Aim: for children, parents and staff to have a shared understanding of what it means at Columbia to be dressed appropriately for school.
Our school has decided not to have a uniform. We value diversity and difference and want children to think for themselves. We know that Columbia children don’t need to wear uniform in order to be respectful, confident ambassadors for the school. We also know that children like having the freedom to wear their own clothes.
But with this freedom comes a responsibility.
Columbia’s job is to teach children the skills they need to be independent, successful learners, ready to tackle whatever their futures hold. The teachers know that in order to learn as well as they can children need to be:
- comfortable and
- able to concentrate.
In order to make sure children are safe, comfortable and able to concentrate, we have a few simple rules about clothing and appearance. Here they are:
- Children’s shoes don’t have high heels and their sandals always have a strap at the back to hold them on securely.
- When children wear summer tops their tummies are covered.
- Jewellery isn’t allowed unless it’s important for religious reasons. If children already have pierced ears, plain studs are allowed.
- Children don’t wear make-up in school. Lip balm is always uncoloured.
- If children have long hair, on school days, it’s worn so that it doesn’t distract them or cover their eyes.
In addition to these rules, we want to encourage children to make sensible judgements for themselves about the clothes they choose to wear on school days.
When children are unsure about how to dress they could stop and think about the same 3 things: safety, comfort and concentration. They might ask themselves, for example,
“Will this get caught when I’m on the play structure?”
“Will I be able to see properly where I’m going?”
“Am I going to fiddle with all these dangly bits on my trousers?”
“Is this big top going to stay on or will I have to keep hitching it back over my shoulders?”
“Are my knickers going to be on show all day long if I wear this?”
We hope that parents will support children to think these decisions through so that, over time, they will develop their own internal sense of what it means to be dressed appropriately for school.