During the 60s and 70s
Colours were awarded to pupils who improved or excelled at particular sports. The sports assessed were, in Summer, tennis, rounders and swimming. In winter, the assessments were for netball, lacrosse, and gymnastics.
The House / School Colours information was in the form of large notice boards hanging in the main corridor, just outside the changing room. The notice was ordered by class year (most senior at the top), then by a name list going down the left side of the notice page.
To the right of each pupil’s name would be a row spanning the width of the notice board, divided up into progress sections – rather like an Excel spreadsheet of today!
Each sport was represented by a small round-topped, coloured drawing pin. Each sport had a different colour.
If a pupil showed some promise or progress at a particular sport, a drawing pin of that sport’s colour would be placed on section 1 of the row, i.e. the left hand side, by the Games Teacher on a fortnightly basis. There would be up to six differently coloured pins for each pupil at various stages of progress.
It was with great anticipation that we would look for our names on the list to see if pins had appeared against our names and then if they were progressing to the right, showing further progress in our aptitude for the sport.
After about eight sections (please correct me if I am wrong), which would show that we were actually quite good at the sport concerned, the pin would cross the House Colour line, and the fact would be proudly announced at the next House meeting, adding points to our House score.
To show that a pupil had achieved a House Colour, the plain House badge was replaced with one with a bar down the centre, for each sport. Sussex’s red badge had black bars, Wessex’s green badge had yellow bars, Kent’s white badge had black bars and Mercia’s blue badge had orange bars.
The pupil’s next aim was to achieve School Colours. The School Colour line was on the far right hand side of the notice board and was attained by further progress steps from House Colours. School Colours were normally only awarded to those pupils who represented the school at that sport against other schools. To attain School Colours was a great achievement. The pupil was presented with a circular woven Wake Knot badge which was sewn on to the pupil’s tie or tunic. The colour of the Knot on the badge was the same as the pin colour used for the sport, on a brown background. So a blue knot would show School Colours in tennis for example.
If anyone can remember the colours for each sport, please let me know. I think white was swimming, blue was tennis. I think there were also red, yellow, green and orange.
Paula Boraston, Class of 72
If your year had a different system, please let us know