• St Catherine's School
  • Station Road
  • Bramley
  • Guildford
  • Surrey GU5 0DF
  • Senior School: +44 (0)1483 893363
  • Preparatory School: +44 (0)1483 899665

Mass Observation

On 12th May 1937 an organisation called Mass Observation asked people from all parts of the UK to record everything they did from the moment they woke up in the morning to when they went to sleep at night. This was the day of George VI’s Coronation. The resulting diaries provide a wonderful glimpse into the everyday lives of people across Britain and have become an invaluable resource for those researching countless aspects of the era.

This year the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its annual call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK. The whole of St Catherine’s Prep School is taking part in this Mass Observation Day Survey, on 12th May 2014. Not only is this an exciting project for St Catherine’s to be involved with, but some of these works will be exhibited during the internationally renowned Brighton Photo Biennial.

May 12th 2014 is likely to be quite an ordinary day, but for those researching, the ‘ordinary’ can often provide extraordinary results. The diaries will be held and used alongside the 1937 documents.

The girls will write about what they do, who they meet, what they talk about, what they eat and drink, what they buy, what they are working on, the places they visit, the people they meet, the things they read, see and hear around them, how they are feeling and of course what they think about themselves. Each entry will be anonymous.

Julie Mullins, History Co-ordinator at St Catherine’s Prep School said ‘This is a fabulous way for girls to learn about history. As teachers we use artefacts to explain and find out about the past. The girls will be creating artefacts of their own through writing these dairies. It is a marvellous opportunity to become a part of history’.

Elise, age 8 said, ‘It is fantastic that our diaries will be kept forever’
Alice, age 7 said, ‘We are happy that this day will be important for children in the future’.