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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Primary Schools

Primary Schools.

The Te Aro Main School is situated in Upper Willis Street. It was erected in December, 1880, but for seven years previous to that time had been conducted in Ghuznee Street by the late Mr. Holmes. The present fine building, which is of wood, and is two stories high, contains eleven rooms, and numerous wide corridors. Six hundred and seventeen scholars are in attendance, of whom 299 are boys, and 318 girls. The headmaster is assisted by a staff which comprises seven certificated teacher three ex-pupil, and two pupil teachers. A very large and level playground is alloted respectively to boys and girls. The honours list in the school contains twenty-two names of those boys and girls who have been successful in winning Board of Education scholarships entitling them to the usual advantages at the Wellington College and Girl's High School, respectively.

Mr. Clement Watson, B.A., the Headmaster, was born in India, his father being chaplain in the old East India Company's service. He was sent to England when only three years old, and was brought up there by an uncle. He was educated at the High Wycombe School, Buckinghamshire, one of the old Elizabethan schools, coming out to Australia in 1867 per ship “Yorkshire.” Some years later he crossed over to New Zealand in the “Omeo,” one of the vessels belonging to Messrs. McMechan and Blackwood. Mr. Watson spent some six or seven years in Tasmania with his father, eventually arriving in Wellington in 1874. He at once joined the Board of Education, accepting the appointment as assistant master at the Thorndon School. He afterwards took charge of the Gladstone School in the Wairarapa, subsequently filling a similar position with respect to the Upper Tutaenui School, near Marton. From here Mr. Watson was transferred to the Terrace School, Wellington, as assistant-master, holding the appointment for two or three years, when he was appointed to the charge of the Te Aro School on the completion of the new building in January, 1880. Mr. Watson does all he can to encourage the young people placed in his care in their sports and amusements, and has assisted in the formation of the football club in connection with the school. He is a graduate of the New Zealand University, having secured his degree since his appointment to the Te Aro School.

The Te Aro Infants' School was originally established as a primary school by the Episcopalian Church over forty years ago. The old building, which was erected on the site at present occupied, did duty for twenty-seven years. The school was eventually taken over by the Board of Education, who drafted the Standards to the main school in Willis Street, The old building having been repaired and renovated, was opened as an infants' school on the 3rd of February, 1881, In 1893 the present commodious premises were built, and these are held under lease by the board. Like the other schools for young children, the ages are limited to those between five and eight years. Three hundred children on the average attend the school, and these are taught as far as possible on the kindergarten system. The usual variety of object lessons are given to the little people, who, the writer thought, took great interest in their work. Singing is, of course, a great feature in the school methods, and adds largely to the pleasure of both teachers and taught. The head-mistress is assisted by one certificated teacher the board, she takes a genuine interest in the young charges, and is deservedly popular.

Miss Georgina Elizabeth Chatwin, the Headmistress, has conducted the school since her appointment in the year 1886, During the voyage of her parents from the “Old Land” to the colony of Victoria, Miss Chatwin was born. Her earlier education was received at the ordinary schools at Ballarat and dunes, in Victoria, Studying for the profession of teacher, Miss Chatwin had some experience as an instructress before coming to New Zealand. On arrival she joined the board, and was appointed to the Judgeford School, Manawatu. For two years after leaving this she was at Kilbirnie, receiving her appointment to Te Aro Infants' School as above. Miss Chatwin holds a D1 certificate under the board. She tales a genuine interest in her young charges, and is deservedly popular.

The Thorndon Public School, which was the first public school in the Empire City, was originally established as a Church of England school in Sydney Street. It was subsequently taken over by the Board of Education, when that body was established is Wellington. The school is a handsome two-story edifice, built of wood. It contains twelve rooms, including the office, in addition to the infants' department, which comprises three large rooms. This latter school is conducted on the kindergarten system with very great success by Miss Page, There are 650 names on the roll of the school, inclusive of infants, and of these, 460 (345 girls and 215 boys) are in the main school. The headmaster is assisted by seven certificated teachers and seven pupil teachers. In the infant department, independent of the rooms devoted to school work, there is a very large room on the fitst floor, which is used for special purposes, as well as for holding entertainments. It is fitted with a stage, and contains both an organ and a piano; these instruments are used in the ordinary work of the school, as well as on special occasions. Singing is a great feature in the kindergarten school; the addition of instrumental music helps the little people in their action songs, which form a most notable feature in this branch of their instruction.

