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EXAMINATION SCHEME FOR THE BOYS AND GIRLS OF SCHOOLS
WITHIN THE BANBURY DISTRICT. President-B. Samuelson, Esq. Committee - The Mayor of Banbury; Rers. W. Wilson, W. T. Henderson; W. Best, J. D. Fish, Dr. Tandy; Messrs. II. Austen, J. B. Austin, J. H. Beale, J. Cadbury, T. Clarke, T. R. Cobb, J. Fortescue, F. Francillon, R. Goffo, T. Hunt, J. B. Looker, W. Munton, W. P. Payne, R. H. Rolls, and J. Shaw.
The object of this scheme is to induce parents to keep their children at school longer and more regularly than is at present the custom, and to liold out to the children themselves an additional motive for diligence and good conduct.
CONDITIONS. 1st. Candidates to be pupils, not being paid assistants, who must be at least eleven and not more: than fourteen years of age.
2nd. They will be required to produce a certificate from their teachers that they have attended some Day School for at least three years, and from the teacher of the school at which they are receiving instruction, that they liave attended it at least 176 whole days during the twelve months ending the 1st of (
) preceding the examination; also a certificate from the authorities of the school, that they, bear a character for truthfulness, industry, honesty, and general good conduct throughout the year: so that mere ability and cleverness, without good conduct, shall in no case be rewarded. 3rd. Supposing that £70 be contributed to this fund, That there be 20 rewards offered, of the value of 20s. each; For attainments accompanied by 80
To be called Special Prizes, for industry and
good condnct. Each reward to be in money or books, at the option of the prize holder. 4th. That no pupil shall receive the 10s. prize, who cannot read with correctness and intelligence -write in a fair land, and correctly from dictation, a simple passage-work correctly any sum in a simple or compound rule-distinguish readily any of the parts of speech-and answer simple questions, in Geography and English llistory.
5th. That no pupil shall receive the 20s. prize, who shall not be able to read with fluency-write in a good hand and from memory, with correct spelling, a simple narrative previously read to him slowly -work sums in Proportion, Practice,* Vulgarand Decimal Fractions—evince a fair attainment in three of the four following subjects, viz., Geography, Grammar, English History, and Drawing.
6th. That the Special Prizes shall be awarded to such Pupils as shall be specially recommended to the examiner by their teachers, for perseverance and general good conduct. That such Special Prizes may be taken in conjunction with a 20s. or a 10s. prize, but shall not be awarded to any Pupil who shall not take a prize of at least the lower sum; nor at all, except in recompence of remarkable diligence, since they are intended as a special encouragement to the diligent, whether their mental gifts be great or small. These Special Prizes to be placed at the disposal of the schools adhering to this scheme, in the ratio of the number of pupils in each.
7th. That pupils who have taken the 20s. prize cannot present themselves again for examination; and those who have taken a 10s. prize are disqualified for the same a second time, but may receive the 20s. prize at a subsequent examination.
8th. That these rewards be accompanied with a handsomely-printed Certificate of Merit, furnishing the pupils with a testimonial, to which constant relerence can be made in after-life, as to conduct, regularity, and attainments during their pupilage.
9th. That the examiners shall be either the Government Inspectors of Schools for the district, or persons appointed by them; and tliat, having due regard to the resolutions already passed, the whole of the details of the examinations, and the responsibility of the award of prizes, shall rest in the hands of the exanıiners.
10th. That the liberal offer of B. Samuelson, Esq., to contribute annually the sum of £50, until a portion of that sum may be raised from other sources in the town of Banbury, be accepted; and be considered the foundation of a general fund for the support of the proposed prize scheme; and that further additional annual subscriptions be requested from the neighbouring towns and villages to the same fund.
11th. That (for the present year) any school which is situated within eighteen miles of Banbury shall be admitted to the benefits of the examination, on the contribution of at least £l for every 100 scholars attending the school, to the general sund.
12th. That the present committee, appointed at the last meeting, continue during the first year, and receive into its number one member from every school admitted to the benefit of the examination at the appointment of their managers.
* In the examination, Girls will substitute Yeedlework for Vulgar and Decimal Fractions.
NUMBERS IN ENGLISH MEASURES, WEIGHTS, AND COINAGE.
