Pound Street school-log 1876-1891

DateLog-Book Entry
Aug 4th 1876 New school opened. William Down, Certificated Teacher.
  Found 'the boys very rough in manner & extremely ignorant. Not a single boy in the 4th class could read & many did not know their letters'.
  28 boys on the register.
  School board members Mr Hill & Mr Cuming frequent visitors. Want to know if school & boys clean. Promise Xmas treat if boys behave.
  Punishments for 'telling falsehoods' & truancy.
  Fee of 6d per week - some boys withdrawn as cannot pay.
Nov 1876 Irregular attendance as many working in fields - 17/68 absent.
Dec 1876 Several absences because of wet weather.
Dec 1876 Term ended. Mr Cuming gave the treat - (so must have behaved! ).
Jan 1877 3 monitors - A Godfrey, Dolbear, H. Steer.
  Henry Jeffery absent to look after house & children while mother at Prayer Meeting at Miss Mincham's.
  Scarlet fever outbreak near Moor Wood. Several absent.
  Edwin Short absent ill according to his mother but seen by several boys playing football in the Sentry.
  Several boys kept in during 'dinner hour' to learn their home lessons. Youths & boys entered school & struck a pupil!
Feb 1877 Suffered much from smoke from down draught in both chimneys.
  Albert Crout encouraged by parents to truant?
March 1877 James Dyment assists - anxious to be a teacher.
  George French absent 2x to fetch milk from Mr Cummings (a School Board member!) at Linscott.
June 1877 James Aggett off for 'inflammation of eye caused by smoking'- later found out that 'George Martin threw a match at him'!
  Attendance very irregular - on average 69/93.
  James Aggett absent WOL, after spending school fees on tobacco & is 'with the lowest characters in the town'.
  Complains Board should enforce bye-laws on attendance as finds some of parents more negligent than boys.
  James Aggett found to have slept out of house for several nights.
  James Aggett 'captured (sic!) in Sentry after 5 weeks truancy.' Punished. Promises 'to amend his mode of life.' Absent the next week!
July 1877 Several boys reported for stealing gooseberries. Given reprimand.
  Inspected by Edward H Burrows HMI. Average attendance 76/91.
  Mr Hill gave prizes to 10 boys who passed the Government Exam - N.B. did not include James Aggett!
Aug 1877 End of term - poor attendance blamed on Wrestling Match in town.
Sep 1877 Very irregular attendance. Average 58/97. Complains about Board failure to compel attendance. Absences cause lessons to be repeated.
Oct 1877 Edwin Short reported as 'addicted to thieving' - stole 2 cakes & tobacco from Plymouth Inn & gave some to George Martin. Both reprimanded.
  Fred. Thomas Shepherd began as monitor to replace A. Godfrey.
  2 boys punished by 'good thrashing with cane for insubordination'.
  Parent complains of monitor's punishment - i.e. write dictation out 5x - but found to have done his duty.
Nov 1877 School disturbed by rough boys shouting outside, threw apple at a boy & pieces of cabbage into the school room. 'These disturbances frequently occur'.
  Complains about standard of monitors - wants an assistant master or pupil teacher in 3rd or 4th year.
  Last School Board resolution restricting corporal punishment is 'bearing fruit'. Edwin Short - 'an incorrigible young scamp & both a thief & liar' sent message that he is not coming to school 'to be knocked about by the master'.
  Complaint to the master of boys trespassing in orchard.
  J. Hill JP Chairman of board. Average attendance 71.1/93.
Dec 1877 Allegation against monitor found unfounded by Mr Hill. Down complains board does not punish parents who bring false charges against teachers.
  Complains board only serves notices to attend to parents of truanters.
  Complains about standard of monitors - wants an assistant master or pupil teacher in 3rd or 4th yr.
  Mass absenteeism as boys collecting holy bushes for Xmas season.
Jan 1878 Edwin Short is 'one of most incorrigible young scamps I have met in any school'.
  Complains several boys rule their parents. One boy off school 'to collect sticks for firing'.
March 1878 Boys cautioned about 'injuring the turf in the Sentry'.
  Samuel Hill's father came in & took away son who was being kept in lunchtime as punishment - threatens to 'kick down door' if anyone tries to stop him & 'to warm the master if his boy is warmed'!
  Boys smile when threatened with school board action for truancy as know 'from experience that no such proceedings will be taken'.
  Average attendance 65.5/91.
  Boy's mother calls at the master's house in the evening to complain of unjust punishment - not upheld.
April 1878 Names 3 regular truanters, 4 boys who work for parents & 7 who work for other people.
May 1878 8 boys have assisted him after a monitor left. One boy, sent to a house to find why another is absent, finds him carrying water & told by mother to say he's at the station & not at home. Complains many such mothers in Moreton who train their sons to lie!
July 1878 Half boys off school hay-harvesting & picking wortleberries.
  Boy punished for carelessness in work, truancy & bawling out in class 'as if being murdered while only having 2 strokes of a small cane'. Given 3 strokes on hands & 3 or 4 on shoulders while 'his mother was screeching outside the windows making use of the most abusive language'. Boys examined & school inspected.
