The end of the year is always a great time to reward hard work and celebrate the end of the school year and the approaching Christmas season.
By 1908 a clear tradition of the ‘break-up’ day was forming, at times combined with a picnic, a concert, present giving by Santa, and later on sports carnivals.
At times it was also combined with an awards ceremony where children were recognised for their various achievements throughout the year academically, or in recognition of other skills.
Sometimes these activities were held at the School of Arts as a gala affair and later on at the school accompanied by perhaps a picnic or sports activities.
1908: ENTERTAINMENT INCLUDED HIGHLAND DANCING AND COMIC SELECTIONS
18 December 1908 (Friday)
The breaking-up festivities and prize distribution in connection with the local State School were held on Friday evening in the School of Arts Hall. The building was packed to overflowing. The chief items were Highland dances by the Rankin family, comic selection by Mr McGladrigan, songs by Mrs Hunter, Miss Walrus, Messrs Baker and Best. Miss Bright made an efficient accompanist. The prizes were presented by Mr T N Bray (a member of the committee). Votes of thanks to the chairman, cheers for the head master (Mr R D Hunter), the teachers, the committee, and the performers closed an enjoyable gathering.
Source: 1908 ‘NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 18 December, p. 6, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19554877
1909: PRIZES FOR GENERAL PROFICIENCY AND GARDENING
Distribution of some 50 prizes for general proficiency and gardening, a Christmas tree loaded with toys and lighted with ‘sparklets’. The North Pine School of Arts was decorated with greenery and Mr T N Bray (School Committee) was Father Christmas, driven onto the stage in a goat cart beautifully decorated by two of the older school children. Santa also distributed the toys and entertainment included arias and Highland dances.
Following the formal proceedings a dance was held with music provided by the Head Teacher’s wife, Mrs Hunter and a Mrs Seal.
2 December 1909 (Thursday)
North Pine, December 1
A concert, distribution of prizes, and Christmas tree was given in connection with the breaking up festivities at the NorthPine State School on Saturday evening. There was a record attendance, from 380 to 400 people being present, including Mr J Forsyth, M.L.A., and Mr T Petrie. The hall was tastefully decorated with greenery, and there was a large Christmas Tree loaded with toys and lighted with sparklets. Mr T N Bray made an excellent Father Christmas, and he was driven on to the stage in a goat cart beautifully decorated by two of the elder scholars. The programme consisted of songs by Miss Seal, Mrs Hunter, Mrs Hirst, Messrs Crisp, Baker, and Parker, and Highland Dances by the Rankin family. Miss Down acted as accompanist. Mr Forsyth distributed some 50 prizes for general proficiency and gardening, and then followed the distribution of toys by Father Christmas. The members of the committee who assisted, included Messrs Bray, W Leis, Houghton, Ebert, and Baldwin. Subsequently a dance was held, the music being played by Mrs Hunter and Miss Seal. Mr Connors carried out the arrangements for dancing.
Source: 1909 ‘GRAFTON DISTRICT.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 2 December, p. 2, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19609757
1911: FATHER CHRISTMAS AND THE SUFFRAGETTES
Earlier established proceedings continued in popularity at the North Pine School of Arts. There were prizes, two Christmas trees laden with toys and Father Christmas (again played by School Committee member Mr Bray) and a concert by the children with other members of the local community.
“The Suffragettes” was performed by the then School Assistant (Miss Jesse Rowe) and a party of girls, suggesting some of the social politics of the time.
In the presence of a large portion of the local pioneering community, a presentation of a “silver tea service” was presented to the Headmaster, Mr Hunter.
