Lurgan Model School Annual Report - 1865

Lurgan Model School

Annual Report for the year 1865, of the Lurgan Minor Model School,
by James Patten, esq., m.d., lud., t.o.d., Head Inspector,
and D, Roantree, esq., Acting Inspector.

March 6, 1866.
Gentlemen.óWe have the honour to present, for the information of the Commissioners, this our Report on the Lurgan Minor Model School for the past year. The school continues to advance in public estimation. The following table shows that the daily average attendance for 1865 exceeded that for 1864 by 33.8, and that the amount of school-fees received in the former exceeded the receipts of the latter by £40 3s I0d.

1864 Average number on rolls 175.7 91.8 76.6 344.1
" Average Daily Attendance 147.4 80.6 65.7 293.7
" Average Percentage 83.8 87.8 85.7 85.3
1865 Average number on rolls 212.3 111.2 88.4 411.9
" Average Daily Attendance 170.0 85.0 72.5 327.5
" Average Percentage 80.0 76.4 82.0 79.5
1864 School Fees £83.18s.8d £44.2s.6d £36.14s.0d £164.14s.2d
1865 School Fees £106.10s.2d £58.5s.2d £46.3s.8d £210.19s.0d

The centesimal proportion of the number in daily average attendance to the average number on rolls, although remarkably high, close on 80 per cent in 1865, was somewhat higher in 1864. The difference appears to be accounted for partly by the prevalence of measles, which in one month reduced the attendance of infants to 52 per cent, of the number on rolls, and partly by the improvement which took place in the trade of the town within the year, and owing to which many of the elder boys and girls were frequently kept at home, to assist in employments connected with various branches of manufacture. The total number of pupils on rolls at the close of each year, classified according to rates of payment, was as follows:-

1864 5s.0d per Quarter 45 35 20 100 24.5
" 2s.6d per Quarter 94 70 36 200 48.8
" 1s.1d oer Quarter 51 25 33 109 26.7
  TOTAL 190 130 89 409  
1865 5s.0d per Quarter 57 40 25 122 29.5
" 2s.6d per Quarter 109 38 33 180 43.6
" 1s.1d oer Quarter 47 31 33 111 26.9
  TOTAL 213 109 91 413  

The following exhibits the value of the school requisites sold in the several departments in the years 1864 and 1865 respectively:-

1864   £13.0s.0d £8.2s.6d £1.0s.3d £22.2s.9d
1865   £11.5s.0d £4.7s.2d £2.2s.10d £17.15s.0d

The next table shows the classification, according to religious denominations, of the total numbers of individual pupils appearing on books during each of those years:-

1864 Established Church 155 77 73 305 48.8
" Roman Catholic 35 22 14 71 11.3
" Presbyterian 76 59 52 187 30.0
" Other 30 20 11 61 9.8
  TOTAL 296 178 150 624  
1865 Established Church 134 76 76 286 42.8
" Roman Catholic 54 44 24 122 18.2
" Presbyterian 67 82 45 194 29.0
" Other 29 25 12 66 9.9
  TOTAL 284 227 157 668  

According to the Census returns of 1861, the corresponding percentages in the population of the town of Lurgan, which amounts to 7,772, are as follow:-

Established Church 42.2%
Roman Catholic 35.4%
Presbyterian 17.2%
Other 5.2%

In connexion with these statistics it is right to observe that there are in the town two large National schools managed by the parish priest; three National schools whose managers are Presbyterian clergymen; and two schools on Erasmus Smith's foundation. A similar classification of the pupils on rolls at the close of each year respectively, is given in the subjoined table:-

1864 Established Church 97 56 47 200
" Roman Catholic 27 20 8 55
" Presbyterian 45 37 29 111
" Other 21 17 5 43
  TOTAL 190 130 89 409
1865 Established Church 102 33 41 176
" Roman Catholic 38 18 11 67
" Presbyterian 52 43 41 126
" Other 21 15 8 44
  TOTAL 213 109 91 413

In the year 1864 the total number of individual pupils that received instruction in the school was 624; last year the number was 668. These, classified according to Lesson-books, are as follows:-

