Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

whereas there ought to have been at the rate of one in eight of the population, or 145,392, attending schools. There appeared, therefore, to be at least 42,145 children in Wales without day-school instruction, and those children, it must be remembered, belonged to the classes that were in most need of public sympathy and aid. It was found that 38,925 children in Wales attended schools supported by the Church of England; and 14,975 attended schools supported by Dissenters. It would thus be seen how much remained for the Nonconformist bodies to do before they attain to the elevated position occupied by the Church in regard to the means of education. In Dissenting schools, the unsectarian principles of the British and Foreign School Society were generally adopted. These principles, as they were aware, embraced the reading of the Scriptures in the schools, the exclusion of all catechisms and denominational teaching, together with the attendance of the scholars at such places of worship as their parents might select. Their conference was understood to be composed of gentlemen who thought that their principles as Dissenters did not preclude them from accepting State aid for this purpose ; and they were therefore not called upon to discuss that subject. Agreed, then, as they were on the subject of accepting aid from the State for their schools, it might be useful to advert to the nature and extent of this aid, as well as the way in which it may be obtained. Mr. Owen then explained at some length the constitution of the Committee of Council on Education, and the mode in which the grants are distributed. He added, that Her Majesty's Inspectors exercised a most healthful influence on schools under their inspection. The periodical visits of the Inspector, attended as they were by searching and individual examinations, supply both teachers and pupil-teachers with motives which stimulate them to vigorous efforts from the beginning of the year to its close. The meeting scarcely needed to be reminded that the grants of which he had been speaking, were accessible to Dissenters as well as to Churchmen. The State was ready to help any party who were willing to help themselves; and if the bulk of the money voted by Parliament had gone into the hands of the Church, the Dissenters could not say that this was attributable to any favour shown by the State to the Establishment. He could not conclude without adverting to the generous conduct of the British and Foreign School Society towards the Principality. For some years past this Society had employed, at its own expense, an agent in North Wales, for the purpose of promoting the establishment of British Schools; and the labours of the Rev. John Phillips, in that respect, had been attended with marked success. The Society had also recently appointed a gentleman present, the Rev. W. Roberts, of Blaina, to perform similar duties in South Wales; and it undertook, moreover, the training of young men and women for the office of teachers, without which all other educational appliances would be of no avail. It was his earnest hope that, assisted by State grants, and guided by the British and Foreign School Society, with the association now about to be formed, South Wales would soon become as distinguished for the number and efficiency of its British schools as it was for the number and commodiousness of its places of worship.

A conference was held at a later period of the day, when a detailed plan of operations was determined on, which promises to furnish an effectual stimulus to the educational movements in the Principality.

LINDFIELD, SUSSEX.

Ten years have now elapsed since the first appeal was made to the public on behalf of the Lindfield British Schools, the work having originated in private benevolence, and been sustained from the same source, until the death of the valued founder, William Allen. Since that period, the Committee have steadily endeavoured to fulfil the trust reposed in them by the subscribers, and to promote the interests of

the labouring population of the neighbourhood, by providing for the children a sound and practical education, based on Christian principles. The pupils are carefully instructed in various branches of useful knowledge, as well as in the Holy Scriptures, which are read daily in the schools ; and the Committee have humbly and thankfully to express their belief that the Divine blessing has rested on the undertaking,

“ It is a gratifying proof of the estimation in which these schools are held, that the instruction they afford is sought for and valued by persons of different religious views, whose situation in life has placed them above the class for whose benefit it was chiefly designed, and who have marked their approbation by becoming annual subscribers. The attendance during the past winter has been much interrupted by the severity of the season and the pressure of the times; the numbers on the books, however, will show an increase since the last Report."

a

UXBRIDGE. EVILS OF IRREGULAR ATTENDANCE. “ Under the skilful and industrious management of the present teacher, the order of the school is expected to improve, and the attendance of children to increase, Already some signs of progress are visible, and if the zealous co-operation of parents with the friends of education could be secured, it is believed that the school might easily be carried to a much greater state of efficiency than hitherto it has reached.

The number of boys at present on the register is 171, with an average attendance of 124, which, in comparison with last year, shows fewer names on the books of the school, but an increased average attendance of nine children. This is a change in the right direction, and so far satisfactory; but the great obtruction to the teacher's work and the pupil's progress, joined to the early age at which most children are withdrawn from school, is found in the irregularity of their attendance. Could parents be induced to consider how it interrupts and hinders the education of a child for him to be absent from his class almost as often as he attends, it is hoped that every effort and sacrifice would be made to ensure the daily and punctual attendance of all the children connected with the institution.

