IF THERE WAS one thing everyone loved about primary school it was the chance to get out and about with the class.
Whether it was down the road to the local park for a teddy bear’s picnic or up the hill to pick leaves for an art project, any time spent out in the open was cherished.
Of course, no little outing could possibly compare to the school tour.
We’ve cast an eye over our own national/primary school experiences to recall a selection of things everybody remembers about those glorious olden days.
1. The morning of the big reveal
There was no end of excitement as the teacher finally told the class where you’d be going and you proudly marched home with the permission slip for your parents to sign.
2. Being too excited to sleep the night before
The prospect of getting to sit on a bus with your friends for hours was just TOO much for your little mind to handle.
The slightest hint of sunlight and you’d be out of the bed.
3. Mammy/Daddy filling your lunch box with extra treats
Sure wasn’t it a special occasion? That extra chocolate bar or packet of Burger Bites was totally warranted. Even if you did eat them all the second you got on the bus.
4. Basking in the glory of not having to wear your uniform
If you had a school tracksuit it wasn’t quite the same.
5. The ever-amusing sight of your teacher in ‘normal clothes’
They were always so prim and proper in school that the sight of them in jeans or a tracksuit seemed like such a big deal.
It was almost like watching a David Attenborough documentary.
6. The intense competition/lottery of who got to sit next to who on the bus
Everybody had their favourites and if the class had an uneven number of pupils nobody wanted to end up having to take the seat beside the teacher.
7. Listening to music with one headphone each
Another great reason to pick your partner wisely. Nothing said ‘grown up’ like having your own music to listen to.
If you were really smart you might even make your own tape especially for the journey, which someone could probably convince the bus driver to play, if he was nice.
8. Screaming songs at the top of your lungs for the duration of the journey
Eventually you’d be asked to quieten down so the “poor bus driver” could concentrate on the road.
9. Attempting to get passing truck drivers to beep their horns
Purely for the sake of it. And the feeling of success when they actually did.
10. That poor kid who always got sick
There was always one child who overdid it on the sweets, got too warm on the bus, or just couldn’t cope with the travel sickness.
11. And the one who was always BURSTING for a wee
There was significantly less sympathy for this eejit.
12. Crying SAME SEATS! when you arrived at your destination
Anyone who tried to disobey this order on the way back was to be shunned.
13. Getting lost while map reading in some type of of Irish forest
Or wandering aimlessly around a farm, feeling incredibly jealous of the other class who got to go somewhere deadly like Mosney, The Zoo or Clara Lara.
You just KNEW they were all over that pirate ship.
14. The smell of everyone’s warm sandwiches
With not a single open window to be found on the bus all those ham sambos were sweating by the time you actually got to eat them.
15. Ditching your pre-packed lunch to buy snacks from the nearest tuck shop
See above: Sweaty sandwiches and bruised bananas weren’t in the SLIGHTEST bit appealing.
Any excuse to buy an extra packet of Onion Rings, a few jellies, several cheap chocolate bars and a bottle of Cadet was more than welcome.
16. Your teacher having a conniption when someone couldn’t be accounted for in the head count
And the relief when it turned out that the eejit had been doing something under their seat all along.
17. The earliest indications of puppy love
If you went to a mixed school there was always the chance of love blossoming on a day out. You might even catch some of the sixth class crowd kissing down the back of the bus.
18. And the unfortunate realisation that things would be back to normal the next day
Your wonderful tour would seem like nothing more than a dream when you returned to the classroom.
You’d still chance your arm and ask for another day with no homework though.
Now tell us, what do you remember about yours?