1864 Book One - - 105 105 16.8
" Book Two 65 41 45 151 24.2
" Sequel 52 42 - 94 15.0
" Book Three 76 41 - 117 18.7
" Book Four and Five 103 54 - 157 25.2
  TOTAL 296 178 150 624  
1865 Book One - 9 74 83 12.4
" Book Two 61 58 83 202 30.2
" Sequel 27 62 - 89 13.3
" Book Three 48 46 - 94 14.0
" Book Four 120 34 - 154 30.0
" Book Five 28 18 - 46 30.0
  TOTAL 284 227 157 668  

From this table it appears that in 1864 the first and second classes formed 41 per cent., the Sequel class 15 per cent., and the third, fourth, and fifth classes 44 per cent, of the number of individual pupils appearing on books; and that in 1865 the same groups of classes constituted respectively 42.6, 13.8, and 44 percent, of that number. In the ordinary National schools of the Lurgan section of this district, the corresponding percentages are about 66.0, 13.2 and 20.8 In the boys' department the classification is remarkably high : the fourth and fifth classes, comprising more than half the entire school, being, perhaps, the most numerous in the kingdom.

The pupils on rolls on the 31 December, 1865, were classed as follows:-

Book One   - 9 66
Book Two   54 25 25
Sequel   - 28 -
Book Three   37 27 -
Book Four   100 16 -
Book Five   22 4 -
Parts of Speech   54 62 37
Parsing and Syntax   159 47 -
Derivations   159 47  
Composition   159 47  
Lessons on Maps only   - - 91
Local   213 62 -
Mathematical   60 47 -
Physical   213 47 -
On Slate   - - 66
On Paper   213 109 25
From Dictation   213 109 25
Tables Only   - - 54
Simples Rules   30 62 37
Compound Rules   24 27 -
Proportion   37 16 -
Practice and Interest   122 4 -
Mental   213 109 -
Branches for Females        
Sewing, Knitting & Netting   - 109 -
Embroidery   - 4 -
Cutting Out   - 4 -
Extra Branches        
British Poets   159 47 -
Mensuration   122 - -
Geometry   22 - -
Algebra   22 - -
Book Keeping   122 - -
Music   213 109 91
Drawing   159 75 91
Physical & Applied Science   80 - -

As suggested in the last annual report on this model school, a fourth assistant teacher has been appointed within the year. Several changes have taken place in the monitorial staff. The facilities for obtaining remunerative employment for young persons in a manufacturing town like Lurgan, renders it not a little difficult to procure and retain the services of monitors for the model school. Pupils of the school who are qualified for the situation generally set but little value on it: and its acceptance by strangers to the town and neighbourhood is, of course, out of the question, as the salary is insufficient for a boy's or girl's support. Hence, of the four monitorships allowed for the male department by the Commissioners, there is, as at present, nearly always one vacant. Under these circumstances, and taking into account the considerably increased average attendance in the boys' school, and the immense labours required for the instruction of its unusually large senior classes, we would recommend the addition of upon two pupil-teachers to the present teaching staff of that department. The school, buildings, and premises require some improvement in matters of detail; but they are, on the whole, in a satisfactory order.

The annual public examination took place on the 10th of July, during the preceding days the pupils were subjected to a private examination of a searching character, in the several subjects of the school programme. The questions were partly oral, partly written: and a record of the answering of every child was preserved. From this record the following particulars arc taken:-

Boys School Second Class. Of all the classes in the school this had suffered most from the insufficiency of teaching power, noticed in last Annual Report. Evidences of improvement, however, especially in arithmatic, were observable at this examination; 28 pupils in this class were examined.

Sequel Class. Four drafts, containing 30 children, presented themselves for examination. Arithmetic and writing from dictation were satisfactory; reading and grammar may be pronounced fair; spelling, explanation, and geography rather below the standard: penmanship very creditable. The great majority of those in the two higher drafts, consisting of 25 pupils, answered considerably above 50 per cent of the entire number of questions proposed.

Third Class. Thirty-four examined. They acquitted themselves well in arithmetic; fairly in spelling, explanation, grammar, and geography; reading middling; writing particularly good. There were twenty boys in the two higher drafts. The marks obtained by nineteen of these ranged from 50 per cent, to 65 per cent of the total number of questions.

