Who remembers Sacred Heart in the 1970s

Over the last couple of weeks, we have looked back on junior and infant schools from Hartlepool in the 1970s.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 10:00 am
Mask making at Sacred Heart School in Hartlepool in 1972.

It’s a great chance to reflect on the teachers of the time and the fun lessons you took.

This week, we are turning the clock back to 1972 for memories of Sacred Heart Junior and Infants.

Eight-year-olds get to climb the ropes during a physical education session at Sacred Heart in 1972.

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When the Hartlepool Mail paid a visit that year, our reporter was blown away with how good it was and how progressive the outlook was of Mr Orde and his team.

There was WH Orde the headteacher and Dennis Winspear, who took arts and crafts.

The biggest class only had 35 pupils and the days were divided into two distinct halves. There was the staple diet of maths, English and other traditional lessons in the morning. But the afternoons were devoted to activities which were more in line with a secondary education, said Mr Orde at the time.

“They may be going to the gym, to art and craft lessons, to the music room, the library or to one of the labs,” he added.

Eight-year-olds get to climb the ropes during a physical education session at Sacred Heart in 1972.

Mr Orde had been headmaster for four years by 1972, but he had taught at the school for 29 years. So he knew exactly what he wanted for his students – and that was a proper preparation for the educational life ahead.

He explained: “I taught in a senior school and I know how confused the children can become in the first few weeks at secondary school with all the moving around. I think that our children will be a bit better equipped for this.”

Mr Orde was great at bringing in specialists to help pupils develop further. A music teacher came in four afternoons a week and the Mail reporter got to hear a “very accomplished” fourth year choir in full flow.

Mr Winspear, who took arts and crafts, was another to sing the praises of a very modern school.

He said the children didn’t have lessons in rooms where they doubled up for different uses.

“The children can roll modelling clay on the tables as much as they want,” he said.

A large hall was used solely for assembly and school plays.

The smaller hall was purely a gym with a dedicated changing room next to it.

The Mail reporter added: “The school has enjoyed a long tradition in local sport and its main achievement in recent years is winning the five-a-side junior cup three times in four years. This year they hope to make it four years out of five.”

A new addition that year was the school netball team and it was already doing well.

Were you a pupil in the 1970s and do you remember the teachers?

And how did the five-a-side team do that year? Or the netball side?

Or perhaps you went to another Hartlepool school and would like to reflect on the friends you made, or the teachers who taught you?

We would love to hear from readers about their schooldays and which lessons were their favourite.

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