“Within the year a class-room, communicating with the main building, has been erected, at a cost of £54 14s. 5d., towards which the sum of £35 5s. Od. has been already contributed. This additional facility for carrying on the work of education is noticed with sincere pleasure, inasmuch as besides giving relief to the school, it confers increased advantage on the children who are taken aside for separate instruction."

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

BRIDPORT.-THE TRI-PARTITE ARRANGEMENT. “From the master's report it appears, that 150 of the scholars read the Bible well ; 100 write in copy books, and 150 from dictation; 120 are being taught grammar; 120 geography; 100 history; 20 practise drawing on paper, and 100 on the slate ; 80 are receiving instruction in the elements of astronomy and natural philosophy ; 120 work compound rules in arithmetic, and 30 are conversant with fractional arithmetic.

“Compared with the reports of former years, these numbers exhibit satisfactory indications of the progressive advances of the scholars in the various branches of instruction taught in the school.

The new arrangement of the school, on the tri-partite plan, has been found most useful. It has given greater efficiency to its discipline, extended the facilities for oral instruction, and materially aided the master in his labours to develop the judgment and intelligence of his pupils.

4. The conduct of the pupil-teachers continues to be most exemplary. The assistance they afford to the master in the management of the school, in the preservation of its excellent order, and the instruction of the lower elasses, is invaluable. Their progress and attainments elicited the commendation of the Inspector on his last visit.

" Your Committee are more and more impressed with the benefits which the school derives from the annual visits of the Government Inspector. They give a continued stimulus to the endeavours of teachers and scholars, and supply valuable suggestions to your Committee. The opinions and experience of such men, who spend their whole time in going from school to school, and have the means of observing the results of every variety of management and mode of instruction, cannot fail to be most valuable. Your Committee are anxious to record their great obligations to Mr. Bowstead, the present Inspector, for much excellent and sound advice."

WESTBOURNE GROVE.-RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION INDISPENSABLE. “ The object of the education we impart, is not merely to teach the pupil to read, to learn the news of the day, to write, to cipher, to keep mercantile accounts, but to receive that effectual discipline of the mind, which will adapt him for any circumstances he may be called to occupy in life.

“The process of moral training conducted within these walls is designed to develop the mental faculties, that the aspirations of the young may be ennobled and elevated, and that quenchless thirst for knowledge excited, which will be an indispensable qualification for success, in the advanced state of civilisation in which the rising generation will live.

“ We are striving to make strong minds, courageous hearts, prompt, active, truthful men and women ; and because your Committee believe that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,'—that education without religion ceases to be a blessingand that a race of people enlightened only with secular knowledge, would become as mighty in ungodļiness as it would be in intellect; they base all the tuition imparted in constant relation to those great truths of Holy Scripture, which can alone refine the heart while they expand the intellect, strengthen the child against temptation, and prepare him for either or both worlds, in which future life is destined to be occupied. In the prosecution of these objects, no denominational topics are allowed, no religious catechism is employed.

All sciences and arts are introduced to our schools as the foster-children of religion, and in every department substantial good is desired rather than showy splendour."

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE.

NEW ZEALAND. The following passage occurs in a letter from the missionaries at New Plymouth, in this island, requesting a grant of books and school materials :

We have established a day school, which is taught by Miss Wakefield, formerly a pupil in the Borough Road School. She has shown us a certificate from the authorities of that establishment, testifying to her good conduct, and ability to teach, which is perfectly satisfactory to us. It is desirable she should have the series of lesson books with which she is familiar. The school is taught in one of our

We are

chapels, and generally attended by the children in the neighbourhood. anxious to establish the same system in two other schools, one of which is already established, and the other will, I hope, ere an answer returns to this application, also be set on foot. If the Committee could help us, we shall feel grateful to them and to you for bringing the matter before them.

Though the schools are taught in our chapels, as there are yet no other school rooms, they are perfectly unsectarian, and children of all classes participate in their benefits."

66

[ocr errors]

JAMAICA. The following extract is from the letter of a native missionary in this island:

“At Morant Bay, Blue Mountain Valley, and John's Town are schools numbering respectively, in daily attendance, 75, 61, 63. The two former have been in operation for many years, and have contributed, in no trifling measure, to elevate the mental and moral tone of the community. The latter I have been induced to commence, a few months ago, in a populous but really destitute and wicked district. The township being large, there is every probability that, in a short time, the attendance will exceed one hundred scholars. There is some degree of interest shown by the parents to have their children instructed, and young men and women betray a laudable desire to learn; for the benefit of these an evening school has been organized.

