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Whaea Sue's memories

How has Titahi Bay North School changed since you began here?

We had pine trees by the school entrance and on the bank, and a sandpit was by the hall. Also there were pohutakawa. There were fewer classes then. It was more open to the public and a lot more people. We had prefabs and they were behind the junior block. We had no shade areas. School is more open now with playing equipment and fewer kids. There are new paths. The classrooms and office have been upgraded. The hall is new too.

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What were your favourite things to do when you were a student?

When I was a student the favourite thing to do was play and I looked forward to sports day. Sports day was from 9am – 3pm. Parents, grandparents and family came and we had picnic lunches on the bank. Sports were the sack race, egg and spoon race, long jump, high jump and the horse.

Another thing we looked forward to was the school gala. We had our houses which were four colours (red, yellow, green and blue.) Yellow was Huia, red –Tūī, blue – Kiwi, and green – Weka. In our houses we had queens. Sue was queen of Huia. We had to compete against each house. The school gala was the best in Titahi Bay. At the gala they had a thermometer which was marked to show how much the houses had fundraised. The other thing I looked forward to was cross country.

What was school like when you were here?

At playtimes, we played hopscotch, elastics, and bullrush. We were allowed to go on the bank. We played on the jungle gym. We played marbles, knucklebones and if we didn’t have knucklebones we used stones. We had a big flying fox, hula hoops, skipping, rugby, and netball. We used to make a water slide down the bank.

The teachers were hard, you wouldn’t want to answer them back. Just for talking you would get one warning and then you got the strap. It was a piece of leather. They were stricter but they were fair. Men always used to wear ties and they were well dressed. Woman used mini skirts and nice dress jackets or dresses. Girls wore mostly dresses and skirts. The boys used to wear tucked up shorts. We had maths, reading, social studies, music, and physical education (PE) every day.

We had assembly on the back netball court in classes. We would walk down marching and singing "This old man". We had to stand to attention and sing the National Anthem when the flag had been raised. Every morning the flag had to go up. In the classrooms they had an intercom system and if the principal wanted anyone he would call them out through the intercom. Every morning I had to drink a little bottle of milk.

How do you think that has changed in regard to what Titahi Bay North School is like today?

The good thing about it is that the school is still a very family orientated place. It is much smaller than was it was back then. Class sizes are smaller now. There were 38 children in a class back then and it is more relaxed now. The only good thing is that the children had more respect for adults and other children then. There was a lot of punishment and you knew you couldn’t cross the line. We had plenty of spelling, reading and tables for homework. There were more Pākehā in the school.

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