10 School Memories Only True 80s Kids Will Appreciate

While our school days did feature peer pressure, homework, detention and low self-esteem, they also had bucket loads of fun and friendship, leading to some of the greatest memories of childhood.

Below are 10 school-based memories that will only make sense to you true Eighties Kids, recollections that will fill your tummy with that lovely feeling of nostalgia, and have you longing for the days when you were free of mortgages, grey hairs and responsibilities. We really hope that you enjoy viewing them.

10. Helix Calculator Pencil Boxes

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We all owned a pencil case at school, but whilst some of us made do with ones that had an illustration of our favourite cartoon character on them, a select few had a pencil case that looked like a calculator.


Why anyone thought that a pencil case being disguised as a (non-working) calculator was a good idea we don’t know, but at the same time we also remember thinking they were the greatest thing since sliced bread!

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9. SMP Maths Books

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SMP stood for ‘School Mathematics Project’, and we suspect that one look at a workbook from the 1980s has brought you out in a sweat.

Whether it was long division, fractions or decimal places, maths was (and still is) a big struggle for us, but thankfully our SMP books have long since been consigned to the rubbish dump!

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8. Head Bags

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As school children there were one or two bags that, if you were lucky enough to own them, put you right at the top of the food chain and gave you the much sought after status of ‘cool kid’.

One such example was the Head bag, which was normally used to store P.E. Kits, but gave the owner extra street cred if it was also used for everyday school equipment.

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7. Berol Pens

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The clever kids (we’ll say it, the swots), wouldn’t be seen dead writing in anything less than the finest fountain pen, but for the rest of us, a Berol Pen was about as good as it got.

And whilst they didn’t allow us to join up our writing as fluently as our nib using classmates, they were really fun to melt on a radiator and make bendy.

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6. Hymn Books

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Whilst many of us haven’t sung a hymn since we were in school, a simple bar or two of our favourite assembly ditty is all it takes to transport us right back to our youth.

From ‘all things bright and beautiful’ to ‘the lord of the dance’, school was full of songs that will stay with us until the day we pass away.

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5. Granny’s Garden

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Granny’s Garden was one of the state of the art games that we enjoyed on our school’s BBC Micro computer, and whilst you may not remember the name, we bet that you’ll recognise the screenshot.

Granny’s Garden featured a terrifying wicked witch and some (for the time) rather scary sound effects. If we remember correctly, you’d have to type in simple commands such as ‘look’ and ‘run’ in order to progress through the game. And of course we’re sure that, like us, you never even dreamed of testing the computer to see if it understood any rude words…

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4. Bunsen Burners

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Letting young boys (and girls, we know what you were like!) play with Bunsen Burners was like asking Lions to behave in a cage alongside a timid deer. It was simply asking for trouble.

Thankfully, most of us were usually on our best behaviour, but there was always that one trainee Arsonist who would insist on burning a hole on our jumper or pencil case.

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3. One, Two, Three And Away! Reading Books

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Were we to mention a 1980s school reading book series called #One, Two, Three And Away!’, then you might have had absolutely no idea what we were talking about.

But once we mention the characters that featured in this popular learn to read series, we suspect that your memories will come flooding back rather quickly. Roger Red-hat, Billy Blue-hat and Jennifer Yellow-hat anyone?

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2. Chalk Boards

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The late 80s and early 90s saw the transition from black chalkboards to white marker pen ones, and we don’t know about you, but we couldn’t wait to see the back of black!

If you’ve ever heard the noise of a teacher (or classmate’s) nails being scraped down a chalkboard, then you’ll know that it truly is one of the most horrific sounds one can ever experience.

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1.Electronic Pencil Sharpeners

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Whilst a blunt pencil is usually a source of frustration, if our teacher had one of those electronic sharpeners, we couldn’t wait for our HB to lose its lead.

We don’t remember ever being allowed to use the device ourselves, but even hearing the sound it made was more than enough to satisfy us.