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Most Irish people began school at the age of four and although some went on to secondary school, many left at 14 or 15. Those from rural areas often walked long distances to local schools where several classes of boys and girls were taught in the same room.
Children from towns were probably in different year groups of either boys or girls. School experiences may differ for people of different ages but most will recount the harshness and discipline, which were common at the time.
Some useful questions to trigger discussion
What do you remember most about school?
Were your school days the best days of your life?
Can you remember the name/s of your teacher/s?
How would you describe the classroom/s?
Who were your friends at school? Who did you sit next to?
What did you like best about school?
What did you dislike about school?
Can you say anything in Irish?
What did you have for lunch?
What song or poem do you remember from school?
Were you ever punished by the teacher? If so how?
What mischief did you get up to on the way to school or during school?