1883 School
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1883 School

When the school opened in January 1883 attendance was then only 50-60 and not until April did it pass 70. The Log records "Babies class in charge Naomi Rolph and the 1st. and 2nd. of E.Rolph". The Infants Examination Needlework commenced during the week ending 19th.January. At the beginning of February the 1st.Class had Arithmetic instead of 'Repetition and Singing'. Classes were to quite frequently have mathematics substituted for another lesson. This was obviously a subject which caused the pupils a lot of trouble. They would not have had all the 'teaching aids' that the modern pupil enjoys. A boy was punished for stealing pencils and another for 'biting the child next to him'. Five boys finished a cuff each for the examination. Presumably boys in the Infants School had to do needlework along with the girls. By the middle of the month an examination of the 1st.Class in Arithmetic and Number was far more satisfactory than that of the previous week. The extra lesson had paid off!

Two new scholars were admitted, and several returned to school after an absence of a great many weeks, at the beginning of March. The weather was cold and stormy however and those attending were soon reduced to 49. It was so cold on a Monday in mid March that the children were allowed to march instead of having the first lesson. Early in April the Mistress was able to report "most of the Infants Knitting and Needlework finished off for the examination".

Early in May she wrote: "Examined Babies Class with a very poor result. The want of a teacher for this class is much felt as the girls who are sent in from the large roomi.e. from the Mixed School - as monitors, cannot teach the children thoroughly as they want teaching, in order to prepare them for the higher classes", By the end of May the 1st. and 2nd.Class girls had finished their needlework and knitting and took their lessons with the boys as per timetable. In June another child was severely punished for stealing the pencilsit seems to have been a popular crime - they would not have been given pencils by their parents, and attendance was low - with many away with 'bad coughs and colds'. It was also low towards the end of the month, (an average of 23,) due to the usual 'Annual Fair' and the school was closed for the Thursday and Friday of that week.

In July the school was examined by Mr.Claughton, H.M.I. For a change 96 children were present. Naomi Rolph had to give an 'oral lesson' on "The Cow" before the Inspector. No doubt a traumatic experience for this young girl! After the inspection 33 children were transferred to the Mixed Department. By the end of the month attendance had dropped to 51. As the Log Book records, not for the first time - or last, "many of the children seem to stay away just as they please". A holiday was given on a Wednesday afternoon for a 'tea-meeting' at the Sunday Schools.

By the week ending 10th.August attendance had dropped to 31 - "owing to many of the children going to glean in the fields". The school was closed that day for six weeks holiday at the end of the fifth 'school year' of Lakenheath Infant's Board School. It could be said to 'have come of age'.

The Inspector's Report for the School Year 1882/3 - Infants School: "The Infant's Department is carefully conducted. Naomi Rolph - Pass - but must attend to Grammar and Composition. Grant for Infants 40.18.6 Grant for Pupil Teacher 2. 0.0 42.18.6"

R.A.Silverlock. Feb. 2000.
see also School in 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, Illness, Poverty and Postscript




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