1879 School
Features Folk & Facts Bibliography Year is 1965

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1879 School

The school reopened on January 10th. after the Christmas holiday with a poor atttendance. The Mistress sometimes gave a 'Specimen Lesson' for the benefit of the pupil teachers. 'Object Lessons' given by them at this time included 'A River', 'A Monkey', 'Coal', 'A Sheep', 'A Candle', etc. Arithmetic was said to be very weak in every class. Attendance had crept up to around 101 by March - when the school had no coal and the children were 'crying with the cold' and marching was again substituted for oral lessons. This continued through the month - no coal being supplied. In spite of this the 2nd. Class were kept in for an extra lesson in arithmetic each day! By the end of the month there were still no fires and two children had to be sent home - ill. The remainder were so cold they could scarcely work.

The school was closed on 1st.May as attendance was so poor and later that month five boys were detected playing truant and severely punished. In the first week of June a two day holiday was given for 'Club Festivals' and later that month the school had its second 'Inspection'. 69 pupils 'qualified and presented'. A two day holiday was given 'in honour of the examination' and the day after work was stopped for the presentation of prizes given by Mr.Howard. The following week it is recorded that "the babies were reduced into better order"! The 2nd. and 4th. Classes were being taught by Emma Roph, the 3rd. by Melinda Gathercole and the two divisions of the 1st.Class by the Mistress. Towards the end June yet another two day holiday was declared as attendance was so poor due to the 'Annual Fair'. (If you can't beat them, join them!) 40-50 pupils were transferred to the 'Mixed School' at the beginning of July.

Pupil teachers were required to do homework and in July the Log Book records that Melinda's 'homework was badly learnt - she seems utterly careless'. Edward Roper was severely punished for stealing a scarf and the whole school given 'a moral lesson on honesty'.

The school reopened in September with an average attendance of 64. In the first week of October Melinda Gathercole left after having been given notice. Naomi Rolph and Hephzibah Rolph were engaged on trial for three months as Pupil Teachers. Members of the School Board made house to house visits in the village and by 24th.October attendance was up to 101. However at the end of the month one child had to be sent home as he was 'in a very dirty condition'. Children frequently absented themselves in the middle and at the end of the week.

Early in December children were grouped around the fires crying with the cold and the Mistress was having difficulty in instructing the Pupil Teachers after school in the winter owing to the absence of lights in the school. By the end of January a few oil lamps had been provided by the Board.

The Inspector's Report for 1878/9 records that Emma L.Rolph passed the Pupil Teacher's Examination 'fairly' whilst Melinda Gathercole failed. George Isaacson was appointed Clerk to the Board and the Grant for the school for the coming year was 58.10s.

R.A.Silverlock. Feb. 2000.

see also School in 1878, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, Illness, Poverty and Postscript



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