The 'Streaming' System ('54-'59)


My name is John Brown.  "John" is my second name, but I went through school like all the other boys being called and responding to surname only.  So I was “Brown”.  So whereas I can remember quite a few surnames because of the repetitive calling of the register, many first names are either forgotten or never known.  The girls were always addressed with two names.

I joined 1B in 1954, form room Art Room 2, form master Mr Carpenter.  There was obviously some sort of system of forming the classes by section of the alphabet.  Perhaps 1A were elite.  In 1B the register went – Bailey, Barrett, Bracey, Brett, Brown, Bulpitt, Busse, Clarke – then with some gaps of names I have forgotten between – Dawkins*, Emerson, Hooper, Johns(t)on, Jones and Kenward.  And nothing after K.  The girls had an even shorter alphabetical coverage, starting with Jennifer Alexander and Rosemary Ayling and finishing with Jennifer Gibson and Christine Goodacre.

( *Dawkins is the same Dawkins already mentioned in a web connection.) 

Next year into 2B with form master Mr Jones (French and German).  After 3A, I think the language/science streaming took place in that year, I went to 4L (language with Mr Partridge).  Those that didn’t get selected for 4L or 4S went into General Studies forms – I think they were 4GS1 and 4GS2, something like that.  The streaming was just an emphasis.  It didn’t mean that science subjects were not taken in 4L.  Indeed I ended up dropping Spanish and Latin and taking GCEs in Physics with Chemistry and Biology.  But I stayed in the L forms to the end – 4L then 5L (Miss Hirst then Mr Gorsuch).