11 December 1911 (Monday)
NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL
A successful entertainment by the North Pine State School children, followed by the distribution of prizes and a Christmas tree, was held in the local School of Arts on Friday night (writes our North Pine correspondent) Mr James Forsyth, M.L A., who was accompanied by Mrs Forsyth, occupied the chair, and the hall was crowded. The bright entertainment commenced with a recitation, “Our School Greets You”, by nine boys. Then followed action songs and recitations by lands of boys and girls. A musical sketch by Master Nock, and six boys was very amusing, and “Tom’s Practical Joke”, by Master Houghton and Misses Lear and Baldwin was loudly applauded. The song, “The Soldier and His Child”, by Mrs Hunter and Miss Baldwin, was much enjoyed. “The Suffragettes”, by Miss Rowe and a party of girls, created much amusement. All the children acquitted themselves well, and the entertainment reflected credit on Mr and Mrs Hunter and Miss Rowe. During the evening a presentation of a silver tea service was made to Mr Hunter (head master). The prizes were distributed by Mr Forsyth, who had a few words to each recipient. Two Christmas trees were laden with toys. Mr Bray acted as “Father Christmas”, and distributed the gifts. Handsome prizes were donated by Mr and Mrs Forsyth, Mrs Petrie, and Mr Eaves. Those present included Mrs and the Misses Petrie (2), Mrs and Miss Pinnock, Mrs and the Misses Joyner (2), Mrs Highfield, Mrs and Miss O’Loan, Mr, Mrs, and the Miss Stacey (3), Mrs Mackenzie (2), Mr and Mrs Bulgin, Mrs Dorsay, Mr and Mrs W Leis, Mr and Mrs Saunders, Miss and Mr Saunders, Mr and Mrs Baldwin, Mr and Mrs Connors, Mr and Mrs Bray, Mr and Mrs Young, Mr and Mrs Lear, Mr and Mrs Osborne, Miss Osborne, Miss Gee, Miss Eldred, Miss Winnie Hunter, Mr and Mrs Walters, Mr C Bright, Mrs Armstrong, Miss Armstrong, Miss Rowe, Misses Armstrong (2), Mr, Mrs, and Miss Taylor, Mrs and Miss Thomas, Mrs Barbour, Mr and Mrs Bennett and family, Mr and Mrs Ebert, Rev and Mrs Whitehouse, Rev T and Mrs Nock, Misses Nock (2), Mr and Mrs Campbell, Mrs and the Misses Patterson, Mr and Mrs Gudopp, Master and Miss Holmes, Mr and Mrs Davis, Mr and Mrs Robinson and family, Mr and Mrs Macpherson, Mr and Mrs Hawkins and family, Mr and Mrs S J Johnson and family, Mrs and Miss Cullimore, Mr and Mrs Mactaggart, Mrs and Miss McMullin, Mr and Mrs Brass, Mr and Mrs King, Mr and Mrs Fryar, Mr and Mrs Houghton, Mr and Mrs Brewer, Mr and Mrs Casey, Mrs Coulthard, Mr and Mrs Allom, Messrs 0 and G Tanner, Mr and Mrs Carson (2), Mr and Miss Raymont, Mr Macartney, Mr and Mrs Street, Mr R Leis, Mr C Leis, Mr T Leis, Misses Leis (3), Messrs Norman and Eric Wyllie, White (2), Mr and Mrs Skinner, Mr and Mrs Slater, Mr and Mrs Sargeant, Mr and Mrs Geiss, and Mr and Mrs Clay.
Source:1911 ‘NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 11 December, p. 9, viewed 13 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19724976
1912: SAVING ALL YEAR FOR CHRISTMAS
A news article in “The Brisbane Courier” in 1912, shows that the budgeting and forward planning for the annual end-of-year event was organised by the School Committee. It also gives us insight into the “prize fund” which was, in this instance, contributed to by the late Mrs T Petrie (wife of Tom Petrie) and Mr Forsyth (a local politician of the era).
12 November 1912 (Tuesday)
NORTH PINE, November 11
A meeting of the committee of the local State school was held on Wednesday evening Mr Jas Connors occupied the chair and there were also present Messrs Bray (secretary), Osborne (treasurer), Leis, Lear, Baldwin, and Young. Final arrangements were made for the annual concert distribution of prizes and Christmas tree. The prizes are to be distributed by Mr J Forsyth, M.L.A., who will be accompanied by Mrs Forsyth Cheques of one guinea each were received from Mrs T Petrie and Mr Forsyth towards the prize fund.
