As part of the Schools centenary celebrations in 2010 a book was published, this included the memories written by many of the schools teachers. Over the following weeks we will be adding excerpts from these to the website.
I started teaching in Llandovery County Primary School in September 1986. Mr J R Davies was the Headmaster. I taught the middle infant class in the “B” stream, Mrs Crow taught the first infant class and Mrs Gealy taught the top infants. The first classroom I taught in is now Mrs Walters’ class. There were no blinds on the windows then and I recollect how hot it was during the summer months. In the Summer of 1988 the school was visited by Her Majesty’s Inspectors. There were two inspectors, one was a lady who wore an emerald green suit during the visit and she became known as the “Green Goddess”- at this time Diana Moran was the exercise guru on breakfast television. Following the inspection it was recommended that Mrs Rees who taught the Infants in the “A” stream and I should swop classrooms so that the younger children in her class would be nearer to the toilet facilities.
The next classroom I taught in was above the boiler room, this was the classroom that I taught in up to December 2003. There was a water storage tank in this class mounted high up in the ceiling on a shelf, we often heard noises coming from the boiler room below but then the water tank began to moan and groan. One day we returned to the classroom after the lunch hour to find the tank shaking quite violently and the classroom full of steam. We had to evacuate! The water tank was relocated into the attic above the classroom. In the 1990’s we saw the advent of the National Curriculum. Children did SATs (Standard Assessment Tasks) during their last term in Year 2. The school was given a new name in 1994 and became Ysgol Rhys Prichard. During another inspection by HMI in January 2002, a child told an inspector that there were some very important people coming to the school; when asked who these people were the child replied inspectors. When asked how will we recognise these inspectors the child replied that they would be wearing uniforms and helmets. This fortunately quite amused the inspector. Not long after this inspection the school was informed of the new extension that would be built.
In January 2004 we moved into our new classrooms in the extension. We had an Interactive Whiteboard, the worktops around the classroom and the sink were at a height accessible to the children, and each classroom had a spacious store cupboard!
I have many anecdotes and happy memories of my time at YRP. I recall during my first year a child writing an account which quite surprised me; we had picture stamps which were about “doing” things. The picture the child had chosen was of someone digging, the passage began “I am digging up my dead sweetheart” here I heard echoes of Emily Bronte! I remember another pupil recording in his News book the tragic accident when the railway bridge at Glanrhyd collapsed; the picture this six year old drew was amazing in its detail and poignancy, I still have this picture. I recollect someone once saying that the three wise men brought very special gifts to Jesus they were gold, Frankenstein and myrrh; each year when the Christmas story is told this part of the story always brings a smile to my face. Last year the children in the Urdd took part in the “Cân Actol” competition which was on the main stage at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, I accompanied them on the Steinway Grand Piano. A few months later I was in the auditorium, it was then it struck me how many people were there that night and I kept telling my children that I played the piano on that stage – what an experience!
In September 2010 the children in my class will embark on the Foundation Phase, a structured play and active learning based curriculum. I will embark on my 25th year at Ysgol Rhys Prichard I feel privileged and proud to be part of the team that work in and has worked in YRP.