A Victorian School

A Victorian School

Extracts from the School Log Book


New Code of Regulations for 1872 required "The Principal Teacher must make at least once a week in the Log Book an entry which will specify ordinary progress and other facets concerning the School or its teachers...."

Extant Log Books for Mulbarton School begin on Feb. 8th 1875 when Elizabeth Smith took charge. The first Report explains some background:

REPORT of the Scripture Examination given on 17th June 1875:
The School passed a fair examination especially when regard is had to hindrances from the illness of the late excellent teacher, the consequent suspense of the School till the appointment in February of the present Mistress with the prevalence of Scarletina lately among the children. The order and discipline of the School seemed good and the children happy.

The week school reopened, Rev. Lucas visited on 4 days. Average attendance 62, apparently taught together in one room. Attendance seems to depend on the weather - and parents:
March 1st - 40 children present, weather being unfavourable.
May 27th - 29 children, weather being unfavourable.
June 25th - Several children away this week - parents wanting them.

The Rector, Rev. Lucas visited several days a week, and at times taught lessons other than Scripture. He also provided necessities:
March 2nd - received from the Rev. Lucas 2 dozen slates and 2 dozen Bibles.
A little later it was pen holders and Scripture Prints.

Other frequent visitors were Mrs. Wingfield [of Mulbarton Hall] and Mrs. Hackblock [of The Lodge] (who frequently inspected the girls' needlework) - possibly Trustees.

The Teacher-in-charge recorded some of the lessons she gave:
March 25th - Gave a lesson on the Camel
April 13th - Gave a lesson on the Rhinoceros

To cope with numbers, older pupils were chosen to teach the younger:
Feb. 25th - Took Maria Brown from 1st Class to teach lower classes.

This becomes an oft-repeated pattern over the years - either as regular Pupil Teachers or Monitors/Monitresses, or as a stop-gap due to staff absence.

Holidays include Easter (anything from Good Friday only to 1 week); Whitsun (usually 1 week); harvest (4 or 5 weeks - start date varying according to date when Harvest begins locally); Christmas (usually 2 weeks); half-day for Valentines Day; Ash Wednesday; Flower Show; Odd Fellows Dinner; and other special occasions (e.g. reopening of Church after refurbishment, 11th Nov. 1875)

Elizabeth Smith resigned at the end of 1875 and was followed by Elizabeth Ostler in 1876. Immediately, she "took for a trial Olive Church, a girl from the first class, as a Pupil Teacher." In March, a school Visitor reported "A Pupil Teacher is much needed"

Miss Ostler found the pupils "backward both in spelling and writing.... Examined second standard in simple subtraction, out of twenty only five had the sum right". She introduced several innovations. Attendance is generally up around 77-80:
Jan 24-28 - Allowed the first class to write on paper for the first time
March 20-24 - Allowed III Standard to use paper for arithmetic.
May 15-19 - Allowed chn, in Infants' Class to go out to play for a short time each day this week.
July 31- Aug 4 - Took some of 1st class to Yarmouth, rest of school kept on by assistant.

The Inspector's report of June 22nd would now class Mulbarton as a "failing school":
The School has only been open since the beginning of this year under a certificated Teacher. Some work has been done but the Arithmetic is very weak especially in the second and third classes. The Infants are being taught but little and the Mistress cannot do justice to the School either in Instruction or Discipline without further help. The Accounts should be kept in proper form. The supply of Reading books is insufficient. There should be a urinal for boys.

The response was immediate -
July 17th, Miss Jarman entered duties as Assistant mistress.
July 14th - School closed on account of interruptions from new building.
Sept. 11th - Commenced using [new] Classroom this week.

Inspector's Report of July 1877 states: The school has been improved by the addition of a classroom, and the order has much improved since last year.

October 23-27 - The attendance for the week Very Good especially lower classes. Out of 24 on Infants register 22 made 10 attendances.
Nov.20-24 - Allowed 1st Standard to use Copy Books for the first time.
December - school started late on several mornings due to poor light.

Both the Head and the Assistant left at the end of the year.

Miss Helen Vincent Griffiths took charge on Jan 8th 1877, with Miss Harriet Priscilla Meadows as Assistant teacher.
Feb 18th - began to work from a new Timetable. Average attendance now 83 and above.
April - knitting lessons on two afternoons from Miss Mundy. Attendance poor owing to so many children having the measles.
April 13th - May 4th - School closed on account of sickness.

There is a glimpse of the Infant programme in June:
Gave a lesson each day to the Infants. Monday writing. Tuesday reading. Wednesday object lesson. Thursday writing and Friday counting.

In June came an Inspection:
...The examination has been conducted under some disadvantage from the recent closing of the school on account of illness, and the teacher will have to work hard to reach a satisfactory standard. The Infants should have regular daily teaching from the Mistress. The supply of Reading books is still in some parts of the school insufficient...

New reading books arrived June 22nd 
The Scripture Examination Report speaks of improvement "under the present management".
Miss Meadows left at the end of term, and Miss Sarah Ann Amos commenced duties as Assistant teacher on Sept. 17th. Attendance poor due to whooping cough.

