Castlethorpe School Log Book 1891 & 1892


Oct: 15 This School was formally opened by Lord and Lady Carrington of Wycombe Abbey, Wycombe
Oct 19 The School opened for the first time for the attendance of children.
I Thomas Adin Brearley A.C.P. (Associate of the College of Preceptors, London) Trained Certificated Master, late of the Higher Grade Board School, Halifax, Yorks took charge.
Admitted 92
There is space accommodation for an average attendance of 138.
The School consists of
(1) One large room (43.6 x 20) in which Standard III and upwards are taught
(2) One classroom (18 x 18) in which Standard I & II are taught
(3) One classroom 18ft x 19ft.6) in which Infants are taught as a class in connection with the School for older scholars.
Oct 23 Had great difficulty in classification.
The Carrington School - the only one within a radius of two miles - had been condemned by H.M. Inspector as a Public Elementary School three years ago. Since then it has been carried on by private persons.
Owing to the inadequate supply of school accommodation and to the laxity in enforcing the Education Act in this district many of the older scholars have not been to any school for a year and there are several instances of children not having been two and three years in fact ever since the Carrington School was closed as a Government School.
In consequence of this I find the children generally very backward indeed even in the most elementary part of their work. They lack attention & in several cases obedience and make no effort to think for themselves.
Many of the five year old, and a few of the six year old children do not know their letters - either printed or manuscript, and the majority of the six year olds can barely read the first primer.
Oct 30th Particular instances of backward children
Rose Smith - 9 years of age is in the I Standard
Sarah A. Smith - 11 years of age is in the II Standard
Eliza A. Lambert - 12 year of age is in the II Standard
William Harris - 12 years of age is in the II Standard
Hy. Nichols - 10 years of age is in the II Standard
Clara Ellen Eakins - 11 years of age is in the III Standard
Harriet Clifton - 11 years of age is in the III Standard
Len R. Mills - 11 years of age is in the III Standard
Of the 101 children admitted
16 attended No School last
61 attended Carrington School last
24 attended Hanslope Board School last.

Thomas Adin Brearley - Trained Certificated Head Master - has charge of Stands III and upwards
Mary Jane Brearley - Trained and Certificated has charge of Standards I & II and the Needlework of the older girls.
Annie Gregory, appointed by the School Board in accordance with Acts 68 and 100, has charge of the Infants.
Nov 13 Transferred William Harris from Stand II to Standard III. Had half day holiday on Nov. 2 for the wake.
The following is the Scheme of Object and Conversational Lessons intended to be given to the Infants.
Animals 1. Cat & mouse 2. Dog 3. Donkey  
  4. Duck 5. Cock & Hen 6. Pig  
  7. Butterfly 8. Horse 9. Fish  
  10. Lion 11. Tiger 12. Sheep  
  13. Reindeer      
Home 14. Dressing a doll 15. Setting a table    
  16. Bread 17. Clothing    
Body 18. Eye 19. Hand 20. Feet 21. Teeth
Trade 22. Baker's shop 23. Carpenter's shop    
  24. Harvesting 25. Gardening    
Plants 26. in general      
Birds 27. in general      
Nat. phew 28. Rain 29. Snow 30. Sun  
Objects 31. Coal 32. Glass 33. Wood  
  34. Sugar 35. Salt    
Miscell (a) Things of wood 36. Chair 37. Table  
  (b) 38. Cup & saucer 39. Bricks  
  (c) 40. Railway train 41. Post Office    
  42. Washing 43. Clock & Time    
Dec 3rd I Examined the Registers and found them correct.
Thomas Osborne
Clerk to the Board
Dec 10th The School had half day holiday on the 8th on account of School Bd. Election. Put Ar. Nichols from the III Stand. into the II Standard. He is very backward in Arithmetic and Spelling.
The Infant's class is still in a backward condition. The teacher has very little hold on the children. Discipline is poor in this class.