Mr. William Mowbray, the headmaster, was born at Leicester, where he was educated for a time under the Rev. Canon Fry, afterwards going to St. Mark's College, Chelsea, for three years. He took up the profession of a teacher aa long ago as 1856, teaching for two-and-a-half years in his native place. He was engaged while in England to take charge of the Sydney Street Church of England School, and came out to the Colony to take up that position, per ship “Midlothian,” arriving in Wellington in 1859. Mr. Mowbray conducted the school successfully while it was a church school, and on its being taken over by the Board of Education, he still retained his position as headmaster. He has prepared a room in the school building where he can exhibit sun pictures by means of a lantern page 376 Mr. William Mowbray known as the “Heliostut,” so that by the adaptation of mirrors and lenses on a sunny day, the children are afforded highly interesting us well as useful lessons, the pictures including views of places of note, of animals, of history, and also microscopic subjects. This room is fitted up so as to serve the purpose of a science room, and here he gives his lessons in electricity, chemistry, etc. Mr. Mowbray has expended a considerable sum of money in order to accomplish his purpose in this direction, but he is rewarded for the trouble he has taken by the keen interest displayed by the children in his science teachings. Mr. Mowbray resides at the Lower Hutt, coming to town each day by the morning train, and returning at night. He has three sons and four daughters. One of the sons is employed as salesman in Messrs. Levin and Co.'s establishment, another is in the Treasury, find the third is sheep-farming in the Forty-Mile Bush. In conjunction with the late Mr. Justice Johnston, Mr. Mowbray founded the original Choral Society of Wellington, and was conductor for the first fourteen years of its existence. For twenty years Mr. Mowbray was choirmaster of St. Paul's, Thorndon.

The Mount Cook Boy's School is situated in Upper Taranaki Street, Wellington. It is a remarkably fine structure, and consists of eight rooms, two of which are unusually long, and have sufficient accommodation for several classes. The number of boys belonging to the school is 567, being the full number that could be conveniently admitted. The headmaster is assisted by a staff of teachers, of whom six are certificated, four are ex-pupil-teachers, and three pupil-teachers. A cadet corps of sixty-three strong is formed by the boys of Meant Cook, the headmaster acting aa their captain; and there is also a drum-and-file band twenty-four strong. Cricket is the great game of the school, and for five years past the representatives of this school have been successful in beating the various other clubs who essayed to play them. The roll of honour, which was commenced in 1883, contains thirteen names of those who have taken scholarships offered by the Board of Education. The school was established on the 23rd January, 1878.

Mr. Charles James Hardy, B.A., the headmaster, was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he took his degree. Mr. Hardy was formerly mathematical master at the Wellington College for seven years, and was appointed to the mastership of the Mount Cook School in 1879. He takes a great interest in the sports of his pupils, and occupies the position of president of the various clubs instituted by the boys in connection with cricket, football, etc.

The Mount Cook Girls' School, which is situated in Buckle Street, was originally established on the 25th of January, 1876, as the Mount Cook School for girls and boys. On the establishment of the boys' school a year later, the premises were devoted to the use of the girls and infant children; and in 1878 the Mount Cook Infant School was erected, the young folks removed thither, and the girls left in possession of the present building. The school has been added to very considerably since that time, and it now contains eleven rooms, one of which is of very large dimensions, and is especially suitable for prize distributions, or on occasions when it is necessary to get a few classes together. The building is pleasantly situated, and is surrounded by a commodious playground. Flowers are cultivated by the children, and small garden plots are marked off for the various classes. The number on the school roll is 513, and an average of 422 is maintained throughout the year. The school curriculum embraces the subjects set forth by the Board of Education for the instruction of children from the preparatory classes to standard VII., inclusive. The teaching staff comprises ten certificated teachers and two pupil-teachers, exclusive of the headmistress. Mount Cook Girls' School has bren very successful in the matter of scholarships, quite a large numbar of the pupils having distinguished themselves in that direction.