ON THE USE OF PRIME
THE following paper has been communicated to us by Mr. J. Yates, F.R.S., and will be found to contain some useful and practical hints :---
On examining the tables of the measures, weights, and coins used throughout England, it is found that the prime numbers used in their composition, and of the most frequent occurrence, are 2, 3, and 5. Of these, 2 occurs as a factor by far the most frequently-indeed, twice or thrice as often as either 3 or 5. Seven makes its appearance in the following weights and measures:
Eleven is used in one case only, but that is an important one viz.,
or 5 yards 1 rod or pole,
from which is deduced 4 poles or 22 yards
The furlong, the mile, and the acre are also multiples of this fundamental number. Thirteen also comes in once as a factor, viz., in WOOL WEIGHT. 13 or 6 tods 1 wey. Wool weight is curiously compounded. No less than four primes, 2, 3, 7, 13, are used as factors, producing only six denominations, which are as follows:
1 clove 7 lbs. avoirdupois.
1 wey = 6 tods or 13 stones.
1 sack =
1 stone =
1 last =
Only one other prime number requires notice, and that is found in a very conspicuous position, and where perhaps it was little to be expected, viz., in a recent Act of Parliament. The law now in force, and known as the Weights and Measures Act, fixes the number of grains in the lb. avoirdupois by the use of the number 7, and goes on to determine the relation of the pound troy to the standard linear measure, by declaring that a cubic inch of distilled water “is equal to 252 grains and 458 thousandth parts of a grain." If this number (2525) be divided by 2, it will be found that a cubic inch of water weighs 126,229 five hundredth parts of a grain, the numerator of this fraction (1262) being a prime number.
As the result of this analysis, it appears that the primes used in the English measures, weights, and coins are the following:-2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, and 126,229.
I propose to offer a few remarks respecting the aptitude of these numbers for the functions which they are appointed to perform.
The adoption of them does not appear to have been determined in any case, so far as we can judge, by reason or principle, but to have arisen from accidental and arbitrary causes. There is no apparent benefit in connecting our highest coins by 2 and 5, the intermediate by 2 and 3, and the lowest by 2 only. No advantage arises from measuring land by elevens, and weighing wool by sevens and thirteens. No reason can be assigned why seven should be brought into avoirdupois weight, and excluded from troy weight; or why 3 should be excluded from avoirdupois weight, whilst it plays an important part in troy weight and apothecaries weight. In short, all our tables present the appearance of an entire want of principle in their construction.
The introduction of an additional prime has the effect of making our weights and measures more complex and multiform: it ought, therefore, to be avoided, unless some necessity can be shown in its favour. Hence it would seem to be expedient to abolish from these calculations all primes except 2, 3, and 5; and here an important question arises, namely, should these be retained, or shall we be satisfied with 2 and 5, omitting 3?
We are thus brought to one of the great discussions of the present day—the expediency of decimalizing our measures, weights, and coins.
The consequence of the simple fact, 2 X 5 10, is that all decimal systems are also binary and quinary, the principal quantities expressed by tens, hundreds, thousands, &c., being divisible by 2 and by 5 without remainder, so that their doubles and their halves can be introduced and reckoned without the least difficulty or inconvenience. But such systems do not readily admit the number 3, because in the majority of cases the quantity cannot be divided by 3 without a remainder, and in many cases the division by 3 produces a repeating decimal. This is the ground on which many persons have insisted on 12 as a multiplier for measures, weights, and coins, rather than 10. But it is to be observed, that if 10 cannot be divided by 3, on the other hand 12 cannot be divided by 5 without remainder. Hence it seems to follow that the choice must be made between decimal and duo-decimal modes of computation, according as a preference is given to 3 or to 5 as a divisor. If it is more necessary or convenient to divide by 3 than 5, duodecimal methods are entitled to the preference, so far as this circumstance is concerned. I cannot, however, discover any reason for making this assumption. I think it probable that division by 5 is required as frequently as by 3 ; whilst every other consideration is decidedly in favour of the decimal scale.
The investigation which we have been pursuing is therefore, first, in favour of decimal measures, weights, and coins; and secondly, supports the views of those who think that the subordinate multiples and divisions should be made by 2 and 5 only, and not by 3.