Source: 1912 ‘BELOW THE RANGE.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 12 November, p. 4, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19843494
1912’s annual end-of-year event at the School of Arts, well attended even during a storm, again consisted of a Christmas tree and Mr T N Bray’s now familiar Santa, prizes, action songs, dialogues, comic sketches, physical drills and other entertainments less acceptable in our modern era.
There were soft drinks and sandwiches for the performers and it is alluded that there was either a charge to attend or fundraising amounting in 20 pounds.
28 November 1912 (Thursday)
The annual concert, Christmas tree, and distribution of prizes in connection with the North Pine State School was held in the School of Arts Hall on Saturday night, and notwithstanding the severe storm the attendance was a record (writes our North Pine correspondent) Mr and Mrs R D Hunter were responsible for the excellent arrangements. The programme, which consisted of action songs, dialogues, comic sketches, physical drill, and nigger comicalities, was splendidly carried out by the children, and reflected great credit on their teachers. The prizes were distributed by Mr Jas Forsyth, M L A, who was accompanied by Mrs Forsyth. Little Gladys Hunter, a wee tot of 4 summers, presented Mrs Forsyth with a beautiful shower bouquet. On the motion of Mr Connors (chairman of committee), Mr and Mrs Forsyth, was accorded a hearty vote of thanks. Mr T N Bray made an excellent Father Christmas, Miss McMullen supplied soft drinks and sandwiches for the performers. The takings amounted to 20 pounds. Also present included Mr and Mrs Jas Forsyth, Mr and Mrs R D Hunter, Mrs Petrie Misses Petrie (2) Mr and Mrs Walter Petrie, Miss Winnie Hunter, Miss Edgar, Mrs Thomas, Mr Ted Thomas, Mrs Ramsbotham, Mr and Mrs Robertson, Mr and Mrs Bellamy, Mr and Mrs W Leis, Mr and Mrs Bray, Mr and Mrs J Young, Mr and Mrs Connors, Mr and Mrs Osborne, Misses Osborne (2), Mr Lear, Mrs Baldwin, Mr Wyllie, Misses Wyllie (2), Mrs and Miss Bulgin Mrs Moles and family, Mr and Mrs Walters, Mr and Mrs Bunbury, Mr French, Mrs Patterson, Misses Patterson (2), Mr and Mrs O Leis, Mr and Mrs F Brewer, Mr and Mrs J Brewer, Mr and Mrs J Gilliland, Mrs Kebler, Mr and Mrs Herman, Mr Giess, Mr and Mrs Houghton, Mrs and Miss McTaggart, Mrs Hallam, Mrs Coulthard, Mr and Mrs Barbour, Mrs Twible, Mr Skerman, Mr Gold, Mr Riley, the members of the Boy Scouts, Mr Davis, Mr Gilbey, Mr and Mrs MacPherson, Misses Campbell (3), Misses Boardman, Mr and Miss Locke, Mr and Miss McMullen, Mrs and Miss Bickle, Mr and Mrs L Ebert, Mr and Mrs S Walker, Mr and Mrs F Walker, Misses Holmes (2), Mr W Holmes, Mr and Mrs W Gordon, Miss S Stacey, Miss J Fuller, Mr Salisbury, Mr Ted Gordon, Mrs Casey, Mr and Mrs Boardman, Mr and Mrs Skinner, Mr and Mrs Sheehan, Mr D Sheehan, Mrs Buhmann, Misses Gilliland (2), Misses Cullimore (2), Mr and Mrs Sanders, Mr W and Miss G Sanders, Mrs and Miss Kerr, Messrs White (2), Campbell (2), Le Geshener, R Leis, T Leis, Mr and Mrs J Stultz and many others.
Source: 1912 ‘SOCIAL.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 28 November, p. 7, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19833974
1913: THIS YEAR, LET’S HONOUR THE KING INSTEAD OF JESUS
The State School Committee secretary report that the annual treat would be held on the King’s birthday.