Dec 21 Has a visit from The Rev. H. Westall who examined the registers, being a Member of the School Board.
The weather has set in very cold and this accounts for the poor attendance.
Dec 23 Closed school to-day for Christmas Holiday - Re-commence on Jany. 5. 1892
Jan 5 Re-opened School - 84 present.
I learned that 4 scholars (of one family) have left the village which partly accounts for small attendance. Admitted one.
Selection of Poetry
Infants This is the top of my little head
  Helping mother
  This is the top etc.
St. III Leap for Life
  Harry and the Guide post
  The fisherman's song by J. G. Whittier
St. I & II Hang up my baby's stocking
  Ben Bruin
  The Vain Chicken
  The Father's return
St. IV & upwards The Well of St. Keyne by R. Southey
  Solitary Reaper by W. Wordsworth
  The snake and the baby by Sir Ed. Arnold
  Daffodils by W. Wordsworth
Jan 15 The attendance has not improved. Just now there is a great deal of sickness in the village.
Kate Kightley, Eliza Lambert, Amy Panter and Ar. Nichols are exceedingly backward in Arithmetic. They work with Standard II in Arith: though they are in Standard III for their other work.
Jan 22 This week the attendance has been much as usual still a number on the sick list. One poor little fellow - Jas. Worker - had died and the scholars decided to show their respect by sending a wreath. The top boy in the School has left and I have admitted an Infant.
Jan 29 Admitted one in Infant Class.
Work as usual.
Feb 5th Held an Examination this week in the ordinary work. There is evidence of marked improvement, especially in writing and general neatness of work. Reading is very backward. There is no expression in consequence of lack of intelligence. Arithmetic is also bad. Very few indeed got two sums correct. Plenty of mental work is needed.
Spelling is dreadful. It is common occurrence to see 10 & 15 mistakes on a paper, especially in Standard III. Standard II & I have greatly improved in this subject but are far below standard.
Transferred F. Marks from III to II Standard. His work is very poor indeed.
Feb 12 The attendance this week improved. Visit of Miss Marshall of Castlethorpe. Work much as usual.
Feb 16th I examined the Registers and found them correct. Thomas Osborne. Clerk to the Board.
Feb 19 This week the weather has been very winterly and the attendance has gone down from an average of 89 to 83. The Infants are particularly absent.
Mar 4 Held our monthly Examination. Paper work is done much better especially in Standard II & III. Arithmetic is backward all round.
There is an improvement in neatness and accuracy of work.
The answering to oral questions is particularly bad. It is with great difficulty that we can get the children to put the simplest thought in the form of a sentence. Any question involving a series of mental processes is a stumbling block, hence mental arith makes slow progress.
Mar 11 Children had their photographs taken.
Attendance very bad indeed.
Mar 18 There is a marked improvement in attendance.
E. E. Stewart (St. V) is very backward in Arith. so works with St. VI in this subject.
Am endeavouring to obtain from manufactured articles e.g. wool, cotton, mustard, pens, biscuits, needles, etc. to be used in our lessons.
Wednesday morning the 16th Master absent owing to illness. Mrs. Brearley took charge.
Mar 25 The attendance has improved. Admitted one. Had an Examination of the older children. The work is progressing favourably but still far below the mark.
Standard III has improved in spellings but still careless in working sums.
Standard I & II do their paper & slate work much better but are very backward at answering oral questions.
Mar 28 Have been successful in obtaining several specimens from manufacturers and they no doubt will be highly interesting to the children.
Apr 1st Attendance is gradually improving. Av. 91.
Admitted one infant.
Examined the infancy class which is divided according to ability into Upper and Lower Divisions. The work generally is very backward indeed and exhibits little signs of improvement.
The teacher is totally unacquainted with the nature and standard of infant's work. I am badly handicapped with this class. Have decided to give 20 object lessons out of the list given Nov. 13th.
