Winsham School Log Book Extracts - 1863 to 1865


4th March

6th March


Many of the elder children away to work in gardens

Took a wine glass from a boy, who had it in his pocket. Caution, - "Never carry such things in your pocket, if you were to fall and break it, it might cause a great injury to you."

9th & 10th March


Holiday. Marriage of the Prince of Wales.
25th March A woman came to school and gratuitously instructed me in the method of spelling.  Her children would be taken away unless they had the customary lessons out of the old spelling books.  Better attendance.  Discipline improving;  knowledge of drill.
1st April Children improving in discipline.
6th April Increased numbers, children peculiarly clean and orderly.
8th April Music progressing, some good voices but apt to sing flat.
13th April Homework well prepared except in a few instances where the elder girls are required at home.
16th April Some of the children picked the young fruit in the garden.  Told them of the sin of stealing.
29th April Inquired into the habits of the children, instructed them to observe cleanly habits.
6th May Expelled a boy after repeated warnings for playing the Truant.
13th May Obliged to punish a boy for indulging in his propensity of throwing stones.
14th May Boys brought their sticks to school & received their 1st lesson in the Sword Exercises after school.
22nd May Broke up for the Whitsun Holiday.  Cautioned them about their behaviour especially regarding the clubs.  Gave them a lecture concerning the Missionaries.
The children have far exceeded my anticipations both in regard to their manners and eagerness to attend their studies.  Did not meet with the obstacles a new master generally has to overcome. Boys wished to attend the cricket club lately formed in the village.
3rd June Oldest girl in the school left to go into Service.
4th June Increased attendance, children very quiet.  Taught them a new hymn and song "Little Bird".
9th June More absent haymaking, weather being so beautiful.
22nd June Poor attendance this morning being Market day at Chard. The girls either go or keep house at home.
25th June Two of the elder boys copied answers to their sums and denied it, compelled to punish them.
29th June Children clean & orderly. Some boots extra polished.
(Note - Comments often appear in the Log Book about behaviour in church, visits to which were a regular part of the school timetable.)
8th July One of little ones picked a gooseberry, cautioned them about it.
17th July Very good attendance, only 6 away.  Inspector visited school, stayed till half past five.  Mr and Mrs Ware with the Misses Ware were present. Examination successful, Inspector satisfied, remarks very encouraging, observed that the children acquitted themselves as well as the Chard Schools.
23rd July Excursion to Charmouth; children greatly pleased, inclined to be showery, but rain kept off.
24th July More than usual away today, tired from yesterday's trip.
Little ones had tea etc in the Vicarage.
30th July One or two of boys went to the Choral Festival at Buckland.  Rather cloudy. Quiet etc in School.
3rd August Attendance not so good as regards the elder ones.  Weather delightful; very hot in school; occupied 5 minutes in giving water to them, much relieved.
4th August Drum & fife band discussed; subscription entered into.  The cricket field too far off for boys to play at dinner time.  Good attendance in 3rd and 4th Classes.
10th August 1st division improving in Vulgar Fractions, 2nd division improving in
Reduction.  Discipline pretty good, punished one of the elder girls.
13th August Children anxious about their holidays, indulging in anticipations etc.
14th August Last day at school prior to Harvest Holidays, gave them plenty of work to occupy their time.  Cautioned them as to behaviour etc.
14th September Weather fine.  One of the elder girls gone away on a visit to Malvern.
17th September Scolded them (all of the 1st boys especially) for the noise they make in passing up the village from School.  They promised amendment.
24th September Singing much better, difficult to keep them in time, progress satisfactory. Amused the 1st Class with tales of Animals.
29th September Discipline good.  1st Class wishing for more tales, gave them instead a lesson on Electricity, pleased them very much
8th October Examined them in their tables.
14th October Object lesson to 1st Class on the "Mechanical properties of the Atmosphere", liked very much.  Heard 2nd Class read very nicely.
15th October Cautioned the teachers of indolence, not exhibiting any energy with children, & fully employing their time.
22nd October Lessons gone through very well.  Was told of the practice some of the boys indulged in of swearing.  Told them the evil of it and cautioned them for the future.
26th October Had occasion to punish one of the little ones for playing in Church. Explained to the 1st Class the 3rd Commandment and especially referred to their bad language.
3rd November Discipline very good. Drill excellent.
5th November Boys all excitement regarding the bonfires, told them the occasion of the ceremony.
12th November 1st Class assisted materially in clearing a playground out of my garden. Made a bonfire of the refuse.
17th November Examination in Arithmetic. Great difficulty in recollecting Multiplication Tables.
25th November Little ones excited by promise of promotion next quarter.  One or two made great progress during the term.
16th December Xmas the only topic during intervals of school, children apparently crazed about decorations.
18th December Good attendance.  Work done very well.  Discipline good.  Broke up for the Xmas Holidays.  Cautioned children as to their behaviour during time, spoke to several individually about associating with some of bad boys.  Told them not to waste all time playing etc, some went after holly etc to decorate the School etc.