The same teachers seem to have continued into 1878, and attendance was as high as 99 by May.
April 8-12 - Took Elizabeth Dye a girl from the first class as a Monitress during three hours of the day, last week for the first time, think she will succeed in her duties.
In June we read of both Rev and Mrs. Lucas coming to the school - and later Mrs. Lucas comes in regularly to teach sewing and knitting. During the hot weather classes are allowed to have lessons outside.

Inspector's Report, July 5th 1878:
The order is good and the children do their elementary work on the whole fairly well. The arithmetic is inaccurate and wanting in neatness. The classroom should not be overcrowded. Miss Griffiths will shortly receive her certificate.

The children are allowed out to play for recreation and the infants are allowed to finish school at 3.45 pm
Attendance declines towards the Harvest Holiday: Several children absent helping to gather fruit.
Aug 2nd - Miss Murrell of Norwich (Training?) College gave Reading lessons to the Third and First classes on Thursday morning.
By Aug 8th - Attendance very poor owing to Harvest having commenced. Closed school on Thursday for the Harvest Holiday.
Sept. 9th school reopened but Attendance not good owing to harvest not being quite finished.
Oct 11th - Many children were away picking up acorns, so few were present on Friday morning that the school was closed in the afternoon.
In winter months, afternoon school starts at 1.30 and ends at 4 pm

Report of Scripture Examination:
The school is in a satisfactory condition and is going well. The children answered creditably, particularly the younger portion of them, several of whom showed a very fair amount of intelligence. The Old and New testament might have been done better by the 1st group, but they answered well to questions in Catechism & Prayer Book, and the writing on slates was really good. The mistress and her assistant are painstaking and the religious knowledge of the school as a whole is up to average. It would be well is a little more order could be enforced amongst the boys, the conduct of some of whom needs amending. Might I suggest the advisability of teaching private prayers to the children....

Perhaps the comment on unruly boys was taken to heart the following year:
Jan 13th 1879 - Caned two boys who gave their teacher much trouble in the 1st class.

It paid off - Report of scripture Examination (May '79)
That the condition of the children both as regards behaviour speaks well for the care and attention which has been bestowed on them by the mistress. The boys are far more orderly and though in some there is yet room for improvement, as a whole they are to be commended.
The Infants did really well especially in Old Testament and Catechism, and the repetition of Scripture was excellent... The great failing noticeably is that the majority of the children leave the questions to be answered by about half a dozen of the quicker ones amongst them. It would be well to endeavour to remedy this. The writing on slates was very good...
The two Monitors deserve praise for their quiet attention and readiness in answering - and also a boy whose name I believe is Rice. He deserves encouragement.

June 9th - the Inspector's Report:
The School is orderly and the children have done their work very fairly, and in better style. Desks should not be five deep. More desk accommodation is needed. Grammar and Geography are weak....

June 20th - gave the children a half holiday on Friday afternoon, there being a cricket match played on the Common. Attendance good throughout the week, average 100.
July 7th - 11th - Gave one girl a Certificate of proficiency. Admitted one girl on Monday. Attendance during the week poor, owing to the unfavourable weather. Mrs. Hackblock visited the school on Friday afternoon to pay for eight children fees for the quarter.
Robert Huggins got a Certificate of Proficiency the following week. In August 2 children received certificates of Attendance.
Harvest Holiday did not begin until August 29th due to wet weather. Both teachers left.

Eliza E. Bolton took charge 10th October 1879, with Miss Eliza Clarke as Assistant Teacher, and had a hard start:
Have had several times to deviate from Time Table owing to lack of a monitor. Attendance very poor - chn. out gleaning.... Order and work of the assistant's class has been very poor.... Have had to work Arithmetic with Standard III after school hours on account of their backwardness in that subject.... Devoted some time to the 1st and 2nd stand. The former need thorough teaching; many of them barely knowing their letters. Tried Emma Cooper as a monitor..

Oct. 3rd - Have worked first and second classes this week together, leaving assistant entirely with the first standard; plan has answered better than any other as yet adopted.

Miss Bolton's BIG innovation in the face of poor standards was Homework:
Nov. 17th - 21st - Gave chn. Some homework for the first time on Tuesday. Several of the parents burnt the papers containing it: plan seems likely to meet with opposition.
Nov. 24th - 28th - Assistant has taken the needlework class this week; has managed it better than she has any other class.
Dec. 5th - Tried Herbert Church as a monitor for the third class, which he managed well.
First mention of a boy as monitor. Standards (or, at least, test results) were creeping up and 'the spirit for work' improved..  The Assistant seems to have left....


Jan 5th 1880 - Miss M. Harvey commenced duties as assistant teacher. Her class has not been orderly, though some work has been done.

More problems with parents:
Jan 23rd - Several complaints have been made by parents about the school windows being open during school hours; but it I absolutely necessary to ensuring a healthy atmosphere that they should be.
April 12-16 - Have admitted several children. On Friday a girl named Alborough was taken forcibly out of the school by her father in direct opposition to my injunction that she should remain.
Both the Mistress and the Diocesan Examiner wrote of rising standards and better behaviour by April 1880. But the Inspector was harsher on July 6th: Both the discipline and instruction in this school are far below a proper standard. The supply of reading books is insufficient. My Lords will look for different results next year as a condition of a grant.