From the Admissions Register I find that
24 Infants attended Carrington School
16 Infants attended None
3 Infants attended Other
Also, I find that at the end of the School year there will be:
6 Infants over 7 years of age
6 Infants nearly 7 years of age
Of these 2 have never attended School before
Of these 9 have attended Carrington School
The master has good reasons for keeping back the 7 year olds.
Apr 8th Attendance improved average 93. E. E. Stewart does her Arith so well in Standard IV that I have again decided to try her in Standard V Arithmetic.
Apr 12 Examined Standards I & II in Geography. It is most difficult to teach the subject to such children. Improvement only fair.
Apr 13 Have examined Standards III & IV in Geography Standard III is fairly good. The boys particularly, answer very well from blank map. They now practice drawing the map of England on slates. Standard IV etc only answer moderately. The girls are particularly backward in giving good intelligent answers.
Am only attempting Geography of India C. Colony Australia and New Zealand with memory maps of the tree first countries.
Apr 14 Closed School for Easter Holiday. Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
Apr 20 Opened School - 82 present
Apr 21 Half day holiday on account of a bazaar held in schoolroom
Apr 22 This has been a broken week and the work of school has suffered in consequence. Average 85.
Examined Infant Class in Recitation Singing and Drill. Very little improvement. There is a lack of attention in the children and definite aim in the teaching. Miss Gregory (Infants) absent on account of family affliction.
Apr 25 Miss Gregory still absent
Apr 26 99 out of 102 present - the best attendance since opening of school. Miss Gregory present.
Apr 29 Admitted E. A. Hillyer in Infants. She is 5 years of age and never been to school before.
Attendance this week - very good indeed = 96.3.
T. Gregory is exceedingly backward in all his work especially spelling and arith. So have decided to put him in Stand III. The IV seemed to be too high for him at present.
May 6th I notice improvement in the Infant work. The teacher is evidently doing her best but still it is not up to standard. The great drawback is lack of attention and effort.
May 10 Many of the boys show great taste for drawing. Standard I in freehand are the worst. Standard III has made great headway.
Mental work of any kind is the worst feature in school. I have urged on the teachers in this part of our work but still full intelligent answers are very few even to the most straight forward question.
May 13 The attendance of the Infants is very good. Discipline in this class is much better and in consequence there is evidence that many of the older ones are trying to do their best.
May 20 Examined the Geography of Stand I & II. Many of the scholars evidently have no idea of the meaning of the definitions and terms used. Have tried to interest them by introducing sand and clay models.
May 24 For some months now the children have been allowed to take home a reading book or card of sums. This is quite voluntary on the scholars part and seems to act well. It would be well if a library could be started and thus extend and keep the work of the day - school.
May 26 Attendance this afternoon 88. Yesterday afternoon 96. Cannot account for such disparity in attendance. There are a few cases where excuse for absence is very trivial such as errands and "minding the baby". The latter is the universal excuse.
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May 27 Held the monthly Exam on Monday. Standard VI do badly in Arith and Composition. Thos latter subject is a stumbling block to all. They are very slow in acquiring the power of independent thought which this subject requires.
May 30 Have encouraged the scholars to take an interest in their school by bringing plants to be put in the windows.
June 3 Attendance good this week. Work as usual. Drawing is improving favourably, many of the boys apparently have a great inclination in this direction.
June 10 Holiday Monday Tues. and Wednesday, in consequence, there is a decrease in average attendance.
Received Form IX etc. The visit of H. M. Inspector is fixed for July 22nd
June 15 Exam of upper school.
Work in general progressing fairly well. Arith in particular, is done much more intelligently as is seen by the fact that a fair number get the problems correct and accompany their working with concise explanations of each process.
A few in the 1st Class make good attempts at map drawing.
Spelling in Stand II is backward and much of the writing is weakly formed.
