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60 Things About Irish Primary School That You'll Have Forgotten About

By clodagh

August 13, 2019 at 7:31am


Though you can probably remember your first (quite teary) first day of primary school, the rest of it seems like a blur of ties and finger on lips.

We tend to look back on our days in "big school" fondly, there's a lot that we forget about.

All the little things that made going to an Irish primary school so unique.

Almost everyone will recognise at least one of these things:

1. Being in awe of the teachers speaking Irish to one another

You tried your best to understand them, but you could never follow them.

2. Feeling like you were hearing gossip when there was an intercom announcement

You felt like you were being let in on a state secret.

3. Welcoming a passing teacher like they were a guest

You just wanted them to stay and talk to your teacher for ages.

4. Having to line up to go anywhere

Literally anywhere. Out to the yard, to go to assembly, come back into the classroom.

You could not move if you weren't in a linear fashion.

5. Fingers on lips

Putting your finger on your lip was key. To anything.

Once you put your finger on the lip, you were sorted.

6. The pure joy of getting to ring the bell

Five minutes out of the classroom and the sense of responsibility?

Yes pleaaaaase.

7. The stress of wearing anything other than your uniform

Be it non-uniform day, Halloween or dress up day.

We could not handle it.

8. Sudocrem

The cure to all.

9. The innovation for the nativity costumes

Tea-towels on our heads. Genius.

10. Teachers saying "téigh a chodladh"

When all they really wanted was a break for themselves.

11. Muzzy Mór

'nuff said.

12. The iconic school books

Tara and Ben, Busy at Maths, all of the Fonn Irish books.


And of course...

13. Alive-O

The book, the songs. Everything.

14. Weekly spelling tests

You would recite the word in your head over and over again, only to forget it at the last second.

15. The Sex Ed video

Terribly uninformative and incredibly awkward.

16. The Drumcondra tests

Those mysterious tests that came around once in a while that you never, ever got your results for.

17. The ecstasy when a teacher would wheel the TV into the room

Only to realise you're getting The Talk.

18. Going all out for the 6th Class disco

Getting a date, ignoring each other all night and, if you're lucky, a bit of slow dancing.


19. Forming a new club with your friends every day

The membership was strict AF and you had to earn your way in.

20. The school "library"

Which was literally a shelf of books.

21. Having a tap in the classroom

Utter madness.

22. Panicking about who you would sit beside on the school tour

Especially if your group of friends was an odd number.

23. Minding the younger students

And feeling like God as you walk them down to the church in the village.

24. Mala

Oh, the creations you could make back in the day.

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25. Cheering when you hear your teacher is out

"No homework!"

26. The nature table

Complete with random twigs you found on the way to school and all.

27. The utter silence when the principal walked in

You felt guilty even if you were actually doing your work.

28. And saying 'slán leat agus go raibh maith agat' in a dead person's voice when they left the room

As you breathed with relief that you survived the encounter.

29. That one person who never shared his colours


30. Prayers

So many prayers, for every different occasion.

31. Wearing casual clothes and bringing in sweets for the end of year party

It was like Christmas in your classroom.

32. Full on brawls in the playground over Pokemon cards

Friendships were broken and wounds were sustained.

33. Arguing with friends in other schools over the use of Yard V Playground

Spoiler: playground is the right term.

34. Bringing in a "treat" every Friday

And making sure your treat was waaay better than everyone elses.

35. Ham sandwiches

Some lucky feckers got Nutella sandwiches, but you got stuck with ham.

Every day.

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36. Calling it "big school" when you first started primary school

You thought you were a real adult.

37. The colourful plastic toys

Specifically the bears and paper clips.

38. Making "art" on Fridays

You can make everything with your hands dipped in paint.

39. Getting an ice pack no matter the injury

The first aid kit was literally an ice pack.

Wrapped in a cloth.

40. The floor

The itchy carpet and lino that was perfect for sliding on.

41. Strutting around after winning at Sports Day

You flashed your medal with pride.

42. Accusing people of cheating when you didn't win at Sports Day

How else could you lose?!

43. The ridiculous rules

Like having "indoor" and "outdoor" shoes.

44. Only being allowed on the grass during Spring

It was too mucky any other time.

45. Learning life skills

Like how to play "Hot Cross Buns" on recorder.
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46. The pure disgust at having to spend break inside when it was raining

But sometimes you got to play games, so silver linings and all that.

47. When one kid got sick, so did everyone else

It was like a dominoes of vomiting.

48. The huge roll books the teachers used

You could only imagine the secrets it held.

49. The comedian in the class who would say something else instead of "anseo"

"Cillian?" "Maybe, Miss!"


50. Learning how to write joined writing

Painstakingly practicing in those writings books.

51. Graduating to a fountain pen

But you'd spend your time using those magic correcter pens.

52. Praying you wouldn't get that one teacher next year

But yet, you always did.

53. Destroying your school shirt on the last day of school

You needed everyone to sign it.

54. Having to invite everyone to your birthday party

But it meant more presents, so you never really complained.

55. The mortifying moment you called your teacher "mam" by accident

You never live it down.

56. Going to aboslute town on the school fair

Second hand puzzle game with three pieces missing? Yes please!

57. Practising dance routines at lunch

Mini Britney Spears, so you were.

58. Using these bad boys to protect your precious snacks

And no, I won't share.

59. The joy when your teacher brought you back presents from their holidays

Bookmarks galore.

60. And finally, sharpening your pencils at the bin and having a small council meeting with your mates

The most urgent matters were discussed here.

Those were the days.

READ NEXT: 15 Things That Used To Put The Fear of God Into You As A Child


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