16 May 1913 (Friday)
… A meeting of the State School Committee was held on Thursday evening Mr Connors occupied the chair and Messrs T N Bray (secretary), W Leis, W J Baldwin, J W Lear and J Young were in attendance. Regret was expressed at the illness of the treasurer (Mr W Osbourne). The secretary reported that 10 pounds had already been subscribed towards the annual treat to be held on King’s birthday and that the credit balance, now stood at 21 pounds/10/.
Source: 1913 ‘BELOW THE RANGE.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 16 May, p. 4, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19887158
1918: … THEN CAME THE GREAT WAR
Christmas came with a sombre atmosphere as remnants of war were in the air. Mrs Petrie (Tom Petrie’s wife, assisted by daughters Ida and Jessie) entertained the children by providing a Christmas tree which had gifts that were made entirely by soldiers who had returned from World War I. The gifts consisted of baskets, fancy boxes, leather purses, serviette rings and various wooden toys – enough for 112 children.
The following day the School Committee entertained the children at a picnic with “an attractive sports program” after which the children were “regaled with refreshments”. That night there was a largely attended dance.
20 December 1918 (Friday)
NORTH PINE, December 18. Last Thursday afternoon the children of the North Pine Sate School were entertained by Mrs Tom Petrie at a Christmas tree, laden with gifts made entirely by returned soldiers. The gifts comprised baskets, fancy boxes, leather purses, serviette rings, and various kinds of wooden toys. Each of the 112 children received a present. Misses Ida and Jessie Petrie were heartily cheered by the children for the excellent manner in which they carried out their mother’s desire to give them a happy time. Last Friday the committee of the school entertained the children at a picnic, and a very pleasant time was spent. An attractive sports programme was gone through, and the children were regaled with refreshments. At night a dance was held, and was largely attended, Miss Campbell supplying the music and Mr Connors supervising the dancing.
Source: 1918 ‘OTHER SCHOOLS.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 20 December, p. 8, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20245687
During World War I (1914-1918), Mrs Mabel Hart (Nee Skinner) remembers breaking up days in memories recalled for the Centenary in 1974:
“Breaking up days were a big event – not only for the children but for their parents also.”
– Mabel Hart (Nee Skinner), enrolled at North Pine Provisional School in 1910.
1921: A CEREMONY TO BREAK-IT-UP
At the ‘breaking-up ceremony’ there was a concert with recitations and prizes were given for homework:
22 December 1921 (Thursday)
NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL
The breaking up ceremony of the North Pine State School was held on Friday. An enjoyable programme of songs, recitations, etc., was greatly appreciated by the numerous parents and friends present. The prizes were distributed by the chairman of the school committee (Mr J Baldwin).
PRIZE LIST – Class V.3: Dorothy Baldwin, Gladys Geiss, A Bicke, W Weilsen: home work. Dorothy Baldwin, A Bicke. IV.3: Violet Reading, Vera Vaughan, H Myles, T Bray, S Blake; home work. H Myles, Violet Reading. III.3: Lilian Myles, Marjorie Baldwin, Maggie Cogill, Ada Neilsen: L Geiss, B Blake, E Brewer, J Farr: home work. Marjorie Baldwin, B Blake. II.3: Dorothy Cooper, Marjorie Goodwin, Ruby Vaughan, Mary Cogill, K. Skinner, A Baldwin, R Hermann, C Leiss, E Neilsen. I.1: Gwen Mitchell, Winnie Brewer, Isabel Campbell, G Armstrong, R Moodie, A Carter, W Bunbury, C Howarth.
Source: 1921 ‘NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 22 December, p. 10, viewed 19 August, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20511031
1930: SPORTS PROGRAM ADDED FOR FUN
Twenty years further on and the “breaking-up picnic” has become the fashion for the end-of-year festivities. Held in the school grounds a sports program is carried out under the supervision of the head teacher, now Mr W H Chappell.
Events were flat races with consolation races, egg and spoon races, three-legged races, sack races, thread and needle races and the potato races.