Eliza Bolton and Miss Harvey were replaced by Alice Eleanor Hardingham, Mistress, and Ellen Alice Plow, Assistant on July 12th. The Vicar visited most days. Attendance, punctuality and discipline improved. By July 23rd - 'The tone of the school has improved this week', and on July 30th - the children are to have a "treat".
Nov. entries indicate winter pattern: Children have assembled at 1.30....registers have been closed at 1.45, secular instruction stopped at 3.45, then Prayers and Dismissal.

Jan 1881 did not begin well: School has not been conducted on account of the weather. Children have been unable to get to school owing to the roads being blocked up with snow.... [Then...] the sudden change in the weather, the snow melting so rapidly that the roads are flooded with water.
April 14th - The average [attendance] is lower this week because children sent home who did not bring their pence... [This problem repeated most Aprils]
April 18th - Received this morning - 2 doz. New Royal Primers; 1 doz. Royal Readers No.2; ditto No. 5; 1 doz. Chambers Reading Books Standard IV; an alphabetical sheet.... [The following week] Received a large Map of England & Wales and 4 class Registers.
May 26th Geography Standard II (1) Definitions of terms as applied to Land and Water (2) Points of the Compass (3) Meaning of a Map, with special reference to (1) and Neighbourhood (4) Outlines of Geography of Norfolk. Standard III and over Geography of England & Wales, Standard IV and over Geography of the Colonies (Published by Marshall)..... Boys take Geography on Needlework afternoons.

June 24th - Inspector's Report
The School has improved greatly in Discipline and is good in that respect. The Reading has also improved, but both Writing and Arithmetic are very weak. All children should be present at the Inspection and not only those whose names are on the Schedule. A larger supply of books is required.

July 22nd ...A holiday was given on Monday as Mistress went with the Church Choir to Yarmouth
July 29th - A holiday was given on Monday in consequence of the Meeting of the Oddfellows at the World's End (this is a general holiday for the labouring classes and mechanics).

Diocesan Inspectors Report:
That a decided improvement is to be seen in the discipline and general character of the school. The children still shew signs of feeble management and inefficient teaching, but under the present mistress both defects will no doubt be remedied....

Oct. 28th Commenced fire this week.
Dec 2nd - Attendance would have been much higher if children had not stayed away in consequence of stag-hunting yesterday afternoon.

1882 Inspector's Report
The School does not show the improvement I had expected last year. The Discipline is weak and the work the children shewed in the examination was far from satisfactory, especially in Arithmetic. The Needlework grant is recommended with much hesitation, as so large a portion of the Girls are presented in the lowest stages. A proper map easel is needed. The issue of a Certificate to Miss Plow is deferred for a better report.

Miss Plow left on July 21st Edith Hardingham has taken her place until Harvest Holidays. Alice Flood commenced duties Sept. 11th.
Nov 3rd - Miss Flood examined Class I this morning and Mistress Classes II and III. 59 children were examined. 10 failed in Reading, 23 in Writing and 21 in Arithmetic. Standard I are weakest in Arithmetic, Standard II in Writing and Class I in Arithmetic.

Scripture Report for July 26th
I beg to report that so far as the discipline is concerned, the ill effects of the influence of the late assistant Mistress is discernible and the religious instruction of the children has consequently suffered.... The Mistress is evidently doing her best....

Alice Hardingham resigned at the end of the year.

In 1883 a Master was appointed - the first for decades. David Walter Parsons took charge on Jan 8th and thus began a new regime....
Immediately lists low standards (esp. in Arithmetic); reading books and slates in bad condition; no school song.
Over next few weeks received several new slates.... 3 doz. Royal Readers and other articles.... New Historical readers, Geographical readers, new blackboard and easel.
Jan. 19th - Caned Arthur Sturman and Isaac Lake for insulting an old lady of the village.
Better attendance, better punctuality, better discipline, and by the end of March the monthly examination resulted in an 86% pass rate. 'A decided improvement especially in writing' recorded April 27th. Quite a lot of new children admitted.
April 6th - The weather being fine this week, the children have assembled in ranks outside and marched into school in proper order.
First mention of the "Attendance Officer" calling - and then coming most weeks, sometimes several times a week.

May 4 - includes list of the poetry learned for Recitation
Standard I "The Spring" by M. A. Stoddard
Standard II "Casablanca" by Mrs. Hemans
Standard III "We are Seven" by Wordsworth
Standard IV "Wreck of the Hesperus" by Longfellow
Standard V "Elegy written in a Country Ch.yd." by Gray

May 11 - James Turner Esq. One of the Managers of the school sent small sums of money for girls who had done their examination needlework with credit.
After the Whit Holiday - Mary Ann Barrett appointed monitor for this quarter.
June 1st Admitted two new scholars on Monday. William Beaumont the new scholar was severely punished today for impudence and insubordination. Received for school use 2 dozen "Robinson Crusoe", 4 dozen other reading books, also Grammar, Arithmetic and Poetry books, Recitation cards and Needlework frame.

Inspector's Report, June 1883
The School has only been four months in charge of the present Master. It has improved considerably in Discipline and Instruction though many of the children are not yet up to the work of their Standards. Needlework has improved considerably. The Infants need more attention. You are requested to state the grounds of the Managers' dissatisfaction with the Conduct of Mrs. Plow.

