There was no ‘Enchanted Forest’ in the playground when James Matthew began at Sherwood Grange Public School in 1979.
The tree-filled area the school has cleared for pupils to make more use of is not the only difference his daughters Jorja, in year 2, and Katrina, a kindergarten pupil, enjoy at the Merrylands school.
Mr Matthew spoke at the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations attended by parents, grandparents, and staff members on Wednesday.
‘‘It has changed a lot now but I think technology has brought that on too,’’ he said.
‘‘The kids are so good with computers and electronics they run rings around me.
‘‘What was the staff room back then is now the principal’s office, the old band room is now a classroom and the old art room is now a storeroom.
‘‘There are no blackboards anymore, just interactive whiteboards.''
Mr Matthew said his enduring memory of the school was the fun he had while there. He now returns each week as a volunteer parent helper for reading groups in his daughters’ classes.
‘‘The teachers always taught discipline and it’s still like that today,’’ he said.
‘‘The kids are very courteous and well-mannered and I think that has just carried on through the years.’’
Jorja said topic talks in the classrooms, balloons, and art displays in the school library and multi-purpose area were all part of the celebrations that parents could enjoy.
‘‘We did Picasso paintings,’’ she said.
‘‘My favourite subject is art because instead of writing we colour in and paint.
‘‘We had lots of performances, and then we went outside to get our cupcake. ''They had the Sherwood Grange sign and white icing.’’