call) Little Bradway, but known to most as the ‘Annexe’, 1965-66 and 66-67.
I then attended SHJ 1967-68 (J1), 68-69 (J2), 69-70 (J3), and 70-71 (J4) – but with a slight twist in the tale. I’ve spoken with a friend (who attended the same classes and schools as I did 1965-1978) and he confirms my recollection: We were sent to Greenhill junior school after Little Bradway but for how long we can’t remember. It was for at least one term but may have been longer. I think that would tie in with the story that SHJ wasn’t completely finished/ready by September 1967. As for who went to Greenhill, again I’m not sure, but I think that it was at least one full class of (J1) pupils.
To add to the tale: I’ve attached a scan of the cover of a school book that I possess from 1967. My name was written by a teacher but I had written (in pencil) the school name (Sir Harold Jackson) and the class (J1). This would suggest to me that we were Sir Harold Jackson pupils in ‘exile’ at Greenhill but it’s a long time ago so I would be interested to know if any records exist which would back my version of events. Oh, if you’re wondering about the ‘pictures’ on the cover they were my attempts at trees, flowers, butterflies, etc.!
I’ve also attached a scan of the first page of this small exercise book - dated September 7th (1967). The book was basically recording notes about nature, the entries seem random and are not weekly. I’ve also attached a page from the 29th March 1968, the nearest entry I have to the 22nd. It is a bit faint towards the end but I can just read it – not that it makes much sense J - and for the sake of posterity I’ve made a transcription:-
In Spring the farmer has baby horses they are called foal.
The cows are having calfs.
The sheep are having there lambs the mother sheep are called ewe. The animals that were a sleep all winter are wak-ing up. In some countrys it is still winter.
The ladybirds are about. You can see lots of molehills.
The rabbits are popping up.
My spelling and grammar hasn’t improved much in 50 years!
This is the only book I have from 67-68, I do remember having others but they must have been thrown away in the countless house moves over the past half century. I do have several other books/assignments from later years though, here are a couple of stories:-
We went to London in 1971 and we were given a booklet each. I’ve attached a couple of scanned pages from it. I remember the trip fairly well and I have some photos (somewhere) mainly of school friends. One memorable event was going to a kiosk to purchase a can of pop. I was told the price was 20 (new) pence – 4 shillings – nearly two weeks’ pocket money for me! Obviously trying to rip-off tourists and/or take advantage of confusion brought in with the introduction of the decimal currency! We also saw Chi-Chi the giant panda – quite an attraction in those days – she died one year later (In the 70s we named our cat after Chi-Chi).
The other attachments are from a school ‘diary’ 1970-71 – again the entries appear to be random and sometimes written weeks apart. On July 7th 1971 we had a sports day – I finished last in two events but managed to come first in two events. I’ve attached scans of the entry plus a scan of the (rather generic) Sport’s Day badge for coming 1st (I did have two badges but have lost one of them). I see also that my many incorrect spellings of Raleigh went unnoticed! Oh, and I loved the milk! Always tried to get a second bottle! When I (and friends) became milk monitors we used to try to pile as many (metal) crates as possible onto the trolley (one on top of another) then push it as fast as we could around the outside of the building. I’m sure that there must have been breakages but I can’t remember!
Past teachers at Sir Harold Jackson Primary School
Dorothy Mosley (teacher at Sir Harold Jackson from the 1960's until the 1980's)
Peter Julian (teacher at Sir Harold Jackson from 1972 until 2003)
I started at Sir Harold Jackson Primary School in 1972. It was my first job on leaving Matlock College of Education, I was very young looking and very nervous! On my first visit I met the Headteacher, Mr Mallaband who spent ten minutes talking about the school and twenty about hockey and playing for Sheffield Teachers who were short of players! The rest of the day was spent with Mr Jenkins, a newly qualified teacher. He had a strong Birmingham accent and I found it very difficult to understand him!
In my first year the topic was The Sea and I spent much of the summer holiday at home in Cornwall collecting shells, sand, seaweed, part of a fishing net and even a lobster pot! Topic work then went out of fashion but has returned a few times since.
When I started things were very different,there were no computers, interactive whiteboards, or photocopiers, we wrote in chalk on the blackboard and drew worksheets by hand, copied onto a Banda machine and school reports were hand written. We used a radio which plugged into the wall for assembly broadcasts, music programmes, music and movement and watched television broadcasts on a huge TV on a large wheeled stand, a great treat then! We only had one hall as the Scout Hut hadn't been built. The infants had earlier morning break times and finished ten minutes earlier at the end of the day. I remember the infant teachers coming through my PE lessons for their coffee. The reception class was in the Bradway Annex. The infant classes were called I1 and I2 and the juniors were J1 – J6. My first class was in J1and my classroom was were the Art Room which is now one of the Year Six classrooms. In those days there used to be two members of staff on playground duty and I shared with a man who used to smoke his pipe!
One day on duty in the infant playground a little boy asked me to zip up his coat. He said “I've tried to do it but it wouldn't let me!”
Unfortunately Mr Mallaband passed away near the end of my first year and the Deputy, Miss young was Acting Head until Mr Sharp was appointed. I also worked with Mr Driskell, Mrs Connor and of course Mr Stockley.
My first responsibility was for PE and I ran the football and cricket teams for many years, winning both competitions once. I then moved to mathematics, then science and ended up with IT. I also inherited a very important task, collecting the staff tea and coffee money! My other claim to fame is getting coat coats fitted in the gents staff toilet!
I remember the National Curriculum being introduced, then changed not long after for a different version. Also SATs came in and I vividly remember the three Ofsted Inspections! On sports days we latterly had a staff race as well as parents races and I won, once beating and upsetting Mrs Wales, a proud moment!
So many changes, so many members of staff, so many children taught but my enduring memories are always of hard working staff and pupils, supportive parents and a happy school. On my occasional visits to school productions I'm sure that nothing has changed. I enjoyed my time working at Bradway and to all involved, keep up the good work.
Mr Julian with his class in the early 1970s
SHJ staff in the 1980's
If you are an ex-pupil or ex member of staff from the early days and have any stories or pictures that you would be willing to share, we would love to hear from you and we hope to see you at our 1960’s themed community Golden Anniversary picnic on Friday 13 the July 2018. You can contact the school by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone on 01142363723.