Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe - 1963/64, Form 2E

My School Report - Summer Term, 1964

I thought this might be of interest - my school report for the Summer Term of 1964. Perhaps the layout, comments and handwriting of the masters will jog a few memories...

Of course, I wouldn't have posted it had it not been a fairly respectable one! For the record, and a bit of balance, on my next report, on my first term in 3X in 1964, I finished bottom of the class (equal with one other boy) in History and received the following condemnation from D Bridges, esq: "Has not shown much ability nor exhibited a very lively interest in the subject." So I wasn't by any means a consistently good scholar or a goody-two shoes.

Anyway, this is not about me so much as the masters who wrote comments on it. The first subject shown, Religious Knowledge, was commented on by my form-master, the much-loved M.M. Davies, known simply as "Taffy" to generations of schoolboys. "Good" is probably what he wrote on every report when it came to Religious Knowledge. The subject was never given much priority at the RGS, despite the fact that 'Boss' Tucker (and possibly MMD?) were lay preachers. Incidentally, it might be an idea to read this in conjunction with my account of my 1963/64 school year - click here.

The next comment, about my performance in English, was penned by a new master, PT Cockle, who spent only a short while at the school before he left. 'Holly' Hollingworth had commented on me (favourably) on my first two reports, but Mr Cockle had then taken over the lion's share of the English teaching (to our great relief: even those of us who were relatively good at English were pretty fearful of Holly). Also, we can skip over the one on History, by a temporary teacher called KR Masters (who replaced 'Bilge' Leighton-Jones who left part-way through the year).

Next is Geography, "Good work" and the initials TVS - the legendary TV Sheppard, or "Tus".

Next, French, my best subject, and a considered comment from form-master MMD: "... he means to do as well, if not better, than his brother." My brother Neil was a lot older than me and, at the time the report was written, had just won an Oxbridge place to read modern languages, so it was natural that eyes were upon me when I arrived at the school - particularly those of a mod.lang. teacher such as Taffy. With the Oxbridge orientation of the school, I expect I was already earmarked to follow in his footsteps. However, by the time of the report, I had already opted to do Greek rather than German in the second year, so I wasn't destined to be another modern linguist. MMD did not seem to hold that against me, thankfully. His comment about my intentions being to equal or surpass my brother's achievements was well made. (Whether I ultimately achieved this objective is a matter for private sibling debate!) I was very pleased with what Taffy wrote in his general remarks on my first term in 1963: "Conduct good - much better behaved than his brother!" Very true...

I did well at Latin, and that was gratifying because our form teacher was Boss Tucker himself. "Bright, intelligent, questioning and interested" and then the initials ERT. I still glow with pride 47 years later. Sadly, this would have been one of the very last things he ever committed to paper: the last day of term was 21 July and on 24 July he died. I remember that he summoned all those of us who would be in the x-stream in the next academic year to his study for a pep talk the day before the end of term, so that would only have been four days before he died. I've written more about this on the Form 2E page.

Music we were taught by 'Jack' Dawes but he appears not to have been required to write on our reports, for some reason. The next text you see is by the young and trendy Art master, Tim Newling, and his writing and signature have a certain style to them as you would expect.

For Maths we were taken by Mrs Wood and Mr Duffield. I wasn't terribly good at maths but liked the two teachers and made moderate efforts to please them. The terse but positive comment is probably about right.

For science I was taken by Mr Rowland. I didn't like science much, for various reasons. He was probably kinder on me than I deserved. "A thoughtfull boy" - oh dear, what lamentable spelling! 'Holly' Hollingworth would have come down heavily on him for that had he been a boy.

Then P.E. and "quite good" by Rex Jones. I hated P.E. - and I hated Rex Jones! "Quite good" is damning with faint praise but at least he didn't commit to paper the sort of thing he would have said to me and my fellow "spastics" (his term) during gym.

Finally, Taffy signs off with the cheery "Good luck with the Greek" comment. He was probably a bit disappointed I didn't plump for German but he was too gentlemanly to say so, of course. Lovely man.

Home page | Form 2E, 1963/64 Photo and Commentary

(c) 2011 John Saunders