Notes on the Examination by H.M. Inspector in this District

c1885

By Geoffrey Cordingley

At the beginning of the logbook for Christ Church Infants’ School, Hertford, January 1871 to September 1887, is the following set of instructions to be followed before and during an HM Inspection.  Although the directive is not dated, a date of 1885 is included in the text so the document must have been issued in one of the years 1885, 86 or 87.  The document claims to contain suggestions but reads very much like directives.

The document refers to various accompanying  specimen documents: ruling for slates and black-boards; detailed scheme of work;list of object lessons and worked examination papers.  Of these only the detailed scheme of work for infants is present.

There is no indication of what the “District” comprises.  Presumably it is more that the Borough of Hertford and probably refers to East Hertfordshire.

             Notes on the Examination by H.M. Inspector in this District

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SUGGESTIONS TO THE TEACHERS OF  INFANTS’  SCHOOLS

1.  Certificated teachers having charge of Infants, however few, should draw up and conspicuously place in the room or rooms, at the beginning of the school year, a detailed scheme of instruction graduated so far as is convenient, according to the age of the scholars.

The accompanying scheme, the adoption of which is optional, exhibits a course of instruction which may serve as a guide to teachers who have not yet committed their plans to paper.

2. Children should not assemble for the inspection at an unreasonably early hour, nor should they remain still and unoccupied until H.M. Inspector’s arrival.

3.  All slates used by the children, should be purchased suitably, uniformly and permanently ruled.   (See accompanying specimens of ruling for slates.)   Slates should be of reasonable size – eight inches by six inches – unbroken, and, so far as possible, framed.

4.  Children should hold their pencils and pens properly.  All pencils should be of a suitable length and pointed.

5.  Fitting means should be at hand for cleaning slates without recourse to the mouth.

6.  Counting on the fingers and making strokes in working sums, will not, in future, be allowed.  Some definitely intelligent and universal system of mental calculation should be used in every school.       (See detailed scheme of work.)

7.  Black-boards should be purchased with lines, white or red, permanently painted upon them, proportionately corresponding to the ruling of slates and paper in use.  The black-board is really the teacher’s slate, and should be about forty-two inches long and thirty-six inches broad.           (See accompanying specimens of ruling for black-boards.)

8.  On the day of inspection, children not qualified for examination should be seated in their own classes, in a group by themselves, so that they may be readily withdrawn if necessary.

9.  Deaf children should be pointed out to H.M. Inspector, and seated in positions of advantage.

10.  Suitable chalk lines should be drawn upon the floor, if possible, in front of each class, round which the children may stand for reading.

11.  A list of “Object Lessons” given during the year, and a second list of those it is intended to give during the ensuing year, should be ready at hand.  The “Notes” of these lessons should be preserved so as to show the mode of treatment, &c.        (See accompanying list of object lessons.)

12.  A copy of the reading books used by each class should be specially reserved for the teacher’s use, and should, as far as possible, show by careful marginal notes, scorings and dates, the method and rate of work in reading, spelling and dictation, continuously pursued during the year.

13.  In singing, it advised that the teacher should “beat time” throughout the songs as a n aid to precision and expression – a preliminary bar being beaten as a guide to the rate of performance.  The children should commence singing simultaneously, and, at the least, precede each song by clearly sounding the starting note.

14.  The children should be thoroughly acquainted with a simple “desk” drill, so that if necessary any class may be easily and quietly moved.

15.  Ordinary school drill should, as far as possible, consist of exercises calculated to develop the muscular system, and should be executed with vigorous uniformity and smartness.

16.  Children suffering from infectious or contagious diseases should not attend the inspection.

17.  Time tables should be ready in school and submitted to H.M. Inspector during the inspection.

18.  Children should be properly clothed before dismissal.

19.  Pupil teachers should attend their annual examinations with an ample supply of paper properly headed and otherwise prepared.  They should write upon one side only of the half-sheets used.

20.  Of the three lessons which teachers on probation – Article 62, Code 1885,  – and pupil teachers prepare for H.M. Inspector, one should be upon either reading, writing or arithmetic.

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SUGGESTIONS TO THE TEACHERS OF SCHOOLS FOR OLDER CHILDREN.

