Chapter 17      School Opening

On Wednesday 20th June, Thamesview School was officially opened. We were asked to put special displays in our rooms, and the classes were going to perform for the many parents and VIP's. One of the teachers asked me and Jacqueline and David to have tea with her to save us going home. Peter and Margaret could batch.

It was quite an occasion and many of the teachers had bought new outfits. Marie who had come from India many years ago, and who had married a Swede, looked very attractive in her ensemble. She had been on a diet for most of the year, hoping to be lovely and slim for her son's wedding. This had inspired about half of the staff to go on diets, for they were mostly overweight. I wrote to my exchangee in Australia and mentioned the rash of slimming which had followed Marie's resolution. Apparently she was also 'well built' and replied that she would have to watch her step. If she were going to return to a 'much reduced' staff.

She was also apparently a great deal more artistic than I, who had had a lot of trouble trying to think of things to pin on the walls, and hang from strings, until the whole effect was reminiscent of a paper jungle. All the visitors strolled through all the rooms, which opened onto each other, and the teachers were to be in the room to explain 'open planning' and 'integrated day' and 'family grouping'. I was not yet sure I understood myself, but I think I gave the right answers. After speeches, choral and dramatic items in the Infants Assembly Hall, we crossed the playground to a tree planting ceremony, a gymnastic display and supper in the Junior School.

We were now officially OPEN.

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