Mrs. Tarn, the Headmistress, was born in Edgeware Road, London. She received her education at private schools, and while quite a child displayed a great fondness for imparting knowledge to others, and would work very hard to get her leasons done, so that there would ba time for her to be entrusted by the teacher with a class of young children before going home. She may truly have been said to have baen engaged in teaching since quite a little girl. Mrs. Tarn entered the Deaconesses' Training College for Zenana work in London, studying there for four years. Subsequently she went to India, and laboured under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for eight years, teaching in schools that were both missionary and state schools combined. In 1875 Mrs. Tarn came out to the Colony, and was immediately appointed to the charge of the Fern Flat School, Rangitikei. She remained here for one year only, and was then appointed to her present position, which was not then by any means the important post it has since become. Mrs. Tarn has always taken a great interest in social questions, and in matters of private benevolenco she is well to the fore. She takes a considerable interest in the temperance movement, and is an enthusiastic member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Mount Cook Infants' School, which is perhaps letter known as the Kindergarten, is situated in Tory Street, Wellington. It was established in 1878, by the Board of page 377 Education, and is said to be the first school in New Zealaud established on the kindergarten system of instruction. All the children, of whom there are 560 on the roll, are between the ages of five and eight years. The system of teaching employed is full of interest to the scholars, and is equally interesting to the visitor. The writer of these lines cannot praise too highly the methods employed to impart instruction to the little ones, and when compared with the art of teaching as imparted in his own days, the progress which has been made in this profession is astonishing. The children are taught by means of object lessons, and every fact is demonstrated as far as possible by illustration. Even the alphabet is taught by means of sticks and other materials which are joined together, and their construction pleasantly impressed on the juvenile mind. In every lesson given, the main object is to cultivate the thinking powers of the pupils — the basis of real education — and the children who are drafted from this school, as they arrive at the age of eight, go forth with minds prepared for the reception of more advanced subjects. The system of Swedish drill (twelve varieties) employed in this kindergarten is very pretty and very complete. The children are provided with small hoops, garlands, tambourines, etc., which they use in various positions, according to the word of command from the teacher. They are taught clay-modelling, plaiting in straw, paper, etc., forming very pretty mats, and they do a great many other useful things which cannot be enumerated here. It must not, however, be forgotten to allude to the singing, a very large proportion of the time in this most interesting institution being devoted to its cultivation, taught on the tonic sol-fa system. Every change of lesson is enlivened by a few minutes of musical recreation, and is looked forward to by the children and enjoyed by all concerned. This school is used as a training-school for pupil-teachers and probationers, Mrs. Francis' ability in this direction being recognised throughout the district. There is only one certificated assistant, Miss Craig, in the school, the work being done by ten appointed pupil-teachers, besides the probationers in course of training. When they have gone through a course of training, they are drafted from this school to others under the Board, and new ones are brought in to fill their places, and receive the training which is so ably given by the headmistress. There is in the school a fine glass case containing samples of the work done by the children in the ordinary course of the school work, which makes a very pleasing exhibition.

Mrs. Francis, the headmistress, was born in Langham Place, Regent's Park, and was educated in England for a time, and subsequently in Australia. When only thirteen years of age, Mrs. Francis became a pupil-teacher at Adelaide, and had no less than thirty years' experience in teaching in South Australia, where she arrived from London in 1843. She married Mr. George Francis (General Post-office in Adelaide), but was left a widow in 1872, her husband having been unfortunately run over, and the effects of the accident being so severe that he died shortly afterwards. Mrs. Francis came to New Zealand in 1878, having received her appointment while in Adelaide to the charge of the Mount Cook Infant School, which she opened as a kindergarten school with great success. She has two sons and two daughters. The sons are employed in the Australian Mutual Provident Society, one of them being manager of the branch office at Oamaru. The elder daughter was recently married to Mr. Vickera, of the Bank of New Zealand, Invercargill, and the younger is proprietress of the private kindergarten school at Clifton Terrace, Wellington.