17 December 1930 (Wednesday)
NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL
The breaking-up picnic of the North Pine State School was held in the school grounds on Friday. During the afternoon a programme of sports was carried out under the supervision of the head teacher (Mr W H Chappell) and Messrs A Dixon (handicapper and starter), G White and W J Foley (judges) The results of the sports were as follows: Flat races Boys under 7 years C Eben 1, E Davis 2, Seven to 8 years: R King 1, B Stewart 2, Eight to 10 years: W Taylor 1, E Fink 2, Ten to 12 years: C Geiss 1, N Dixon 2, Twelve to 14 years: J Stewart 1, C Robinson 2, Consolation race Junior: C Stewart 1, W Young 2, Senior: L Davis 1, B Ebert 2, Girls Under 7: J Buckby 1, G Ebert 2, Seven to 8 years: E Herman 1, I Mitchell 2, Eight to 10 yeas: E Adams 1, M Vores 2, Ten to 12 years: R Mitchell 1, A Ferguson 2, Twelve to 14 years: A Sutherland 1, M Brewer 2, Consolation race: G White 1, I Davis 2, Egg and spoon race: Boys: A Hermann 1, E Young 2, Girls: A Sutherland 1, N Vores 2, Three-legged race: Boys: C Geiss and E Hermann 1, C Robinson and A Hermann 2, Girls: M Brewer and A Sutherland 1, E Adams and E Gilliland 2, Sack race: Boys: C Geiss 1, N Sutherland and E Hermann (tie) 2, Girls: B Fink 1, E Adams 2 ,Thread and needle race: Boys: C Robinson 1, C Geiss 2, Girls: A Sutherland 1, R Mitchell 2, Potato race: Boys: Senior: C Geiss 1, C Robinson 2, Junior: N Dixon 1, A Hermann 2, Girls: B Fink and M White tie.
Source: 1930 ‘NORTH PINE STATE SCHOOL.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 17 December, p. 16, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21615222
1931 saw a minor mention in ‘The Brisbane Courier’ of the breaking-up festivities held at the North Pine State School.
22 December 1931 (Tuesday)
School Sports – Enthusiastic support by parents and helpers was shown at the breaking-up festivities of the North Pine State School. Those responsible for the organisation of the sports programme included Messrs E J McMahon (acting head teacher), G White, A Blake, W J Foley, and Miss E L Hawkins …
Source: 1931 ‘PETRIE.’, The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), 22 December, p. 15, viewed 14 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21732033
[RESEARCHING: LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM THE 1930S, 1940s, 1950s]
1960s – 1980s: WATERMELON SEED SPITTING AND A SUNNY BOY
Break-up day evolved into ‘party day’ with Australian summer icons watermelon (spitting seeds) and ‘sunny boy’ ice pyramids. Board games from home, cordial or soft drink, cream buns, Christmas songs, end of year concerts, elastics, skipping.
“Breaking up day was almost as exciting as Xmas day.”
– Leanne Klingner Nee Griffiths, former Petrie Stat School Student 1968-1974, 8 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
A good dose of ‘beam ball’ or ‘sevens’ was a game that was played and seemingly lost to time, once in the ‘old playshed’ and then in the covered area under the old staffroom block.
“Beam ball was literally throwing a tennis ball up to bounce off the beams in the ceiling of the old lunch shed. Playing 7’s off the beam was tricky but we did that too.”
– Wendy Small, former Petrie State School student, 1970s, 31 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
“7’s … Throwing the ball against the wall doing various things numbering 1 time up to 7 times (like throwing it under your leg?)”
– Monica Norris, former Petrie State School student, 1972-1975, 31 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1961-1967: BEAM BALL; WATERMELON; BOARD GAMES; ROUNDERS
“Break up day was watermelon, cordial, board games from home, rounders on the top oval and beam ball in the shade area building. I was a 60’s kid, youngest of 4 at Petrie. 1961 to 1967.”
– Nev Sprott, former Petrie State School Student 1961-1967, 13 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1968-1974: SOFT DRINK; WATERMELON; CREAM BUNS; CHRISTMAS SONGS
“My memories from breaking up days from 68-74 are going to school with only a plastic mug for our free soft drink; eating lots of watermelon, cream buns provided by the tuck shop and singing Xmas songs for our parents. Breaking up day was almost as exciting as Xmas day.”
