Johannes skola was built in 1890. The neighbourhood around Johannes was nicknamed ’Siberia’ because this section of Vasastan was the farthest Northern border of the city. During the 1700s, on Frejgatan by Sveavägen and across from Vanadislunden, there were many small shops and farms. At the turn of the century, 1800, there were about 3000 inhabitants of ’Siberia’. The neighborhood was extremely poor and people lived in extremely crowed conditions. At the turn of the 1900th century there was no thought that anyone in a family could have their own room or even a desk where they could do their homework. There was no electricity and bathrooms were located outside the house in the garden. There were many children in the school and unemployment among parents was high.

Horse and carriages roamed the street and in the winter people traveled by sleigh. To sell paraffin and carry up to different apartments was a popular job for many small boys.

In the afternoons after school was over, it was often up to the older children in the family to take care of their younger siblings. They would often bring ‘saft’ and buns in a small cart out to the area around Frescati.

Children from the poorest families and children who had to travel long distances ate in the school’ cafeteria. Some students brought sandwiches with them to school and purchased milk from the caretaker. The children stood two by two with their hands at their sides until they sat at the table. Once at the table they sat quietly until they had finished their food. Students from grade 7 and 8 severed food.

In the evenings the students could bathe. Eight students at a time could go down to the pool located in the basement and sit in the small tubs and scrub each other backs. It was forbidden to splash each other with water. Later swimming lessons were introduced which where give twice a month.

There were many different forms of punishment in schools back then. The worst was to be called down to the Head Teacher. In a room near the entrance of the school, was the Head teacher’s office. In the room he had a bench, a bucket of water and a birch branch. 3–8 lashes was the typical punishment.