Thursday, 24 November 2011

Class Photographs - A Brief History

Class Photographs - A Brief History

From what we’ve found so far the earliest official class photos have originated from 1961 - 1963. The only other group photos taken were of sporting teams who had won trophies, mainly from the 1950’s.

After 1963 a format was introduced whereby pupils had individual portraits taken. These proved to be more popular with parents than the class photos as they could now frame them and clearly see their children.

The photos when printed came in a pack of three various sizes; one large, two medium and four small passport sized prints. The medium sized ones were ideal for giving to grandparents; the large would be framed for the living room whilst the passport sized ones could be put in wallets and in later years inserted into clear perspex key-ring holders.

Schools soon realized that parents would often want their other children in the photos too; so from the mid 1960’s to 1976 individual portraits were taken of pupils with or without their siblings.
If their siblings were pre-school age they too were taken in on the designated time and day for the photo-shoot.

This system continued until 1977 when the official class photographs were reintroduced for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Year. As these proved to be successful with parents, the class photos were reintroduced and continued again until approximately 1981. After that time the individual portraits were reverted back with just sporadic years having class photos. From what I can gather, the sporadic years being 1985, 1988 through to 1992.

The only time a photograph was taken of the entire school classes and teachers was in 1985, this more than likely would have been taken as it was the schools 75th anniversary.

Here are three examples of the individual portraits taken in the late 1960’s all kindly donated by Louise Mathers nee Nield.




Louise and her elder sister Glenda left the village in 1971 for Coleman Road Junior School in Leicester before emigrating to Australia in April 1972. The photo taken in 1968 was Louise’s first year at the school. From school reports that she still has a teacher comments that her stories were ‘uninteresting and repetitive’ whilst her elder sister Glenda was ‘a pleasure to teach’!
Glenda can also be seen in the 1971 photos of Miss.Broomfield’s class. These photos were taken personally by Ann Burdett nee Broomfield and were not available for parents to purchase.

The photograph below is a scan of the school’s 75th anniversary photo taken in 1985. (If you double click over the photo it will enlarge)

Many thanks to Louise Mathers in Australia for her photographs and to Linda Austin for the 75th Anniversary photo.

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