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Visited by several of the managers. Examined the Boys and entered them into different classes. Continued the examination and found great difficulty, as the greater number had never been to any school before. 63 new scholars attended today. Found great difficulty in getting names and age of many of the boys. The school is in a very awkward state, as it is not supplied yet with proper books and apparatus. The children have to use their own books and slates as the Committee have not yet been able to get any. Formed a timetable, my whole time is spent in the proper classification of the school, and I feel great difficulty as the children have scarcely attended school before. 7 new scholars attend. The school is now in pretty fair working order, as we are supplied with apparatus and books. The standard reading books that we use are Murby`s Excelsior Reader. Promoted 3 to Standard 5 and 8 to Standard 2, John Thomas, Robert Roberts, and Philip Thomas Jones; Albert Williams, John Evans Talwrn, Thomas Hughes, George Belton, Edwin Gittins, Richard Griffiths, George Jones and Edwin Humphreys. JUNE Not many present as it being Wrexham fair day. The weather is very hot which makes the children very restless. A Welsh `Cymanfa` held in Coedpoeth. Several of the chief ministers of the Independents present. Visited by W John Griffiths, (Gohebydd) he examined the school and gave several of the boys suitable prizes The Masters wife left for Cardiganshire. The weather still continues very hot, and we find it very difficult to interest the children in such a manner as to keep them attentive to their lessons. The ventilation of the school is not in very good order. Visited by Rev. Thomas Jones of Llangollen and Mr Harrison, Minera Lime works. Ordinary progress. Two left school to work at the mines. The candidates for the office of Pupil Teachers attend lessons at half past six in the morning. Geography & History lessons given them. A committee of Manager is held this evening. Visited by the Rev L. Ellis. The lessons given the candidates today were Arithmetic and Mensuration. All attend at half past six. An examination held. 175 boys examined and the majority were in a very backward state. JULY The number in school today was very high, and a new song was taught the scholars. Standard 1 was particularly attended to as their Dictation and Arithmetic is very inferior. A night school held. The school not so well attended, as there was an excursion to Bangor and a Ladies Club in the village. 3 new scholars admitted, Boaz Jones, John Rees & William Oates. The attendance was very fair today. The weather has been very hot for several weeks and the children are very restless. Visited by Mr Bowen and Mr Davies. One of the Candidates, Edward Morris was not at morning lessons. Edward Morris absent this morning being poorly. Visited by a friend. The candidates have a grammar lesson at half past six this morning. A lesson in mental Arithmetic given the First Class. The whole school examined, found then rather backward. Home lessons given for the 2nd 3rd th th th 4 5 6 Standard to be worked during the holidays. The school breaks up for 3 weeks.
AUGUST The school reopens after the midsummer vacation. Not well attended as several children are kept at home to work. Visited by several men. Altered the Classification and Organisation slightly. Examined St 5, all present passed moderately. Visited by Mr E B Ashley of Brymbo British School. The candidates have not worked their home lessons satisfactorily. Found it very difficult to teach Standard 2 the Multiplication table. Tried a new method of teaching the Multiplication table. Ordinary progress throughout the school. One scholar left the school to a situation in Llangollen. Visited by Mr Williams Chairman of the School Committee and W Daniels of Minera. Visited by Mr Boaz Jones, Vron. Visited by the Rev W Thomas, Wern. SEPTEMBER The teachers are rather late coming to their work in the morning. 4 new scholars attend this morning. Jesse and David Davies from Minera National School and one from Wrexham Union School, Charles Williams. Examined the whole school and found some progressing favourably while others seem very backward. Introduced a new dictionary (Collins) to school. OCTOBER Visited by W Low Esq. Vron Colliery and W J Owen. W Low gave a present of a load of coal for school use and promises £1 toward giving presents to the best children in each class at Xmas. 6 new scholars attended this morning, thought the scarlet fever is very prevalent in the neighbourhood. Edw. Jones, Adwy Clawdd, one of the schoolboys died of scarlet fever this morning. A very nice little boy and very fond of his lessons. Edward Jones one of the school children buried at the Adwy cemetery this afternoon. Visited by W J Harris Esq. secretary of the managers. Not so well attended as usual as several of the boys were raising potatoes. The first division taught Composition. Gave them words to be formed into a sentence. They also had to write several sentences of their own, together with writing an account of a horse. The parts of speech were to be pointed out in the above - found the same to interest them, and the method will be accepted in future. The Master very poorly with sore throat. The school given up in the afternoon on account of the Masters illness. NOVEMBER 2 new scholars attend school. William Jones and Robert Jones Coedpoeth. Visited by Rev Hugh Hughes the Calvinistic Methodist Minister Coedpoeth. The school money amounted to a great deal more than usual today as it was a Pay Day at the Vron and Minera Works. A little boy named Enoch Hughes died of the Scarlet Fever. Several boys continue ill. The Scarlet Fever has been very prevalent in the neighbourhood during the last 4 months. The cold weather has just commenced and several of the youngest children are kept at home for the winter. This locality is a cold and stormy place. Great inconvenience arises from the fact that we have no fireplace in the classroom. 3 new scholars admitted Richard Davies, Thomas Jones and Robert Cotgreave. A lecture delivered this evening by the Rev John Thomas,Wern on ³ Water, it¶s properties and use ³ Arrived in school about ten o clock in the morning having been to visit Bangor Normal College. Found a great number of the children following the procession to meet Osborne Morgan
Esq. the Liberal candidate for the County of Denbigh. The elections are affecting the number in attendance at the school. Polling takes place at Wrexham and the school is not so well attended. DECEMBER Examined Standard 4 in Arithmetic. Gave them sums of this sort to work out. Subtract 1000 pence from £1000. £1-10-9 3/4d a week, what is that per annum. Very few able to work them Found it rather difficult to keep the children from copying. Gave each a different sum. I intend following the recommendation of D R Fearon Esq. and make it impossible for them to copy. Payments of the children amounts to a good sum as it was a Payday at the Minera Works on Saturday. Scarlet fever is still prevalent in the neighbourhood and one of the boys died this week. One of the schoolboys died this morning. Thomas Williams of Wern. He died of Scarlet fever. He belonged to Standard 1. Visited by W Lester Esq. Bron Offa and Miss Gee of Denbigh.The school not so well attended as usual, great many children being preparing for Xmas. The school breaks up this evening for Xmas day, no other holidays allowed for this year An examination held today. Each class examined individually in the morning and a public examination in the afternoon. Messrs Fyfe and Son of Wrexham British schools attended. Prizes given to the best two in each class by Mr Low of Wrexham. The amount given by Mr Low being £4. Rev W Bartley and Mr Roberts and a great number of the boy¶s parents attend. 1869 JANUARY A new song taught´ God bless the Prince of Wales ³ One of the boys named George Edwards died this morning of Scarlet Fever. One new scholar attends, David Charles Roberts of Adwy`r Clawdd. 2 new scholars admitted, Samuel and Owen Williams. The Grammar class on Saturday was attended by 7 boys. Appointed a number of boys as curators for the week, to give out and collect slates in each class. Henry Jones, Thomas Rogers, Wm Hughes and Charles Williams.To look after the fireplace = John Davies. In future the teachers of each class will have to be careful with the order and discipline of their classes, allowing the curators to find anything that will be required for them. FEBRUARY Visited by W Low and several others. W Low delivered a lecture in the evening upon his proposed scheme of a Submarine Tunnel from England to France. Several boys kept at home owing to a fair being held at Coedpoeth. Some parents seem to care very little about sending their children regularly to school. The same boys are generally absent every week while others scarcely ever lose a day. Several boys belonging to Standard 2 have left for the Vron Colliery though some of them were very young. Many boys that have been at home for some time return this morning. The Bell has been put up today. It had been taken down for some time and sent to Birmingham, which was a very great inconvenience for the school, as the children could not be sure of the time of opening. MARCH The school very well attended though the weather is cold. A little boy belonging to the Infant Class died last Saturday. The school is carried on with great energy as all it¶s teachers are working as hard as they possibly can. Found out that a boy had been writing with a black lead pencil on a door, and I punished him well. Gave the whole school a lesson on Good Behaviour. Standard 2 taught numeration as they are very backward. The discipline in this class is not good and I urge upon its Teacher the necessity of observing order with the greatest care.
The weather is very cold today, school not well attended. We had a fall of snow in the course of the night, which accounts for the decrease in attendance A lesson in ³ Climate´ delivered today. The weather is very cold and it snows heavily, attendance is smaller than usual. Gave the Pupil Teachers a lesson on the Analysis of Sentences. A meeting held this evening in the school advocating ³ Building Societies´ Punished very hard some boys who had been throwing stones after a man on the previous evening. Standard 2 kept in school for an extra lesson in Numeration, as they are rather backward. The Pupil Teachers do not attend at the proper time and have not worked their home lessons properly. A boy broke a pane of glass in the classroom windows, School very well attended today. Examined Standard 2 and divided into two classes, as the number is too large to be instructed properly in one class. The school has been worked with great energy during the week and has been very well attended. APRIL Visited by Capt Harris. Distributed tickets to all the children to admit them to the Tea Party which is to be held in the school tomorrow. No school in the afternoon as the desks have to be removed. The school breaks up until Thursday. The tea party very well attended. All the children marched in a procession through the place headed by members of the Committee. The tea was kindly given by the Management, as it was the Anniversary. A Concert held in the evening. The school fairly attended though it was Wrexham Fair Day. 2 new scholars admitted, E J Bowen and Phillip Warner. John Richards late this morning. The weather is very hot today, but as we supply the children with sufficient work, they have been very attentive to their duties. I am convinced now that the defects in the order and discipline of my school are to be attributed to the want of energy on the part of it¶s teachers, therefore I am determined to prepare beforehand, so that the boys will be supplied with sufficient amount of work for the day, and do the utmost in my power to check idleness on the part of my teachers as well as the school children. Gave the Pupil Teachers a lesson on the Discipline and order of a school. The monthly examinations took place today. 109 were examined and the passes were = 63 in Reading, 49 in Writing and Dictation and 37 in Arithmetic. Every one failed in Arithmetic in Standard 2 Visited by Capt. Harris the Managers secretary - called attention to several boys to the necessity of paying the arrears due for their instruction Fine weather. The ventilation of the classroom is not at all satisfactory. Gave the two lowest classes an ³ Object lesson´ on the ³ Cow´ The little children seemed very much interested. MAY The order of the school was not very good during the time that the Copy books and Slates are given out and to do away with the confusion and noise all the pupils have to sit upright with their hands behind until they are supplied with everything they require and everyone commences their work at the same time. After they have finished their sums etc, they have to turn their slates over and put their hands behind. The school well attended though there is a large meeting in the Wesleyan Chapel. Visited by Mr Boaz Jones, Vron Colliery. One new scholar admitted, Robert Cadwaladr. I had to take the assistance of a monitor this week as Edward Morris one of the Candidates has left, as he failed to pass his examination.
JUNE Several scholars, Edward Hughes, Wm Hughes, John Andrew leave school, for Minera National School as the payments in ours are too high. A very bad practice is allowed to exist in allowing boys to leave class at half past eleven to take dinner for their fathers, though we prefer having them in school for 2 hours in the morning than losing them altogether Visited by Mr R Morris of Llangerniew, the teacher¶s grandfather. Thomas Carrington of Coedpoeth left school for Mr Harvey`s. Private School. The weather is very close and the boys rather restless. The highest class is allowed to read newspapers twice a week.
School House Minera
JULY Several boys are kept at home these days, as their parents are busy with the hay. Reading good, thought I found great difficulty with 3 boys to get them to spell the word ³horse´ The weather has been very hot, we are under the necessity of turning the little children out to play several times during the day. Two or three boys were taken ill in school. One of them we had to take home as he was unable to go himself. Several boys playing truant this afternoon. Extremely hot in school. No school held this afternoon as there was a ³Cymanfa´ of the Sunday School belonging to the Independent making = about 2000 present. AUGUST Vron boys late this morning - found out that they had been gathering nuts instead of coming in time. Punished them accordingly. Examination continues today. The best in Standard 2 being Edward Roden and Jeremiah Edwards In Standard 5 Wm Williams and Thos Lewis. Standard 4 John Roberts and Thos Rogers. Standard 3 Samuel Lloyd and John Davies The school breaks up for the holidays today. Pupils are advised on the necessity of working home lessons, conducting themselves properly during the vacation and attending school on the reopening on Sept 6.
Gleaning was done by the poorer people, it was gathering the remains of the wheat after the farmer had collected the harvest.
The school not as well attended on the first day, though as well as expected especially as a great many of the scholars were in the fields gleaning. Load of coal sent for the school from the Vron Colliery. Very rainy morning. A tea party at Nant, and the school on that account was opened earlier this afternoon. Examined several classes and found they had forgotten much during the holidays. The school was carried on by the Pupil Teachers with the assistance of the Mistress, as the Master was in Aberystwyth in consequence of his wife being in ill health. I did not work much as I was tired after my journey to Aberystwyth. Delivered the prizes to the 2 best scholars in each class. The pupils seem much pleased with the books. Visited by Messrs Pattinson and Harrison, two of the School Managers. - informed them that we required a stove in the classroom before the winter sets in. OCTOBER A case of some consequence took place in school and I was almost led to punish an innocent boy. William Davies, one of the Pupil Teachers is very ill and unable to attend school. I find that I have been able to do but very little, and am ready to give up in despair sometimes, but a feeling of responsibility comes over me and I use extra exertions and do the utmost in my power to influence the children in all that is good, and teach them in the elementary branches of instruction I am rewarded to a certain extent for which I ought to feel very thankful to God. On reviewing 3 or 4 months work I find there is some improvement. How great and noble is my mission and yet how incapable I am to perform it. Wm Davies has been ill since last Monday. Stoves brought for the school. Received a letter from the Royal College of Preceptors stating that I was elected a member of that body. Snow on the ground, cold weather.