Reading in Stand III and upwards is good but the answering to questions on the matter read are not to the point. Stand II has done grammar on paper very well indeed and the geography is improving.
June 15 Afternoon The Rev. M. A. Nicholson - formerly Vicar of the parish visited.
June 17 Attendance good this week. Av. 98.9 out of 103 on Registers the highest since School was opened.
June 19 Received notice of visit of H. M. Inspector on July 13th - to examine Infant Class and again July 18 to examine older scholars.
June 21 Had Drawing Exam in connection with Science and Art Examination.
Major Gen. Ruddell - Inspector. Mr. Amos present on behalf of School Bd.
June 24 Attendance fallen a little this week. Having finished the Geog. of 1st Class as notified under date Ap 13th, the Scholars have now taken up British North America.
Examined Upper Division of Infant Class. The work in general is poor. Out of 19 examined 6 cannot find the page. Nearly half cannot write their names in a legible manner and but few can make anything out in reading even from the Second Primer. There is evidently a want of thorough teaching. I am giving this division as much attention as possible. Eva Day is a marked contrast to the rest of the children.
June 27 The Infant Teacher is evidently taking great pains with Needlework in her class.
June 29 Examined the Registers and found them correct. Charles Whiting Chairman
June 30 Thursday - End of School year. Total scholars on Registers 104
July 1st Friday - Commenced new School year.
The following is the List of Obj. Lesson for Infant Class during coming year.
Minerals Coal Salt
Vegetables Potato, Rice, Corn, Apples & Pears
Trades Carpenter shop, Baker's shop
Plants Geranium, Daisy
Birds House sparrow, Owl
Miscell. Teapot, Railway train, Letter, Clock, Ship, Farm-yard, Candle & Candlestick, Class-room door and Walls
July 1 Have carried forward most of the names of scholars in Upper Division of Infants into the Register for Stand I and so on with the rest of school so that the new classes will correspond with the Registers from beginning of year.
July 6 Spend a great deal of time with Infant class especially with mental arith of upper division
July 8 Attendance this week - good.
Helen Allen (7) and Alice Bird (7) still away ill.
The former girl, though 7 yrs of age is in the Infant Class. She has delicate bad health and has attended school very irregularly. I have put her name in Stand I on account of age alone.
Work in general - as usual.
July 12 Examined the Registers and found them correct. Thomas Osborne Clerk to Board
July 13 102 present highest attendance
2 absent A. Bird (sick) and Hy Sharp.
July 15 99.4 - highest weekly average since school was opened. Work as usual.
List of Songs
1. The village chorister (unison)
2. O hush thee, my babie (2 parts)
3. Spring Song (unison)
4. Hunting Song (2 parts)
5. Sweet and Low (2 parts)
6. Britannia, Pride of the Ocean (unison)
List of the Poetry for 1893
IV etc The Combat from the Lady of the Lake
III Barbara Freitcher
II The Rose and the Waif
I The level crossing
Infts A little girl's letter
  The two friends
  The vain chicken
H. M. 18.7.92
July 22 Very good attendance during week owing to examination.
Put the children in new standards - 18 in Stand I from Infant Class. Most of these children are not sufficiently advanced but owing to their age I have passed them on.
July 25 Emma Bird and W. R. Nichols - top girl and boy have left. Received results of Drawing Exam. The mark obtained is "Good"
July 29 Have written out a Syllabus of Work for the Infant Class which now numbers 31. The five years old children at resent work with the sixes. The class of teaching in this class is such as not to guarantee very good results without some outside help.
Aug 2nd Hy. Castle, John and Hy Dolling and Helen Allen are very backward cases in Std. I. The first and last do not yet know their letters and scarcely are able to write a "letter" from dictation Amy Panter and Eliza Lambert (Stand IV) are not sufficiently for ward or bright enough for this standard. Mr. Richardson, member of S. Bd. Visited.
Aug 5 Holiday for 1 day - Aug 1st.
