Downtime – Primary School Memories

Do you remember ‘downtime’ at primary school? Were you given milk and a rusk biscuit? Could you ever fall asleep?

In the 50’s, the school day was split into assemblies, lessons, playtime and downtime. Visits from the school nurse would break up the daily routine, as well as regular checks from the nit nurse.

A large class of napping infants was an ordinary sight after playtime; occasionally it was difficult to sleep at night due to the drone of heavy bombers above.

Members of the Spring Chicken community have been reminiscing on their downtime:

‘We had little camp beds. We were given wool blankets in the winter, but I didn’t like them because they were really rough and smelt of mothballs.’

‘My husband said when he went to nursery in the 40’s, there was a lot of wet patches after they woke up.’

Some studies suggest that a midday nap can help pre-school children remember what they learned in the morning.
Were you provided with a camp bed, a mat, or did you have to sleep with your head on the desk? Perhaps your school didn’t have downtime – but did that ever stop you?

‘Whenever I fell asleep at school I had a board rubber thrown at me!’

A few Spring Chicken Facebook Followers still relish their ‘downtime’:

‘I sit down in the afternoon and I start watching a TV show, and then I wake up watching a different one! The only difference since primary school is I now don’t lie on the floor (I wouldn’t be able to get back up until the emergency services arrived!)’

Many of us could certainly do with some downtime at work…

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