Junior Fourth Class. Of this section of the school, 43 were present at the private examination. Their reading and writing were remarkably good; dictation fair; but in oral spelling, grammar, geography, mensuration, and book-keeping they did not come up to our expectation. Out of a maximum, however, of 800 marks, the majority of these boys were awarded a third or over.

Senior Fourth Class. Forty-two were present and examined. The amount, of proficiency exhibited in reading, spelling, grammar, penmanship, arithmetic, and writing from dictation was in a high degree satisfactory. The answering in geography was only tolerable; in algebra it was poor; but a good knowledge was shown of mensuration of superficies; and a fair proportion of the class acquitted themselves creditably in " physical science," including hydrostatics, pneumatics, the principles of heat, and the construction and working of the steam engine.

Of 28 pupils examined in the three upper drafts of this class, the answering of 26 ranged from 50 per cent, to 74 per cent, of the entire nutmber of questions proposed. The examination of the fourth class in grammar, arithmetic, bookkeeping, mensuration, and algebra was conducted principally through the medium of written exercises.

Girls School Second Class. Twenty-six were examined. The reading and arithmetic may be regarded as fair; writing, spelling, grammar, and geography only middling.

Sequel Class. Of this class 18 girls were present at the preliminary private examination. Reading, spelling, grammar and writing from dictation satisfactory; arithmetic, penmanship, and geography only middling. The answering of half those examined was up to or above 50 per cent of the number of questions given.

Third Class. The results of the examination of 18 who presented themselves were, in reading, fair; in spelling, good; in grammar and arithmetic, excellent; poor in writing from dictation ; and only middling in geography and penmanship. Out of a maximum of 640 marks, over a third was obtained by every child examined.

Fourth and Fifth Classes. Of these classes 20 girls were present for examination. They acquitted themselves fairly in reading and grammar; well, in spelling, arithmetic, and geography; very well, in penmanship, and writing from dictation ; indifferently, in history. The highest number of marks attainable was 690; of which the majority of those examined were awarded from 50 per cent, to over 70 per cent.

Infants School. In this department the general state of proficiency may be regarded as satisfactory, considering that the attendance had been very much reduced owing to the prevalence of measles amongst the children, and that many of the best pupils were absent on this account, Out of 103 on books, only 48 were present for examination.

Public Examination. A large number of the clergy, gentry, and other inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood assembled at the public examination, which, on this occasion, was honoured by the presence of Lady Lurgan. Owing to the causes referred to in a preceding part of this report, it was not deemed advisable to admit the infants to their accustomed share in the day's exhibitions.

Although the lowness of tone in which a portion of the girls read and answered prevented their being distinctly heard, the display made by the two departments examined, may be pronounced as, onthe whole, fairly satisfactory. Some excellent specimens of the boys' penmanship were distributed amongst the audience; and the walls of the examination hall were decorated with drawings, executed by the pupils, which reflected much credit on the drawing-master, Mr. Smeethe. Mr. Mooney. teacher of physical science, subjected a large class of the senior boys to an examination, lasting nearly two hours, and illustrated by numerous experiments on the laws of heat, the steam-engine, pneumatics, and hydrostatics. The answering was marked by promptitude and accuracy, and was listened to with much interest by a considerable portion of the audience.

On the last occasion of this kind, Lord Lurgan added five silver medals to the £10 allowed for premiums by the Commissioners. His lordship has been pleased to signify his intention of repeating annually this gift to the institution. The class of vocal music conducted by Mr. George Washington with his usual ability and success, and accompanied on the harmonium by Miss Coyle, gave at intervals during the day a selection of airs, which were rendered in perfect harmony, and with very pleasing effect. The proceedings closed with the singing of '' God save the Queen.' The answering was marked by promptitude and accuracy, and was listened to with much interest by a considerable portion of the audience.

The Evening School continues to be well attended and efficiently conducted.

We remain, gentlemen, your obedient servants,

James Patten, Head Inspector.
D. Roantree, Acting Inspector.

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