27 February 2013, 12:51
There were six girls in my class.
There were three different uniforms worn in that class.
Let me explain.
I went to a Deaf school.
Girls were split up according to how much they were able to hear/speak.
The school was (and still is) an oral school. Oral as in teaching the children through spoken English, not through Irish Sign Language. The teachers spoke to the children, and the children replied back in spoken English. (This is pointed out here, to stop assumptions that since it was a Deaf school, that the children are automatically taught using sign language.)
There were three main sections at the school.
1. The partially deaf oral (at Rosary School, a building about 500m away from the main school which housed the other two groups),
2. The profoundly deaf oral, at St Mary’s, the Old School,
3. and then there were the girls who were taught using sign language. at what was called St Pius. (at the back of the top floor, quite separate from the profoundly deaf oral. They were deemed oral failures.)
The school had separate break times for the two groups in the same building, so that they did not meet.
You’d think that all the pupils had the same uniform. No.
You’d think that the three groups had their own uniform (Rosary school, Old school and St Pius.) No.
It’s more complicated than that.
From what I can gather so far, all the girls at the school had the same uniform until around the 1960s apart from separate clothes for the babies and the older children. (I have to clarify this further.)
From the 1960s to 1987:
Day pupils were not required to wear uniforms at all.
Boarders had to wear uniforms. They had different uniforms according to which unit (boarding house) they slept in. These units were divided according to age and how much you were able to hear.
From 1987 onwards day pupils had to wear a uniform of some sort.
1988, all pupils had to wear a grey uniform with the same tie. Styles differed according to the shop you bought the uniform from.
In September 1993, the uniform was changed so that ALL pupils at the school wore the same clothes. Navy and Green with crest and red kilt. – no ties. Junior = Navy, Senior, Green.
So in my class, (1980s) there were day pupils with no uniforms, (Pre-1987) and the boarders with their own uniforms and since they stayed in different units they had different uniforms.
Hence three different uniforms in the one class (my class) in 1988.