Evolution in education

Report books through the years

Clockwise from top left: The inside of a Delta West School pupil’s report book, issued in 1968; the inside of a Jurong Town Primary School pupil’s report book, issued in 1980; the inside of a Hsin Min School pupil’s report book, issued in 1985,
Clockwise from top left: The inside of a Delta West School pupil’s report book, issued in 1968; the inside of a Jurong Town Primary School pupil’s report book, issued in 1980; the inside of a Hsin Min School pupil’s report book, issued in 1985, and the inside of an Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) pupil’s report book, issued in 2012.ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG
The inside of an Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) pupil's report book, issued when he was admitted in 2012. From next year, changes such as the removal of red marks for failing will kick in. The inside of a Jurong Town Primary School pupil's report book
The inside of a Delta West School pupil’s report book, issued when he was admitted in 1968. He received a red mark for failing English Comprehension and Composition.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
The inside of an Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) pupil's report book, issued when he was admitted in 2012. From next year, changes such as the removal of red marks for failing will kick in. The inside of a Jurong Town Primary School pupil's report book
The inside of a Jurong Town Primary School pupil’s report book, issued when he was admitted in 1980.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
The inside of an Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) pupil's report book, issued when he was admitted in 2012. From next year, changes such as the removal of red marks for failing will kick in. The inside of a Jurong Town Primary School pupil's report book
The inside of a Hsin Min School pupil’s report book, issued when he was admitted in 1985. The school graded students on their hygiene, in addition to the usual academic subjects.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
The inside of an Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) pupil's report book, issued when he was admitted in 2012. From next year, changes such as the removal of red marks for failing will kick in. The inside of a Jurong Town Primary School pupil's report book
The inside of an Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) pupil’s report book, issued when he was admitted in 2012. From next year, changes such as the removal of red marks for failing will kick in.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Whether neatly printed and put in clear folders as is the case today or painstakingly written by hand as they were decades ago, report books have long been the twice-yearly indicator of a student's smarts.

Some things have changed, though. In the past, unlike today, marks for certain subjects were broken down. In mathematics, for example, there were branches such as arithmetic, algebra and geometry.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 07, 2018, with the headline 'Report books through the years'. Print Edition | Subscribe