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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 16:37 
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Indulging in a midnight feast
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004, 08:41
Posts: 531
Location: Manchester
I’m not sure quite sure what EBD thinks of St Mildreds, or what her designs for it were.

It seems to be part finishing school (but not quite posh enough), part third year sixth (but not quite academic enough), and part sixth form college (but many of the girls have already completed at least one year of sixth form elsewhere).

IIRC, there were three streams of girls: an arts stream, a science stream, and a general stream for those who might spend two years there. It’s not clear if there are opportunities to sit exams, and there is somewhat of an emphasis on being or becoming a cultured young woman, with the music appreciation, current affairs, languages, winter sports, and so on. But not really enough of an emphasis to count as “finishing”...

And, if it starts off with a confused ethos, it just seems to get worse. By the time there is a Swiss CS, I really can’t see any reason for a CS girl to actually become a Millie. For starters, it would delay them starting Uni until they were practically 20.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 19:50 
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Order Mark!
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Joined: 21 May 2012, 14:59
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I thought finishing schools were solely dedicated to etiquette and 'accomplishments' like sewing, playing the piano etc. Did they have academic classes too?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 22:18 
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Indulging in a midnight feast
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I can imagine they might have had classes for learning French, or music lessons, or literature, maybe.

But thats what I mean: St Mildreds is too academic to be a finishing school, but not academic enough to be a pre-university third year sixth or sixth form college. Where does that leave it?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 23:59 
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Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
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I don't think it was a bad idea for girls from other schools, certainly other British schools, who fancied the idea of spending some time abroad before university/work/husband-hunting, and whose families were wealthy enough to afford it but not from the sort of social background associated with posh finishing schools that concentrated on etiquette. From the girls' viewpoint, they were seeing different places and getting well away from home. From the parents' viewpoint, they were being supervised. And they'd be learning fluent French and German. But it was a complete waste of time for people like Mary-Lou and Lesley - spending another two years in the same place and then not starting university until they were 20.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2019, 00:54 
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Asked to help with the play
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Joined: 30 Jan 2013, 15:57
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It might have benefited girls from very sheltered backgrounds who would otherwise have struggled at uni/entering jobs and needed a bit more insight into the real world. But then the school should really be giving that anyway...


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