June 22nd - James Beaumont the late new scholar was punished severely today for insubordination; during he master's absence in the classroom he deliberately left the school and went home. He returned with his mother in the afternoon and promised to reform.
July 13th - Isaac Lake has been granted a "Half time Certificate"...in accordance with Article 15, New Code.

The Master is a choir member - and closes the school for the choir outing to Yarmouth (Bank Hol Mon) and children continue to have an annual treat..

Sept 21st - Several children absent Tuesday owing to an auction sale being held in the village; one boy played truant and was punished.
Sept. 28th - Mr. & Mrs. Wingfield visited the school; the former is a manager of the Welling (Hereford) Schools. He expressed himself highly pleased with the order of the school, and remarked how tidy, neat and clean everything looked. Mrs. Wingfield thought the Needlework very creditably done.
Oct. 12th - Five children have been sent home for their school pence and not returning have somewhat reduced the weekly average.
Oct. 26 - The 2nd quarter of the school year ends today with an average of 93.6 an increase of 1.2 on the first quarter. The Infants have made satisfactory progress this quarter - Miss Flood takes them for Arithmetic twice a week viz. on Tuesday and Thursday; the first division have their reading lessons in the main room under the master's supervision. Mary A. Barrett and Ann Waller have been monitors past qr.

List of Object Lessons to be given for the next half year [teacher and dates listed]
Animals: Cat, Cow, Dog, Horse, Elephant, Duck, Lion, Fish, Bird, Camel, Mouse, Fox.
Objects: Potato, Apple, Bread, Candle, Coal, Sugar, Salt, Orange, Soap, A Letter, Chalk, The Body.
[The lists remain much the same in later years, with additions such as Donkey, Reindeer, Frog, Window, Boots 7 Shoes, Wheelbarrow....]

Nov 16th - half-day off as there was a concert in the school that evening, the proceeds from which bought a new desk.
Nov. 30th - This week's average is the highest since the school has been under government inspection viz 104.3
Dec. 14th - Miss Flood absent, sitting the Certificate Examination.

1884, Feb 8th - There was a stag hunt on Tuesday which caused three boys to lose their attendance marks...
Feb. 27th being Ash Wednesday, the children assembled at 8.45 and went to Church at 10.45.
March 14th - Intelligence has been received from the "Education Department" that Miss Flood obtained a place in the 2nd Class at the late Certificate exam. and is now qualified under Art. 64.
March 28th Admitted three new scholars on Monday aged 10, 8, and 5 respectively, not one could write their names or letters. [By May av. Attendance up to 107.4]
May 2nd - The school year ended on Wednesday; the average for the whole year is 97.7 being an increase of 16 on the previous years and the school pence has increased nearly £5.... The school has been opened 439 times being an increase of 14 on last year. Fred Loveday and Harry Larter have attended every time the school has been opened; the latter has not lost an attendance for the past three years.

May 29th - Poetry for recitation:
Standard I "The First Grief" by Mrs. Hemans
Standard II "The Homes of England" by Mrs. Hemans
Standard III "The Inchcape Rock" by Southey
Standards IV & V ditto and "Graves for a Household" by Mrs. Hemans

Inspector's report, 1884, notes 'The School has improved during the year especially in the lower part of it... [Criticises Spelling, Arithmetic, Grammar, Recitation] The Grant is recommended with much hesitation as the second and third Standards knew their work....The Infants...do not know much of the Object lessons they have received. The higher Grant is recommended with some hesitation.'

School grant notification, 18 June 1884 - £64. 12. 10d  to be paid by Whitehall
School grant notification, 18 June 1884 - £64. 12. 10d to be paid by Whitehall

But a few weeks later there is a glowing report from the Diocesan Inspector: '...a manifest improvement is discernible in the order and discipline of the school and in the knowledge of the children as a whole...'

June 27th - Certificates given to those children who passed the examination and a tea service was presented to Miss Flood. Mr. Turner also gave money to girls who had done their needlework with credit..... Miss Flood resigned the Assistantship this day.
In July, Eliza Sanders commenced duties as an Assistant Mistress.
Oct. 17 - Several children have been sent home for schoolpence and some have been to Norwich to see the decorations, it being "Festival" week, consequently the attendance has been poor.
Oct. 24 - The second quarter of the year ends today... 7 have left and 2 have been admitted during the quarter, leaving 115 on books.
Nov.21 - The attendance has suffered very much from illness and bad weather; this morning only 56 were present. Two scholars, Isaac Eastall and Eliza Dawson died on Monday.

1885 began with several school days lost due to deep snow.
March 13 - L. Chapman has left the village, there are now 107 names on the books.
April 10 - Miss Sanders has been granted leave of absence on Thursday afternoons from 3.30 pm in order to attend a series of five ambulance lectures to be given at Flordon.
May 21st - Poetry for recitation: "The Blind Boy", "The Silly Fish", "Battle of Blenheim" and "Village Blacksmith".

Diocesan Inspector notes 'That marked progress is manifested both with respect to order and efficiency. The number of children who were prominent in answering well has increased, whilst the intelligence of the school as a whole has improved. A very fair knowledge of the Scripture Subjects was displayed throughout.