NOVEMBER Two new scholars admitted, Paul and Richard Humphreys. The Potato Harvest, which keeps several children at home. Edwin Woodhall returns to school. A new scholar named George Roberts admitted. The School Pence amounted to a fair sum today. The weather is very cold today. Visited by Mr Hugh Jones Adwy, Evan Jones Argoed, and Edward Davies (Iolo Trefaldwyn). Pryce Formby and Pryce Williams return to school. DECEMBER Very cold, snow today. Punished a boy for throwing snow after he was asked not to do so. Examined Standard 3 in Arithmetic, the result was not satisfactory. Not in very good health and could work but very little in school today. The Mistress superintended the school during part of the afternoon, as I had to go visit my Mother who is very ill. A Historical Bible lesson given. The children seemed very much interested and I promised them a lesson once a week. Snow on the ground. The Pupil Teachers are not at all attentive to their home lessons. School not well attended, as there is snow on the ground, which makes it difficult for boys that live at a distance to come to school. Distributed some Toffy among the children this afternoon. 1870 JANUARY There are a great many pupils poorly; the measles is prevalent in the neighbourhood. About 23 boys are absent on that account. Visited by Mr John Jones, Merddyn, Gwytherin and Mrs James, Pentanisaf near Aberwyswyth. Singing lesson given this afternoon. Two new scholars admitted, Thomas and Edward Roberts, Vron. I find some boys are leaving school without giving any notice, and their parents are as much to blame for not informing me when I send to enquire. I shall bring this matter before the committee at their next meeting Two new pupils admitted, Hugh Jones, Talwrn and William J ones of the same place. Promised a prize to every boy who will be able to repeat the multiplication table on Monday in Standard 2 FEBRUARY Fair held at Coedpoeth and several of the boys are late coming to school. Examined Standard 2 in multiplication table. Rich. Bithell obtained the first prize. Ellis Williams second, William Williams third. Several boys were unable to say the whole and another prize was offered to the best for repeating up to the 8 times by Friday. 5 new scholars admitted. A strike at the Vron Colliery will certainly affect the school. MARCH Adwy & Coedpoeth BS March 1870 Principal teacher Richard Morris. Pupil Teachers John Brookes 2 nd Year Wm.Davies 1st Year P.C. Evans 1st Year H.M Inspector John White.
A great number of new scholars admitted. The boys that were employed at the Vron Colliery are now out of work and the leading men of the Union have ordered them to attend school. The number in school today above 230 and the place is crammed seriously affecting the order and discipline of the school Sent out for the boys that have attended school during the last year. Some of them refuse to come which shows clearly the necessity for compulsory attendance. Several new scholars attend today some of whom had been before but had left for another school. The school pence have been very small today and have been so for some time as there is a strike in the neighbourhood. APRIL Devoted an hour this afternoon to teach the Tonic Solfa system of music and a new song. The pupils appear much pleased and interested, and I intend giving more time in future to the lesson. 5 new scholars admitted. Peter Chaloner, John Kenrick Jones, Joseph Ankers, Robert Evans and John Williams. A load of gravel sent for the playground. Opened early this afternoon, as there was a funeral of a Deacon taking place at the Adwy Cemetery. The school rather noisy for some time. The potato planting keeps several from school.
An example of Tonic Solfa
MAY Delivered the prizes. Fist prize went to Samuel Lloyd, Adwy - a pencil case. Two new scholars admitted, William Brookes and Enoch Lettsome. The other boys were rather noisy and I had to punish them on that account. The Pupil teachers have very little command over the children and are very careless. JUNE The boys are late coming to school as we have no bell. One boy¶s father refused to let him learn poetry as it is of no use to him. Edwin Wroohall left school this afternoon without informing me. It appears he quarrelled with one of the PT`s Mr Shelby and another called in relation to their children, they had been playing truant the previous day. The school bell comes up after being sent.
The school very well attended as our Tea Party takes place on the 20th of this month. One generally finds that before the Tea party the school is much better attended that at other times which clearly shows that the attendance of children might be much more regular. There is nothing but Compulsory attendance that will entirely do way with the irregular attendance, which is the greatest obstacle a teacher has to overcome. The annual Tea party took place today. Above 500 children present. George Clarke Esq. kindly allowed the use of the Park for the children to enjoy themselves. A Grand Concert held in the evening. Captain Harris the secretary of the Committee was presented with a watch and chain in recognition of his valuable services as the Secretary for the last 6 years. The school was not opened today as the joiners had to put the desks etc in their places after them having being removed for the Concert. The weather is very close and hot today, and I do not feel at all well having over-exerted myself with the Concert. A quarrel took place between Evan Morris James and Jno. Evans and both were punished well. The children are not very lively with their lessons after the Tea party. I do not feel myself at all well today and consequently unable to work much with the pupils. Samuel Lloyd and P C Evans quarrelled last night. Several new scholars attended. Spoke to Mr Hugh Jones in relation to P C Evans appeal for an increase of salary. Wrote to the Privy Council to enquire whether William Davies could stand the 3rd year examination next March, as he is getting old. JULY Not so many in school today July 7th as it was the day for the funeral of Evan Jones of Penygelli. No school today as there was a large meeting held in Salem Chapel. A Club marched round the neighbourhood and a number of children stopped at home in the afternoon. AUGUST Delivered the prizes to all the best in the different standards. The delivery of prizes accounts for the good numbers at the re-opening of the school. SEPTEMBER Several boys who had left for other school returned today. I find it very difficult to get the pupils to pay for school. The arrears are being above £10 Jno. Brookes gives lesson in Geography to the First Division. Gave him several hints and instructions. Visited by W Joseph Owen, Rhyl, the Agent of the British and Foreign School Society. He examined different classes to test their intelligence and stated he was much pleased. Harvest Thanks giving meeting held at Adwy Chapel. P C Evans obtained leave to go away today. A large meeting held in the Assembly Rooms tonight to take the necessary steps towards electing a School Board in the district. Resolution recommended such course adopted Thos. Jones from the Vron admitted to school. The boy is above 9 years of age and does not know his letters, and there are a great number in the district of the same function. NOVEMBER There was a long talk in the Committee this evening in relation to a school board. Mr Brookes gave a Critical lesson on the ³Stands of England´. A very fair lesson on the whole. He allowed the best boys to answer almost all the questions, that was it¶s greatest fault. Two new scholars admitted, William Keale and James Jones Nant. Went to meet the tram for ³Mynyddog´ as he is to attend here tonight to give a concert on behalf of the school
DECEMBER School fairly attended though there is a heavy fall of snow on the ground and the weather is very cold Visited by William Lester Esq, Fron Offa and a gentleman from America. School broke up 23 rd for Christmas Holiday for a week. 1871 JANUARY Not many children present as it is New Years day. Very heavy snow which makes it difficult for pupils to get to school. Sent notes to parents to ask them to send their boys as regular as possible as the examinations are fast approaching I find great difficulty in getting the boys to stop throwing snow at one another. Sent out notes to parents of those boys who attend school irregularly. One complained that her child did not learn, when the fact was that he had not attended 100 times last year, One new scholar admitted, John Roden, Tanlan. He is a big boy and knows not his letters. A School Board Meeting held, a resolution in favour of the adoption of a School Board was carried with an overwhelming majority. FEBRUARY Several boys play truant, as the weather is very favourable for sliding. Not many present as there is a large Fair in Wrexham. Sent out to several parents to ask them to pay for school, but was very unsuccessful. The parents are very careless about paying, there being above £12 due now. Two new scholars admitted, Jno. Jackson, Vron and D Owen Parry, Hope Cottage. All children very attentive, had a new set of Phillips ³ Tablet Lessons ³ Two new scholars admitted, Jno. Edwards Talwrn and Joseph Hughes, Vron. Examined 3rd Standard in Reading and Dictation. I find the boys are well able to spell orally the words they fail to do so in writing. Great agitation prevails in the neighbourhood in relation to the School Board. MARCH Examined the 2nd Standard in reading, found them fairly proficient considering the average age of the pupils belonging to this school is only 8 years. Visited by Mr Parry, Hope Cottage. Her Majesty¶s Inspector visits the school on March 8th Visited by some ladies from Wrexham who take a lively interest in education School fairly attended, though on a Friday generally the attendance is smaller than usual owing to some cause or another. Severe illness in the Masters house, which made it almost impossible for him to attend to his duties properly. No school held this afternoon 30th, as the Masters youngest child died this morning. Adwy & Coedpoeth B S. March 1871 Principal Teacher Richard Morris. Pupil Teachers. John Brookes, end of 3rd year. Wm. Davis, end of 2nd year. Peter C Evans, end of 2nd year. Her Majesty¶s Inspectors Report. The order in the school is only pretty fair and the same may be said of the education. The tendency to copying is considerable, the reading is generally slovenly, the writing of the Upper Standards is very inaccurate and the failures in arithmetic are rather numerous.
Much work is needed to render the condition of the school quite satisfactory. Geography is fairly taught. I am to request your attention to H M Inspectors remarks. One tenth is deducted from the Grant to the Boys School for imperfect discipline and instruction and my Inspectors feel hesitation in allowing an unreduced grant to the Girls Schools. The Masters child was buried on Monday 2nd, so that there was no school upon that day The whole school examined and the results of the examination recorded in a book for reference after the holidays. The school broke up for 3 weeks. SEPTEMBER
Salem Chapel High Street, Coedpoeth
The school reopened after the holidays, the pupils did not work much as it was the first week after the vacation. Mr Hugh Jones, chairman of the Bersham School Board paid a visit to school on Tuesday, examined the whole school, and found that many scholars had forgotten a good deal during the vacation. The Guardians of the Wrexham Union have adopted the boarding out system and a great many of the pauper children attend this school. A Tea Party held at Salem Chapel Coedpoeth on Monday, which kept several boys at home. The Tea party and Clubs exercise a very bad influence upon the school, for the children are generally kept at home on such occasions. A Band of Hope Festival held today, there was no school held in the afternoon in consequence thereof. Visited by the Rev Evan Peters, Talybont near Bala. A letter received from the Education Department stating that the time of our inspection would be changed from March to October which came upon us very unexpectedly. We hardly know however what to do as the Inspection time is changed, several boys being nearly as proficient in the Standard that we proposed putting them in next March, as what they are in the Standard that they were last examined in. However we intend taking advantage of their Lordship¶s letter in connexion with Art.
OCTOBER Admitted 2 new scholars, Wm Marsden, Thos. Edwin Davies. School fairly attended though several children are absent on account of the potato harvest One new scholar admitted and John Warner returns to school after being working for 3 or 4 months, Joseph and Jesse Evans returned to school after being at Minera School for a considerable time. The school was visited by John Rhys Esq. H M Inspector of Schools. The number examined being 75. Number present in school =217. Infants under seven = 53. The report upon the Masters Certificate was made in the following terms = ³ The children in this school are very carefully taught, and I have passed a most auditable examination, there is a great necessity for compulsory education´. The pupils are put in their proper classes for next years examination. I still have to complain that the Pupil Teachers are not too attentive to their work, being rather fond of going one to another, and appear also rather lazy, they lack energy. I do not feel at all well myself. Wm David Roberts, one of the members of the Committee was buried on Monday at Adwy Cemetery. NOVEMBER Visited by Mr & Mrs Morris, Yan Y Waen, Llamdddewu, Llanwrst. Mr Isaac Williams, watchmaker, Coedpoeth, Mr Hugh Jones, Adwy`r Clawydd and others. Admitted Thomas Price, Nant. DECEMBER Gave up the charge of Adwy & Coedpoeth on Wednesday to take the charge of Taliesin Board School 10 weeks after the school year ends, so that there still is 10 weeks grant coming to me next year. (Richard Morris has now left the school and Griffith Joseph Jones is the master) Took charge of the school Dec 26th. Allowed the Pupil Teachers to carry it on as usual, found things in a very awkward state, no books, no slates. I might say that the school was without everything. The boys had no copybooks and my second class are inferior to the fifth class. Did nothing this last week but examined the school and I am quite downhearted at the prospect before me. We can never get them to pass the Government Examinations. Report of H. M. Inspector. The Boys school is conducted with considerable skill. The least satisfactory subject is arithmetic. At present the children are wan to hang up their caps in the main schoolroom, as long as this arrangement continues anything like moderately good discipline is I fear out of the question. It would however be well if a door were made for the Boys classroom to the yard as that the children occupying the former might be let out without disturbing the organization of th e entire school. Signed Hugh Jones, secretary.
1872 JANUARY Carried on my work of inspecting the school. Tried to work by the timetable but found that I could not. The school both as regards discipline and knowledge is in a shockingly low condition. Have been working very hard this week, things are coming around very slow, when we get new books ie. I hope to come on better. The school is remarkably well attended and the boys are gradually coming round. There is a marked improvement in the discipline but I am very much displeased at the remarkably low state the school is in. I am very afraid that the higher Standards can never be made to pass in Arithmetic, they are shockingly behind, a real disgrace to the school. Had to punish some few lads very severely for playing truant this week. I find that it is a very common thing amongst them so I must set about to be severe upon the culprits. New children are continually admitted; on average at present is between 140 to 150, Soon I hope that it will reach 160 or 170. The marking is improving very much. I am now at the end of my first month in Adwy and Coedpoeth Schools and during this one month I have been obliged to use corporal punishment more than I did during the whole time that I was at Gellifor and this is simply owing to the discipline being so lack before I came here. FEBRUARY A committee met on the first and granted £10 towards books and slates etc, which are sadly needed here. We have sent for the books, which we will expect next week. We have advertised for an assistant, as the work is very heavy. The attendance increases and over 40 new admissions have been made. They are all children who had once attended this school. There is a very marked improvement in the appearance of the children. Their clothes are much neater and they also keep their hands and faces tidier. We are now at the end of our second month and in comparing the school with what it was two months ago I believe the discipline has improved. MARCH Mr Rhys inspected the schools this week (his visit of surprise). The school was crowded with boys; we had 100 above and 61 below 7 on the day of his visit. The ventilation of the classroom is bad. J Rhys. H. M. I Mr Hugh Jones, secretary and Mr Rogers treasurer visited the school, they were very well satisfied with the progress made since I took charge of the school. On Thursday the Evening school was visited by the above two and Mr. Boaz Jones and John Owen from the Vron. They were surprised at the number attending the night school and the progress which some of the colliery lads appeared to be making. It is a very great shame that these lads were not sent to the day school. APRIL The attendance this week was not so very good owing to the holidays which we had. Many of the children went to the fair this week. The attendance if any was even smaller than last week. We had the higher classes (both boys and girls) practising at 5.30 and until 7`o`clock. They are now in a very backward state and require a great deal of training to become anything like satisfactory, but continual rubbing will make them bright.
MAY The School Board has taken over the school from the first of this month. We hope they will take some means to improve the ventilating of the classroom and also make a porch to put the caps up. Singing classes held this week with the schoolchildren JUNE Had to punish a boy from the Second class for inattention to lessons. The boy named above left this week for Wrexham British School. From what I have heard this is the second or third time for him to be coming and going to this school. He has been in Minera once or twice and in Wrexham twice before. Admitted two boys from Wrexham B.S and one from Minera N.S. Attendance is very large, the school is crowded to excess. I had to send the infants to be taught in the playground and they got on well. AUGUST Re-opened after the Midsummer holidays. We had intended opening on the 12th but the repairs going on inside prevented us from doing so. Gleaning affects us a little. The repairs which are going on, the backward state of the school when I had it must affect materially on the examination, which is now approaching very close. SEPTEMBER John Edwards the monitor improves very much in his teaching, he was very backward at once and is still though he is very much superior to what he was We had to refuse many new scholars because we have no room for them. Parents I find take it very unkind and are almost ready to compel us to take their children. We are very anxious to get the Infant School opened as it grieves us very much to have to refuse admission to the children. William Davies will make an excellent teacher, but I find John Brookes clever at his lessons, especially mathematics. OCTOBER We are all working very hard. When the Infant School is opened we expect to get on even better than we do so at present. The infants keep us very much behind. NOVEMBER Received a new series of books towards the schools, two boys admitted from Minera. The singing lessons for the children in the evening are exceedingly well attended. I find the girls very backward especially in discipline in coming in and going from school. They are improving wonderfully in their singing. Their voices have greatly softened compared to what they have been. DECEMBER The schoolwork was much interrupted by the gas-men who were busy putting the gas in for us. The gas will be a real convenience for us especially for the night school. We feel a great loss after Brookes and Mr Lewis Lewis. We are now compelled to work with two less than we have had in the teaching staff during the greater part of the year. The Boys are making excellent progress n drawing, especially map drawing. William Brookes and George
Pattinson may be especially mentioned. This progress has been something very wonderful. The school broke up for a fortnights holiday on Dec 31st December 31 st The Reports of H. M. Inspector came to hand today. Summary of the Inspectors report on the Boys Department. On the whole the children acquitted themselves very creditably. The class examined in grammar were hardly up to the mark; the same applies to the infants. I entertain hopes however that when the latter have been moved to a separate building there will be a general improvement. More blackboards and easels are requisite in the Boys school. This school has been well taught William Davies. Grammar, History. Edward Griffiths Grammar John Edwards (Candidate) Failure. Principal Teacher Griffith J Jones, Certificate First Class. Pupil Teachers John Brookes Fifth Year Wm Davies Fourth Year Edward Griffiths Fourth Year Thomas Rogers First Year Paid Monitors John Edwards Edward Roden Signed ; Thomas Bury, Clerk. 1873 JANUARY John Brookes returned to teach with us until he has the results of the Scholarship examination. John Edwards is also teaching with us still though it seems that it is his intention to go. He wrote to the colliery as soon as he can get an employment. He would never make a good teacher, and I believe that he is doing the best thing he can. Roden is a very promising teacher as is Rogers our First year pupil teacher. I am very pleased with the work done by him Griffiths the Pupil teacher worked hard at home during the holidays. He has now been twice over his work for the whole year. I am very much pleased with the progress made by him. The schools are very crowded especially the Higher standards. John Edwards has left for the colliery. Brookes is still teaching with us but he cannot now teach as well as he used owing to his anxiety to go to College or learn of the result of the examination. The Board met this week. They have agreed to pay me £2 a week for the Night School work but I am to pay for the assistance given of the Pupil Teachers. The Board allowed John William Williams to be absent for three months. FEBRUARY John Lloyd was this week engaged as a Monitor (instead of John Edwards) and is to be paid according to £7 per annum. He seems to like the work but is too much given to play with the children out of class. Brookes entered Bangor N. C. as a first year student. The Board appoint Mr Eli Baddily of Greenwich as an assistant to our Schools. I hope he may be successful. We were very badly off for assistants in teaching. The school being so very large. It would be a very great blessing if the Board would go on enlarging our schools. If the grant is lost this year it will not be the fault of any of the teachers.
MARCH The night school is not so well attended as it has been. Many having joined the choir that are practicing for the Mold ³ Eisteddfod´ Mr Jones the future Minister of Adwy Chapel visited us today. He was very much pleased with the singing discipline. The Staff of Teachers now consists of; Mr Griffith J Jones Headmaster. Certificated. First Class. Mr Eli Baddily Assistant Master.(Ex PT Two as assistant) Mr William Jones P.T. (Fifth Year) Edward Griffiths P.T. (Fourth Year) Thomas Rogers P.T. (First Year) Edward Roden Paid Monitor John Lloyd Paid Montor APRIL Thomas Rogers was at home most part of the week with a bad cold. This week I did very little work owing to the illness and death of our little boy Taliesin Llewelyn. We buried him on Saturday at Llanynys Church, Vale of Clwyd. I was unable to attend Night School from the same cause.
St Saerons , Llanynys was founded in the 6 th c. The oldest part of the present church is the disused west doorway which dates from the 13th c A 15th c painting of St Christopher was discovered as recently as 1967. It was hidden away under a coat of plaster.
MAY Mr Baddily works pretty fair and his class is doing very fair progress. The discipline is not quite up to that of the class under the care of Davies. Griffiths works very satisfactorily with the infants when we take into account that he had no practice till the beginning of this year. Rogers and Roden also work very well but John Lloyd does not at all please me in teaching, he is a great deal too rough with the children and is very much inclined to play instead of teaching Mr Baddily did not come to school today till 3 o clock in the afternoon. This is the third or fourth time that he has lost by going home in the course of six or eight weeks since he has been here. This week we sent several new scholars home, as we had no room for them in school. It is a very great pity that the Infant school is not built and also that our schools are not enlarged. Something must be done and that very soon.
. The parents feel very much from refusing admittance to their children. There is clearly a case in which a hardworking teacher is punished for working to get his school on. If the average goes above what it should ought to be the grant is totally withheld. JUNE
Rehoboth was one of most important Wesleyan Chapels in the area dating back to 1865. It was demolished in 2007 and apartments erected after a local builder bought the site. About 100 graves were built over. A few were removed from the graveyard after relatives wished for this to be done. The exhumations were done very early in the morning of March 7th and they were re-interred in Coedpoeth Cemetery the next day.
Admitted two new ones to the highest class, we continue to refuse any more children for the lowest classes. Rogers does not attend well to his lessons in the morning. The singing class with the children in the evenings were begun this week. On Jul17th we intend giving a concert at the Wesleyan Chapel Coedpoeth. Had to be rather severe with some boys in the 3rd Class. Thomas Roberts Jones is very much behind with his lessons daily. I cannot possibly think what to do with this boy as every means both fair and foul have been tried with him. The School Fees book was audited on Tuesday by Mr C Roberts, St Asaph at the Board Room in Wrexham. The Fees Book of the Boys Department found correct as was also the School Book, but that of the Girls School was a £1 wrong. Mr Roberts complained of the arrears which I find impossible to do away with unless we refuse to take the boys that pay badly in at all. Several boys have gone to work who had actually made up their attendances, and I am afraid that we will find it difficult to get them to attend the examination. The children are getting on very nicely with their singing. We are preparing for our Concert and prize giving. The tickets I understand are selling very well on the whole.
JULY All this week was taken up to examine the different classes in order to find who were the best and who desired the prizes. The Rev J Pickering superintended the grammar and also gave the grammar prizes. The questions given in grammar and geography were indeed very stiff. The school broke up last night the 17th with the Infantile Concert for four weeks. The Concert passed off very nicely and people were surprised at the value of the prizes given. Mr. Low the proprietor of the Vron Colliery was our chairman. We also had on stage William Lester Esq. Bron Offa, Rev H Evans, Rev T Thomas (I Wern) Rev E Roberts (I. Coedpoeth) Rev T Pickering (B), and Rev H Hughes (C) The value of the prizes given was above £6 and were bought from the Scholastic Trading Company London. AUGUST Opened school today after the holidays. The attendance was smaller than I have ever seen it owing to a Good Templar Demonstration on the Minera Mountain. They had a most miserable day of it, the rain coming down in torrents. As the attendance was so small I allowed some of my teachers who were Good Templars to attend the Demonstration. Very little work was done this day owing partly to sm attendance and partly to my feeling all exceedingly tired after walking from Gellifor here last night through the rain and wet. SEPTEMBER The thing that is very unsatisfactory in this neighbourhood is payments of the school pence. The arrears in the Boys school alone amounts to nearly £20. All this has been collecting since the Board has taken charge of the school. The new classroom is much healthier and more convenient than the old one. The ventilation is excellent, but the ventilation of the main room and the first classroom is extremely bad. It is very trying to work in either of these at the best of times but extremely so when not a breath of air is stirring outside. It is only hoped that the Board may find land soon to go on with their extensions. OCTOBER The attendance this week and last has not been so good, great numbers are suffering from the Hoopng cough. Those in the First Class even are suffering severely especially Maurice Hugh Jones. His parents tell me that the blood scatters in every direction when he is coughing. I only hope that it won¶t affect the examination. The examination work has been done very fairly indeed, the failures all occurred in the First class. The number in school was very large, no place for sitting. Davies is studying for Xmas and has given up teaching. I find a loss after him. I hope that he may do well at the Xmas Examinations. He is indeed an excellent teacher. The attendance not so good owing to the potato harvest. Received my parchment. The report upon it was ³ This school is doing exceedingly well ³. I hope to improve the school again by next year if my health continues anything like it has done. I am now at a great disadvantage having not very young teachers. NOVEMBER The younger children are suffering very much from whooping cough. I am working till very late with the Pupil Teachers that are leaving for College Xmas. Mary Rogers the Pupil Teacher from the Girls school is now under my care as also Miss Williams and a young lady from Acrefair.
There is a great deal of sickness in the neighbourhood especially in the children, scarlet fever being very prevalent. The attendance of the infants is very bad owing to this cause. Davies, Miss Rogers and Miss Williams who receive lessons from me are working very hard and I expect they will stand very high at the Scholarship examinations next Xmas. DECEMBER
The sickness in the neighbourhood is on the increase. A great number of the children have died of scarlet fever. Great care is taken when a child is ill in a family that the remainder stay at home as to isolate the sickness as much as possible. Had to correct Edward Roberts and John Lloyd (two monitors) for playing with the children in the Playground. Proper distance must be kept otherwise the teachers will have no influence over the different classes. No communication is allowed between the teachers and their pupils. The very fair discipline, which we have, I consider due to the distance obliged to be observed between pupil and teacher. 1874 JANUARY The school reopened this week after the holidays. The Eisteddfod Choir has taken most of last years youngsters. Those that attend make very nice progress. Davies works well but feels anxious about the result of the Examination. The Class under the care of Mr Baddily does not make any satisfactory progress. Griffiths works very well, taking all the teachers together they work very satisfactorily, Robert Jones excepted, this boy will never make a good teacher. The night school is not well attended. The school suffer very much from sickness. The infants attend very badly owing to the prevalence of scarlet fever, measles etc. The Board met this week. The Government Report was read which was considered very satisfactory. Summary of H.M. Inspectors Report. Day School. ³ This school is doing exceedingly well´ Night School ³ The night school is doing very good work in this neighbourhood´ Signed Thomas Bury. Clerk. The Staff at present consists of. Head master Griffith J Jones Assistant Eli Baddily Pupil Teachers Edward Griffiths Thomas Rogers Edward Roden Robert Jones Monitors. John Lloyd Philip Jones Edward Roberts
5th year 2nd year 1st year 1st year
FEBRUARY The algebra lessons in the First class take very well. The literature this year is ³Henry the Eighth´ The boys feel it rather stiff to them. Davies has left for Bangor N.C. MARCH The sickness in the neighbourhood is gradually dying away and the infants are returning to school. Had to leave school on Wednesday to go to bury an Aunt in Caernarvonshire. Mr Rhys, HM Inspector visited the school during my absence. He complained of the dirty state of the schools though we have them swept daily, it must be confessed that they are done very unsatisfactorily by the present person though she gets 5/- per week for the work and 6d towards the fire kindling. The New Registers have come to hand after a great deal of trouble to get them. They have been in the Carriers house Adwy since last Thursday week. I was unable to work hard in school till Wednesday owing to a severe cold that I had in Caernarvonshire. Felt very unwell on Monday and was unable to give the teachers any lessons. On Friday afternoon took the boys and girls together in singing. Learnt ³ Hard time come again no more´ Night school very backward. Mr Baddily not working very steady. The Night School ought to be made to pay in such a neighbourhood as this. APRIL Good Friday. No school today. A holiday has been given till Tuesday morning. Mr Baddily left early morning yesterday for his home. The school was carried on this week by the Pupil Teachers and myself, Mr Baddily not having returned. The attendance continues to increase in the Boys school. Had to be strict with John Lloyd one of the monitors. MAY The Night School was examined by Mr Jones H.M. Inspector. Very few in attendance compared with previous years due to Mr Baddilys carelessness. Gave a concert with the children at Brymbo Board School, several boys at home unwell. Feel very weak myself owing to hard work at school. Progress as usual; little corporal punishment was used, the children being remarkably obedient. Mr Baddily gave notice to leave. JUNE Gave two concerts for the benefit of the Eisteddfod with the school children. The literature of the First class has been very well got up. Geography and Grammar are very forward. Have had my salary increased on Wednesday by a quarter of the grant to my present salary of £140.The Board guarantee me £80 and my house and coal. This is owing to the good standing of the school in the neighbourhood. The increase of one fourth of the grant is equal to an increase of £50, which together with my house and coal makes my salary equal to £220 to £230. The ³Maelor Eisteddfod´ being next week I broke up school today for a week and arranged to begin Monday week. Mr Baddily gives anything but satisfaction in his teaching. Examined his class and found it extremely backward in working problems especially. Asked him to take a little more trouble to explain the sums.
JULY Opened school today. Was visited by the Rev. D. Jones and friends, sang a few songs for them with which they seemed very much pleased. The Vicar of Minera visited and went through the classes. Complained of the ventilation of Classrooms. The school was very much overcrowded the day they called. They are very long beginning the New Infant schools though the contract has been signed since some time. The contractor is Mr Clarke of Denbigh. All the teachers with the exception of R Jones teach very satisfactory. Robert Jones is really a very inferior teacher. He does not learn very well and this must be against him. It was a great mistake to put him on to teach. Mr Gibbons would have him on and though I did my best against the appointment it was of no good. The school was broken up today 30th for a fortnight. The attendance is increasing from week to week and boys are drawn from 3 miles distance. The average this week was 185.5 the number on the books was 351 and the school pence amounted to £2-5-9. The receipts in school fees have doubled since I took charge of this school. AUGUST The school was re-opened, on Wednesday 21st. Mr Geo Bristow began his duties as assistant Master in the role of Mr Baddily resigned Mr Bristow seems to be a very conscientious man and is anxious to give every satisfaction and though rather deficient in discipline he promises a considerable amount of energy, which with a little training will no doubt make him a very satisfactory teacher. Visited this week by Mr Clarke Chairman of Bersham School Bd. and by Mr Evans, Bronwylfa a member. Both were extremely pleased with the work shown by the children especially the maps of the First class, some of these were extremely neat and correct. SEPTEMBER The boys are working beautifully. The First Standard is making very satisfactory progress. Mr Baddily who was the teacher had neglected it very much or at least had not taken any trouble whatsoever to ground the children well in arithmetic. Griffiths is working energetically. All the teachers work very well with the exception of Robert Jones, he is almost useless as a teacher. Has no control whatsoever in his class. He has neither voice to make himself heard nor hearing to hear the teachers, children or myself answering or speaking to him. He is totally unfit for the office of teacher. Examination of Pupil teachers in school. All made very fair papers. Griffiths papers were extremely satisfactory. He is a very studious young man and gives entire satisfaction with his lessons. This day is the end of our school year and a very hardworking year it has been for us, The school alone has averaged 7 hours a day and including the time given to Pupil Teachers it has amounted to 12 hours a day. The boys have been kept at work especially these last few weeks from 9 to 12.45 or 1 pm and from 1.30 pm to 5.30 and even 6 pm. This hard work and no exercise has seriously damaged my health and I find no remedy to it, for the Standard of Examination is as such as to keep the children and teachers in continuous excitement and this of course must in the end seriously affect the constitution of every hardworking teacher, and upon the happiness and comfort of domestic life.
NOVEMBER Thomas Rogers has been at home during the last fortnight suffering from cold. Robert Jones was also home for two days. The Night school is making very good progress under Mr Bristows charge The teachers work very well with the exception of Robert Jones. Robert Jones will not make a good teacher. DECEMBER The school was visited by the Chariman of the School Board who is the only member that usually takes much interest in the school. The remaining 6 members hardly ever present themselves at the Schools except on Board Night. On Monday11th, received the Report from the Committee of Council which is highly satisfactory The attendance is very satisfactory. When the Vron school opens I dare say it will affect the attendance to a very great extent as a large number of children come from this place and the South Sea. The Vron Bd. School will be within a few minutes walk from each place. The Grant for the Boys School amounted to £163 .11 or 16s per head. Girls £99.2 or 13s 4d per head Night School 14s.4d Total £176 .17 Inspectors Report on the Penygelli Boys Bd School. ³ This department is doing exceedingly well´ Edward Griffiths is now qualified under article 79 . Thomas Rogers has passed an unsatisfactory examination. Should he be required to complete the staff and fail to the same extent next year the Grant will have to be reduced by £10 and thenceforth by £20 for every year at the end of which a similar failure is repeated. R Jones Composition. Geography. E Roden Spelling. John Lloyd has not passed well enough for the end of the first year. P Jones Arithmetic. E Roberts Arithmetic. Geography The School Staff. Head Master Griffith J Jones Assistant George Bristow. Pupil Teachers. E Griffiths Fifth year Thos. Rogers Third year Ed Roden Second year Rob. Jones ³ ³ John Lloyd First year Ph. Jones ³ ³ Ed. Roberts ³ ³ Signed Thomas Bury , Clerk Bersham District School Board.
1875 JANUARY School opened today Jan 4th, the night school is to be opened again this evening but as it is very cold I am afraid the attendance will be reduced very much. The school was visited by Mr N Jones chairman of the School Board. His two boys have now finished their schooling and are going to business in Liverpool. Several of the First Class boys and some of the Second have gone to colliery or to business. A few I am sorry to say are under age. The teachers have been backward with their work this week especially Roden and Rogers. The Board has engaged George E Bristow as a Monitor instead of Edward Griffiths who has completed his apprenticeship and if successful to pass the Scholarship will go to Bangor N.C. FEBRUARY A large number of children are at home with colds. The lowest classes are badly affected especially the Infants. The school attendance this week very small, three were buried this week, Weather very unhealthy. Today the Vron School was formally declared open. Our Boys and Girls took part in the demonstration. They held a concert under my leadership at the school this evening. A deputation from the Brymbo Board attended to ask us to take part. The Night School very badly attended, the average being only 15. Vron School opened on Monday about 20 of our boys have left to attend it. They came from the Lodge and South Sea. It was decided to discontinue the Night class owing to the attendance having greatly fallen. We are greatly annoyed by the workmen about the School. MARCH Had to punish two truant players. On the whole the school is very free from this fault. As we send very often after the boys we are almost sure to find out if a boy plays truant. Very good progress is made in drawing in the First Class. The drawing here is under the charge of Mr Bristow. The best draughtsmen are Thomas Smith and David Price from the Gate, Bwlchgwyn. David Price this week left as I have secured him a place as Pupil Teacher at the Bwlchgwyn Board School. David Price will make a very fair teacher and an excellent student. The Night School is doing badly this year; Mr Bristow seems to lack the energy to carry on at night very satisfactorily. The Night school is completely done for; Mr Bristow has given it up. APRIL Rogers the eldest PT is very poorly. He is a very weakly constitution and I am afraid that he cannot hold to go through his years training as PT. This is most unfortunate for our schools as we are now short of teaching power. MAY The arrears of the schools are gradually increasing and we cannot keep them down. Some boys will not pay for their schooling. They are making very slow work at the building of the schools and it is not likely that they will finish them at the rate they are going on now. The men are now working and hammering away in the very same room with us. It is an impossibility to get on well, indeed it is as much as we can do to keep the boys together.
JUNE We cannot make any progress. I am really downhearted. We are working in clouds of dust which is unbearable. The School was visited by Mr Hugh Jones, Chairman of the Board, he was surprised that we carried on. Have caught a most severe cold. There is such a draught in school that it could be used for winnowing peas. Several boys have stayed at home on account of it. JULY I tried this week to prepare for the children¶s annual concert which is to be held at the Presbyterian Chapel Adwy. The children sing very fairly. Broke up today, 9th and heartily glad to do so as I am sick and tired of working among these men.
Adwy Chapel was one of the oldest established in Coedpoeth. It was situated off the Ruthin Road, and had it¶s own graveyard which is still to be found on the side of the road entering Coedpoeth.
AUGUST No school, we were out of school for eight weeks on account of repairs. SEPTEMBER Opened school on Tuesday3 rd though the school was not nearly finished. I am afraid that we will fare badly at the Inspection. Our average was very good for the first week being over 200. Attendance is really excellent, I seem to have the sympathy of the parents for they were very kind to my PT`s when they called for the children to announce that the school was opened.. I feel a loss after Mr Bristow now that he is gone. It will be some time before Mr Cross comes to understand our work On Monday we were surprised by receiving notice of the Inspectors visit. We fully expected that he wouldn¶t come till the latter end of October.
OCTOBER The boys have worked tremendously hard since we received the notice. They always work well but since last Monday week they have been there regularly by 6 am. This week was taken up by arranging the work for the coming year. Next year our front will be visibly affected as the infants will be taken away from us. The Infant School being ready for opening. Attendance good, discipline excellent. Mr Lofts improves but his discipline is not everything that could be desired. Rogers improves in Teaching. NOVEMBER The Pupil Teachers begin to work in earnest. Andrews promises to make a very sharp teacher and scholar. Have scheduled Physiology as an extra subject for the coming year. The boys take a great deal of interest in it. DECEMBER Two boys were brought in this morning who had played the truants on Wednesday and Thursday. Used corporal punishment as it was not the first time they had been doing the same. We use very little corporal punishment except in very grave cases.
Attendance very good considering we have an epidemic in the neighbourhood. The measles is everywhere and almost in every house from Erthig to Bwychgwyn. We have had so many ill at one time. My own little boy is very ill with it. Mr Lofts is anxious not to give lessons to the Pupil Teachers or at all events will not try to give them the lessons at all. I have refused compliance with his request A large number of Infants at home. We have but very few in school. We broke up this afternoon for a weeks holiday.
Summary of the Inspectors Report on the School. In spite of the interruption consequent on the repairs of the school and the alterations made in the school buildings both departments have done very well with the exception of the apprentices, not one of whom has done well in Grammar or Arit hmetic. The average attendance in the Girls school must not exceed the limit allowed by the dimensions of the school room and classroom under Article 17a or the grant may be withheld. T Rogers R Jones E Roden H A Davies David Price Arithmetic Arithmetic Arithmetic Grammar and Artihmetic Failure
H Rogers has passed an unsatisfactory examination, should she be required to complete the staff and fail to the same extant next year the grant will have to be reduced under Article 32. L Jones name has been removed from the Register of Pupil Teachers serving in this school. Signed Thomas Bury, clerk to the Bersham School Board. 1876 JANUARY The Infant mistress appointed by the Board could not come and consequently we had to apply for another. We are busily preparing for the distribution of Prizes and Certificates on Monday next. Learning new songs, recitations, dialogues etc. This evening there was a distribution of Prizes to the boys who passed at the Government Inspection in October. Present were The Mayor of Wrexham (Dr Eyton Jones) and the Mayoress, Mr Low Esq. and Mrs Low. Mr Griffiths Esq. Roseneath and Mrs Griffiths. Mr E Evans Esq. Bronwylfa and Mrs Evans. Hugh Jones Esq. Chairman of Bersham school board and Mrs Evans. Dr Gibbons, Mr I Roberts, Mr G Jones, Mr I Roberts, Mr G Jones, Mrs Lester, Mrs C J Gibbons, Mrs G Gibbons etc etc. The Infant School was opened by Mrs Dale of Abernerthy, Perthshire. The attendance at the Infant School was unsatisfactory owing principally to the state of the weather. We are seriously diminished in numbers by the disappearance of the infants. Andrew who had charge of the Infants takes a part of the First Standard, Robert Jones assists with the Fourth Standard. Andrew Jones at home ill, the Board at this mornings meeting appointed an attendance officer. FEBRUARY
Mr Roberts the appointed Attendance Officer called to see us. Gave him a list of a few who were absent. Roden has been at home ill during this week. He has been weakly for some time. We find a loss after him. Roden continues very ill and am afraid that he will not be able to attend for some weeks. The school was visited by Mr Clarke of Denbigh. He appeared very well pleased with our discipline. MARCH Had to punish three boys for truant playing. The teachers come very well to lessons at 6am. Mr Lofts was late this afternoon. Roberts has lost one lesson. Andrew was at home 2 days this week. Robert Jones lost one lesson. Roden continues at home ill.
Roden attended today but did not do any work. Edward Roberts was at home. Lick of a headache in the morning but attended in the afternoon. Mr Lofts was again late this morning (about 5 minutes) after the children went in. Roden again was allowed to sit at my desk. Mr Lofts was late again this morning by about 6 or 7 minutes and in the afternoon as well about the same time. This effects very badly upon the class. The other teachers notice it. His teaching is not to my satisfaction. Philip Jones was half an hour late this afternoon. He is not on the whole very good for coming in time Weather very rough and affected the attendance this morning. Robert Jones and N A Jones absented themselves from lessons at 6 am. The remainder Thomas Rogers, J Lloyd, Edward Roberts and Philip Jones are there and are in good time. Mr Lofts was 7 to 10 minutes late this morning. This occurring daily has a very bad effect upon the school and the Pupil Teachers. In the afternoon he came just in time as I spoke to him of it in the morning. He seems to be a great deal too fond of his own way and when remonstrated with is a great deal too impertinent. It is evident that he has spent but a small part of his time in teaching since he left College or he would have more sympathy with the general work of the school. The attendance this week has not been very good owing to the cold and miserable weather. Andrew has not attended lessons. Roden is again at home with a sore throat and a swelling neck. This is the fifth time this week that we are without his services and of course it must affect his class. Robert Jones who has charge of it now is a very inferior teacher and cannot really clearly work up to his class. In the afternoon Mr Lofts was late, the school was at work when he came in. Physical Geography with the First Class. They are taking to it very nicely and seem to be interested in it.Examined the first class in reading this morning, found them very backward, especially in understanding what they read. Asked several questions but did not receive an answer to any of them, more pressure must be brought to this class. Andrew did not attend with his lessons. I must do something to get him here in time. Robert Jones was also absent. Pains as usual. It is almost an impossibility to put them to their lessons and almost every day we have one or two coming without them. I am not satisfied with the works done by Lofts School visited by the Chairman of the School Board who expressed himself highly pleased with the conduct of the boys and the regularity they attended school. Andrew home again ill. He has lost a great deal and his class must feel from it as a change of teachers never does much good. APRIL The Hooping Cough is up and down the country everywhere. Especially among the infants. A great many are kept home. Good Friday. Broke up yesterday for a weeks holiday as I attend the Conference of Elementary Teachers at Liverpool. The Girls continue on this school for next week and do not break up along with the boys. Bersham Boys, Girls and Infants broke up The lessons take hold of the boys this week. Geography and Grammar especially. The First class attend to these with great earnestness. Mr Lofts attends better to lessons than he has done for some time but it is almost an impossibility to get him to school on time. He must always be some minutes late. The only lessons which he teaches fairly is writing and this lesson he attends to very nicely, the First standard making very fair progress. We were visited this week by Mr Jones, Vron and Mr Roberts Ruthin. Both seemed very much pleased with the building and especially with the ventilation and earth closet.
MAY Lessons in Physiology are very much liked by the boys, they long for them so that they can carry something strange home. The parents seem to be also delighted with what the boys tell them. Philip Jones is improving in his teaching though he still needs a careful eye to watch and guide him. The teachers work well. Mr Lofts I understand has or is about sending in his resignation. I hope we will find a more conscientious man to fill his place. Had complaints of some boys¶s misconducting themselves in going home from school. Gave a lecture in proper conduct in going and coming from school which I am glad has had the proper effect. Was visited by Rev J. Davies of South Wales, late a minister of Adwy`rclawdd and I believe formerly a schoolmaster in this village. Jun 30 to Jul 24 The school broke up for three weeks Holidays. AUGUST Rogers the Senior pupil teacher has been very unfortunate his hand is gathering and he suffers so much from it that he is obliged to stay at home. This is most unfortunate now that the examinations are drawing close. Andrew who for nearly twelve months has been suffering from a very painful disease was allowed by the board to leave without the normal six months notice. He was almost every week at home for a day or two and totally unable to attend the PTs lessons. Rogers continues at home with a bad finger. Robert Jones was at home this week from a bad cold. The Wrexham Eisteddfod but very slightly affects the school. Mr Lofts left and Mr Evans came temporarily to fill his place. SEPTEMBER The Pupil teachers work well with their own lessons and with the normal schoolwork. Rogers is quite unable to do anything neither with his own work or that of the school. The boys seem to work with a will and make I believe very fair progress. The examinations specific subject I hope will not be to stiff. The first class are very well up in the two taken up by us, Physical geography and Physiology. Mr Evans our Temporary assistant works very well so far. The boys work with a will they seem to be anxious to please in every possible way. The First class worked an examination on paper to my entire satisfaction. The whole class passing without a failure. The Pupil teacher examination was last Saturday held at the Wrexham British Girls school. OCTOBER The Scarlet fever has broken out and it has greatly affected the attendance at school. This and last week several boys have been laid up under it, some boys being boys who are to be presented having made up the required attendances. Each after noon this week we did some examination work, the Third standard under Rodens charge are doing very well Scarlet fever is on the increase. Several new boys are under it. Upwards of forty infants alone are suffering from this sickness. It must greatly affect the Grant in our case if the boys will continue ill. It is only hoped that some of them will get round by Tuesday next. The boys that attend school are almost without an exception suffering from colds and some cough very badly. I feel very disheartened with the fever spreading so much in the neighbourhood. The attendance at the examination was never before affected by any epidemic as we have at present in the neighbourhood. The week continues so damp and foggy that it is really surprising that the country is as healthy as it is.
The Annual Government exams took place this week. The boys have done very well indeed. I was afraid that the change in teachers might have affected the lower standards but they did as well as usual. The work done by the upper standards is not yet known but in reading we had no failures and the Grammar and Geography was very well done. Excellent attendance today. The Fourth standard I have formed into a class by themselves and expect the Board to engage an assistant for this class, as they cannot be worked otherwise. NOVEMBER We are badly short of teaching power and shall be glad when the new assistants are appointed. The Pupil teacher lessons are not very well done so far owing to their being new and strange. John Morgan is making very excellent progress. Summary of the Inspectors Report on the School and Remarks Boys School. ³ This school continues to do very well and will no doubt do better when the Infant Department has been for some time at work´ Girls School ³ The Girls have passed a satisfactory examination in the standard subjects but they will be expected to improve in Arithmetic and Grammar. Infants School ³ This school has made a fair beginning´ T Rogers, E Roden, R Jones, J Lloyd Jones. E Roberts and HA Davies have passed fairly under article 19 but the first, second and fourth named pupil teachers must attend to Arithmetic and History, the third to Arithmetic and History, the fifth to Arithmetic, the sixth to Spel ling and History and the last to Composition and Geography. The regulation laid down by article 70 precluded the admission of J Morgan. As six pupil teachers have been admitted in the Boys school a second certificated teacher should be appointed without delay to take the place of Mr Lofts otherwise My Lords will be unable to recognise more than four Pupil Teachers ( article 701) Hannah Rogers Composition, Geography, History. Elizabeth Davies Grammar, Composition, Geography , Arithmetic Sarah L Evans Attainments are insufficient for the end of the third year. Catherine Gibbons Failure Mary L Kelly Failure. Agnes Jones Arithmetic, Geography Harriet A Williams Spelling, Composition, Geography. Elizabeth S Taylor Spelling, Composition. Signed Thomas Bury, Clerk Bersham School Board. DECEMBER The weather is very bad for school attendance and for work while in school. At times the fog makes it so dark that it is almost impossible to see what is being done. The Board have appointed Mr H G Jones of Rhyd-ddu as a first assistant and at their next ordinary meeting they will prevail to appoint a second for whom they are now advertising. Rogers has been at home ill again this week and Edward Roberts third year PT the last two days. Broke up today for Xmas week, we expect two new assistants.
Mr Morris the second assistant came here on Saturday last. Mr Jones on Wednesday they are both from the neighbourhood of Carnarvon. One from Llanberis Board School and the other from Dinorwic Board School. Both are Bangor trained. I have allowed Mr Jones and Mr Morris to look in this week and see how the school is worked without doing much work themselves with the exception of assisting generally. The school is now in full working order with a force and I trust my official staff. The Pupil Teachers on the whole do their work well. FEBRUARY Edward Roberts has been from school for a week. Thomas Rogers is away this week. I am very much afraid that it will be almost impossible for Rogers to take his scholarship examination. Two boys punished for truant playing, this is a very rare thing to occur now. Thomas Rogers again home ill I am sadly afraid of this young lads success. He is a good teacher but only a fair scholar. MARCH Admitted two new ones, one from Minera the other from Vron. Thomas Rogers continues very unwell. Pupil teacher¶s lessons have been very badly done this week. Especially those of John Lloyd, they must however be praised for the work done in teaching. They teach very well and seem to have their whole soul in the work. Each teacher without any of my assistance is able to keep his class in good order. We are now free from any epidemic and the only thing that militates against our success and attendance is the weather. APRIL Reopened after the weeks vacation. Was visited by Mr Williamson, Penygelli Hall, a new member of the School board who appeared very well pleased with the order and appearance of the scholars. Had some discussion about admitting boys from other townships to the Bersham Schools. My argument was as long as there is room the more we admit the better for our Board in every way. The school pence and the grant received by them reduces the rates. It is also a credit to the teachers
that the parents must think highly of the school to send their boys two or three miles to our school when two or three schools might be nearer home. At present I draw between 15 and 20 boys from Brymbo School, two from Broughton and a large number from Minera. Three of the best boys of the First class have walked for years to me from outside our School district, consequently I should put an objection to have our doors closed against outsiders. Examined the First Standard, they were extremely backward when they came from the Infant school. They are now making a little progress. The majority were hardly able to say their letters and none could add two lines of figures together. The work has been very hard indeed with these little ones. The books as used in school for reading are I am afraid rather d ifficult. I use Nelsons Reader but each Standard reads from the book of the Standard above. Thus the 2 nd Standard reads the third book, the third reads the fourth, the fourth the fifth, and the fifth the sixth Standard. I find the fourth Standard book especially difficult for the third Standard boys. In many schools this book is used as a first class reader and I believe in ordinary schools it would be difficult enough. My first class read very well from Nelsons Sixth Reader and will be able to take any passage from a newspaper of ordinary difficulty.
The exercise books of the first class were examined, William Jones Penygelli, J Bryan, Minera, and T Bryan, Coedpoeth deserve special mention they are exceedingly neat and take great care with their work. MAY I am suffering from a bad leg now this last two weeks so that I am obliged to sit a great deal during school hours. During the nine years I have been teaching I never sat half an hour putting all together before school hours I am still suffering greatly from my leg and am quite unable to go from class as usual. Several of the Board have requested me to take a few days out but I feel more contented in school though I feel my leg would get round better if I were to stay in the house for some few days, JUNE Had a case of truant playing this week. As the boy had played on more than one occasion before I was obliged in this case to resort to corporal punishment and that pretty severe. In a neighbourhood like this and especially in the cases of boys drawn from a distance it is most difficult to find when a
boys actually plays the truant. As each teacher is made responsible for his own class we are able in that way to keep a sharp eye upon each boy. Mr Jones the assistant was obliged to leave school to attend to a County Court Case at Portmadoc when he summoned the School Board for non-payment of grant due to him under Article 196. Broke up this afternoon for the midsummer holidays. Had to break up before the end of the week as the Wesleyans had engaged the room next week for a Bazaar, for which they required a part of this week to make their preparations. Told the boys what prizes I intended giving for work during the holidays.
The above picture is taken from the `Cylchgrawn`, the Wesleyan Coedpoeth Circuit magazine. It was taken at a prize-giving day. The children are all pupils at Penygelli School.
JULY Opened school this morning after the usual three weeks holidays. The attendance rather small and as there was a tea party in the neighbourhood and that the school would be completely empty in the afternoon. Gave the afternoon off as a late holiday. Visited today by Mr Thos. Francis of the Lloftwen Temperance Hotel and Mrs M Boardman, St George¶s School, Staley Bridge, and Miss M E Dean of Birkenhead. Miss Boardman entered the following in the Visitors book ³ This is the best boys school I have ever had the pleasure of visiting´ Miss Dean of Birkenhead wrote in the same book ³ I am very much pleased with the manners and arrangements of the boys´. In the afternoon of the same day was visited by Mr David Williams, master of a Board school at Swansea. He spent an afternoon watching the working of the school. He entered the following in the visitor¶s book: - ³ A full school, active teachers and an almost all seeing master. Plenty of light, sufficient ventilation and an earnestness on the part of the instructors help to implant cheerfulness and animation of the children´ The school is not nearly as full as it was before we broke up, the classes are almost mere skeletons.
AUGUST Attendance is much better than the average being now something like what it ought to be. Mr Roberts (the officer) has had several boys before the Board; this does a great deal of good. It brings up not only the very bad ones but improves the attendance of even the pretty regular boys. On Friday the Board day as many as two dozen parents were summoned for neglecting to send their children to school. The cases of a few were adjourned, others were ordered to be proceeded with forthwith. This looking up of the irregulars is doing a great deal of good. Mr Roberts is sharpening up now compared to what he has been. It is an impossibility to get money for books for the school. SEPTEMBER The school was visited by Mr John Wortley, Liscard, Birkenhead, late head master of Wallasey grammar school also by Joseph H Poole, Wallasey. The boys who have attended pretty regular are very well prepared for the Inspection and will do well, I have no doubt others who are less regular are a bit sticky but I hope to work them up. Philip Jones one of the Pupil teachers in his third year was absent today. Had to draft a boy from the First class to take his place. It is most awkward to have any of the teachers away. Had several boys from the First class punished because they created a noise when we were just on the point of leaving school. The noise was in the classroom when they were under the charge of Philip Jones. The Pupil Teachers were kept at their lessons this evening till 9.30 pm. Thos. Rogers was absent this morning from 6-8am. Gave the final touch to the boys this week. The examination of Girls school taking place on Monday, I shall be unable to attend much to any work besides the morning school routine. The examination of Pupil Teachers takes place at Wrexham tomorrow, Saturday at 9.30 am. OCTOBER On Monday till Thursday the annual Government Examinations took place. The school was examined by T Morgan Owen Esq. H M Inspector of School. The examination was conducted differently this year to any years of my experience. Mr Owen gave the result of the Pupil Teachers exam, the boys did very well and seemed to give Mr Owen great satisfaction About 31 boys came down from the Infants school. 20 of whom don¶t know a single letter and have no notion of forming letters on their slates. How they are to get on will be a puzzle. They are extremely dull at present. Another examination of the First class sent down by Miss Dall. They are extremely dull and I feel quite despaired of getting them up. Mr Jones my assistant is at a loss to know what to do with them. The attendance this week was not equal to last week and I don¶t fancy that an attendance officer is up to his work. I believe that he gives time which he ought to give to the school to his own business - Tailoring. The Board ought to keep a sharper look round. Edward Roberts has again been absent the whole of this week. Had to put his class under the charge of Thomas John Jones a monitor and consequently they could not make very great progress. This week we had our new stock of books in and we began in earnest with our new years work.
It was the job of the Attendance Officer to make sure that children went to school. They visited the school and took the names of all children who were absent, then went to see the parents to make sure they sent them to school regularly. Constant offenders were reported to the School Board and in the Wrexham Advertiser there are many lists of parents who were fined.
Attendance very good. Am not pleased with the work of the attendance officer. Some boys who ought to be in school are never looked after. Notably so two in particular, Frank Carrington and Anthony Hopson. Their cases have never been brought before the Board though they continually absent themselves. Had to supply Rogers¶s place with a monitor. He has been away poorly during the last week and I am afraid that he will continue for some time. It is a great drawback to the school to have teachers continually unwell. Have begun to teach a little Algebra in the two upper standards, the boys seem to be fond of it. Results of Pupil Teachers Lessons and Attendance during Nov 1877 In order of merit they would stand thus. 1st Philip Jones nd 2 Edward Roden 3rd John Lloyd 4th Edward Roberts 5th William Jones th 6 Thomas J Jones DECEMBER The school visited by Mr Jones, Liverpool late resident in the neighbourhood. Mr Jones very generously subscribed £1 toward the funds of the Drum and Fife Band. A committee of School Board met in the school at 6.30 to investigate the cases of absentees. Was called upon by Mr Williamson of Penygelli to explain the causes of a boys absence who alleged that he had been beaten by one of the Teachers. Refused to have any argument with the Board upon the matter and asserted that the attendance officer or the parents ought to have informed the headmaster. I stated that I wished it to be understood that I allowed no interference by the Members of the Board or anyone else in my discipline of the school and that I hoped in future that they would refer all cases to me. I don¶t believe in interference from outsiders and a teacher even of
only a few years experience ought certainly to know more about the ruling of a school than the most experienced School Board members. I believe after the manner that I spoke that there will be no more interference by the Board with the school discipline. Received complaint that one of the Pupil Teachers had ill-treated a boy. Found on enquiry that there was no foundation whatsoever for the charge and consequently punished the boy who had made the complaint for untruthfulness. Our Pupil Teachers taking them through and through are really very good teachers. The classes are well disciplined and yet they are very kind to the children. It is a very sad case indeed to find any of our teachers ill treating or unkind to a boy. The teachers are kept apart from the Pupils at play hours. They are always forbidden to mix up with them on any occasion; the result is that they are well respected. The attendance keeps very well when the state of the weather is taken into account. The continuous downpour of rain must affect the attendance very considerably. The trade of the neighbourhood is now so bad that with the present difficulty parents are able to get a little food for their children. The arrears of School pence is increasing considerably and we find the greatest difficulty to get any money whatsoever in. Broke up for our Christmas holidays. We give only a week this year. The Board very kindly gave me leave of absence for 3 months next summer to commence from the first week in May. I intend going than over to America to see my relatives and friends. Opened school the 31 st but it was not well attended. The present week will be a very broken week. The people with the Bazaar had not quite cleared their things away. There was not much hard work done and I am afraid that it will take the whole of this week to bring the school to a tolerably fair working order. The Report has given great satisfaction to the Board at least so I am told. Personally I am very satisfied. Of course I hope to do better next year. We were under a disadvantage compared to other schools. We were the first school to be examined by Mr Owen in this district and the style of examining was entirely new to us, but for all that I believe that we had stood the test very fairly and under the circumstances we have done remarkably well. Summary of the Inspectors Report on the School. Boys school. All in all this is a very good school. It is quite evident that the greatest care is bestowed upon the Boys work by the Head master. All the papers were remarkably nea.t The weak points were the Grammar of the third standard, the Geography of the third and fourth standards, and the transposition in Literature. I know it is difficult to teach Welsh boys to write English in their own words still with patience and practice it can be done. The singing in which the girls joined was most favourable. The physical geography was good. The tone of the scholars was most praiseworthy. The reading t hroughout, the grammar of the upper standards and the geography of the fifth and sixth standards were particularly note worthy. More desks, some loose benches and water for the lavatories are wanted. The writing and arithmetic of the pupil teachers were decidedly creditable. Girls school. The reading was very good, but there were a few failures in this subject The spelling was good but the other subjects in consequence of Mrs Davies¶s serious and prolonged illness were not so satisfactory as in past years. Two complete sets of books, some loose benches and maps of Europe, Asia and the world, also some slates are wanted. Infants school On the whole this school has passed a fair examination. The arithmetic and form will need attention. Both spelling and intelligence were quite good. The singing was too noisy. More slates and books are needed. The lavatory has no water. The names of J Harrison and JB Lewis have been struck off the examination schedule under Article 29 and those of J Jones and Ann Davies under Article 19. Ten of the scholars for whom Honour Certificates are claimed do not satisfy the requirements of the regulations. T Rogers is now qualified under Article 79 but can only qualify himself under Article 60 by passing satisfactorily the examination specified in Article 91
E Roden, J Lloyd, E Roberts, S Jones and M Dall have passed fairly but the first must attend to Reading History and Grammar. The second to Reading and Composition, the third and fourth to Composition and Euclid, and the last named to Arthmetic. R Jones name has been removed from the register of Pupil Teachers serving in this school. I am to enquire for a medical certificate of E Davies` illness at the time of examination. None has been forwarded to this Department. H Rogers S J Evans H A Davies C E Gibbons A Jones E J Taylor Composition, Arithmetic and History. Grammar, Composition and History Composition, Geography and History Failure Writing, Composition and Geography Reading and Composition.
1878 JANUARY Today being New Years Day the number was much smaller than it has been for a very long time. Am very sorry that I opened this week, it will destroy the average for all the truants. Have received the certificates for distribution. We intend distributing these artefacts at a public meeting on Monday evening Jan 21st. Admission by ticket only. School was visited by Mr Joseph Jones, member of the School Board who inspected the premises about the school. The Board are to be praised for the care shown by them for the property of the ratepayers. Have admitted some new boys to school. I find a great difficulty to get the proper certificates signed by the register of Births and Deaths. Parents obliged to paying the required fee. Two boys have been admitted who didn¶t know where they were registered, if they were registered at all. The distribution of the certificates and prizes took place yesterday evening at Adwy Chapel. There were present all the members of the Board with the exception of the Chairman Mr Baugh and Mr Rogers. A report is to appear in the Saturday local papers. The attendance was very large the room being crowded in every part by the parents of the children and those who took an interest in the work of the school. Visited by the Vice Chairmen of the Board, Mr Hugh Jones takes great interest in the schools. He has now been connected with the schools for upward ten years and indeed for years before he took interest in the education of the neighbourhood. Then the School was under a Committee as a British School, he acted as secretary so that really the burden of the work has been upon his back and it must be conferred that the work he has taken in hand has been well done. He deserves every praise for the work. Attendance very fair. Mr Roberts is working a little better than he has been. A man in business should not be appointed Attendance Officer. There is a general impression through the neighbourhood that our present officer has his favourites and it is very natural that he should favour his own and his fathers customers.
FEBRUARY The reading was remarkably well through the Standards especially so the Second which is under the charge of Edward Roberts. Edward Roberts would make an excellent teacher if he applied himself to the work but now he is troubling himself about entering the ministry, which is certainly not of any assistance to his work in school. Have had a new stock of books for all the classes. The books were supplied by the Board as a Third set. Slates have also been ordered but have not yet come to hand. The Board meeting was held in one of the Boys classrooms. Complimented on the boys excellent discipline and regular marching. Called the attention of the Board to the Boys playground, the want of gravel etc. Was ordered to get some laid down. MARCH Thomas J Jones one of the monitors is very inattentive to his home lessons and is always late coming to school. I have over and over again kept him in extra time as a punishment but to very little purpose he seems to care less than nothing for what he is told. He is a very fair teacher and the boys seem to take to him but what to do concerning his Home lessons is hard to say. Edward Roberts Pupil Teacher in his Fourth year is also very much behind with his lessons. The greater part of the week he has come without them. The Board met yesterday and the teachers salaries were paid. Mr Joseph Jones one of the members called to see if we required to put anything before the Board. Called his attention to a large quantity of soil which had been standing in the Girls playground for some time and which was a great source of annoyance. The Board ordered it to be removed forthwith which was done so today. Have had to give up Morning lessons and take them in the evening instead as I am suffering from a serious and prolonged cold, caught early in July. APRIL I was disappointed in the young man who had engaged to take charge of a division during my absence, though he kept me for a whole month on the understanding that he was coming. Now must answer advertisements for situations in Schoolmaster. Have engaged another gentleman to take charge of Mr Jones class during my absence. Mr Fothergill our new assistant entered upon his duties. He is anxious to do well. Mr Jones taught with him today so as to show how we carry on. I am anxious during my short absence that there shall be as little change as possible in the usual style of teaching the different classes. MAY Mr Jones has mostly been in charge this week. This plan has given me an idea how the school will be managed while I am away. Mr Jones is very industrious and anxious to do all in his power to get the school on. Mr Fothergill is anxious to please and to get on but his discipline is not all that could be desired. He is very kind but Mr Jones thinks that he is too so to have the proper influence. Not exactly too kind but making too free with the children and as a matter of course the discipline will get lax. Mr Morris is away his father being very poorly and does not seem likely to be able to return for a few days. Gave a holiday on account of Mr Jones¶s departure to America. This is my first week to take charge of the school. The average is lower than it has been for some time owing principally to the very bad state of the weather. Mr Morris has been absent all week on account of serious illness of his father. His place has been filled by James P Philby. Attendance today much lower than usual, owing to it being the Anniversary of the Wesleyans. Edward Robert absent through illness, obliged to take two boys from the First class to
take his place. Find that Thomas J Jones did not ring the First bell in the proper time. Have had reason to speak to him before about the same thing. Visited by Rev D Oliver, Holywell and J R Roberts, Aberhosan, Machynlleth. Mr Oliver who has for many years been connected with School Boards was very much pleased with the school. Lessons are given to the teachers who prepare for the Scholarship from 6am to 8am and from 7pm to 9pm. JUNE Meetings are held almost weekly this part of the year at the various Chapels, which greatly affect the attendances. Last week it was held at Wern Chapel, this week at Nant and a Tea party at another the same day. Mr Morris was more then ten minutes late this afternoon. Had to send a boy from the First Class to take charge of his class until he came. His class is in school almost every afternoon before he makes his appearance. Thomas J Jones was absent two mornings this week on account of ill health. I am exceedingly pleased with Rogers `s work with teaching and studying. JULY Edward Roberts did not turn up today. He was at Carnarvon. I understand that he has an inclination for the ministry and this I am afraid does a great deal of harm to his school lessons. I find that the school has made fair progress while I have been off. Mr Jones I have no doubt has worked very well as also have all the other teachers, Three tea parties took place yesterday which kept a great many from school. These tea parties and chapel anniversaries quite spoil the average at the school. AUGUST Edward Roberts turned up on Tuesday morning but without any lessons done. The attendance some days have been very fair. I have employed this week mostly to examine those who were present. I find them fairly on but those who have attended irregularly are very backward. Thomas Jno. Jones still continues very backward with his lessons. He is certainly the most idle teacher with his own lessons of any that I ever had. He is a very good teacher and an excellent disciplinarian but I am afraid for all that he will never succeed. He is naturally idle with his own work and does but very little progress. Another Tea party and chapel anniversary. Attendance very small today on account of that. I should be very glad if I could arrange to get the tea parties altogether the same day. The school was visited by Mr H Rowland, the Duke of Buckingham¶s chief house steward. Admitted three new boys, two from Ruthin Board School and one from the Vron. Have not had the certificates of Births for them. Today the school was visited by Miss Jones of Wrexham. The class we were on at the time was singing. We are learning some Welsh Airs for the singing examination. The attendance is much better this week. Have written to the parents of some boys as I find the attendance officer either does not call or does not succeed to get the boys to attend as regular as they ought. Lloyd Llewellyn Jones a boy from the First Class has been coming without his lessons for several days in succession though he was punished in some form or another for his neglect. On Monday wrote to his parents concerning the lessons and ever since the boy has never missed one lesson. I have no doubt if he continues to improve as he has done but that he will soon be foremost among the boys. John Lloyd one of the Pupil Teachers was absent from illness. During the greater part of last week he was hardly fit to attend school. J Lloyd has always been very regular in his attendance in fact he is the most regular of all the Teachers and something very serious indeed must be wrong with him to keep him from his duties. Mrs Lloyd his mother called to excuse his absence.
Miss Jones mistress of the Henllan Board School, Denbigh also in school this morning. She served her apprenticeship at our Girls School and has received her parchment this year. She was examined for her certificate at the British & Foreign School Society¶s College, Darlington. There appeared to be a trifle more noise than usual in school. I am extremely particular about the discipline and rather pride myself upon it. The discipline has been on several occasions well spoken of both here and at Gellifor. Consequently any breach of discipline either on the part of teachers or scholars greatly pains me. Order is Heavens first law and no school can be very successful unless the order is good. There is nothing so pleasing as to go to a school where everything is done as if it were by machinery. When changes are done every child finding himself in the right place at the right moment. No confusion is thus caused and everything works most harmoniously. Attendance not so good owing to Tea parties at the beginning of the week and the wet weather today and yesterday. Edward Roberts fourth years PT attends badly to lessons and his class have not made the progress that it should have owing to his having set his mind on the Ministry. Edward Roberts again absent on Monday from schoolwork and lessons. He was away on Sunday on his usual preaching excursions. Government did wrong in repealing the Clause in the Code which forbad teachers to preach. Teachers cannot possibly get on with their schoolwork and preaching work one or the other must suffer. Progress moderately fair. Third class backward all through. SEPTEMBER At the examination today the school did fearfully bad. The work was very stiff but they ought to do better. The Third Standard is very large numbering 80 on the registers and over 70 likely to make their attendance. In Geography they do well and the same in Grammar, their weak subject is Arithmetic. A window was broken by some collier boys last evening and this morning found out through enquiries that one of the school children was along with them. They agreed to pay 1/3d towards putting another pane in. Some days the school is quite overcrowded. It would be well if we had another classroom for we are obliged at the present to make use of the porch daily and when the winter will come on we shall feel greatly annoyed with the crowded state of the school. To work the school effectually we ought to have two other classrooms and only use the main room for writing, dictation and singing lessons. The classes make much better progress in the classrooms than they do in the main rooms. It is a great pity that all our large schools are not built upon the classroom system. There is a marked improvement in the papers of the various standards. A larger number got their sums correct and they are also much better in their dictation. The teachers are obliged to work very hard to get their backward boys to the mark The singing is very fair on the whole, but only a few girls now attend the singing lessons. Thomas Jno Jones paid monitor was absent this Friday afternoon. Cause given was sickness. I was told that he had been seen out, if this be true he could not be very ill. The Third standard appears to be very backward. They seem to understand the method thoroughly but are not careful in their work. Attendance is very fair but a large number that will have not made their attendance will have barely got through. I have given several names to Mr Roberts daily of irregular scholars but on enquiry find he has not called upon them. One boy in particular from the Second class, William Jones, Talwrn has been very irregular and by what the boy said no one called upon him. In many cases of irregularity I send my teachers after the children myself and I find it des a great deal of good.
OCTOBER Edward Roberts Pupil Teachers was absent yesterday and today with a bad face. He has sent notice to the Board and will be leaving about Apr 1st. He intends entering the Ministry Received a letter from the Clerk of our School Board concerning religious teaching in the school. The resolution was brought forward at a meeting some weeks ago. It does not affect our schools but very slightly as we have always read a portion of the Scripture and prayed at the opening of the schools. We generally questioned the bys upon what was read and I suppose there is nothing in the resolution forbidding that practice until we are told not to do it we shall continue to do so. Copy of letter received from Thos. Bury Esq. Clerk of Bersham School Board concerning the daily reading of the Bible in the Schools of the Board. United School District of Bersham, Clerks Office, Wrexham. 3rd Oct 1878 ³I beg to forward for your guidance the following Resolution carried at the last meeting of the Board with reference to the reading of the Bible in the schools. You will observe that no other religious instruction is insisted upon.´ Copy of Resolution. ³ That in each of the Board Schools a portion of Holy Scripture without note or comment be read at the opening and closing of School by the Head Teacher´ Your obedient servant Thomas Bury, Clerk. Edward Roberts is home again with a bad face. This is extremely annoying when a large class of 60 boys depend on him and no other teachers able to take charge. The boys all through the school work remarkably well and are getting on nicely. We were visited by Dr Davies, Wrexham and his assistant Mr Gibbons Adwy`r Clawdd. The school was extremely full when they called and Dr Davies said that for the health of the boys the school ought to be considerably enlarged by the addition of at least another classroom. The arithmetic during the week was all done on paper, the boys work very neatly and I hope to show my neat and clean work next week at the Annual Government Inspection. The books were examined by the Vice chairman of the Board. Tomorrow I have to take all down again to be examined by Thos. Bury Esq. the Clerk. This week we had the Annual Government Examination. The examiner was Morgan Owen Esq. Hon. Inspector of Schools for the counties of Denbigh and Flint. Visited by Mr Morris HMI assistant. I was very much pleased with the manner of the examination was carried out and I believe the boys requited themselves very fairly indeed. Out of a total of 252 boys on the schedule only 6 were absent and they had left the neighbourhood. The questions in Physical Geography were very stiff. The boys sang very well indeed. The pieces they sang were. May Day, Ioriad-y-dydd, Jerusalem my glorious home. Mr Owen was well pleased with the singing. NOVEMBER On Monday Mr H B Jones, first assistant having gone to Llanberis to bury a cousin was absent from school. My Certificate has been returned by Mr Owen with the following new entry upon it. ³ From the model state of this school I am glad to report that Mr Griffith J Jones is an excellent teacher in every sense of the word´ The above is a highly satisfactory entry and I am exceedingly pleased with it and trust to be able to obtain a similar entry next year. The schedules are to hand. In the First Standard the passes for R, W & A = 100% These results are extremely satisfactory and I expect the Board and all concerned will be pleased with the above.
Held an examination upon the whole school to decide the distribution of certificates and prizes. Miss Parsonage has done remarkably well much better than her predecessor at the Infant department did. The Night class did also very well, not a single failure amongst the number presented for examination. Edward Roberts Pupil Teacher has applied to the Board to be released at Xmas - three months before his notice expires. I have agreed to let him go on condition that the Board find me a substitute. He requires to go to a Prepatory College to prepare for a scholarship at one of our Congregational colleges. His preaching has very greatly interfered with his teaching and lessons. During the week our new stock of books came to hand for the New Year. We have introduced a newspaper for a reader in the 5th and 6th Standards. Which seems to take remarkably well. DECEMBER I find it very difficult to get the boys to buy their books, trade being so bad in the district. A large number of the parents attending our schools are now out of employment and consequently the boys must go without their books. It is a great pity that we have no funds upon which we can fall in order to supply the most needy with books. As it is at present the children get into debt both for books and school fees and many parents I am sorry to say care little whether they get out of debt or not. The attendance not withstanding the hard times keeps up remarkably well, though from the large number who have removed from the neighbourhood I am afraid that the average will not be equal to what it was all through the year ended Sept 20th 1878. James P Shelby promises to become a very good teacher; he has the abilities and simply wants application and encouragement. The boys drafted from Mr Jones class to my own are not as bright as those who came from the same class a year ago. The school is fairly attended though it is very rough and has been all through the week. It seems as if we were going to have a hard winter and if that be the case it will affect the attendance at school, the majority being but poorly prepared for a cold frosty winter. Mr Morris was away this week attending the certificate Examination at Bangor Training College. So we had to work with one hand less and a very hard week it was. Edward Roberts was allowed to depart this week. Roden the 5th year Pupil Teacher taking his place until the next examination in October. We received the Report of H M Inspector this week. Mr Morgan Owens method of examination is highly satisfactory and is a sure test of the children¶s abilities and of the teachers capabilities for importing knowledge. No lazy teacher can escape without detection for the questions given are such that only a most careful training of the children can produce the desired results. Summary of H M Inspectors Report Boys School. ³ The whole of the work of this school was deserving of the highest commendation. Mr Griffith J Jones is in my opinion an excellent School Master and a thoroughly conscientious teacher. Girls School ³ The specimen needlework and knitting were good, some of the work done in my presence was pretty good. The major part fair and the rest moderately fair. The grammar, reading and arithmetic were all good. The paperwork was not so clean as it should be and the writing was wanting in neatness. The writing should be larger and rounder.´ Infants school ³ This is now a decidedly good Infants school´ Evening School ³ Good´ The average attendance in the Boys school must not be allowed to exceed the number of children for whom the plans were approved by the Department otherwise the Grant will be forfeited. Only nine of the Scholars for whom Honour certificates are claimed satisfy the requirements of the Regulations of the 9th February 1877.Thomas Parry and Edward Rogers have not fulfilled the conditions entitling them to the repayment of their fees by this department. John Lloyd, Edward Roberts, Phillip Jones, Harriet A Davies, Maggie Ball, Lizzie J Taylor and Agnes Jones have passed fairly but Lloyd Jones and Davies should attend to History, Taylor to
Composition and Dall, E Roden and A Rogers should be informed that they are now qualified under Article 79 but not under Article 60. Teachers of the Girls School. Sarah J Davies Composition and History Eliz. Davies Composition and History Teacher of Infant School A A Williams Grammar, Composition and Geography Present Staff Head master Mr Griffith J Jones 1st Assistant Hugh D Jones 2nd ³ Edward Morris 3rd ³ Edward Roden Pupil Teachers John Lloyd Fifth year Phillip Jones Fifth year James P Shelby First year Monitors Thomas Jno. Jones William Jones Signed Thomas Bury Clerk of the Bersham School Board 1879 JANUARY The attendance has been exceedingly small during the week owing to the very severe weather. Today we had no school owing to a bazaar in aid of Minera Church being held in the Boys schoolroom. The sale of fancy good commenced on Friday and continued till a very late hour. Mr Jones, first assistant was absent this week. A cousin having died at Llanberis and he stayed for the burial. He returned on Thursday evening. Owing to the very severe weather the lowest classes are especially thinly attended. We are now busy preparing for our annual distribution of prizes. The teachers are not very well up with their lessons. I have a great deal of trouble to get them to study at home and I am often obliged to keep them in school till a very late hour. Weather still extremely severe and as a matter of course the attendance is anything but satisfactory. There has been a great deal of emigration from this neighbourhood owing to the depression in trade. The Vron Colliery which employed so many hundreds having been entirely stopped. This emigration has also affected our averages. Many parents having gone to live to other districts. FEBRUARY The distribution of prizes last evening passed off very satisfactory. The room was crowded and £6 was cleared as profit towards the School Fife Band after paying all the expenses. The prizes amount to over £5. Wrote to Morgan Owen Esq. HM Inspector this week to enquire whether the `World` would be allowed for Geography for 5th and 6th Standards. My staff not being very large enough to divide the 5th and 6th Standards into two classes I find it very difficult to teach them separate years in geography and it would greatly ease my work to have the two Standards with the same Geography. A committee of the Board met to take into consideration the accounts of the late school prizes. They are extremely pleased with the good surplus in hand. Am busy making out a list of parents whose boys are in arrears of School fees.
Received a reply from Morgan Owen Esq. who very kindly acceded to my request with regard to the Geography for the 5th and 6th Standard. The letter was dated ³ Bronwylfa, Rhyl. 12 Feb 1879 ³ and said. St 5 & 6 = The World in Geography next time ³ Attendance greatly improving. Had to punish two boys for climbing the school walls, appointed two boys, Shem Williams and Edward Daniel Williams to look after the walls and closets. A boy Allen Williams from Rhos Berse has been playing truant for some weeks. He seems to have gone quite out of the control of his father who appears to have no authority whatever over him. It would be a blessing if the boy was sent either to a reformatory or on board a training ship. Mr Jones my first assistant was poorly in bed from Wednesday. He was suffering from a very severe cold in the head and all through the body. He is very weak and not on many days fit to attend to his work, though he is most anxious to get on and at all times works well. The first days of the week and indeed the end of last week he was not fit to be at his post. William Jones, one of my monitors has also been at home the whole of the present week suffering from a very severe attack of cold. His mother Mrs H Jones from South Sea called to ask that he should be excused, as he was not fit for his duties. Mr Morgan Owen Esq. Her Majesty¶s Inspectors reports on the different departments of these schools as follows. Boys School. ³ The whole of the work of this school was deserving of the highest commendation.´ Girls School ³The specimen needlework and knitting were good. The grammar, reading and arithmetic were all good. The paperwork was not as clean as it should be and the writing was wanting in n eatness. The writing should be larger and rounder´. Infants School ³ This is now a decidedly good Infant school´ Total Grant for Boys School was £246-19-0 Girls £120-1-0 Infants £84-10-0 The total for the departments = £ 451-10-0 In addition to the above £3-17-8 was allowed for the school fees of boys possessing honour certificates making a total sum of £455-7-8 received from the Department for the Penygelli Schools. This has this year again been a very satisfactory increase of Government Grant. The Board are glad to state that nine boys have this year gained ³ Honour Certificates´ granted by the Committee of Council on Education making a total of 14 now held by the boys of this school. These entitle the holders to this years gratuitous education upon condition that the holders make up the prescribed number of attendances at school and pass the requisite standard during each of such years. Two of last years recipients lost this title to them and as a matter of course the Board lost the advantage. Thomas Edward Parry who was almost continuously absent for the last three months of the school year and Edward Bryan who only made 284 attendances out of the 458 times the school was open. The successful boys this year are Simon Hughes, Edward Hughes, John Whomsley, Ellis William Richards, Thomas Morris, John Griffiths, John Owens, David Phillips and Hugh Hughes. The specific subjects taught were English literature, physical geography and mathematics. The following boys successfully passed in English literature and physical geography. First years course. Edward Williams, Jonathon Jones, Thomas Williams, Jno. Lewis, Edward Hughes, Joseph Henry Prydderch, John Owen Jones, Thomas Roberts, Edward David Williams, John Thomas Whomsley, John Griffiths, Robert Thomas Roberts, Edward Bithel Davies, Edwin Rogers, William Williams ,
David Phillips, Hugh Hughes, Simon Hughes, John Carrington Thomas Finchett, Thomas Morris, John Gittins, Ellis William Richards, Thomas Taylor, John Owens, Williams Thomas Roberts, Francis Lettsomme, Thomas Parry, John Richard Bithell, Joseph Gittins, John Norman Williamson, Walter Williams, Peter Crew. Second years course. Shem Williams, Owen Williams, Samuel Rogers, Joseph Jones, Lloyd Llewelyn Jones, John Edwards, Thomas Owen Jones, Phillip Williams, Abraham Jones, Thomas Edward Jones, John Jones, George Roberts, Robert Bennet Jones, Robert Jones, Rupert Williamson. Third years course. John Robert Jones, James P Shelby, George Roberts, Alexander Albert McKenzie. Joseph Jones, William Lewis, David James Price, Alfred Kittow, William Henry Manuel May. Albert Ashford, Joseph Bryan, Thomas Owen, Charles John, Bertram Lewis, William Jones, Thomas Jno Jones, John Samuel Jones, John Harrison. At the beginning of 1878 it was proposed to present the boys and girls with prizes and certificates according to a scheme then made known. (a) Prizes in each department for those who made the highest number of attendances in the school year. (b) First and second prizes in each standard for reading writing and arithmetic. (c) In the first and second classes on, prizes for each of the following subjects, grammar, geography and needlework. (d) Certificates to all those who passed the Government Examination in Specific subjects. The following scholars will be presented with prizes for regularity of attendance. The Boys school was open during the past year 458 times. Boys most regular in this attendance were. William Pritchard, Isaac Jones, Robert Jones, Thomas Owen Charles (each present 457 times) Frederick Hughes 456. John Griffiths 455. William Henry Manuel May 455. Abraham Jones 454. Samuel Edwards 453. Timothy Morgan Kelly 452. David Richard Owens 451. Edward Jones 451. George Goodwin 450. Joseph Griffiths 450. The Girls school was opened 432 times and t he following were the most regular attendants. Henrietta Louisa May 431. Annie Edwards 427. Rosina Kirby 423. Sarah Jones 423. Mary Williams 421. The Infant school was opened 411 times and it was decided to present the following with a prize each child having attended over 400 times. Jane Wright 435. Pryce Bellis 434. Selina Roberts 429. Job Roberts 423. Evan Evans 423. George Evans 422. Arthur O. Jones 421. Thomas Price 420. Thomas Bellis 417. Emilt a Evans 417. Maggie Davies 417. John Edwards 416. John S. Roberts 411. John N. Evans 411. Emma Williams 406. Thomas Edwards 405. Charles Gittins 402. David Goodwin 401. Lizzie J. Jones 401. William E. Evans 401. The following boys will receive prizes for = Reading, writing and arithmetic. Joseph Bryan Jno. J. Jones. Albert Ashford. Rupert Williamson. Thomas E. Jones. Edwin Rogers. Ed Bithell Davies. Thomas P. Shelby. Andrew Corbett. David Charles Evans. George Jones. Robert D. Morris. Evan Jones. Grammar. Joseph Bryan. John Norman Williamson. Edward Hughes. Geography Joseph Bryan. George Roberts. Jno. Jones Minera.
Girls. Reading writing and arithmetic. Sarah E. Price. Winifred Moss. Emma Rogers. Sarah Jane Roberts. Eliz Ellen Evans. Mary Jane Hughes. Lizzie Lloyd. Mary Maria Jones. Margaret J. Edwards. Eleanor Jones. Caroline J. Blunt. Grammar. Kesiah Evans. Lizzie Miles. Sewing Catharine Taylor. Annie Rogers. The report of H.M Inspector and the results just read prove that the elementary education imparted in these schools is of the highest order, the teachers do their duties thoroughly towards the children place under their charge and it is therefore no matter of surprise that the schools are second to no other elementary school in the county. This being so, the question is asked whether parents do their part in assisting the efforts of the Attendance Officer and teachers to secure the entire benefit of this efficient teaching. Whatever efforts they may make to send their children regularly to school, the Board realise that there is still room for much improvements as will be seen from the following figures. The schools have accommodation for 800 children in average attendance and at the close of the year ended Sept 30th 1878 the attendance in each department was = Boys. Registered 327. Daily average 229. Average percent present 70. Average absent percent 30 Girls ³ 240 148 62 38 Infants ³ 221 120 54 46 Total ³ 788 497 63 37 Out of 788 on the register an average of 291 have been absent daily throughout the year. This increasingly is a source of great loss to the Board as so much of the grants depends upon regular attendance of the children. No child can be presented for examination without having made at least 250 attendances. Every time a child is absent the qualification for examination is endangered and the average attendance is reduced, and as a result the Government grant is reduced in the same proportion. As a result of this the school rates will, in the same degree, be inevitably increased. Parents are earnestly requested to have this in mind and if they can by the regularity of their children¶s attendance enable them to reap the fullest advantages of daily education and thereby increase the grants and reduce the rates. Irregularity of attendance is also a cause of great trouble and anxiety to the teacher, causing them a great deal of extra labour to work up the backward children, for as a rule a backward child means an irregular child. At the present time when the Government requires so much at the hands of the teachers of our Elementary schools, and the regulations of the Education department are so difficult to comply with, that those who have charge of our Grammar schools should have the sympathy and support of all parents in the discharge of their arduous duties. This assistance can best be rendered by securing the regular and punctual attendance of the children, taking care that home lessons are always thoroughly and neatly done and that children are supplied with all necessary books. Home lessons help schoolwork and those who do their home lessons carefully will certainly get on better than those who neglect them.
MARCH Two boys had to be chastised for theft. Having stolen a piece of ³ black -pudding´ from a pork butchers shop. The whole school was stopped while a lecture was delivered on the wickedness of the act. They all seemed very greatly affected and made solemn promises not to repeat the act. I invariably in serious cases of breach of school discipline make use of the Bible and use it as the basis upon which our rules are formed and the rule by which all our punishments are guided.
Stealing from the butchers!!! FEBRUARY Attendance not yet as good as it used to be. Poverty seems to affect our attendance very much and the appearance of the neighbourhood generally is much poorer than it was even a twelve-month ago. The boys are unable to get the required books and sit for days together without any scrap of an exercise book of their own. I have to supply a large number with papers and exercise books continually in order to push the work on as I believe that nothing equals good work done on paper. The classes are making very good progress on the whole. The Measles and Scarlet Fever is very prevalent in the neighbourhood a large number being laid up by it. This does of course greatly affect our schools. Thomas Jno. Jones, monitor was absent from lessons and school starting on Friday - suffering from cold. Have had several of my teachers at home this winter for days together. Mr E Roden is the only one who has so far followed his work without a break On Thursday (27th) the ordinary monthly meeting of the Board was held when the following resolutions were passed. (1) ³That the Board resolve that it be an instruction to their teachers that there ought to be no admission of children from other schools when they had made 250 attendances in school year until after the inspection of such school except by an arrangement with the teachers of schools from which the children are to be removed.´ (2) ³Admitting children from other schools while in arrears of fees should be in all cases discouraged and no such children should be admitted to Board Schools except upon condition of paying all their future weekly fees in advance.´ (3) ³Receiving from other schools during the last three months of this school year children who are likely during that time to qualify for an examination should also be discouraged and a satisfactory reason for the change of school should be in all cases insisted upon and a communication made to the teachers of such school before allowing new admissions of the class referred to´
APRIL First Standard very backward in arithmetic and I have made a new arrangement for the future which I trust will bring this standard on par with the other standards. Good Friday. School was broken up yesterday for a weeks holiday, Attendance excellent when we take into consideration that the annual fair of Wrexham is held this week. Thomas Jno. Jones was absent from lessons the whole of the week. MAY On Saturday Apr 26th the Head Teachers of all the departments received a letter from Thos. Bury Esq. Clerk to the Bersham school board, ordering all children who did not bring their school pence to be refused admission to the schools. Acting upon their instructions a large number of boys were sent home for their school fee. Some returned but the majority stayed home. The weather was beautiful all through the week so that taking other circumstances into account we ought to have had a much better average than usual had this new regulation not come into force. I am afraid that this rule of prepayment will cause a great many parents to send their children to other schools which would indeed be a great misfortune and entail a great loss to grants. Average again this week about 30 lower than it should be. All the boys who came on Monday without their money were sent home the result was that they stayed and never put in an appearance with very few exceptions indeed. The receipts in school pence is no improvement on what it would have been had some other means been taken. This method of sending boys home will cause I am afraid a great reduction of grant. Thomas Jno. Jones, Monitor is again behind with his lessons as is also William Jones. Thomas Jones is daily late attending in the morning. Mr Jones complains of the way these two get up their home lessons. They are very different to James Shelby who almost without exception gets up his lessons thoroughly well. Attendance better this week. School pence come in remarkably well. The receipts this week being over £5-10-0. A large number turned back to get their pence and most of those never returned. Had to punish two boys for truant playing. The boys as a rule are very good in coming to school when they are went by their parents. Our misfortune is that we have a large number of parents who no interest whatsoever in school and the education of their children but would allow them weeks together to run around in the wildest state. On Wednesday we had an Attendance committee. Only Mr Hugh Jones and Joseph Jones were present. Two other parties attended and promised to send their children regularly to school. We had the usual Attendance committee on the 30th. Only Mr D Jones vice chairman was present and one party- Mrs Williams (late 3 Mile) appeared JUNE I understand that at the Board meeting a motion was brought forward by the Chairman S J Baugh Esq. proposing to alter the staff and salary of the assistants at Penygelli Boys School. The idea is I believe that it would be much cheaper to work the schools with the young men who are now finishing their time as P Teachers. I am very sorry to find any of our members taking this course of action. The schools are now doing well with the boy¶s papers and it is a great mistake that the staff should be disturbed. I am well pleased with Mr Jones especially and I shall be very sorry to lose him from the school. He has such a kind way about him and is well liked by all. We have worked very harmoniously together and never had occasion to find fault with Mr Jones¶s method of working. The matter is to be further taken into consideration at a special meeting to be held Thursday Jun 12th 1879. On Wednesday evening an attendance committee meeting was held at the schoolroom Penygelli.
Members present, Hugh Jones Esq. A Williamson, Penygelli Hall and Mr Thomas Roberts Coedpoeth , The Attendance Officer and myself. The following parties appeared in answer to summons received. 1 John Blunt, Coedpoeth. He has five children and only gets 2/10 per day- ordered to send the children to school. 2 David Evans, Nant Square.2/10 per day - same order. 3 George Maddocks, only child, must attend on Monday. 4 Owen Jones, Church Street. No arrangements made. 5 Mrs Christian, one boy- to attend on 15th Jun Mr Jones and Mr Morris sent in their resignation as it was quite evident that the Board were determined to reduce the expenditure somewhere, and they have it seems made our department the scapegoat for their sins in going to such expense with their buildings. Messrs. Roden, Lloyd and P Jones were offered the assistant vacancies at greatly reduced salaries to what Messrs. Jones and Morris are receiving. Mr E Roden to receive £40-0-0 per annum Messrs Lloyd and Jones £30-0-0 each per annum. This will make a reduction of at least £40 in the staff expenditure. This arrangement means a great deal of extra work upon my shoulders without any extra pay but most likely the result will be a reduction in the salary of the Headmaster. Attendance continues very low owing to the orders of the Board not to admit any without their school fees. We ought to have at least 50 more daily. Home lessons done very fairly by the Pupil teachers with the exception of Thomas Jno. Jones and Wm. Jones, Monitors. They are still behind. Have been obliged to give up the singing classes on Friday evening owing to my chest having been injured at the singing class held with the boys at 8am. I trust that after the holidays I will be able to renew these very useful classes. Both boys and girls take a great interest in them and never miss their morning practice at 8am. In a large school a great deal of careful supervision is required to see that dull boys are not allowed to lag behind. Young teachers naturally feel it tiresome to keep a watchful eye on the laggards but under the present system of payment by results it will not do to pay special attention to the sharp lads and neglect the slow ones. To obviate any neglect of this sort every teacher keeps a small book in which he reports each child¶s progress and whether likely to pass the Government Exam or not. Taking these books as my guide I make periodical examinations and check the results obtained by the teachers. As a rule I find their remarks very correct and it is seldom that I find a boy reported as bright is dull or vice versa. It may occasionally happen but very seldom indeed. JULY Today I am holding an exam upon the teachers, they seem to be doing very fair especially James Shelby. He is really a very clever boy and does the whole of his work remarkably well. Broke up yesterday for the Midsummer holidays, our allowance at this time of the year is three weeks so we will reopen again on Jul28th School reopened today, all the teachers were present at their posts. I had charged them particularly before leaving for their holidays not to be absent and my charge I am glad to say has borne fruit. AUGUST The tea parties held in the Chapels greatly affect our attendance. Children who are not here on a Monday often stay at home during the week. Our compulsory system of payment is also a source of bad attendance. Caught a severe cold during Saturday last which necessitated my taking the teachers in the evenings instead of the mornings.
The receipts from School pence is not equal to what it was. This is all due to the great depression in the trade of the district. A large number of people are quite out of employment and have been so for months. The school was visited by Mr William Rogers late Pupil teacher at these schools. He is now engaged at a Wesleyan School in Hartlepool where I believe he gives great satisfaction having had his salary considerably raised since he is there. He said that he found the boys in that district a great deal rougher than they are at Penygelli and their work is not nearly as neat as ours. Thomas John Jones was absent the whole of the week with the exception of one day. He is not a strong boy and rather slow with his lessons but an excellent disciplinarian and teaches well.
Nant is the oldest part of Coedpoeth. The river Clwyedog flows through the valley past the Nant Mill and onwards towards Wrexham The Mill has been restored and is now used as a very popular Visitor centre.
Attendance today very small owing to a preaching meeting at the portion of the neighbourhood called the Nant. Mr Morris has opened a Night School again but it is very badly attended, things being that bad in the neighbourhood that the young men have no money to spare. The attendance would now be very high if the works went as well as they did some years ago. To the first class I gave a lesson on ` The Overland Route to India` and another on ` Round the World Overland`. I find that the boys learn and remember a great deal more of Geography by interesting lessons of this kind. SEPTEMBER I was absent from school on Monday having gone to Rhyl on Saturday, I did not return till Monday evening, this was the first time that I have been absent since I have been teaching and now I have been in work for nearly 11 years. Have worked under very great difficulty during the present week. Have been for the whole week suffering from a fearful pain in my head, which of course made my staying in school a very difficult matter. Received a quantity of Foolscap and Blotting paper for the examination use, also readers for the lowest standards Received complaints from one parent of his boy being ill-treated by some boys on their way from school. As a punishment I kept the boys complained of for 3 evenings in succession after school hours. I find punishment of this kind has a very good effect upon the whole school when they deal roughly with one another. On Friday Mr Williamson of Penygelli Hall visited the schools along with the Gentleman who is in charge of the English Church at Jerusalem (Palestine) Mr Williamson expressing himself in very favourable terms of the progress made by his boys, Rupert, John Norman and George Earnest Williamson. On Wednesday a little boy from the First class was taken seriously ill in the school. The attack was in the form of some kind of `fit`. He was taken home when he rallied a little, by the teacher of his class. This is the first thing of the kind that has occurred here since I am Master of the school. It caused a great deal of commotion for the time amongst the teachers and children. On Thursday afternoon the Board met. There was a discussion about rumours which are afloat concerning the severe corporal punishment which has been going on in some of the Board schools. The Board resolved to call the attention of the Head Teacher of each department to the
rumour, requesting them to use the greatest caution in resorting to corporal punishment which should be administered as rarely as possible. OCTOBER Had to punish several boys for interfering with some of the Minera N School pupils. It seems that in passing the above school some of the pupils throw stones after them, the result is that the boys coming down here returned them the compliment and gave them a sound beating. One of the First Class boys told me of the facts and I felt in duty bound to put a stop to it as far as our pupils were concerned though the others were certainly to blame. The school was visited on Monday by Mr and Mrs Nicholls, the teachers of Minera School. Received the following letter on corporal punishment from the Clerk of the Board, the cause of the letter being sent was some rather severe punishment which took place in the Girls School, at least as I am informed by the attendance officer and some of the members of the Board. United School District of Bersham.Clerks Office, Wrexham 20th Sept 1879 Sir. At a meeting of the Board held on the 25th inst I was directed to write to the Head Teachers requesting their attention to the question of corporal punishment, a discussion on the subject having resulted in a resolution that I should do so and state the it is the wish of the board that such punishment should be resorted to only in extreme cases, and be dealt with at the hand of the principal teachers only and where practicable at the close of the school. Yours obediently Thomas Bury, Clerk
Have suffered very badly during the whole week from a very bad cold but attended to my work though it would have been better for myself if I had stayed in bed for a few days. A dispute occurred between two teachers in the school on Wednesday. My attention was called to it from the classroom. It appears that one had interfered with the discipline of the other. After school I gave all the teachers a sound lecture upon the importance of looking to their own classes and not interfering with one another, in other words `Upon minding their own business to use plain English`.
Received Childs forms from Mr J Morris, Journal Office. I get the majority of my certificates signed directly by the Registrar of Births and Deaths. I shall use these declarations merely for those whom we shall be unable to find through the Registers as the parents I am sorry to say are not to be trusted to a year or two now that they understand the `bye laws`. In fact we once had gross case of even altering the entries in the Bible for the purpose of getting a boy to work a twelvemonth earlier then he would have been otherwise. For these reasons I believe it best to get the original certificates from the Registrar in all cases where they are possibly to be obtained The attendance this week has been very thin. A large number are lying under the Scarlet fever, while a still larger number were away in the fields gleaning or using a local term ³Sangoring´ The Scarlet fever is on the increase in the neighbourhood at an alarming degree. Owing to this cause and the harvest the attendance is smaller than it has been at this time for many years. Philip Jones was absent from school yesterday owing to illness. He has visited a lady practitioner at Birkenhead but does not seem to be much better. Attendance again very small, the harvest and the Scarlet Fever have a great deal to do with this. We have been doing paperwork mostly the whole of the time but with so many absent we are obliged to go over the same explanation over and over again. Our registers are now under the charge of Mr Edward Roden who does a very neat and correct work, and though I always make a point to check them I have never been able to find a single error. Gave a list of absentees to the Attendance officer but he conferred his inability to get any on the list to school owing to orders having been given by the medical officer for the District that all should stay at home if fever was
even in the same street. I consider this a most foolish action on the part of the Medical officer and of course very detrimental to the progress of the school. I think if fever had not actually broken out in the house the child should be allowed to attend school, now especially that Examination is upon us. We have never had to contend with so many difficulties before. This is very discouraging any time of the year but doubly so now on the eve of the Annual Government Examination. Received 3 quires of Foolscap from Mr Gabriel Jones for school use and 2 bottles of ink. The ink that we had before being very bad. Received 7 new forms for use of Boys school, the old ones to be transferred to the Girls room. Sent each teacher round for the absentees, Mr David Lloyd Jones the Attendance officer sent letters to some boys who have left the neighbourhood as they had the required number of attendances. NOVEMBER The Scarlet fever is still rather more on the increase. Find it very difficult to get the boys to buy their own books. Though the works are a little better, yet the wages are very small and consequently parents find it very difficult to find the money to pay for their children. Thomas John Jones` lessons are very badly got up and James Shelby is also far from satisfactory. John Lloyd and Philip Jones and William Jones do not attend lessons the two former having completed their apprenticeship and the latter leaving at Xmas. Was absent from school on Thursday and Friday owing to Mrs Jones father being very ill. Mr Morris left on Monday having been appointed assistant to a school in Yorkshire, so now we are one less in the staff. Was obliged to be absent again this week owing to the death of my father in law. Have been asked by Mr Bury to be present at the next Board meeting when I hope they will do something about my salary. It will be very unfair if I will have to suffer in pocket on account of the overcrowding of my school. However I must have patience and wait. Philip Jones does not work as well as he might do. His discipline is anything but satisfactory. Had to correct a boy from the First class, Lloyd Llewelyn Jones for playing truant. A Committee of the board held on Wednesday when a large number of parents attended. The following parents were ordered to send their boys to school regularly. They were = Thomas Edwards, Nant. William Taylor =, Coedpoeth. Frederick Vaughn, Talwrn. Robert Evans, Nant. John Jones, Plas Buckley. and David Evans from Williams Square.
DECEMBER Had to correct two boys from the First class for coming late to school. Three boys from the lowest classes were also punished for playing on the Coedpoeth Lake instead of coming to school. As an encouragement to the First class boys to work hard at their lessons I made them a present of a football to be played with during the dinner hour and on Saturday afternoons. A Committee meeting was held when the following resolution was passed, the annual distribution of prizes will take place as usual. It was suggested that owing to the crowded state of the school at the last distribution of prizes that the charge for admission will be this year 1/- and that no children under 14 be admitted on any account. It was suggested that a second concert be held the following evening at a lower rate of admission. Mr Williamson, Penygelli Hall, guarantees the selling of £1 worth of 1/- tickets My Certificate has come to hand, raised to the First class with the following entry made upon it by Morgan Owen Esq.` This is the second best school in the district of Denbigh and Flint` I am well pleased with the entry. The Board have fixed my salary at £195 per annum to be paid from the end of the last school year Sept 30 1879.This sum is very satisfactory and will make the total of my salary including payment for PT`s at about £200 including house and coal over £230. I have certainly not been dealt with very hard
Attendance is not what it should be. The attendance officer is at his wits end and yet still unable to get the children to school. After summoning the parents the Board and the officer do not seem to insist on the payment of the fees. The result is that compulsion is almost a dead letter and boys and girls play in the street before the very house of the attendance officer. Was very unwell during the whole of the week, I fancy at times my health is fast breaking up owing to the hard work that I have gone through of late. Last winters work seems to have greatly told upon me. Edward Henry Jones from the First class had to be kept in from his meals twice this week owing to an inclination that he has to be insubordinate. I believe that he has been under the delusion that he was entitled to more liberty than the other boys, however he has been taught different and I trust that it will do him good. On Friday the Girls went to school at 10 o¶clock, the bell was consequently rung at that hour. The Fifth standard is making good progress. There are a few dull boys who seem to continually lag behind. In Reading and Arithmetic the Fourth Class are class is rather behind with the exception of a few sharp boys. The Drawing lessons are very well patronised by the boys especially Freehand of which they seem particularly fond. Mr HO Jones our first assistant left today. I shall have a very small staff this coming year. School breaks up for the Xmas Holidays Summary of M H Inspectors report. December 1879. Boys School The Geography of the Second Standard was about good, of the Third and Fourth Standards pretty fair, the map knowledge in these standards was good, of the Fifth and Sixth Standards pretty good The Grammer of these standards excepting that of the Third Standard was good. The Standard of work was of a very praiseworthy character. The reading of the Third Standard however was lacking in expression and also in intelligence. The slate work of the First and Second Standards and the paper work of the other Standards was of a high order and the arithmetic through out the school gave evidence of a most careful attention on the part of the school staff and aptitude of the part of the children. The Physical Geography of the Fifth and Sixth Standards was very good, of the Fourth Standard pretty good. In Literature the Repetition was very good and the Composition fair. Both Latin and Mathematics were decidedly good. The singing deserves special mention. The boys worked steadily and eagerly during the examination. This school is the second best in my district, that of Denbigh and Flint. Girls School The Grammar of the Second standard was very good, of the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth standards good. The Fifth and Sixth standards analysed correctly, this subject has evidently received commendable care. The work of the First and Second standards was decidedly good. In the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth standards the Reading could have been more intelligent though the pronunciation was quite correct. The spelling and arithmetic of the Third, Fourth and Sixth standards were about good and their writing was an improvement upon that of the last examinations. The Fifth standard did good work; there was no failure in this standard. Both needlework and knitting on the whole were pretty good. The Fourth standard should attend to buttonholes and the Fifth standard to marking. The order could be improved, perfect stillness should prevail throughout the school during the sewing work. The si nging was good. Infant School The First class did the work of the First standard in a creditable manner, their form and colour were good and intelligence about fair. The Second class were good in form and colour the rest of their work was fair. The first part of the Third class did well, their arithmetic will need a little more attention, the second part were pretty fair. Order and singing both good. The needlework could be improved Signed Thomas Bury Clerk of the Bersham School Board.
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