[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

* The amount of accommodation in square feet, divided by 8, will give the number of children who can be properly accommodated. Calculations of area in school-rooms, as compared with the average attendance of scholars, should be made upon this basis. + At the date of closing this return.

These per-centages are confined to boys' and girls' schools, and do not include infants,


Aggregate Annual Income, as stated by Managers, of 98 of the Schools

enumerated in Summary A.

[blocks in formation]

Aggregate Annual Expenditure, as stated by Managers, of 98

of the Schools enumerated in Summary A.


Books and



8. d.

£ 8. d. 850 18 3

s. d. 1,796 3 11]

L 8. d. 9,038 8 62

6,391 6 3}

General Report, for the Year 1854, on the Schools inspected in

Wales, by Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, the Rev. H. LONGUEVILLE JONES.


10 January 1855. I HAVE the honor of laying before your Lordships my annual report, for portions of the years 1853 and 1854, upon schools visited by me in eleven out of the twelve counties, over which my district extends.

Last year I took occasion to call attention for the second time, to the great want of good teachers of navigation, indeed of navigation schools, in the more considerable ports of Wales ; and, although my remarks have not caused much local inquiry, while the need of such a kind of instruction remains unabated, I am glad to be able to report that at Caernarvon, where people are in earnest about education, steps have been taken with success towards supplying the want so generally complained of. A certificated master sufficiently skilled in mathematics has been added to the staff of the Model School; and has opened a class of navigation and mathematics, with considerable success; while the normal master has thus been released from additional duties, which he could not be fairly expected to perform, and has been able to give his undivided attention to the training of students and the education of boys. The terms are not high, only 1l. 18. per quarter, or 2s. per week; and in connexion with navigation, properly so called, a regular course of lectures on astronomy and other connected subjects are also to be given.

These details may be considered as of little interest by the friends of education, who live in the interior of the country ; but it should be remembered that the sea-border of Wales is extensive in proportion to the total frontier of the Principality; that many of the most important towns in Wales are, either on the sea, or closely connected with seafaring matters; that a considerable number of the boys, educated in the schools of those places, go to sea at an early age ; and therefore, that it would be a really national boon, if judicious measures were adopted for providing those boys, when growing into young men, with instruction in the essential principles of mathematical knowledge, so useful to them during their future course.

Very commonly, hitherto, navigation has been taught more as a matter of rote and of book, than of science and thought. Certain text books and tables have been drawn up, an empirical acquaintance with which is all that masters have been able to impart to navigation-pupils, and apparently all that the pupils have been able to receive. I am aware that in the ordinary course of things, a common sailor, a man before the mast, is not required to be a mathematician or an astronomer, even as far as the most elementary principles are concerned ; but I cannot help thinking that some, the most general and useful of these same principles, might be fixed in the mind of any lad of tolerably clear understanding, during the last year of his attendance at school, and the first two or three winters of his apprenticeship to sea service. I can conceive the possibility of a properly qualified master,—but he must also be a man of good sense,-instructing lads of this kind, between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, in the ready and accurate use of decimals and logarithms; so that he need not turn to the “printed rules" before he can apply the tables to work out the results of any common observations. I see no reason why the leading properties of lines, triangles, rectangles, and circles, of plane geometry, in fact, may not be firmly engraven on the memory and understanding of the young seaman, though he may never go so far as to become acquainted (with what would form an admirable shipmate when becalmed or in harbour) his Euclid. The main doctrines of plane trigonometry, and then of solid and of spherical geometry, passing at last into spherical trigonometry, that is to say, navigation and astronomy, would easily follow; and if a judicious, rather than extensive, selection were made for the use of such pupils,* and if teachers could be provided capable of using it, there would be a reasonable prospect of raising the whole subject of navigation from its present superficial condition, as well as of thereby generally expanding and improving the minds of our honest and hardy, though too often ignorant because untaught, seamen. Unless, however, public aid of some efficient kind be given, such a step forward as this, towards ameliorating the condition of our seamen, will either not be taken at all

, or will be attempted in a desultory, uncertain, and unsatisfactory manner.

Somewhat connected with the above are classes for the evening instruction of young men, superior to common evening or adult schools, formed at Caernarvon, by the principal and other officers of the Training and Model schools. Eight lecturers give instruction in the following subjects; viz., religious (Church of England) reading, writing, arithmetic, mathe matics, geography, grammar, history, and French ; and admis

The elementary geometrical and astronomical works of Professor Hall, and Professor Moseley, are good specimens of the kind of books required. Their works may safely be adopted as most useful and judicious handbooks.

sion to all the classes, occupying four evenings in each week, together with the use of books from the lending library of the Model School, is afforded for 18. per month. The price is too low, but the classes are well attended.

Evening and adult schools exist in various towns of Wales; but they fluctuate in their existence, sometimes they flourish, then they decay, too often they become extinct. The fact is, that they are left too much to the goodwill and the energy of unpaid amateur teachers; they require public regulation and support; they merit it much more than can be supposed ; and above all, they require ample pecuniary aid. From what I know of the social condition of the mining, the manufacturing, and the seaport towns of Wales, I feel conviriced that the systematic and general establishment of evening schools, (and they would practically be identical with adult schools), conducted by teachers specially employed and properly remunerated, would be of the greatest importance in improving the moral and social condition of town populations in Wales.

I have not yet heard of more than two good "ragged schools” in my district, one at Caernarvon, the other at Wrexham; they may exist in other places, but I have not been informed of the fact. And yet there are certain towns where they are wanted quite as much as schools of the next degree above them, whether Parochial, National, or British; I allude to such places as these : Merthyr-Tydvil, Cardiff, Swansea, &c. The streets of these towns abound at all hours of the day, whether they be what are understood by schoolhours or not, with ragged, dirty, dissolute children, neglected by their

parents, and strongly claiming the protection of the state. The ordinary schools of these towns are inadequate in size and in teaching power to accommodate these poor children, even if they were to come to them; and thus, while the web of good education is being woven with difficulty at one end, it is being unravelled with greater facility at the other, by that ragged and disorderly crowd, serving to contaminate their fellow-children, and to neutralize hereafter, as much as in them lies—and for aught apparently that the public cares--the well-intended efforts of the supporters of our better schools.

It may be said that the three classes of schools, which I have alluded to, do not come properly within the limits of my official inspection, and that my observations upon them are rather gratuitous. But I am doing no more than re-echo the opinions, and the urgent representations made to me by the * earnest and reflecting friends of education in Wales, in thus recording my own assent to their tiuth and justice. The promoters of schools are continually complaining of the bad

« ForrigeFortsett »