What did they do during break/dinner?
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Author:  Alison H [ 15 Apr 2019, 08:01 ]
Post subject:  What did they do during break/dinner?

I recently got involved in a discussion about playground games :D , and the only time I can think of them being mentioned in a CS book is in Three Go. It's usually primary school children who play playground games, so I wouldn't expect to find them being mentioned in books centred on Middles or Seniors, but I'm having a blank on what they did do during break and Mittagessen, other than actually eating/drinking and getting their books for the next set of lessons.

Maybe it's just not as big a deal at boarding school, because you've got all evening together, whereas, at a day school, breaktime and dinnertime are the only chance you've got to socialise with your friends - and also the times when bullies strike, or people feel left out of gangs, or arguments happen! I don't think they had a playground as such, but that's not uncommon for a secondary school - did they go out on to the lawn?

Author:  Lottie [ 15 Apr 2019, 13:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

I'm fairly sure they all went outside for some fresh air, unless the weather wasn't suitable. But I don't remember what the older ones did while outside; I think the younger girls might have played tag sometimes, screeching like hysterical steam engines!

Author:  Jenefer [ 15 Apr 2019, 14:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

We were sent out into the playground or the gym if it was wet. One term there was a craze for Jacks and another term it was German Jumps.

My daughters went to a girls school that allowed them to use their form rooms. R's room had a TV as it was a language classroom and they used to watch Neighbours. They also played cards. Outside her form room was a popular place for fights to take place as it was some distance from the staffroom.

Author:  emma t [ 15 Apr 2019, 21:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

We had areas at High School, and could go out if we wanted to. In sixth form, we had our own room and felt really important, as we had our own lunch kiosk in there.
I think from what I can remember off hand, the CS girls went outside a lot in the summer months anyway, for walks and games, and the rest period too was either in dormitories, or outside. How long did they get for breaks between lessons? I do remember them eating and drinking as quickly as possible, to join those already finished!

Author:  Mrs Redboots [ 15 Apr 2019, 21:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

They probably went outside if it was fine, and to their formroom or the common room if it wasn't.

Author:  whitequeen [ 15 Apr 2019, 21:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

In primary school we had to go outside for both breaks, unless it was raining, in which case we had to go into the hall. We weren't allowed to stay in/return to the classroom for any reason. In secondary school we usually stayed in the classroom or wandered round each other's classrooms - we could go out at lunch, but there was very little space as most of the big grounds were around the primary school part. Small break I never actually read any rule that we couldn't go out, but nobody did, and on my first day when I intended to, I basically got chased back to the classroom!
I was happy enough staying in the classroom anyway, less pressure to be outgoing.

Author:  KB [ 16 Apr 2019, 09:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

They play cross tag during Break in Exile (Gertrud wants to join in to befriend the younger girls).

Author:  Noreen [ 19 Apr 2019, 09:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

With the younger girls, there seems to be quite a bit of generalised going for a short run about in the fresh air - as Emerence does in Shocks; and I'm currently re-reading Feud and noticed a comment that because the weather was bad, "they could not take their usual run on the playing-field at the end of [morning] school".

Maybe it's the lack of a playground, but I'm honestly surprised that the juniors and younger middles so seldom seem to actually play anything - there's a brief mention of them playing 'statues' in one of the Tyrol books - especially given EMBD's interest in all things 'folk'. After all, children's games in the UK were already being studied by folklorists in Elinor's own childhood (Lady Gomme's pioneering books on the subject date from the 1890s), and you don't exactly need a vast amount of room to play cat's cradle or rock-paper-scissors.

Author:  cestina [ 20 Apr 2019, 13:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

At my boarding school in the 1950s we went out into the gardens during the mid-morning break, having collected and eaten/drunk our bun and milk on the way. We walked sedately round the paths in pairs or threes, and chatted. We were not allowed to run, nor to go on the grass.

I had come, aged 11, from a perfectly normal primary school where we dashed screaming round the playground so this was a huge culture shock for me.

At lunchtime we walked back to our houses for the meal (10-15 minute walk for many of the girls )and then back down to the main buildings for afternoon lessons twice a week. This took up any available time....

Author:  Noreen [ 20 Apr 2019, 15:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

Goodness, cestina - that must have been quite a lot to ask of children of that age, especially if you were not allowed to run or to venture on to the grass! I don't remember at what age we ceased to play games, but we were not allowed in our form rooms at break times unless it was raining or snowing (mere cold was good for you, of course!).

Author:  cestina [ 20 Apr 2019, 18:58 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

We could play to our hearts' content in the boarding house gardens. In ours all that was required was that we avoided sending balls of any sort into the paeonies. For years I couldn't bear the sight of them because we were constantly getting into rows for doing so.

We did also do various sports four long afternoons a week. That uses up a fair amount of energy!

Author:  Noreen [ 20 Apr 2019, 21:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

Yes, and one should maybe also remember that the CS girls evidently didn't consider that Games were lessons, according to the remarks in Peggy.

What I remember quite clearly from school was that unless you lived near enough to go home for the midday meal, going off the premises was strictly forbidden to any except the Sixth form, by which time we didn't always bother since it was fairly isolated - but I'm discovering from my school's FaceBook page that some people from the 4th and 5th years spent their lunch hours off-site through various means, including trespassing through neighbouring gardens and crossing railway lines. Obviously the CS girls wouldn't do that, but just think of all the potential accidents that could have been included merely by the use of skipping ropes!

Author:  bythebrook [ 21 Apr 2019, 06:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

There's mention in Exile of Gertrud(e) joining in the 'cross tag' game of the younger girls ... but I have no idea what 'cross tag' is ...

However the original game was in a free period, not break.

Author:  Audrey25 [ 22 Apr 2019, 10:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: What did they do during break/dinner?

As time went on the CS seemed to get more and more regimented. Did the girls ever do anything at lunchtime but have their rest period? I cannot remember if they took their chairs outside in warm weather. In the early morning they had their walks.

I think they must have gone out during morning break. I certainly remember the triplets being outside as seniors.

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