It was the icing on the birthday cake when former Slade Primary pupil, Joyce Seal, when she returned to her old school – nearly 80 years after she packed up her satchel.
Delighted pupils and staff welcomed back their guest – who turned 90 on Saturday 21 April – for a tour of the school, which has a rich and celebrated history and is now part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP).
Joyce joined Slade in 1935 aged 7 and left in 1939 when she was 11. Sharing her favourite memory of school, Joyce recalled her teacher, Miss Hanley, playing a large part in her happiness.
The former pupil enjoyed attending school because it gave her a break from the demands of home life and her wish had been to join the athletics club. Last week, she encouraged others to get the most out of school and to create their own fond memories.
Joyce’s wise words to students in 2018 are:
Enjoy it- while you’re young, make the most of it… and do things! Don’t just watch TV all day.”
During the visit, Joyce and her family met staff and pupils as they swapped tales of school days. She even brought in some keepsakes from her time at Slade – a Christmas Card decorated with her photograph, from 1937, along with a school report from 1939, on which the headteacher commented, ‘Joyce is keen and rapidly improving.’
Headteacher Helen Hastilow said:
We loved meeting Joyce and showing her around the school again and hope she had a very happy 90th birthday!
Slade is very much at the heart of the community and it was great for our children to hear all about life in the ‘old days’ while Joyce learnt more about today’s learning. It was wonderful to see all generations, fascinated and sharing their positive experiences of school and making some new memories at the same time.”