These remarkable pictures represent a small sample of an archive that I inherited from the 'old school'. I've had them for about 11 years, carefully stored at the back of a filing cabinet in my office. The celebrations this year have prompted me to get some of them scanned and this is the result.
As a photography teacher, I'm impressed by the quality of many of these pictures. Some of them have a surreal charm. Some are hilarious - the children rolling around in the snow, for example. Some have a purely documentary interest. One or two of the portraits are striking. They capture a variety of activities - school trips to Scotland and the Alps, cooking and eating, DT projects, sports days. They remind us that the school used to have cherry trees on the concourse and the Ferrier Estate once loomed over us.
Many of the individuals in these pictures must now be grandparents. As I'm never tired of telling my students, (mis-quoting Roland Barthes) photographs remind us of things lost. My favourite image is of a young boy wearing flared jeans and Doctor Marten boots gently extracting something hot from a school oven with the aid of a tea towel. He doesn't yet know whether what he's cooked is beautiful or edible. I can't help thinking that this is the perfect visual metaphor for education.
-- Jon Nicholls