1.  See the accompanying specimens of worked examination papers for the several standards, for details of arrangement and execution, which details should be intelligently adopted.

2. Children should not assemble for the inspection at an unreasonably early hour, nor should they remain still and unoccupied until H.M. Inspector’s arrival.

3.  No one should be allowed to go among the classes while they are actually at work.  Children wishing to ask questions should stand in their places and hold up their right hand.

4.  Children should properly head their own papers.

5.  All necessary papers should be prepared before the day of examination, and given out to the children in good time.

6.  Quarter sheets of blotting paper may be supplied to children using pen.  They should be used for blotting purposes only.

7.  Flat rulers may be used.

8.  Every separate answer should commence a line.

9.  Children should hold their pencils and pens properly.  All pencils should be of a suitable length and pointed.

10.  All slates should be purchased suitably, uniformly and permanently ruled.           (See accompanying specimens of ruling for slates.)           Slates should be of reasonable size – eight inches by six inches for Standard I, and ten inches by seven inches for other standards – unbroken, and, so far as practicable, framed.

11.  Fitting means should be at hand for cleaning slates without recourse to the mouth.

12.  Counting on the fingers and making strokes in working sums, will not, in future, be allowed.  A definitely intelligent and universal system of mental calculation should be used in every school.          (See detailed scheme of instruction for infants.)

13.  Black-boards should be purchased with lines – white or red – permanently painted upon them., proportionately corresponding to the ruling of slates, paper and copy books in use.  (See accompanying specimens of ruling for black-boards.)  The black-board is really the teacher’s slate, and should be about forty-two inches long and thirty-six inches broad.

14.  Every qualified scholar should have its schedule number pinned on its left breast.  The second sheet of schedule will on 101, 102, &c., and the third 201, 202, &c.

15. Scholars for examination should be mixed, standard by standard, consecutively, according to their schedule numbers, so that the papers may be readily collected.

16.   The children of one standard examined ina class room by themselves should be lettered consecutively A and B.

17.   On the day of inspection, the children not qualified for examination should be seated in a group by themselves, so that they may be readily withdrawn if necessary; and a list of their names, with admission numbers, should be ready at hand.

18.   Deaf children should be pointed out to H.M. Inspector, and seated in positions of advantage.

19.  Children suffering from infectious or contagious diseases should not attend the inspection.

20.  Suitable chalk lines should be drawn upon the floor, if possible, in front of each class, round which the children may stand for reading, &c.

21.  A copy of the reading books used by each standard should be specially reserved for the teacher’s use, and should shew by permanent marginal notes, scorings and dates, the method and rate of working continuously pursued during the year in reading, spelling, dictation, grammar, &c.

22.  The 80 and 120 pages of “reading matter” in each of the various books for the several standards should be carefully counted up and settled at the beginning of the school year.  These pages should be thoroughly mastered  before others are commenced., but they should not be learned by heart.

23.   Care should be taken that the sums for work in classes mainly conducted by junior teachers are thoroughly and systematically graduated in difficulty.  They should previously be submitted to the head teacher, and after approval, permanently recorded in a suitable book, for future use.

24.  The children should be thoroughly acquainted with a simple “desk” drill, so that, if necessary, any class may be easily and quietly moved.

25.  Ordinary school drill should, as far as possible, consist of exercises calculated to develop the muscular system; and should be executed with vigorous uniformity and smartness.

26.  In singing it advised that the teacher should “beat time” throughout the songs as a n aid to precision and expression – a preliminary bar being beaten as a guide to the rate of performance.  Teachers may start but should not join in the singing, except when adding a bass or independent part to the song tests.  The children should commence singing simultaneously, on the proper beat, and, at the least, precede each song by clearly sounding the starting note.

27.   Time tables and poetry should be ready in school and submitted to H.M. Inspector during the inspection.

28.    Children should be properly clothed before dismissal, and, if possible, the elder children should pass through the lobbies first.

29.  Pupil teachers should attend their annual examinations with an ample supply of paper, properly headed and otherwise prepared.  They should write upon one side only of the half-sheets used.

30.  Of the three lessons which teachers on probation, – Article 62, Code 1885,  – and pupil teachers prepare for H.M. Inspector, one should be upon either reading, writing or arithmetic.

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This page was added on 08/10/2015.

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