– Leanne Klingner Nee Griffiths, former Petrie Stat School Student 1968-1974, 8 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1972-1975: BOARD GAMES; SUNNY BOY ICED LOLLIES
“School breakup for me was 1972-1975 (grades 2-5) and YES we bought board games to school. I still have my Pan Am & Surfer Joe Board Games. From memory we were given a “Sunny Boy”, still the best triangular ice block on a HOT summer’s day.”
– Monica Norris, former Petrie State School Student, 1972-1975, 31 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1973-1976: SPITTING WATERMELON SEEDS; MARBLES
“I was at Petrie from grade 4 ’73-‘76. Break up day was definitely a time with watermelon and spitting the seeds … Either competitions to see how far or at each other. Also playing marbles … Rebekah Marler won my favourite yellow cat’s eye marble, last day in grade 6. I forgive her.”
– Wendy Small, former Petrie State School Student, 1973-1976, 8 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1976: SOAP BOX DERBY; APM
“We had a soap box derby one year. We worked in teams and made our own carts then we raced them down the hill on the opposite side of road from school. We had to get permission from the mill to hold it there on their land. Think it was in ‘76 … I just remember I was driver for my team and the cart fell apart half way down.”
– Maria Bailey, former Petrie State School Student, 1976, 1 February 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1980s: WATERMELON IS NEVER OUT OF FASHION ON A HOT QUEENSLAND BREAK-UP DAY
“Loads of watermelon.”
– Adrie Lynch, former Petrie State School Student, 1980s, 8 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1980s (1985): BEAM BALL; SKIPPING; SLIP & SLIDES; END OF SCHOOL CONCERTS; WHOLE OF SCHOOL PARADE
“…and beam in the 80’s too! … We played beam under the building where the office used to be. That building is still there … Skipping was very popular. We used to get the big rope out and heaps of us would play. I remember slip and slides on break up day in older grades – a piece of black plastic down the side of the oval! Whole school end of year concerts (we had one at pine rivers hall in 1985). We always had a whole school parade on the last day where the uniform shop is now.”
– Deb Tippett, former Petrie State School Student, 1980s, 31 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
1989: CHANGE OF NAME FROM BREAK-UP DAY TO PICNIC DAY … WILL IT STICK?
By the end of the 1980s there was an attempt to change the name of “Break-Up” day to “Picnic Day” …
17 AUGUST – PETRIE LOG 89/14
– BREAK-UP: 16.12.1989 Break up day is referred to as ‘Picnic Day’.
An account of a typical class arrangement for the last day of school during the early 1990s where junk food and games are still the norm:
1993 (ca.): BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO
“Mr Wheatman [sic] (forget how to spell his name now). Was my grade 1 teacher and his break up days were lots of fun, from memory we had hot dogs and cordial that would have been ‘93 I think and I do remember board games.”
– Tara Seeto, past Petrie State School Student, 1990s, 14 January 2014, (Facebook: Petrie State School Past and Present Group).
And at some point (although we are not quite sure when) an account of break-up day from the 125th Anniversary mentions roller skating:
“Remember … When “breaking up” day included roller skating?” – Wendy Tunin and Lorelle Flanagan, former Teachers at Petrie State School, 1999.
[RESEARCHING: LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM THE 1990s AND THE MILLENIUM]
2000: AND BEYOND
Today, end of year festivities are held on the last Thursday of the school year. Traditions haven’t changed a lot since the 70s and 80s and party food (although healthy food is encouraged more so in this era) and games are the flavour of the day.
Christmas festivities are included and the Whole of School parade is held in this week also. At this assembly, students are awarded with their academic, musical or sporting achievements, senior students are farewelled and the incoming student council are given their badges for the following years’ service to their young community.
Contrary to former eras though, the last day of school is referred to as ‘clean-up day’. It is expected that students attend on this day and help with the cleaning out of the classrooms and tidy trays, among other things. Students are required to attend, however there seems a trend that with the formalities of the school year over, many parents opt to begin the Christmas holiday early. Those children that do attend are either very keen to clean, or are unfortunate in not having alternative arrangements for their care on this day and are sent along while their parents are at work etc.