Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Selective school?

This is Toward Primary School, a shot taken in the late afternoon as we returned from a wind-blown walk round the shore road - a carefully-chosen route to give us as much sun as possible on a day like this. To the north are the dark piles of cumulus that had produced torrential showers over Dunoon all day; the clouds tend to hug the hills in the west wind and this low-lying part of the coast often misses them.

But the school always strikes me as being so different even from the primary schools in Dunoon - this modest building right on the beach, with a large area of grass on the other side of the car park and the fields of cattle across the road. I don't know how many pupils are there just now, but it's a far cry from my own city experience as a child in a tall 19th century building in the West End, with 30-40 pupils per class in high-ceilinged rooms with dark varnished wooden dadoes and these lethal windows that opened inward on a ratchet with a cord that only the teacher could ever operate. Here, I look at the climbing wall in the playground and the plots of growing things in the grassy area, and the beach and the sea - and think it must feel like going into prison when it comes time for the move to the Grammar School.

Such different childhoods our children experience - and not by any means entirely destined by the ability to pay.

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