Geographical distribution of Soham Grammar School pupils in the school year 1964-65
(extract from an article in the Soham Grammarian of Summer 1965)
It was discovered, with the aid of the School address book, that the majority of pupils at Soham Grammar School commuted between 20 and 40 miles to and from school each day (see Distribution Map) spending an average time of 1 hr. 30 mins. in transit, with some 85% completing at least part of their journey herded like cattle within the confines of a bus or coach, usually of the Eastern Counties variety.
But, despite these discomforts, not even as many as ten boys in the whole school, including the "don't knows" would consider being a boarder even if there was more boarding accommodation available. The difficulties of transport are clearly shown by the fact that only 15% of all pupils stay regularly after school although, as would be expected, this percentage increased up to 20% in the Upper School where boys have the use of some form of motorised transport thus dispensing with the necessity of relying on public transport.
The prohibitive costs and time, and time schedules of transport have also led to a lack of sustained interest in returning to attend school activities, this is shown by the fact that after an average school life of five years, 80% have returned for plays, 45% for sports, 60% at weekends; but, although this sounds impressive, only about 15% have returned for school activities more than five times during their whole school career.
Thus transport provides major hazards to external school activities, despite the fact that 98% of the school own bicycles and 82% belong to a family possessing a car. The low percentage of students who stay regularly at school, or return often, is not necessarily due to apathy among the remainder of the school, since among the Lower and Middle School approximately 35% of all boys partake in activities during school time. From this it can be concluded that, if feasible, some organised school activities similar to the A.C.F., Scouts, and Civil Defence, should be arranged for the Middle and Lower School.
Another interesting set of facts concerning getting-up and going-to-bed times were noticed; it was found that the sixth form, on average, get-up at 7.20 a.m., some 20 minutes after the First Form. First it was decided that this was due to a state of lethargy among the sixth-form, but it was then noticed that they accomplished 2 hrs. 30 mins. homework a night and went to bed at 10.40 p.m. whereas the first-form, needing more sleep, managed a mere 45 mins. homework a day and went to bed at 9.15 p.m. It was therefore decided that since 74% of the Sixth Form found it necessary to have a "paying" job during the week (more than twice the number of any other year) that they are "over-worked and under-paid" and that this was the cause of their apparent lethargy.
What we really mean is surely something could be done to alleviate the lot of the Sixth Formers of this country by curing this gigantic anomaly of our society, especially since we have a Socialist government in power. Then maybe a small investment in the Sixth Formers of today would lead to a great return in the Arts and in Science for the England of tomorrow, since more time will be available to broaden education.
Please give more school activities of interest and more MONEY.
THREE MEMBERS of L.VI Arts.
(Editor - please identify yourselves and your current occupations!)