In this conclusion I have the satisfaction to observe that I am countenanced by the authority of Mr. Drinkwater Bethune, one of the commissioners appointed by the present Lord Monteagle, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, to consider the steps to be taken for restoring the standards of weight and measure. In his letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, dated 21st September, 1841, he maintains the following positions :
1. “That the tables of weights and measures now in use are complex and inconvenient, and that it is very desirable to get rid of inconvenient multipliers, such as the factor 7, which connects the pound avoirdupois with the stone, and thereby with its multiples, the cwt. and ton; and the factor 11, which connects the yard with the chain, and thereby with the mile and acre.”'
2. “That it is desirable that no numbers which are not multiples either of 2 or 5 should anywhere appear in the tables."
PHYSICAL SCIENCE.—THE DISCIPLINE OF THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.–For young people between the ages of 15 and 20, I believe that there are no studies so well calculated to call forth and sustain efforts of thought, and so to cultirate the judgment, as the study of language and mathematics. Where, accordingly, there is a likelihood of education being prolonged to any period between those ages, I can understand that for the sake of the future edifice, it may be well to occupy a large part of the preceding years, from 10 to 15, in laying the ground-work of those studies. But when a child's period of schooling is sure to close before his 15th year, it may be worth considering whether it is wise to commence a structure which will never be finished, whether we cannot find for him some other study, more directly connected with the outer world, with which a healthy child of that age is in a state of intense sympathy; whether, for instance, the study of some of the experimental sciences may not be eqnally well calculated to promote accurate observation, patient thought, and right judgment. My conclusion is, that in elementary schools the study of natural philosophy, as exemplified in the common things of daily life, is well adapted for this purpose.- Rev. J. P. Norris.
SCHOOL LIBRARIES. Most of our elementary schools possess what is called a school library. This designation is not applicable to many libraries found in our schools at the present day. Ought they not rather to be called CLASS LIBRARIES, inasmuch as they are only readable by a few boys and girls in the upper or monitor's classes. Indeed, many teachers exclude all others from the privilege, and perhaps wisely, when the nature of the books is taken into consideration. If it be asked, “how is it that so few school libraries are perfectly successful ?” we think the true solution lies in the following facts :-1st. That elementary teachers, as a body, have not given the attention which the subject demands at their hands: 2nd. The great scarcity of good and suitable books. 3rd. The want of funds. 4th. Mistaken notions on the part of school managers and benevolent individuals as to the kind of books needed. It not unfrequently happens that when donations of books are presented by such persons to a school, they are from old private libraries, books which have probably not been read by the donors themselves, nor by their fathers before them; yet it is thought that they will do very well for a school, let the subjects be what they may. To cite an instance :
:-a gentleman, a short time since, presented to a school thirty volumes, as a nucleus for a library; twelve of them were on English history, written in 1760; four English grammars, ninety years old ; two, travels in Scotland, written a hundred years since; and an enormous atlas on the Mundane System of 1790. The remaining eleven were equally useful and edifying. Doubtless, scores of teachers could tell the same tale. It must not be omitted to call attention to the vast number of cheap books now published by various societies for school libraries. Not one in twenty is written in sufficiently attractive or simple language to interest children of seven or eight years of age of average intelligence. Of the little farthing books, so often given to the infants of our day and Sunday schools, how many are really suitable for the recipients ? It is difficult to know what purpose these books serve in the hands of such children; except as mere collections of pictures.
