Gallery: No limos or proms as we broke up
The end of July has for generations signalled the end of school for around six weeks.
School's out for summer
School's out forever
School's been blown to pieces
No more pencils
No more books
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No more teacher's dirty looks
Out for summer
Out till fall
We might not go back at all.
Lyrics from Alice Cooper's rock classic 'School's Out'. The end of July has for generations signalled the end of school for around six weeks.
The reason for the long summer break dates back to when regular schooling started for all children and in the Victorian period they wanted children in the fields to help bring in the crops at harvest time.
When I left Landseer Secondary Modern School, Ipswich, on July 25, 1961, I was not 15 until the end of August, but started work the following Monday. There were no parties, celebrations or stretch limos to take a crowd of friends out to celebrate the end of exams, no “year out” before starting university. I did not know anybody who had plans to go to university or any family who could afford the idea.
It was the same for most of my generation of “baby boomers” as we walked out of school with an end of term report and immediately started the job we had found.
The end of term at both my schools, Cliff Lane and Landseer Road, Ipswich, meant taking games and toys to school on the last few days. This was as near as we got to a celebration. The last major event I can recall Landseer School being involved in was for the Queen's visit to Ipswich in June 1961 when the Civic College was formally opened. School children packed in to the Ipswich Town Football Club ground to watch the queen tour the pitch. We waited for hours in the north stand to watch her from a great distance.
For those still at school the summer break has probably not changed so much, although the planned move to high school can be a worry for children as they walk into a new world. The end of the summer term often sees teachers retiring after a lifetime in the profession with everybody gathering to present gifts and say goodbye. Sports day and speech days have often been held as the school year comes to a close.
I have looked through the picture files at school events in past Julys. What memories do you have of summer holidays or leaving school and finding a job in the past? Write to Dave Kindred, Kindred Spirits, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Running: A race at Copleston School, Ipswich, during the end of term sports day in July 1965. Do you know anybody in these photographs?
Skipping: A skipping race during the sports day at Copleston School, Ipswich, in July 1965.
Jumping: A hurdles race at Copleston School, Ipswich, in July 1965.
Sports kit has changed since this photograph was taken at Copleston School Sports Day in July 1965. Do you know these girls?
Either pupils at Tower Ramparts stayed on well after their teens or the good and the great got the front seats at the speech day in July 1963!
July 1965 saw the retirement of teacher Mary Ashton from St John's School, Ipswich in July 1965. Were you one of her pupils?
Pupils at Hadleigh Secondary Modern School speech day in July 1963.
This photograph taken near Ipswich in the 1930 illustrates how children on school holiday were on hand to help with the harvest.