“The fact, that for some years past this island bas been visited by a series of afflictions, accounts for the altered and distressed condition of the peasantry. My frequent intercourse with the people, as their pastor, reveals to me the reason why many pay so irregularly the trifling school fee of 3d. per week for each child, and why they do not-because they cannot, in many instances-purchase the necessary school books for their children.

"It may not be altogether uninteresting to you to be furnished with a few facts in connexion with the development of the Creole mind, and as regards the practical working of our schools.

Writing seems an art of easy acquisition to the children, hence many excel in this department of learning. They also show great aptness in mental calculation ; history-sacred and profane ; English grammar, &c. I have known children who have acquired the ability to read the New Testament within a year; and the power of memory displayed by some is really remarkable. There is, however, an inertness about the Creole which militates against his improvement; but I am decidedly of opinion-having had opportunities for extensive observation--that with proper training he is capable of noble performances.

“In our schools, some of the excellences of the Glasgow system are introduced ; but your principles of teaching are made the basis of their operations—the teachers having found your book invaluable.”

[ocr errors]

TESTIMONIAL TO A BRITISH SCHOOLMASTER.-On the 14th December, 1854, the pupil-teachers and elder scholars of the North London British School, Calthorpe Street, Gray's Inn Road, presented their master, Mr. Thomas RYDER, with a splendid engraving and two oil paintings, in handsome gilt frames, accompanied with a suitable letter, expressing their respect and affection for his kind and faithful instructions for nearly tifteen years.

DECIMAL COINAGE.

The attention of teachers is particularly directed to the subject of the extract given below from a work just published—“The Science of Arithmetic."* There is little doubt that the recommendation of a Committee of the House of Commons, touching decimal coinage, will, at no distant period, be adopted. Meanwhile, it is very desirable that teachers should make themselves familiar with the details of the plan, and in some measure adapt their instructions on arithmetic to it. It is more than ever important now, with a view to preparing the way for the approaching change, that teachers should direct particular attention to the general subject of decimals; and that the rules for working sums by the use of decimal methods should be more fully explained, and more frequently used, than heretofore. If schoolmasters generally were to direct attention to this subject, the generation which will be entering upon active business ten years hence, would be well-prepared to welcome and appreciate the new system, and one great objection to the innovation would disappear.

DECIMAL MONEY.

1. The arithmetic of concrete quantities is more difficult than that of abstract numbers, because the units are not subdivided decimally, but follow in each case some special rule. Thus the principal units of weight, of time, of linear measure, of value, are variously subdivided thus :

1 cwt. = 4 qrs.=112 lbs.=1792 ounces.
1 week=7 days=168 hours=10080 minutes.
1 mile=8 furlongs=320 poles=1760 yards=5280 feet=63360 inches.

£1=20 shillings=240 pence=960 farthings. In the chapter on Weights and Measures (Appendix) some reasons will be found for these irregular divisions; but it is evident that if we had been accustomed to divide each of these principal units into tenths, hundredths, thousandths, &c., the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of concrete numbers would be much easier than it now is. If, for example, we had a name for the tenth and hundredth of a ton, instead of the twentieth and the eightieth, we should be spared the trouble of asking ourselves a question in reduction at every step of a sum in avoirdupois weight, and the whole process would exactly resemble Simple Arithmetic. But long established usage and habits have made it very difficult to alter the familiar weights and measures which are current among us; and such a complete decimal system as has been adopted in France, and is described in the Appendix, has scarcely been proposed in this country, and will certainly not come into general use for many years.

2. The first change will probably affect our coinage, for this could be decimally adjusted with less difficulty than any other concrete quantity. The 10th of a pound is 2 shillings; and although we have no exact equivalent in our present coinage for the hundredth of a pound, yet the farthing, which is oto of a pound, differs very little from 1ooo.

If, therefore, we retain the pound as the unit, it becomes necessary to give a name to the value now called 2 shillings, to have a new coin and a new name for the tenth of 2 shillings, or the hundredth of a pound, and to depreciate the value of the farthing 4 per cent., so that it shall become jobs of the pound. If, however, we retain the

* See

page

39.

« ZurückWeiter »