June 5 - The Infants have left the room for a little recreation and will continue to do so every morning (weather permitting) during the Summer months. [Possibly prompted by the HMI report:]

The HMI report gives grudging praise and notes, 'The Class-room was very crowded and with a larger room, which is greatly needed, more variety of occupation would be possible. It would be wise to give the little children some recreation in a meeting of three hours. The Class Room required proper ventilation. With hesitation I recommend the higher Merit Grant.'

There were 117 children on the books. By the end of Oct., 'ten children have been admitted and twelve have left leaving 115 on books'
Nov. 26th - Closed school this morning (Thursday) the Room being required for the Election.

1886 Feb is first mention of sending children home suffering from Ringworm
March 12th - evening concert
April 30 - end of School Year.... During the year 30 children have been admitted and 26 have left leaving 109 on books. The school has been opened 427 times... Over 30 children have attended 400 times. F. Loveday, H. Larter, E. Loveday, G. Larter and R. Banham have not lost a single attendance. H. Larter has not lost a single attendance during five years and F. Loveday for three years. Mary A. Barrett has been monitor the whole year. The Object Lessons since September have been given by Mrs. Parsons. [i.e the Master's wife, and the list for the year is somewhat more imaginative!]

HMI Report received June 8th 1886
Mixed School The School is in good order and the children who attend with praiseworthy regularity have passed on the whole a good examination in the Elementary Subjects and the character of all the work has considerably improved.....
Infants' Class. The Infants are very creditably taught and their reading has improved, but they should know more of their Object Lessons. The Class Room is very small and I hope the Managers will see their way to enlarging it.

The Diocesan Inspector report: 'The efficiency of the School is being well maintained. The order and discipline is good and the religious knowledge is creditable to themselves and to those who teach them.... The Repetition of Catechism on slate and viva voce was good in all groups - a little more intelligent knowledge of it and the Prayer Book might be wished for.
Specially commended [in various categories]: A. Alborough; S. Andrews; C. Atkins; E. Buxton; A. Cullum; M. A. Cullum; W. Dawson; K. Edwards; F. Farrow; G. Godfrey; A. Gowing; S. Grimwood; E. Howes; M. Howes; E. Huggins; S. Huggins; E. Lake; H. Lake; J. Larter; E. Lincoln; R. Mackrell; E. Palmer; J. Randall; A. Smith; M. Towler. Infants: E. Brighton; H. Huggins; L. Lincoln; A. Nichols; A. Rice; W. Towler;

July 3 - poor attendance owing to haymaking
July 17 - A half holiday was given today on account of the Agricultural Show in Norwich. Several children have been sent home for schoolpence...
Sept 17 - Attendance has been bad on account of the harvest not being finished.
Oct. 22 - Punished Wm. Bailey for playing truant.
Concert on Nov. 12th
Dec. 10 - Owing to a terrible gale on Wednesday morning, only 27 children were present.
Dec. 17 - Miss Sanders absent to attend the Certificate examination.

1887 - very similar most weeks...
April 20 - Closed School today by order of the Medical Officer of Health owing to an epidemic of Measles.
May 20 - School reopened Monday; 84 present. Several are still away suffering from Measles and Ringworm.

HMI Report 1887:
Though the School has been recently closed on account of sickness the Children have again passed a good examination and much of the work is very creditable. There is a little indistinctness in reading and recitation and some of the Writing is too thick in the upstrokes. The Arithmetic is accurate but few problems were worked. Infants As far as is possible in the crowded state of the room, the Infants have been well taught, but I hope that the Class-room will be enlarged in accordance with my suggestions.
The School accommodation is at present insufficient for the average attendance (Article 96 (a)). This should be at once remedied otherwise the whole of next year's grant will be withheld.

The Diocesan Inspector's report was brief but 'satisfactory'.

July 22 - Attendance not quite so good on account of a "Primrose League" Fete in Dunston park.
July 29 School closed on Monday it being the Oddfellows Anniversary, also on Tuesday afternoon when the sale of Needlework took place.
Aug. 12 - School closed for the holidays.
Sept. 16 - School reopened. The Infant room has been enlarged during the holidays.
Nov 25 - School was closed on Tuesday afternoon it being the "Opening of the new Organ" in honour of the Jubilee.

May 4 - During the year 37 children have been admitted and 33 have left leaving 115 on books. The school pence has increased 10/-. Mrs. Parsons has assisted with the Infants and has given all the Object Lessons also the Kindergarten lessons. Emily Burgess and Nora Towler have acted as Monitors. Mary Banham has attended every time the school has been open. [Emily Burgess, Monitor, had left on 6 April]
June 22 Rev. W. M. Pigot examined the school in Religious Knowledge yesterday morning and in the afternoon the prizes were distributed to those children who had passed the Gov. Exam.

HMI Report 1888
The order is not as good as it has been and the children were rather inclined to be talkative during the examination. There is very little difference in the number of passes, but many of them were bare passes especially in Reading which was indistinct. Writing and Spelling are very creditable and Arithmetic is fair. Grammar is poor in the upper standards. In the specimens of Needlework done at the examination stitching, gathering, tucks and patching need more attention. Every child on the register should be present on the day of examination. Infants' Class The addition to the classroom is a great improvement and the infants are nicely taught.

