HMI Report 1931

Report on the Inspection of the School by HMI’s on March 5th & 6th 1931:–

“A definite course of advanced instruction was commenced in January 1930 with the approval of the Local Education Authority, and the senior classes were then re-organised. The bright children over 11 years of age, who are taking the advanced course, are taught in Classes 1 and 2, and Class 3 is the corresponding Parallel Class. The Junior Section comprises Classes 4 to 7 and classes 8 and (consist of Infants.

The average year group scarcely reaches 40 and the school’s success in the Junior Scholarship Examination – 21 children having gained admission to Secondary Schools during the last three years – has reduced materially the number of senior scholars capable of profiting adequately from a course of instruction in advance of the normal. Thus though Classes 1 and 2 consist of only 26 and 21 children respectively, each includes a group of children of ‘b’ type, and there are only 21 scholars in the Parallel Class.

The teaching in the Advanced Classes is on specialised lines and is mainly in the hands of two enthusiastic Assistant Masters whose work is distinctly creditable, though in several subjects progress has been adversely affected by certain difficulties. Thus the time allowed to English Drawing Science & Woodwork is insufficient, and the equipment for Manual Instruction is very meagre. A good start has been made in French but in view of the composition of the classes, and the inadequacy of the time devoted to more essential subjects, the advisability of continuing the instruction in this subject is a matter for careful consideration. The teaching of Mathematics is earnest and methodical, and the majority of the children are making good progress in Arithmetic and Geometry; the results in Algebra, however, are disappointing. History and Geography are very well taught. Music is a strong subject: the children sing a wide selection of suitable songs with spirit and pleasing effect, they show a very fair ability to sing at sight, and they are keenly interested in the lessons in musical appreciation.

The teacher of the Parallel Class is vigorously tackling the marked unevenness in attainments by careful sectional methods, and, though there is definite weakness in Spelling and in the working of simple problems in Arithmetic, the general rate of progress is satisfactory. The school garden is carefully cultivated by the boys and the educational side of the work is receiving due attention. A wider and more interesting course in Reading appears to be the most pressing need of this class.

A pleasing spirit of effort is shown by the children in the Junior Classes, and particularly by those in Class 4. The work in the most essential subjects is very good and, apart from Drawing, which is only moderate, the remaining subjects are commendable.

The Infants’ Classes are pleasantly managed and the preparatory training continues to be thorough and sound. Reading, Writing and Number reach a good level, Singing is well taught and the lessons in Handwork make a stronger appeal than usual.

On the whole the instruction is soundly directed and the actual teaching is, as a rule, effective. The excellent general training is, however, the outstanding feature, and in this connection the Head Master’s personality and influence are real assets to the school. He sets a high standard in conduct as well as in academic attainments, and, in the main, his ideals are being realised.”