We recently did a post about memories of being at primary school during the 1980s! But what happened when you made the great leap to secondary school? Things were a lot different to the sweet and innocent days of singing hymns and drinking milk.

Secondary school was a strange world where it mattered what was on your lunchbox and what you were carrying your books in.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

Let’s dive back and have a look at fifteen memories of being at secondary school in the 1980s.

1. Covering Your Exercise Books

Covering school exercise books in 80s wallpaper was the done thing back at secondary school. Not cool, marble print…we’re talking garishly bad floral designs.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

2. Covering Ring-Binders

Everyone used to have a ring binder to keep all their paperwork together, and it was inevitable that these would be covered in Smash Hits stickers…even the rubbish ones with Big Fun on them.

3. A Colour Changing Biro

At school, sometimes the teacher would ask you to re-write something in red, or green, or make changes in a different colour. To save space, everyone would have one of those chunky pens that could change colour with a simple click.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

4. Going To Woolworths For Your Stationary

Before school started again in September, you would go for a visit to Woolworths (R.I.P) or WH Smith to get all your brand new stationary that you would end up loosing within the first week.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

5. Using A Head Holdall Bag

You would carry all of your P.E kit and basically anything else you had in a pastel-hued Head holdall bag. It was basically bigger than you were.

6. Getting Your New School Shoes From Clarks

Am I the only one who got excited about having their feet measured for new school shoes? To do this, a trip to Clarks was more than likely in order.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

7. Wearing A Naff Co 54 Jacket

You had a jacket and it was a shiny Naf Naf ‘Naff Co 54’ bomber. It was most likely a fake one bought off the market, and you were unaware that it was emblazoned with drug paraphernalia.

8. Handwriting

PCs didn’t exist like they do today, so you would have to hand-write your massive and ridiculously detailed project on English Kings and Queens or the Egyptians.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

9. Playing Granny’s Garden


Your mind was blown by playing Granny’s Garden on the school’s BBC Micro computer. You would be scared out of your white, pull-up socks of the wicked witch and the spooky soundtrack.

10. The TV On Wheels

You will never know joy like it after seeing the TV being wheeled into the classroom, knowing that you will be spending the whole lesson watching ‘Look and Read: Badger Girl’ instead of doing work.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_dVa8″]

11. Hearing Three Bells

That beautiful sound of hearing three bells, signalling a wet-break. And what did wet-break mean…it meant chaos in the corridors of course.

12. Going Outside For A Lesson

In the last days of term, before the summer holiday, you might get that one saint of a teacher who decided that they were going to deliver the lesson on the playing field, because why not?

[adunit mobile=”RTK_wCZW”]

13. Your Lunch Box

What was on the outside of your lunchbox was much more important than what was inside it. It was either My Little Pony, He-Man or nothing basically.

14. Forget Pokemon Cards

The 80s were about swapping stickers for your Panini album and trading Garbage Pail Kids cards.

[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]

15. Bath Beads/Animal Soap

At Christmas, you would buy all your friends bath beads and animal soaps gift sets in baskets from The Body Shop at Christmas time (with your mum’s money of course.)