7 Lies Everyone Was Told at British Primary School

Holly Smith·13 February 2017·5 min read
7 Lies Everyone Was Told at British Primary School

Everyone agrees that primary school is the best time of your life: You’re young, free, careless, and full of energy. No other time in education is ever going to live up to them days of bliss when your greatest concerns were what your mum had packed in your lunchbox or what game you were going to play at lunch. It’s a time where you find out ground-breaking new facts about life every day, or rather, you’re lied to on a daily basis. Yes that’s right, teachers, we’re older and wiser now and we’d like to call you out on all of the lies you fed us when we were too young and vulnerable to question them!

1) “You’ll get ink poisoning if you write on your hand”


As an avid hand-doodler, this lie was on that genuinely caused me emotional trauma. I’d gone through life blissful and content with drawing a few flowers and hearts on my hand every day as a way of passing time in class. Then one day, my year 4 teacher saw the described doodles and told me to wash them off quickly before the ink entered my blood and poisoned me. I ran to the toilets at high speed and scrubbed my hand the hardest I’d ever scrubbed it in my life, also convincing myself I was going to have an early death from previous ink poisoning.

2) “Don’t swing on your chair, a boy cracked his head open once”


No one knows why, but there’s an unexplainable thrill in rocking back on your chair and balancing on two legs whilst clinging onto the table for dear life. However, this moment of joy was always cut short by a teacher telling a story of a child who cut their head open whilst doing so last year. It’s a wonder the government didn’t issue every child a helmet to wear due to the amount of supposed head-injuries caused from this act.

3) “Chewing gum will wrap around your heart if you swallow it”

Having a chewing gum as a child made you feel like you were the coolest person on earth, at least that is until you accidentally swallowed it and were convinced that you were going to die. This was a classic fear-tactic amongst teachers, and I have to say, it worked.

4) “Tell the truth or we’ll check the cameras”


Ah, the classic camera lie. Just their very mention was enough to make any child fess up straight away to whatever rebellious act they had committed. It’s a wonder that no-one ever caught on that not once did a teacher ever actually go and consult CCTV footage, even if they couldn’t obtain the truth.

5) “Kissing girls/ boys makes your teeth fall out”


At the prime age of 9 and 10 when your baby teeth are naturally falling out, this lie was pretty convincing. There’s a certain nostalgia that comes with looking back on gappy-toothed school photos and remembering the excitement that came with playing kissing dares and kiss-chase.

6) “If you bite your nails a hand will grow in your stomach”

It’s a disgusting habit, but there comes a deep satisfaction from gnawing your fingernails down to the tips of your fingers. However, after 12+ years of biting my nails, I have to say that I’m not aware of any hand sprouting in my stomach. It appears, my friends, that we were deceived and lied to.

7) “You did great!”

This is perhaps the best lie we were told as children. The acrostic poem of your name that took you two hours to write was actually one of the worst things you’ve ever produced in your life but it’s fine because your teacher is always there to give you the moral support and confidence lift you need. There’s nothing like a bit of fake encouragement to boost the ego!