There are a wide range of activities conducted at school, both inside and outside the classroom. Many of these activities required a specaialized uniform or sports gear. English schools, especially the private schools probably had more elaborate uniforms and specialized schoolwear than any other country. The school regulations varies over time and among the many different types of schools. Many schools had a dress uniform worn on Sunday or special school events. During regular school days a less elaborate uniform was worn. At some schools boys would come to schools in their blazers, but just wear their jumpers while in class. Some class room activities like art or science might require some sort of protective gear. Quite a number of schools sponsored youth group units such as Scouts. Some secondary schools had Cadet units. Many schools had a gym uniform. There was a variety of specialized uniform for various team sports.
Regulations on the traveling uniform varied from school to school. Most schools wanted to put their best face forward and had definite rules on how the boys should be dressed in public when coming to school. State primary schools, even those with uniforms, often did not have blazers. Many other schools did have blazers. At some schools boys would come to schools in their blazers, but just wear their jumpers while in class or shirts in the warm weaher. This included the boarding schools with day boys. The baorders often did not wear their blazers much, only on Sunday and other special days. Most schools required the boys to dress up in their blazers when taking school trips or when traveling at the beginning and end of term. Caps were also required, asin Englnd, although by the 1980s they had been dropped at many schools.
Many schools had a dress uniform worn on Sunday or special school events. During regular school days a less elaborate uniform was worn. Here the regulations varied over time. At some prep schools the only difference was a white rather thana grey shirt and lace-up shoes rather than sandals. Some other schools had more elaborate dress uniforms such as suits rather than blazers.
State primary schools, even those with uniforms, often did not have blazers. Many other schools did have blazers. Boys at many schools wore just their jumpers and not their blazers during the school day. Here regulations varied from school to school. Many prep schools had the boys put away their blazers. Secondary schools were more likely to leave it up to the individual boy. During the warm summer term boys just would wear their shirts with or without ties. At many schools wearing the jumper or not was up to the individual boy. There were more commonly rules about the blazer. Many schools required ties, but some did not require them during the warm summer term. Again regulations varied from school to school. Most boarding schools had the boys wear the regular school uniform after classes in the evening. At some boarding schools the children could change out of their uniforms after classes, but this was not the most common convention. Most schools had boys wear a jumper, tie, shirt, grey shorts, grey kneesocks, and shoes or sandals, but there were many variations.
We note a variety of fund raising activuties. Some of the events are to raise money for school activities. Schools also sponsor a variety of special events. These are often associated with charities and are designed to lift the awarness of the children to various social issues. We note some pupils of Pine Creek Primary School, about 200 km south of Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia). They are engaged in the "World Harmony Run", a torch relay.
Some class room activities like art or science might require some sort of protective gear.
Some schools had pecial playwear so boys would not get their uniforms dirty when playing outdoors in their free time. Here boiler suits and wellies were commonly used.
Some secondary schools had Cadet units. Let us not assume that military training for boys is peculiar to the old Soviet Bloc countries. The idea of preparing school children for war may in fact be the British cadet program, although HBC does not have avery complete understanding of the program yet. The Australian program does appear to have been functioning uring World War I (1914-18), just when the prigram began I do not yet know. Presumably the English program was the genesis for cadet program in colonial countries like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Many schools had a general gym uniform used for a wide variety of sports and athletics. Most schools had a gym uniform for a variety of acttivities. In addition to the the gym uniform, there were also sports uniforms for rugby, football, and cricket. The private schools had elaborate sports uniforms. This was true of both the public and prparatoy schools. Part of the ehos of the public school was an emphasis on sport and even boys of limited ability were encouraged to participate. Sports were not as emphasized in state school, but we note that even state primary schools had some sports teams. We are not sure how common this was. An Australian reader writes, "We had an official all blue sports uniform with rather short blue acrylic footy shorts with flyzipper, side pockets and side adjuster tabs and we had blue kneesocks but usually the hosiary type in the warmer months and we wore a blue short sleeved t-shirt with our red sailboat and lion crest on our left top breast."
Australian schools influenced by the British system had a heavy emphasis on sports. Music was an activity, but before World War II, given realtively little emphasis. Many scgools did have choirs. We note a boys' choir from an unidentified Australian school that visited NAZI Germny in the 1930s, proibably to see the Olympics. After World War II, music has become increasingly important at Australian schools.
Field trips are a popular part of school programs in Australia as is the case in most modern school systems. We do not know when schools began organizing field trips. We note a few before Wold war II, but do not believe that they were very common. A problem at the time would have been trasport. School buses were not common, neither did many of the children the children have a lot of money to psy for transportation. This changed after World War II as personal incomes rose as well as school budgets rose. Field trips are now a standard part of the schoolmprogram. Trips to museums, parks, zoos, and other interesing sites became common place. Younger children might go to fire stations or other sites that interest the children. School busses are not as common as in America, but with the growth of suburbia and the cloing of small rural chools are much more common. Thus the problem of transport is now more easily resolved. And municipal transport is also available, althoughh more complicated than school busses.
Schools sponsor a wide range of other activities, including basketry, carpentry, chess, choir, computers, cooking, debate, dramatics, electronics, fishing, model building, music, railroading, rilfelry, and much more. The activities offer depend in part on the type of school. Some of these activities are associated with the academic program. Other activies are extra-curricular activities which are given varying degrees of emphasis at different schools. Some of these events required some specialized gear. The boys for others more associated with classroom activities commonly just wore their everyday school uniform. Some classess such as sciuence or art may require some sirt of smock or protective clothing.
Many schools sponsored youth group units. The most common were Boy Scout Cub Packs or Scout Troops. Some schools, especially Church schools, may have also sponsored other groups such ads the Boys' Brigade or the Church Lads. These groups, however were more commonly sponsored by Churches than schools. We notice some of these units were particularly well uniformed.
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