18th January One of the girls secreted a reel of cotton in her bosom.
20th January Discipline etc good in school room, little ones noisy.  One of the girls secreted a reel of cotton in her bosom.  It being missing, enquired for it,caused those who were using it to stand out; searched in vain; suspected a girl named Baker; watched and discovered it, the girl denying all knowledge and wondering how it came there; kept her by herself till an enquiry was made.
22nd January Last night Mrs Baker came down and was much surprised at my statement, the girl having given a different account.  The girl told a number of lies. Received her again in hopes she would reform being such a bad girl. Scripture very good in 1st Class.  3rd Class Reading much better.  One of girls obliged to go home being so unwell.
5th February Obliged to punish one of the boys for attempted deceit and for stealing things from home, cautioned the others from taking anything from him.
23rd February One or two of little ones ill.  3rd Class Arithmetic improving.  Had again to speak of conduct in dinner hour.  2 of elder girls took off their boots in order to run about without noise; they were shamed before the whole school by standing on a form without them for an hour, very sorry.
25th February Attendance very poor on account of the snow. Scolded the elder ones for snowballing the little ones.
15th March Children came late, fancied they stopped to gather the flowers which they gave me.  I told them that doing wrong would not please me; pointed out the contrast.
22nd March Beautiful weather; the boys pressed me earnestly to stay out in the playground. Gave them permission for an hour. Amused themselves with the Bar-marbles they enjoyed it much.
April Chief Teacher: Peter Thos: Schonfield
Pupil teacher: John Way
The wife of the master undertook the needlework.
(Note - There are constant references to undisciplined behaviour & misbehaviour in Church.)
April 4th Attendance very good; children worked very well, very pleased the Inspector is coming tomorrow, little ones still behind.
9th May Boys as well as girls cogitating about the Club next week.  Attendance poor.
Good many of 1st class away.
13th May  Broke up for the Whitsun Holiday. Told them to be sure to come back next week.
23rd May Very poor attendance owing to the Whitsun clubs in the neighbourhood.
22nd June Punished one of elder boys for throwing stones.
23rd June Boys went out in Garden for half an hour this afternoon clearing up.  Wanted to do so very often.
29th July Work rather lagged owing to the notion of the holidays.
Broke up school this afternoon for the Harvest Holiday.  Gave one month owing to my going home for the vacation. Broke up school this afternoon for the Harvest holiday. Cautioned the boys as to their behaviour during that time.  
29th August Resumed work after vacation.  Pretty good attendance considering the Harvest is not quite over.
30th August Revised a little of the back work. Found a larger amount of forgetfulness than I had expected.
9th September School Treat

5th October Little ones rather forgetful, Teacher not much up to work.
25th October Tables by 2nd class very bad.
26th October Tables said again today. Much better than yesterday.
(Note - Frequent reference is made to performance of saying tables.)
2nd November Some of girls stayed later than necessary in coming to school.  Kept them in.
1st December Many of children away on account of fever.
6th December Some of parents afraid to send children.
13th December Very great distress in village on a/c of the fever.
26th December December 26th - January 9th  XMAS HOLIDAYS


January 12th Children this afternoon very noisy with their feet.
 March 1st Chief Teacher:  Peter Thomas Schofield 
Copy of Summary of the Inspector’s Report:                                   
“Considering that the children were detained a long time in  School in consequence of the returns not being ready, I found the   Discipline very fair, and the Religious Knowledge in some cases     good but the answering should be more general.The progress in elementary subjects was on the whole very fair, but  the arithmetic of the first and second, and the spelling of the third   standard want attention.  More parallel desks are wanted.  The classes below the first have only double desks.
Considering the prevalence of illness in the School, My Lords are  ready to waive the deduction incurred by the non-adherence to the  ninth Supplementary Rule, which must however in future be  strictly observed. H.M. Inspector adds that more Books are needed. A Register must in future be kept of the Evening School by the Master. The Master will shortly receive his certificate".
S A Ware. March 21st 1865
March 2nd Had a little rest after the severe work of yesterday.
March 6th

Commenced the next succession of lessons, some of the             children not fit to take the same as their class warrants them in consequence of their absence.

March 13th        Attendance still very poor, so many of the little ones ill.
March 20th Attendance very poor, so many of them ill and others staying in      gardens.
April 7th Scripture said extremely well.  Cautioned them in regard to their      careless way of learning Home Lessons.
April 10th Attendance much better this morning.  Good many fresh little        ones.  Some very young.
 April11th 3rd Class rather idle, no play for them.
 April 17th Attendance poor, so many elder ones away at work.
April 26th Could not work so well today owing to receiving bad news of little    one.  
April 28th-May 6th Away from school on account of child’s illness.  School carried on.
 May 8th Good many fresh little ones. Very tiresome as most all of them were too young for Standard 1 & there were too many in the classroom.
May 29th  Could not work much in school owing to my little one’s illness.
 May 30th Work rather slack due to same cause.
June 13th Attendance much less than average owing to the Haymaking.        Work pretty well.  3rd Class improving.
 July 5th Bother with 2 or 3 of parents regarding the payment of School Pence.
July 10th The Girl never brought School penny, extra desired her to bring it    tomorrow.  Work and Discipline good.
July 11th           Girl stayed away, children said she was not coming.
July 17th Much better attendance, one or two came rather dirty.  Had to        caution one or two in regard to their behaviour in Church.
July 20th Choral Festival at Wells.
July 25th Children in better order than they have ever been.  Writing in 2nd    Class and Reading in 3rd improving rapidly.  Arithmetic poor           owing to those who have lately come from other schools and do      not know a figure.  Very tiring work this afternoon, so hot.
July 28th           HARVEST HOLIDAYS
August 28th Commencement of school work after Holidays.  Attendance poor.
September 12th  Weather so hot, almost impossible to do very much. 
September 22nd Very poor attendance again today.  Picking potatoes, leasing etc
 October 2nd Attendance much better with elder ones. 24 little ones gone to another school.
October 3rd Began old rules again as we found the Diocesan inspector was      not coming.
 November 15th Many late today owing to bell being broken.
November 23rd   Punished a boy for swearing.  Cautioned all.
 December 13th Unable to do much in consequence of the death of my little girl.


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