Diocesan Inspector's Report: The religious knowledge of the school is satisfactory. There is careful teaching and the majority of the children are intelligent. Several seem to know more than they manifest.
[Among the 'specially commended' list there now appears C Alborough; A. Barrett; H Ladbrook; L. Kent; W. Larter; I. & M. Kedge.]

Oct. 12 - School opened on Monday after having been closed six weeks. The last two weeks by order of the Medical Officer of Health owing to an outbreak of Scarlet Fever.

Jan 18 - Three children absent from Whooping-cough
Jan 23 - School closed this morning owing to the room being required for the County Council election.
March 15 - T. Beaumont has left school; there are now 107 on the books.
May 24 - Needlework will now be taken by the Infant boys at the same time with the girls.

Diocesan Inspection: Conduct throughout left nothing to be desired. The School is well and carefully taught and managed.

May 31 - J Turner has presented the school with a pail, jug and six tin cups for the children's use during the Summer months. Received 2 doz. "Star Readers" for Standard III
June 7 - Permission was given Miss Sanders on Thursday to visit Monk Soham of which place she has been appointed School Mistress.

HMI Report:
Mixed School The school is in good order and with a remarkably high average attendance which reflects great credit on the management, the children have passed a good examination though the character of some of the work might be higher....Infants' Class The Infants continue to be satisfactorily taught. I shall hope to see musical drill introduced next year.... Miss Sanders will receive her Certificate in due course.

July 12 - There was no school on Thursday afternoon owing to a tea and meeting of the Girls Friendly Society.
July 26 - School was closed on Wednesday afternoon owing to the Flower Show, and on Thursday afternoon when the members of the Band of Mercy went to Keswick Hall.
Aug 2 - Miss Sanders left today. Closed school today owing to so many children suffering from the "Mumps".
Sept. 13th - School reopened... Miss E. Tucker commenced her duties as Assistant.
Sept. 27 - D. W. Parsons resigns charge of this school today.

Arthur George Hubbard took charge of Mulbarton School, Sept. 30th 1889. Mrs. Hubbard also commenced duties as "assistant" on this day - having charge of the Infant Room.... Have examined children and found Spelling, Writing and Mental Arithmetic weak. Number on books 106 (Oct. 25th)


Open with snow and a 'flu epidemic! Mrs. Hubbard runs the school for a while.
Rev. C. Winter pays frequent visits, and Mrs. Lucas still comes in.
March 14th - Head Master had to call attention to the want of proper discipline in Standard II
April 2nd - The Managers and Master have finally resolved that [W.W. & J.C.] ought to have another year in the same standard owing to obvious dullness.
[Similar decisions made in Feb 1891 for 2 girls]
June 13th The number of children in the infant department is lower than usual, while the upper standards are somewhat crowded. Commenced teaching a new school song "Oft in the stilly night".
June 20th - Commenced teaching Drawing o the boys on Monday afternoon - lessons in this subject will be given on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 2.50 to 3.30. Holiday given - schoolroom is required for annual sale of school work.
We now begin to get a detailed History syllabus.

Diocesan Inspector's report: The state of Religious Knowledge in this school is decidedly good, the answers were brightly and intelligently given and showed signs of careful teaching...

HMI's report: The discipline is good and the children have passed a good examination.... The children in the lower standards should be able to read without pointing. The infants have been nicely and intelligently taught.

Oct. 15th - Registers closed at 1.10 this afternoon so as to dismiss school at 3.10, the school being wanted for the Cricket Club Tea.
Received case showing Woollen manufacture on Oct. 3rd; specimens of Mustard & Starch manufacture from J. Coleman Esq. on Nov. 7th; case from Messrs Rylands & Sons showing Cotton Manufacture on Nov. 14th
Dec 18th - Mrs. Hubbard attending Certificate Examination at Norwich.

[The year ended with poor attendance and snowstorms - and that is how 1891 began....]
Mr. Hubbard is obviously amassing real samples for the Object Lessons - received a specimen case from Messrs. Cadbury Bros. showing the "Cocoa Manufacture" (Jan 30th); from Messrs Gillett & Sons, Birmingham, showing Steel Pen Manufacture (April 10th) a set of models (Oct. 30th); specimens from Messrs A Banks & Co, Keswick, showing "Lead pencil manufacture" (Jan '92); from Messrs. Clark & Co, Paisley on "The Manufacture of Cotton Thread" (April '92).
Feb. 13th - Registers closed this morning at 9.45 so as to dismiss children at 11.45 - the annual distribution of bread taking place at 12 0'clock.
March 20th - The new case for the School Museum was fixed up on Thursday, the funds being the proceeds of a lecture recently given by the Master. [And another new cabinet fixed 24th April]
April 3rd Children's concert in evening
May 1st - end of school year. Rachel & Mary Banham and Richard Kedge have been present every time.

Poetry includes items by Longfellow and part of King John Act IV Scene I.
Excellent reports from HMI and Diocesan Inspectors.

Harvest Holiday did not begin until Aug. 21st and school reopened Oct. 2nd
Nov. 6th - Revd. H. Wilson, the new Rector [visited] on Monday [not mentioned again until March '92, when visits became more frequent]
Nov. 13th Two children (Charles Whittaker and Willm Ladbrooke) left this week
Nov. 27th - Two boys - E. Roper and F. Cullum - being thirteen years of age left school this week.

