Friday, April 24, 2009


Matilda's Year 10 photos came home from school yesterday. I really like this one, it will be the only one with her braces on. Her Orthodontist reported at her last appointment that it will look like late 2009 or early 2010 for this phase of her treatment to end. She will be fitted with retainers to wear in the next phase. This is 6-12 months ahead of what he originally thought it would be, she has responded very well to treatment.

This academic year Matilda graduated from Middle to Senior School and wears a white shirt with dark green skirt to denote Years 8 & 9 female students wore a dark green/white striped shirt, same style as this. Both male & female students have the option of a tie, today Matilda is wearing hers as she is participating in the School's ANZAC Day Ceremony. Her face is a wee bit longer than in this photo, our scanner tends to compress photos a little.

All State Schools in Queensland have compulsory uniform which at first I was neither here nor there on but after living with a teenager who tries on five outfits just before going to the shops I have decided that I really like it, Matilda does too. There is no hassle in the mornings, she knows exactly what is expected of her and although it does take away an individual's right to self expression through clothing choices I like that it removes an avenue for the teasing, competitiveness and (sometimes) bullying that goes on with students coming from varying socio-economic backgrounds. If we were still in Victoria she would be going to a no uniform secondary hearing from many parents of the struggles they are having with their children (interestingly both sons & daughters) and "what can I wear to school today Muuuuuuuuummmmm...????"

I have to admit to being quite glad it's not happening to me, it's hard enough on the once per term uniform-free days arranged by The (student run) Welfare Committee. They fund raise for a charity of choice by having a uniform free day and the students making a gold coin donation. There's usually around $500 raised which is quite significant.

Wondering what others think, especially if you don't live in Australia. I know in the USA & Canada, schools with compulsory uniform are the exception rather than the norm.

Do tell all...


Lynda said...

I think uniforms are a great idea! And Matilda is growing up so quickly... she's really turning into a beautiful young woman. Just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Matilda is such a beautiful young woman!

I agree with Lynda on the uniforms. Our local school district has tinkered with the idea at the middle and high school levels, and I hope that they choose to adopt a policy before my kiddos get there - for all of the reasons you pointed out. Kids are distracted enough - I would love it if clothing was taken out of the equation!

Tracy, mom2many said...

gorgeous girl!!

I can't speak to the uniform thing, as homeschoolers our uniform is whatever t-shirt we're wearing that day LOL.

I do remember spending an inordinate amount of time picking clothing and hairstyles as a teen until one fateful day. My dad was waiting to take me to school and in his impatience said, "Trace, no one gives a sh-- what your hair looks like". I would never say that to my kids, but it gave me a reality check very much needed at 13.

I honestly believe most children in our society do put too much emphasis on how they dress as their expression of themselves. Clothing is how we protect ourselves from the elements, when we start relying on it, instead of actual selves to tell others who we are, we become lazy in relationship.

So there's more than you wanted to know about that. :P

Lissy said...

Yes, uniform is so much easier. I feel like the washing machine has been in constant use these holidays!

As a person who has taught high school students a uniform takes the drama out of "what to wear". YES, it's not normally something that they like - it took me many years to be able to wear blue after leaving school - but it keeps everyone on an equal footing. On the mufti days there is lots of "showing off" between have/have nots, labels/cheaper's really heartbreaking to hear kids hassling each other because of the clothes...but they always find SOMETHING. At school it's make-up & jewellery for the girls...& kind of the same for the guys actually. Or their hair - they really do was to express themselves!!!

But when they used to complain I'd always say: well, at least it's not your favourite clothes getting worn out & wrecked each day & when you leave school you might have to wear a uniform depending on your jobs!!??

The joys of school...

Matilda would look gorgeous in a sack though!!!!!!!!!!! Stunning like her mum!!!!!!

Karin said...

I think uniforms are great. I didn't have one growing up but I think it's a good idea.

She's getting all grown up!

buddha_girl said...

First, Matilda is GROWING UP! Holy moly - what a great shot! I'd be preening if she was my daughter!

I wish my district would adopt uniforms. My school in particular has a bizarre attendance zone - we have the "haves" and the "have nots." There are almost no middle-class students. I teach students who live in million dollar homes with parents who are attorneys, doctors, and the like OR students who live in housing projects, condemned homes, or homeless shelters. It's pitiful.

Uniforms would undoubtedly even the playing field, ease the bullying and competition, and create a morning without incidents both at home and when the kids are getting off the buses. In the spring, we often have to ask students to dress in their PE clothing OR call their parent/guardian for something else to wear because of low-cut tops, belly shirt, "booty" shorts, and the like. I HATE that.