Have adopted monthly courses of instruction throughout school.
Find the poetry, The level crossing too difficult for Stand I. Have thought it best to commence with an easier piece.
Aug 12 Admitted 2 Infants bring total number of scholars to 108. Have got cards of poetry 'Scotts' - 'Combat' for 1st Class.
The first and second class in Infts. Take their writing lessons in small desks in school-room so that I can better supervise the work.
Aug 15 As a change to the ordinary work of the school I have introduced several physical exercises - Dumb bells for Boys and Wands for Girls.
Aug 18 Received Report of our Exams on July 13th & 18th last.
Copy of the Report of H. M. I.
For the year ending June 30th 1892
Mixed School "Mr. Brearley has started this school well. He has got the children into capital order and has made them careful and for the most part accurate in their work. Arithmetic is not a very strong subject at present, especially as regards problems; but this no doubt will improve. Note singing has been taken as far as the third division with success; next year I shall expect the classes to go as far as the fourth division.
The answering in Geography was good, in English it was very fair; the older children did not do so well in Parsing as I hope they will do as time goes on. The Sewing is satisfactory".
Infants Class " The condition of the infant division is, I think, fair, under the circumstances. It has been difficult to organise it and to classify the children, almost all of whom came to the school in a condition of ignorance; and as the school has been open 9 months only, it is not easy to gauge the value of the work that has been done properly.
The children are backward; that must be expected; they are restless too and are not thoroughly in hand at present. Miss Gregory has had no training as a Teacher; but she seems to be anxious to do well with her class, and I am prepared to approve her for the current year. But it must be understood that improvement in the general condition of the division will be looked for if this approval is to be continued. The grant for note singing is recommended with some hesitation. The boys know nothing about sewing. No grant, will be recommended for the girls in this subject next year unless the use of the thimble is more thoroughly known and practiced."
Miss Gregory is recognized under Article 68.
Thomas Osborne
Clerk to the Board
August 18th 1892
Staff T. A. Brearley & Mrs. M. J. Brearley (Certifd) A. Gregory (Art 68)
Aug 19 Closed school for 1 month's holiday
Sep 19 Reopened. 86 present
Sep 23 Work, this week has been very hard. Many of the children were away and those present seem to have fallen into loose habits of order and accuracy, hence the routine of work did not go as smoothly as usual.
The average for the week is low = 87.6
I have put Eliza Lambert from the IV to the III Standard. I find she is unable to work comfortably with the IV.
Sep 26 Admitted one bringing our total to 110 - Visited by The Rev. Mr. Nicholson
Sep 27 Visited by Rev. H. Westall - one of the Members of the School Bd.
Sep 30 The attendance for the week is a little better than last = 91
I find that many of the scholars are kept away for the purpose of digging potatoes and gathering wild fruit. The infants attend very well indeed.
Oct 5th The work is a little interrupted on account of preparation for concert.
Oct 7th Average for week 93 - gradually improving
Oct 11th Examined I & II Class in Infants
Reading: very bad - only two made any attempt. Most of them cannot yet find page in a book.
Writing: improving from B.B. - very bad from dictation
Arith: slate work was badly done Tables - good
Singing is better and the teacher seems to be slowly getting the class in hand.
Oct 12th I have examined the Registers and have found them correct.
Signed Joseph Pike Vice - chairman
Oct 12th Held the monthly examination of upper scholars
Arith; is very poor in all classes - very few sums got right
Reading: is weak. The answering to questions on subject matter of lesson was very bad.
Spelling; very bad result throughout espec. St III
Writing: fair - bad in Standard II
Geog: fair - bad in Standard I & II
English: good on paper; not examined orally.
It appears from the examination and personal observation that there are several children who have not the ability to work comfortably in the standard in which they are at present. Instances are: K. Kightley in the fourth. J. Panter and M. Clarke in third. Bros Dolling and Hy. Castle in first.
