Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar school, steeped in almost 100 years of tradition, embarked on the journey to give their school uniform a major overhaul. Alongside the Heads of School, the Parents and Friends’ President and Old Grammarians, students in Years 6 to 12 were given the opportunity to be key advisors in developing a new uniform that reflected the needs of the girls.
Students are now offered a suite of choices that they can select from, depending on their preferences, their body temperature, the weather, what they have on that day and in keeping with their gender identity. All intentionally designed for the girls to have options, whilst also providing a sense of belonging and uniformity.
Why Make Changes Now, after almost 100 years?
Elisabeth Rhodes, Lowther Hall Principal, admitted that girls’ uniforms in general had really not kept pace with modern society. The role of women, particularly in the workplace, has changed over time and “our uniform needed to better reflect that”, she said. “We want our girls to be confident about entering the world and now we have options that reflect choices that we, as women, have in society”.
Early Years – Setting the Pace
In what is arguably a masterstroke, the Kindergarten, Preps and Year 1 girls will only have the choice of pants and shorts under the new uniform guidelines. Ms Rhodes emphasised that “we really want to steer our youngest learners towards being active. Then from Year 2 they can choose the dress or skirt if they wish”.
By normalising the pants and shorts at Lowther Hall for junior school members the culture of acceptance of these items will become embedded in the school community. Along with all the benefits that go with it. This should lead to girls feeling as though they have a ‘real’ ability to choose.