Jonathan Cooper has recently been teaching his Year 4 class the art of persuasive writing. Students have been taught to see a need and then address it by stating facts and providing survey and interview results to back up their positions.
The results were 17 well-crafted letters on my desk last Friday afternoon.
The topics were many and varied as you can expect but perhaps the most passionate submissions were to banish school uniforms.
The Year 4 students did such a good job of their letters that I visited their class on Friday to discuss their ideas with them. I had good news for them on a couple of topics but some weren’t pleased to learn that the school uniform is staying.
At GCC every decision that we make has a logical and intentional rationale behind it so when the challenge came about why we have uniforms it was a good opportunity for us to revisit and think through once again the whys and wherefores of this decision.
Here are just seven reasons Glasshouse Christian College and schools all over the world wear a uniform.
1. Uniforms give students a sense of belonging and enhance pride in their school. Wearing a uniform shows unity and identity. In much the same way football followers will wear their team’s jersey or scarf, a uniform builds a sense of community.
2. Uniforms help students prepare for the workforce. Whether it’s wearing safety gear in a construction job or corporate wear in an office, most jobs require a standard of dress.
3. Uniforms prevent crime. This may seem like a crazy fact but a school in California, United States experienced a 66% reduction in reportable crimes after introducing a mandatory uniform.
4. Uniforms actually cost less than a normal wardrobe. It may seem that some individual uniform items are expensive but when compared to having a whole wardrobe of different outfits, the overall price is much smaller.
5. Uniforms reduce peer pressure and bullying. Our students come from a wide range of family situations. Some are wealthy and others struggle. Students cannot be judged by their appearance because they are all wearing the same uniforms.
6. Uniforms help students study and do better in exams. The focus is on learning and not the clothing. Even at a university level where there are no uniforms, psychologists advise students to wear the same outfit in their classes as they will in the exam as it will help their recall. (I was surprised by that one!)
7. Uniforms make for a better learning environment. Macquarie University researchers found that where uniform policies are enforced, students were more disciplined and listened better. Classes began on time and there were lower noise levels.
Our Uniform Policy is to ensure the best outcomes for our students and the school and that is why we’ve made a big change to the policy beginning in January 2020. We know it’s often difficult to find good performing sports shoes that comply with our current policy and that is why from the beginning of next year, students will be permitted to wear sports shoes of any colour as long as they provide the necessary support for sporting activities. However, if students have a practical lesson for that day such as Industrial Technology or Hospitality they will be required to change out of their sports shoes and into their leather shoes for safety reasons.
Please note that this change is only for sports shoes and only from January 2020. Students will still need to comply with the current uniform rules until the end of the year.
While we are on the subject of uniforms, have you seen our brand new Uniform Shop? It’s a dramatic change from our old one and you are all welcome to drop in during opening hours to have a look.
Mike Curtis, Principal