Sep 1878 113 on register but many corn-harvesting.
Oct 1878 Inspection report. 'Mr Down with much energy & perseverance continues to effect good improvement in spite of not having sufficient assistance. Promising beginning in subjects under Art. 19C & the boys show considerable intelligence. Upper standards - did work well & neatly. 1st standard defective in attainments - needs pupil teacher. Registers should be regularly supervised by managers'.
  Attendance greatly improved in last 2 weeks because 'Board adopted more stringent measures of compulsion with some parents'.
Nov 1878 Attendance down due to snow.
  Exmined 3rd class under Master Barrett - not doing well.
Dec 1878 Truanters disturb school by bawling into classroom window.
Jan 1879 School closed due to smoke from down draught in chimneys. Ventilation very defective.
  Almost choked again with smoke for most of week.
Feb 1879 Mother came in for 4th time to complain about boy being kept in during dinner time.
  Country boys absent in wet weather.
  Almost stifled with smoke again.
March 1879 Suffering badly from smoke.
April 1879 Chain-bolt put on doors of school by order of board 'to prevent intrusion of quarrelsome parents'.
  Master Barrett has left. Master absent occasionally from school in week owing to death of only son on Sunday 20th April.
May 1879 Caned 2 boys for 'use of profane & disgusting language in the streets'.
June 1879 Week's holiday for Whitsun & visit of Bath & West of England Ag. Soc. at Exeter.
  Frank Gillbert given 'good thrashing for impertinence'.
July 1879 Toilets blocked for some weeks - 'horrible stench'.
  Opie brought to school by mother who asked for him to have severe thrashing for truancy - given.
  Several absent collecting whortleberries.
Aug 1879 Inspection report summary - general state praiseworthy in all aspects. Results of instruction excellent. WH Dolbear & A Leat recognised as stipendiary monitors. Average attendance 59/83.
Sep 1879 Absences for hay & corn harvest.
Oct 1879 Dolbear replaced as monitor by Blackmore. Other monitors Leat & Major.
Nov 1879 2 truanters reported in Sentry. Went with 2 monitors to 'capture' them & caught one at Millbrook - 'given good thrashing'. On way through town came across 8 other truanters - 'some trundling hoops & others loitering about looking in shop windows'.
Dec 1879 Monitor Leat been kicking boys in the playgound - given a reprimand.
Jan 1880 Leat still kicking boys. Cannot persuade one of better boys to be pupil teacher.
Feb 1880 Harvey Dyer truanter - illegally employed by the Rector.
March 1880 Refused to admit boy as no fees with him. His 'reputed father, a low rough known as 'the general', threatened to put his fist in my face if I did so again'. Not perturbed, boy sent home again next day am & pm when came with no fees. School board sympathetic but did not see their way to help him!
April/May 1880 Complains not able to carry on work of school with present staff of teachers. 2nd standard very backward in arithmetic.
May 1880 Worst average attendance since school opened = 28/80.
June 1880 Lack of water at pump.
July 1880 Half-holidays for Chapel & Church Sunday School treats.
July 1880 27 certificates for 3rd & higher standards are a gift of Mr Crump, VC of School Board.
Aug 1880 Report 1880: Praised for cleanliness, discipline & good manners. Thorough & creditable instruction. Remarkably good attainments in higher standards. Ist standard backward & Grammar, History & Geography below mark. Weakness fully acounted for by deficiency in effective teaching staff. Managers doing what they can. E. J. Blackmore & G. Major stipendiary monitors. F. Rowe failed. Grant £49.
Sep 1880 Low attendance owing to harvesting & heavy rain.
  Some boys admitted at age 7 to school for only the first time. A 'gang of them spend time in the Sentry making mud-pies'.
Oct 1880 Many have measles. Heavy snow. Poor attendance.
Nov 1880 Pump finally mended! Urinal & closets whitewashed. Week later pump out of order again!
  Absences - snow & 'watching marriage of Rector's daughter'.
Dec. 1880 Better attendances after several orders served on parents.
  2 weeks after improvement attendances down again!
Jan 1881 Closed by snow for week.
  Water dripping from snow. Master fears he has rheumatism as last year.
Feb 1881 School 'damp, cold & smoky much of the time'. Poor attendances.
  40 boys in 4th class taught by a 13 year old.
June 1881 Attendance orders served on 11 boys - names them. Absences for whortle berry picking.
July 1881 Separate inspectors for Standards Work & Grammar & for History, Geography & Music.
  Report for 1881: behaviour & standards commended, 'especially considering teacher has no effective assistance'.
Oct 1881 Absences through heaviest rainfall in living memory.
Feb 1882 Master's health suffering from smoke & draught from open window to let smoke escape!
July 1882 Mr Crump gave a treat at Wray to Pupil Teacher, monitors & 20 boys with best attendance.
  Report for 1882: School maintains praiseworthy character. Boys orderly & intelligent. E J Blackmore, Pupil Teacher, has passed 'fairly'.