The year ended and 1892 began with Mrs. Hubbard off ill with neuralgia until April, and the Head often suspending the timetable to take the whole school. She was often away ill throughout the year.
March 18th - Received official notice that Miss Tucker had obtained a Third Class at the Certificate Examination.
April 29th - school numbers had dropped to 92

HMI's report 1892:
Order is good, but the children should be trained to answer only when called upon, and also to speak distinctly. Paper work is nicely done, especially in Arithmetic.... History of the lower school should improve. The Infants are satisfactorily taught. Some pictures are needed to illustrate the object lessons. The note singing grant is recommended with hesitation.

July 11 - Holiday given today, the school being required for a voting station for the Parliamentary Election.
Nov. 25th - Register closed at 9.30 this morning so that the school can cease work at 11.30, as the children are to be photographed. Admitted 4 new children... these children are very backward, the two girls, 13 years and 10 years 9 months respectively, are in Stand I, William H 8 years 8 months does not know his letters properly.

1893 began with the Master absent - attending the London University Matriculation Exam.
May 15th - Drawing report received from the Science & Art Department. The School awarded "Excellent"

HMIs Report 1893:
The School is in good order. The children have passed a fairly good examination on he whole in Elementary Subjects, but reading and Recitation are too monotonous. The paper work is well and neatly done, but the fourth standard should give attention to spelling. History and Needlework are good. The Infants are in good order and they are satisfactorily taught. Some Reading sheets are required for the second class. The playground is too small, and the offices are too near the School and too limited in accommodation. In the special report on the premises, H. M. Inspector repeats that the office accommodation for both sexes is insufficient and is badly placed, being too near the school. The special attention of the Managers is requested to these defects and to the enclosed Form 69.

Diocesan Inspector's report:
The scholars passed a good examination, many of the younger ones were however somewhat reticent. Groups I & II were weak in the Old testament, especially in Ezra.... The repetition of the catechism was perfectly done. I would especially commend the singing.... The tone and discipline are very good.

July 6th - The Royal Wedding - School closed the whole day.
[Of Prince of Wales & Princess May of Teck - later George V & Queen Mary]
July 12th - Only 67 children present this afternoon (37 absent) owing to a very severe thunderstorm.
July 28th - school closed for harvest Holiday; reopened Aug 28th when Mrs. Harrison commenced duties as Assistant.
Oct. 13th - Mrs. Hubbard resigns charge of the Infants today. Arthur G. Hubbard resigns charge of this school today.
Oct. 20th - Mrs. Harrison takes charge of the school for the week. School visited each day by the Rev. H. & Mrs. Wilson and Instruction given. Miss Harrison resigns charge as Assistant.
Oct. 23rd - Albert A. Kerridge, Certificated master of the 2nd Class took temporary charge of this school, Mrs. Kerridge acting as assistant.
Oct. 24th - Herbert Heazel; Harry Towler; Wallace Larter punished for disobedience by keeping in to write a paragraph.
Oct. 30th - Attendance Officer called and took names of irregular scholars.
[Rector and wife visit frequently.... New master feels ill but 'keeps going'.... Numbers drop - partly due to weather]
Dec 7th - Commenced marking registers at 1.30 pm this week as afternoons get so dark cannot see.

1894 sees a new Head - John Van Dyke - though only 56 children turned up his first day due to weather.

Schoolmaster Jan 1894 – end Sept. 1895: John Albert Vandyke (1852-1916) with Mary Selina (seated left) & children
Schoolmaster Jan 1894 – end Sept. 1895: John Albert Vandyke (1852-1916) with Mary Selina (seated left) & children

Jan 19th - The children I find are very unruly. I have had great trouble with discipline.
Jan 25th - Rosetta Coan assisting, Miss Harrison superintending Needlework.
Feb 9th - I suppose owing to the high winds the school work has been greatly impeded by volumes of smoke down the chimney.
Feb 12th - Miss Kerrison from Prospect Row Board School, Norwich, began duty here today. Again the high winds make the school uncomfortable.
Feb 16th - Mrs. Wilson called in the afternoon and presented each child with an orange. John Rushbrooke absent through Measles....
March 2nd - The children in the Upper Classes are requested to find their own slate pencils... In an examination of Arithmetic only half the sums were done correctly. Mental Arithmetic very badly done... The entrance to the school is very bad, especially in wet weather.
March 9th - Punished Gilbert Randle for shouting in school.... I've drawn the attention of the Managers to the floor of the Cloakroom.
April 4th - had to punish Harry Towler for disobedience....
April 13th - Chiefly worked Standard III this week; they still are very backward in Arithmetic and Spelling. I find a difficulty in taking Musical Drill - very limited in regard to space.
April 20th - Alice Atkins left school to go to work. Highest average for the year 104.
May 24 Miss C. G. Kerrison left.
June 28 - Mrs. Harrison, who has previously assisted in the school, acting as Assistant this week.
June 22nd - Sydney Huggins fell from Tree, broken leg. [Returned Aug. 2nd]

Diocesan Report:
The Infants passed a very good examination.... The girls in the Upper Standards I would heartily commend. I regret however that the boys did not think is worth their while to do full credit either to their teachers or themselves. I would suggest that some strong mark of our general disapproval of their indifference be judiciously shown. The singing was excellent and repletion of Catechism etc. very good.... The general character of the School is good, the discipline a little noisy.

