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When I were a lad ....

  • we had an introduction from Rodney Maliphant on the latest state of the art database tools – a card index system with specially punched holes in each card which allowed you to sort by category with a knitting needle.
    • I sat in several hours of “play therapy” with Gertrude Keir (allegedly an old flame of Cyril “oh dear my twin studies research seems to have got burnt” Burt). These sessions involved lots of sand and children making snakes out of plasticine – never did quite grasp what that was all about.
    • we were supposed to have a series of lectures on the use and analysis of the Rorschach test but unfortunately the cards were out of stock and the sessions had to be cancelled – I can’t remember what we did instead but I’m guessing it was likely to have been more useful :)
    • we were also expecting to have training in the use of the Ruth Griffiths test, but unfortunately Dr. Griffiths had recently passed away, and in those days – as I recall – you had to be trained by her so that was another lost opportunity – our loss was the gain of the Community Paediatricians in the future so a win-win there I reckon :)
    • duplication was done with a Banda machine and original artwork was painstakingly constructed with Letraset

    But on the plus side, I had ……..

    • a student flat in Central London close to UCL and the West End for the princely sum of £5 a week
    • a placement in Waltham Forest with the legendary Les Pearson and his team who were then (that is 42 years ago) offering:
    • highly effective structured Nurture groups in a start of the art EBD school with a soft play room.
    • a team of specialist Teaching Assistants who were allocated to schools on a needs basis and were supervised and trained by the EP team
    • a team of talented teachers who worked with EPs and pupils in the Leyton Green centre. At least two of these teachers moved on to even dizzier heights e.g. Tom Dyson (EP and still going strong if EPNET is anything to go by :) ) and Hazel Albarn – who I think was (and still is I hope!) the mother of, yes you’ve guessed it, Damon (I think he was around 6 at that time).


    If anyone is still around from those heady days and thinks my memory is playing up they’re probably right – please let us have your version by posting in our forum or Facebook Page