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Chris Horrobin says:
"My mother saved most of my School reports. They show the points, apparently in 1961, at which the name morphed from SCTS to STHS via an hitherto unsuspected STS. The oft-held view that the name change was coincident with the move to the High Lane campus can be seen to be incorrect from the 1960 Opening Programme and the 1961 panoramic picture. It appears from this evidence that the first term of STHS was Autumn 1961. Harriet Slater MP is thought to have made the announcement to the assembled School at Easter 1961.

This set of my reports has also been chosen as they illustrate the School's first concerted attempt to put an 'express' stream through a full set of GCE "O" Levels a year early. They had done something similar with the previous year's form but with very little preparation. It can be seen that craft subjects were sacrificed, starting with Art and Metalwork for me, followed by dropping Woodwork in the fourth year. Technical Drawing remained a GCE subject. "Boris" Simnett used to call us "The Scum - as it always rises to the top". It was possibly meant to have echoes of the recently published "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie".

As can be seen from the annual GCE result tables, the 'express' stream was discontinued after a few years. It was rumoured that the rate of "burn out" in the VIth form of previously high achievers was a factor.

Reading the teachers' comments in my reports now is rather embarrassing. I didn't work hard at school. Mostly I just enjoyed doing what was asked of us, aided by a somewhat photographic memory, a voracious appetite for fiction books, and an aptitude for recognising patterns. Maths was always my weak academic subject and was my nemesis when doing Science 'A' Levels. That was something which "Boris" accurately predicted when I chose not to do Art 'A' Levels. However Oxbridge was not my desire and my aptitude eventually turned out to be a C.P.Snow synthesis that fitted a niche in new technology.

It was interesting many years later to see that my School records showed an 11+ ranking on entry that was next to the bottom. My Junior school had a poor track record on 11+ passes - although an apparently identical CofE school covering the same catchment area had many successes every year. All the high schools were about the same distance from home. My classmates were all choosing SCTS, if they passed - so I did too. That meant I arrived at SCTS knowing not a soul.

The 1st place in the 1961 Art examination was a fluke. The theme was something about sheltering from the rain in a windmill. My memory is that I was the only one who correctly interpreted the subject by showing the inside of the mill with a figure watching the rain beyond the doorway. I still can't draw - but have belatedly found a small talent for clay modelling. "


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