This photograph shows the teacher and pupils of a class in Stanford School, Brighton, in 1927. The Roman numerals placed at the front of the group indicate this was either class or year 6.
Clamping down on bad behaviour?
The format of school photographs has changed remarkably little over the years, but the facial expressions have. School photographs today tend to emphasise that both teachers and students have an enjoyable time and are proud of their school. In this 1920s’ class portrait, the pupils look stiffly toward the camera, with just one or two half-suppressed smirks on show.
The teacher appears to be taking a hands-on approach to one of his pupils that would not be acceptable today. His hands are placed firmly on the shoulders of the boy sitting in front of him, while his knees clamp him into position.
Was the teacher trying to stop some chronic wriggling? Or did he suspect his pupil of plotting to disrupt the photo?
Author: Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager