Monday, 13 June 2016

The History of Scalford School - Log Books

We have spent some time looking at the school’s old log books. These date back to the 1800s and they provide details of attendance and events in the school calendar. We had to wear special gloves to look at them. We learnt a lot about the school’s history. Some examples of what we discovered follow. Sometimes the old-fashioned handwriting is tricky to read!

On this page from 1878 you can see how the harvest affected school attendance. It also shows how the summer holidays were delayed because of wet weather and the harvest holiday did not start until the end of August and they continued until October. When school started again, attendance remained poor for a while because a lot of children were still in the fields gleaning – which meant they were collecting the left-over spilt crops to help feed their families.

The next pages show an inspector’s report from 1878.

He said that the school was in an awful state when Mr Cockayne took charge as head teacher. He did his best to gain proper discipline, but standards were still low.

The school had not been doing very well therefore it would not receive any more grant money as the inspector thought the arithmetic was poor and the infant class knew nothing about letters.

The next page from 1887 explains there was really bad weather so that made many people not come to school. People at Scalford School got told off because the children were climbing on the walls next door and the teachers thought it was dangerous. The school broke up because of the snow and they had a week off for Christmas.

The next page is from 1889 and describes a bad accident. Joseph Bridge had not come to school because he was potato picking and then he jumped onto a cart to get a lift home. Then he caught his leg in one of the wheels when he fell off. He broke his thigh bone.

The next page from 1889 describes how illness affected attendance. Minnie Wilford had only attended 20 times during the last 14 weeks that the school had been opened. Minnie Wilford’s mother said that her daughter wasn’t coming to school, because her health was very poor. Minnie’s mother was scared that her daughter had consumption (a disease also called tuberculosis). Frederick Woodcock was at home with a broken arm. Mary woodcock (his sister), is very dangerously ill with erysipelas (a nasty infection that causes large red parches on the skin), the doctor informed the school on Tuesday that it would be a long time before she could attend school again. The average weekly attendance was 103.9.

This next page from 1889 describes an epidemic of measles. It says that between 40 and 50 children were absent. Most of the infants had measles. They closed the school for one week because there were only a few children who didn’t have measles. The school was also closed on Monday due to a Sunday School treat.

The next page from 1918 is from the end of the First World War. The Reverend was present that morning, opening the school gates for the first time since the world war finished. They spoke a few words to the children about the recent armistice. They also sang the National Anthem. Two weeks later they found out that most of the German Navy had surrendered. 

The next page from 1939 is from the beginning of the Second World War. The Vicar came to the school to tell the children what to do if there was an air raid, because the enemies were trying to bomb and kill them.

This last page from 1939 is from the beginning of the Second World War. There is proof in this page that at least 5 evacuees joined the school from large cities. The nurse also came to check on the pupils and the Reverend Woodcock visited to help with the nativity show.

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