June 25 - Today asked for new reading Books, most of the apparatur is very old and unsuitable.
June 29th - Mrs. Harrison leaves today.
July 2nd - Miss Newman acting as Assistant - commenced duties today.

HMIs Report:
The Staff has been changed three times during the year, and the present teachers have only been in charge since January.... The frequent changes seem to have affected the work of the Infants' Department very considerably.....

July 30th - Mulbarton Friendly Society met at the World's End. As many of the children belong to the Society whole holiday granted.
Oct. 26th - Explained to Miss Newman the manner of teaching Arithmetic and Spellings.
Dec. 3rd - History lessons - Upper classes the Afghan wars; lower standards the Roman Walls & roads. When the girls are at Needlewrk there is not sufficient desk room for the boys to do their drawing. One clss therefore has to go into Classroom, viz Standard I.
Dec 17th - School required by Parish Council Polling Station - ½ day.
Dec 21st - School closed for 2 weeks holiday. Miss Newman leaves.

Jan - Miss Alliban from Hapton N. School appointed assistant.
Jan 23rd - Another very stormy day - only 6 infants present in morning and 8 in the afternoon.
Feb 1st - Snow drifted across the roads, in places impassable, 5 infants and 30 children present.
Feb 27th - The heating arrangements, particularly of Infant Room, are not satisfactory. [Signed by HMI]
Feb 27 & March 1 - Timetable altered to allow 10 mins recreation in the morning and afternoon: 11 - 11.10 and 3 - 3.10. In wet weather have musical drill.
March 25 - Several windows broken by storm.

HMI Report 1895:
[Critical of Mixed School - esp. History and Spelling]
The Infants are very fairly taught; more Word Building should be given in the first class and teaching of Number should improve. Objects should always be present during an Object Lesson. It would be well to put matchboarding round the room, which might be made to look more cheerful. The room appears to be insufficiently warmed during the cold weather. Note singing is not sufficiently prepared.
C. E. Harrison and M. E. Alliban are recognised under Article 68 of the Code. As it appears that Harrison was not 18 years old until 20th Sept. 1894, she cannot be recognised before that date.

June 24 - Miss Alliban gave notice to leave - her mother requiring her services at home.
July 29 - No school. Oddfellows F. Society meeting - many of the boys belong to Juvenile branch an requested holiday.
Sept. 9th - Reopened school. Miss Taylor from Swardeston assisting in the upper school.
Sept. 13th - Miss C. Harrison leaves today.
Sept. 20th - Lillian Fisher aged 14 has charge of the Infants for the present, Miss Taylor superintending their work.
Sept 27th - I, John Van Dyke leave today.

Sept. 30th - Wm. Prewett took charge as Head Master, my wife as Assistant in the Mixed department, both being First Class Certificated Teachers. Miss Taylor, with the help of Gertrude L. Fisher, Monitress, conducting the Infant department. The work of the school carried on as usual.
Attendance usually between 91 and 100.
[Lots of comments on cold weather, need for fires, lack of coal.... Various items received from Jarrold & Son]
Nov 4-8 - Form from the Inspector with Schedule to be filled with the names of all children over 11 who would like to be examined for a Labour Certificate. The parents of seven of the boys wished them to be examined....
Nov 11-15 - The following boys went to the Board School at Swardeston to be examined for a labour Certificate, viz. Randle Gilbert, Nicholls Herbert, Baxter David, Randle Bernard, Kedge Richard, Atkins Frederic & Williams Clifford. The four first were successful, the other three not.
Dec 20th Myself and wife gave up temporary charge of this school.

Jan 1896, David Burnham, Trained (York) Certificate, late of Charlton-on-Otmoor (Oxford) National School together with Annie Burnham took charge. Opened school with small numbers due to Whooping Cough.
I examined all the standards in Arithmetic and found them very weak. The Dictation exercises are not up to the mark, some of the drawing is very fair, but we re rather short of materials.... The children are very noisy and seem undisciplined... I also find them unpunctual.
13th Jan - As the Time Table does not satisfy several articles of the Code, I have drawn up a fresh one.... Order is getting more to my mind. Punctuality is improving.
By end of Jan - Books, pencils, etc. arrived. Rapid progress in Arithmetic. Whooping Cough is on the increase. All standards taking a greater interest in their work.
Jan 27 - 31 - Spoke very strongly about the children coming to school dirty, etc., towards the end of the week a little improvement. Spelling very weak....
Feb - Punctuality greatly improved.... Had a great deal of quarrelling among the boys, gave them a caution.... Examined Standard III in History and recitation, not one boy can say the poem. Received supply of coal.
Feb 28 - I, wife and daughter sent in our resignations... our duties to cease on 29th May next.
March - measles reappearing.- and on 7th April school closed for 3 weeks [and then another 3 weeks] by Medical Officer of Health.
[May 29th came and went, and the Burnhams stayed on until July 31st]

J. W. J. Simmonds with Mrs. Simmonds and Miss M. Duffield (Monitress) took over on Sept. 1st 1896 - the beginning of a new era that lasted over 25 years....

Now it was a School under Mr. Simmonds.