In order that books for school libraries should be really practical, they should be well written, progressive in design, and adapted to the comprehension of children from the ages of six to twelve or fourteen years. They should be lively and ina structive, and of a healthy moral tendency; their object should be to produce a higher tone of intelligence among the families in which they are read; to teach, while they improve; to entertain, to inform the mind and to educate the heart. In forming a library, say, for six classes of forty children each, or a school of 240 scholars, the teacher's first business would be, if possible, to select from the lists of different publishers at least eighty books of a cheerful and interesting character, written in the simplest possible language, and call them No. I. Library, and so on up to Nos. V. and VI., according to the abilities and tastes of his pupils. Thus, in the writer's school of nearly 300 boys, the eighth or highest class library contains eighty books of Travels, Biographies—such as those of Dr. Kitto, Samuel Budgett, and Alderman Kelly; History—“D’Aubigné's History of the Reformation,” various histories of England, “ White's Hand of God in History," &c., &c.; Natural History, Science, Light Reading, &c.—Sir W. Scott's “Tales of a Grandfather,” “Chambers' Miscellany,” “Uncle Tom's Cabin,” “Wide Wide World,” “ Leisure Hour,” “Robinson Crusoe,”' &c. It must be confessed that teachers will experience the greatest difficulty in obtaining the easy narratives, in words of one or two syllables, which are needed for the lowest class. To keep up the interest among the children, new books should be continually added to the various little class libraries, as the children become weary of reading the same again and again.
It should be the constant aim of the teacher to cultivate in the minds of his pupils a taste for reading, so that when they cease to be under his control, they may be
able to carry on the process of mental and moral self-culture. It is obvious that nothing would be so well calculated to effect this result as the establishment of good libraries in our schools, villages, towns, and cities. The friends of education and teachers generally, have either overlooked or forgotten that our elder boys and girls will have entertaining literature, and even our pupil-teachers too. It is rather humiliating to find that so much energy, zeal, and labour are expended upon the pupil-teachers their very books selected the amount of knowledge precisely defined, so that they may become good and accurate students, while so little has been done towards providing them with books of a healthy Christian tone, to read in their moments of leisure. Thus, whilst we rejoice to see them particularly anxious to obtain all the knowledge included by the Government requirements, year after year, we are often quite indifferent as to what they read besides, whether it be "The Mysteries of the Court," "The Newgate Calendar," or "The Adventures of Jack Sheppard." It is by entertaining literature of a depraved kind that great evil is wrought among our young people; and it is by entertaining literature of a different character (such as is happily abundant now), that the evil must be counteracted. This corrective influence is especially needed in reference to the weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly penny publications, and it is for this reason chiefly that the writer, seven years since, opened a sort of little shop in his school for the sale of monthly serials among the boys. Having by this process created a taste for reading among the pupils, it then became a duty to provide for them such mental food as should at once be profitable and interesting during the intervals that elapsed between each month. This led to the establishment of a series of small libraries, called “ class libraries,” free of charge. The libraries were obtained through the following means::-£3, the proceeds of four magic lantern lectures; £5, from the school' managers. A grant of books, at half price, from the Religious Tract Society, and another, one-third less, from the Christian Knowledge Society.
Its efficiency and interest are sustained by constant additions of new books. To the two lowest libraries, books to the value of eight shillings a year are added. To the two highest, twelve shillings per annum. To the others, ten shillings per annum each. The two lowest libraries are sustained by the produce of fines; the remainder, from the funds of the school. If these do not admit of such an annual outlay, it is suggested that, by the proceeds of two lectures which might be given during the winter months, a teacher would be enabled to do much towards supplying the wants of his school libraries.
With a view to secure results commensurate with the trouble taken in the establishment of a library, it is suggested, from experience, that the books be renewed every week, each pupil-teacher taking charge of the library of his own class. 2nd. That once a week, either on the day the books are returned, or the day after, each pupil-teacher should spend three-quarters of an hour or an hour with his class, inquiring what they have read in their library books at home during the past week. The upper classes should, as an exercise in spelling and composition, write out some narrative, or an account of something they have read in their books. The lower classes should be encouraged to stand up and express, as well as they are able, what interesting stories they had read in their books at home in the evening. The elder boys might do this occasionally, as it would afford them an excellent opportunity of expressing orally what they have read, with intelligence. The ends secured by the adoption of such a method are self-evident. To mention two or three must suffice:
* The number of periodicals sold for this month was as follows:-70 "Child's Companion,” at 1d. ; 18 "British Workman," at 1d.; 30 "Band of Hope Review," at d.; 20 "Olive Leaf," at ld.; 40" Dew Drops," at d.; and 30 "Picture Magazine," at d. Total receipts for last year, £7 15s. Doubtless, most of this amount would otherwise have been spent in trash and waste.
+ All books not returned on the day appointed, a fine of one farthing is enforced, which is repeated for each succeeding day the books are detained.