Nov 1882 Teacher suffering from smoke & draught again. Cannot see properly. Cannot have singing practice! Goes on for weeks & heavy snow.
Dec 1882 Used 3 inch telescope to observe Venus from school yard.
Feb 1883 30 boys reported to board for poor attendance since Xmas.
April 1883 Teaches boys 'fine old English song Rule Britannia'.
Aug 1883 Report for 1883: After special difficulties taken into consideration, results satisfactory. But 1st standard badly taught. E. J. Blackmore passed 'well'.
Dec 1883 28/107 boys reported for poor attendance, including one whose 'parents of Punch Bowl Inn have already been prosecuted for non attendance'.
Jan 1884 School board resolution: 4th standard & higher to pay for all books & stationery. If pass prescribed standard to leave if do not keep up 75% attendance.
  Mr Crump to pay school fees for John Opie & Robert Sibley.
  Thrashed monitor in front of all school for disobedience! Teaches Pupil Teacher & monitors 7.45-9am.
July 1884 2 boys in a month 'try to kick & bite' teacher while he is punishing them.
  Report for 1884: Discpline not altogether good - some boys very troublesome. Teaching on whole effective with very satisfactory results. Ist standard backward in spelling & arithmetic. Poetry not properly understood.
Sep 1884 Boy sent home for collar or neck-tie.
  Medical Officer visit - complains of defective ventilation.
July 1885 Report for 1885: Discipline improved. Instruction on whole satisfactory. EJ Blackmore passed 'fairly'.
Oct 1885 Hele's charity money of £2 & 5s for 14 boys = 2-5s each put into PO savings Bank for them. Merited by attendance, conduct & passing their standard. Boys names listed.
Nov 1885 Edgar Arthur Davy starts as assistant master.
Dec 1885 Very poor attendance caused by parliamentary election.
May 1886 Number of boys late as school bell broken!
July 1886 Report for 1886: Discipline pretty good & instruction sound & succesful in most respects. Elementary class criticised for reading & neatness. Arithmetic not so good higher up. Poetry, Grammar & Geography good.
Sep 1886 Master upset that board meeting has ruled that infants over 8 must transfer to higher schools. Master did not know of the meeting & feels 'sold' by Miss Blair, Infants' School Mistress, who had attended after previously agreeing to deal with this among themselves.
  Has to admit 5 from infants on new ruling but only one up to standard.
Oct 1886 Prizewinners listed & 2 monitors get 10s each.
Nov 1886 John Adams right thumb cut off by George Cock with shovel in lunch break!
Jan 1887 Large part of ceiling fell in.
Feb 1887 Boys without copy books have to use slates.
April 1887 Boys absent 'planting potatoes'.
May 1887 No. of boys on register. Standard I: 13; II: 23; III: 17; IV: 13; V: 9; VI: 5; VII: 2. Total: 82
June 1887 3 days holidays for HM Jubilee.
July 1887 Report for 1887: Discipline not satisfactory. Rather critical of all aspects.
Oct 1887 The Master's salary reduced from £29.50 to £25 per quarter & warned will lose job after poor report if not better next year.
Nov 1887 All who pass 3rd standard to pay for stationery copy books. Fees set according to father's occupation.
Sep 1888 Report for 1888: Discipline & instruction much improved. Composition, Spelling & Grammar of upper classes only fair. Rest of work very satisfactory. Pupil Teacher is Harry Friend & Monitor is William Leat.
Feb 8 1889 William Down resigned.
Feb 11 1889 Matthew S Cox new master.
Sep 1889 Report for 1889: Good discipline & standard in elementary classes but higher up critical & not to get higher grant.
Sep 1889 School closed for 3 weeks for measles.
Dec 1889 Still absences for measles.
Sep 1890 Report for 1889-90: Grammar not good enough but exceedingly well taught & very good order.
Oct 1890 Drawing lessons introduced. Master's salary raised to £90 as assistant Davy leaving.
Nov 1890 Mr Gray complains about boy punished for lateness while another not. Cox explains to board some boys allowed to be late am - e.g. if collect papers from station or come from far.
Jan 1891 Old boy J Dymond visits from London - gives lesson on 'the magnet'.
Mar 1891 Ceiling fallen in - have to go to Infants School.
  Dr Engelbach complains to Master that Pupil Teacher Friend 'did not acknowledge him in the street'.
April 1891 Absences owing to visit of a menagerie to town.
May 1891 Pupil Teachers give new style 'object lessons' on Coal, Glass & Potato.
June 1891 Object lessons to upper classes on 'Electric & Magnetic Forces' - more science lessons now.
July 1891 Sets out Poetry & Geography Syllabus for 1891-2.
Aug 1891 Report for 1890-1: Excellent order though 'perhaps too military'. VG for spelling & arithmetic. Critical of neatnesss & grammar (so miss higher grant for English). Good Geography & fairly good recitation. Pupil Teacher Leat 'failed'.
Sep 1891 School Board accept fee grant of 10s a year for each child 3+/-15.
Nov 1891 Plans to set up Savings Bank for pupils at school.