What did the students of the past look like? Why is school uniform such an important part of forming the school’s identity? By Group 9- Phoebe, Tahni, Sarah, Lauren & Serenus


The uniform is integral to the school's identity as it is a representation of the school. The uniform visibly promotes the students and the school when students are walking down the street wearing it. It's important, as well behaved Kincoppal-Rose Bay students that are out and about in their uniforms create a good reputation for and impression of the school. The uniform shows the school colours, so identification is simple. While the school colours have been maintained, the Kincoppal-Rose Bay school uniform has evolved greatly since the school started.

When Kincoppal-Rose Bay was found by the 5 foundresses from France, uniform was one of its most important traditions, However, the uniform of our school has been changing over time.

The First Uniform

A picture of the first students-Susan Hughes, Clare Martin, Sissie Scanlan, Mary Jennings, Mary Condon, Lillie Martin, Alice Cosgrove, Elsie Josephson, Lizzie Hughes, Florence Barlow, Dorothy Wentworth, Frances Fawcett, Nellie Dalton

The first uniform was designed in 1882. The students wore long, button down dress with collars and long sleeves. This was inspired by the culture of France and the fashion trends in the 1882, known as the Victorian Period. Dresses in 1882 were always long and made from either cotton or silk, depending on the wearer's status. Women’s hair was usually long as it was not common to cut their hair in Victorian times. Hair was braided, tied in a bun or twisted.

An example of the first uniform in 1883 and a picture of Florence Barlow

The Blue ribbon

One part of the uniform we maintained from 1883 until today is the blue ribbon. Specific students are awarded a blue ribbon to symbolise their great leadership, support for the school’s Sacred Heart Goals and for their consistent approach to learning. It is an honour to be presented one.

1965 Uniform of Rose Bay Convent

The film was set in 1965 when Kincoppal and Rose Bay Convent were not yet joined. The fashion trends of the 60s affected the way the uniform was designed and its quality. Dresses from the 1960s were either just above or just below knee length, usually with a tight waistband. The popular dresses usually had floral patterns, in bright colours, and Peter Pan collars were highly fashionable in the 1960s, as were short puff sleeves. Additionally, short hair with a hair band, tight curls or straight hair with a fringe were famous hairstyles for women. Kitten heel pumps with or without straps were usually worn. Bags were often small with a short or long handle to match with the clothes. These typical fashion ideas were influenced in the uniform of Rose Bay Convent.

HOuse captains

As shown in the picture, the old school uniform in the 1960s has similar contents to the 60’s fashion. The uniform had a Peter Pan collar and a short puff sleeve. They also used hand bags with short straps as a school bag. The hairstyles were usually short or else had to be tied up with a white ribbon.

The current Uniform

Year 12 students (and boarders) from 2016: Sophie Stack, Lucy Edwards, Xanthe O'Neill and Prue Anderson

The current formal summer uniform for students at Kincoppal-Rose Bay is a teal dress, with high top white socks, black polished school shoes and hair tied up in a ponytail or in a braid. Girls in Kindergarten to Year 11 wear white ribbons in their hair, and Year 12 girls have the privilege of wearing red ribbons, to denote their seniority and leadership. There is a teal blazer worn in special occasion, for example, school assemblies. Winter uniform includes a teal patterned tunic with a white collared shirt, a tie and black stockings worn underneath. These uniform are influenced by contemporary fashion trends and culture, as well as new technologies in fabrics and textiles production. Nowadays, women usually wear skirts or dresses above their knee length and most clothing are made from cotton. On the other hand, collars are not as trendy as in the 60s, but Kincoppal-Rose Bay included the collar to maintain the traditions of our uniform design.

The uniform from 1980s

The sport uniform

Year 6 leadership camp in Melbourne

The uniform hasn't changed since the 1980s, however, the sport uniform has changed. The current uniform comprises a light blue t-shirt, with a dark blue panel down the side, and a collar. In addition, the current sport uniform has dark blue/navy pants and 'skins' which are dark blue/navy and it says KRB on the side in red. Today’s sport jacket is a zip up long-sleeved jacket and the colour is navy blue, with a strip of light blue and a strip of white.

Frances Faucett and Mary Jennings-1883
Venn diagram of the differences and similarities between the first uniform, the 1965 uniform and the current uniform


This task has, overall, broadened our knowledge of the history of Kincoppal-Rose Bay and taught us how to work better as a group. We have learnt a lot regarding how to work together productively and, of course, we have learnt a lot more about our question. In addition, our group has realised that the uniform is such an important part of forming your own and the school's identity because it represents the school, shows the school colours and promotes the school community of Kincoppal-Rose Bay. We took on our question and figured out general fashion trends, as they might have had an impact on the school uniform. Our group has put all our effort into this task since our question did take quite some intensive research. We decided to base our research off a short film we were showed at the start of PBL. Project based learning is a great way to learn about the past of the school, especially for those new students who do not know a lot about our school history. It is also great to work with people you haven’t worked with before. PBL is a great opportunity for the whole year group to be able to learn about the school's past.

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