Oct 14 Work as usual during the week. Average 91
Oct 17 Transferred Sarah Smith to the Second Standard. In the 2nd & 1st Standard I have arranged to take one lesson every week in English and Geography and Mental Arithmetic.
Oct 21 The attendance has greatly improved Av. 97. No. on books 106. Visitors: Rev. Mr. Graham and Mr. Grant.
Oct 25 Held monthly drawing Examination of boys.
Boys in third standard (drawing) did well.
Boys in fourth & second standard (drawing) did fair.
Boys in first standard (drawing) did very badly.
Oct 31 Holiday on account of the Feast
Nov 4 The attendance is rather low. There is a great deal of sickness in the village. Spelling is very bad throughout and I have introduced the syllabic method.
Nov 8 Visitors: Mr. & Mrs. Grant of Castlethorpe
Nov 15 Had monthly examination of upper school. Arithmetic is still very backward in all standards except V. The papers exhibited most careless mistakes with slovenly working. Standards II & IV were particularly bad.
Reading gives more signs of an understanding of the subject matter read - still the individual reading is hurried, and in consequence little errors occur.
Spelling is bad. I have never had such bad papers before.
Writing. Good in Standard I Moderate in other classes.
Grammar - very bad result in upper classes, fair in lower.
Altogether the results of the examination were disappointing. I think that the children just now are not interested in their work which is undoubtedly due to the fact we are shortly to have our first Annual Children's Concert.
Nov 18 The attendance this week is a little below our usual average. The infants attended very well indeed. Out of 30 on register the average is between 28 and 29.
Nov 22 Have put Kate Kightley from IV to III Standard.
Have put Helen Manning from III to II Standard.
I have noticed for some time now that these two girls are particularly backward and their work was a great drag upon them.
Work, just now, is very much interrupted by the preparation for concert. We, however, try to do as much as possible out of school hours.
Nov 24 Visit of the Clerk of the S. Bd.
Nov 25 Visit of the Vicar (Rev. Mr. Harkness) and friend.
The average attendance this week (87) is the worst since this School yr. commenced. All cases of absenteeism have been visited by Attendance Officer and according to his report they are due to sickness. Out of 103 on Registers 12 are sick. Infants all present.
Nov 28 Good attendance this afternoon - 97
Admitted one infant. Total on Register 104
Dec 2 Work this week has chiefly been in connection with "Children's Entertainment" which takes place this evening. Attendance during week = Excellent. Average 96.
Dec 7 Now that the concert is over our way is clear for work. The children did their parts admirably and everybody pleased.
Dec 13 We are endeavouring to get through the mechanical part of our work by Xmas Holidays.
The boys in infant class come into large room for their drawing. It seems very nearly a hopeless task to get them to draw the simplest forms with any degree of accuracy. The same may be said with respect to the boys in Stand I. A taste for drawing is almost wanting lacking throughout the whole of the boys. John Varney and T. Gregory are the only boys who possess the aptness to draw.
Dec 17 Visited by Mr. Whiting (Chairman of School Board) and friend.
Held examination of 1st & 2nd Classes of Infants. Dictated capitals E. G. F. C. H. and small h, n, d, o, p, to both classes and Bob, Hen, Fish, Can to 1st class. In arith. dictated figures 6, 6, 13, 2, & 5 to both and to 2nd class 5+3, 8+4, 2+9 to add and to 1st class 9+8+3, 10+17+5, 16+11+15 to add.
In read: examined both from first primer.
Results (1) Arith: Out of 18 examined 1 got 3 right and 2 got 2 most of the others were a miserable failure.
Writing: 1 did well (A. Manning) 3 fair and rest nowhere.
Reading: A little improvement but very slow.
Dec 19th Had a Magic Lantern Exhibition after school hours for the scholars.
Dec 22 Miss Marshall visited school and very kindly gave each child a Xmas card.
Closed school for Xmas Holiday