How the US do School Leavers

I was recently on holiday in Florida. The main thing to do round there is of course the theme parks; Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World etc. The theme parks are huge and very busy. It is tourists mainly but for any school in Florida there is no better place to go than these parks for an end of year trip. To make it educational they’ll visit the Kennedy Space Centre which is hugely intriguing. For out and out fun they’ll visit the theme parks. Sounds a pretty perfect way to finish off your school year doesn’t it?

At the time I was there it was ‘grad’ time or what we refer to as ‘school leavers’ in the UK. As becomes more popular here though school leavers doesn’t just extend to the Year 11 pupils leaving school, the celebration extends to all years as they progress onto the next level.

Anyway I digress, the key point I noticed about the schools in the US is they had leavers t-shirts rather than hoodies. This is pretty obvious as to the reason why; It’s 30 degrees over there. These t-shirts were always screen printed too, front and back. Clever designs, featuring a map of their travels and lists of names of all of the class. We are seeing more and more leaver’s hoodies orders for pupils in nursery, year 3 and year 6 for example.

The other key factor for these special t-shirts was a bright colour! No greys, whites or blacks. It was all neons. Again, the key reason for this is identification. It’s certainly a lot harder to lose someone in your group if they’re wearing a neon green t-shirt.

There was also a clear growth in tie-dye t-shirts both in the shops and in use for the leaver’s t-shirts. Tie-dye is definitely back in!

Everything I saw made made me think about variations we could use in the UK. Leaver’s hoodies are great in the UK and will never be replaced but if you’re on a budget don’t forget about leaver’s t-shirts. Similarly if you are marking your final school days with a number of events, as proms catch on over here, British students are getting more extravagant with their leaver’s plans. Special dinners, final trips away together and fundraisers. Don’t forget to mark these events with a memento you can keep! Bear in mind that for the price of one hoodie you could get about 3 or 4 printed t-shirts in all different types of eyecatching colours.

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