The Terrace School is situate in one of the best positions in the Empire City, and commands a magnificent view of the entire city and harbour, with the Hutt Valley beyond. The motto of the school ought to be “Suprema a situ,” a most appropriate one, which, by the way, is the motto of the city. The accommodation is large and convenient, and there are three divisions for the pupils, who rank respectively as senior, junior, and infant scholars. About 570 boys and girls are on the roll of the school, there being a slight preponderance in number in favour of the boys. The headmaster, Mr. George MacMorran, is assisted by a competent staff, embracing five certificated teachers and six pupil teachers. The Terrace School has always stood well in the matter of examinations, and a large number of scholarships have been won by the young people attending this popular school. Since the year 1884, when the present headmaster took charge, no fewer than thirty-eight pupils have gained Education Board Scholarships, entitling the winners to two years' tuition at the Wellington College or the Girls' High School, as the ease might be. The namea of these successful candidates are recorded on the honours list in one of the upper schoolrooms, for the encouragement of others, as well as for a record of those who have reflected credit on the school.

The Terrace School.

The Terrace School.

Mr. G. MacMorran, the Headmaster of the above school, was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and was educated partly in the town of Biggar, Lanarkshire, and subsequently at the Free Church Training College and the Andersonian University, Glasgow, He qualified as a teacher there. On completing his training college course he was for some time tutor in the Homerton Training College, London; but soon left to take up the position of junior master in the Highland Society Schools, Montrose Street, Glasgow. He remained there sis or seven years, and in November, 1881, left for this Colony. Arriving in Port Chalmers he soon came on to Wellington, and was appointed to the position of first assistant at the Mount Cook Boys' School, which he held for two years. In 1884, he was
Mr. G. Macmorran.

Mr. G. Macmorran.

page 378 appointed to his present responsible post, and, during the past eleven years, Mr. MacMorran has proved himself to be a popular and successful headmaster. The subject of this sketch is a strong supporter of the teachers' organization—the Educational Institute. In Scotland he was a member of that body, while in Wellington he has ever taken a great and active interest in its affairs. He has filled various offices, and 1889 occupied the president's chair of the New Zealand Educational Institute.

The Newtown Public School, situated in Eiddiford Street, is the largest school in the City of Wellington. It consists of three detached buildings of large size, and the main building, which is devoted to the use of both girls and boys, has been twice enlarged to meet the requirements of the increasing number of pupils. The infant school has accommodation for 250 children. Four large classrooms have recently been built specially for the girls, and the school comprises no less than fourteen rooms all told, which are well filled by the 1050 children whose names appear on the school roll. The teaching staff for this large muster of young folk is nineteen strong, excluding the headmaster, and including ten certificated teachers, five ex-pupil-teachers, and four pupil-teachers. The girls and boys are pretty evenly divided, as far as numbers are concerned, in this school, and they keep well together in their studies. They have been very successful in the matter of scholarships; in fact, in this respect the school may be said to have been more than ordinarily successful, and when it is taken into consideration that the examinations are entered upon without any additional effort being made by either teaches or children, some idea may be formed of the thoroughness of the ordinary, everyday instruction. The Newtown School is noted as one of the city schools where perfect discipline is maintained, albeit the headmaster has occasionally encountered boys who were not as docie as they might have been. The school possesses a large schoolground, in which swings and poles are erected. Every scholar in attendance at the Newtown school is well supplied with books, the headmaster making it a rule that no child shall be permitted to work without the requisite supply, and in cases where the parents are poor, he invariably provides the books at his own expense.

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Mr. Charles Hulke, the Headmaster, resides in Normanby Street. He was born in Deal, Kent, and wag educated at the Faversham Grammar School, in England, and subsequently received instruction at the hands of the Moravian Brothers, in Germany. Mr. Hulks came out to New Zealand as early as 1853, arriving in Auckland, from which place he “walked overland to New Plymouth, without experiencing any difficulties in connection with the natives, his opinion than being that New Zealand was the jolliest place in the world. He reached New Plymouth on the 21st of September, just about the time that the ship “Joseph Fletcher” was landing her passengers, including such well-known men as Archdeacon Stock, Carrick, and others. After remaining in Taranaki for some two or three years, Mr. Hulks removed to Wellington, and for some time engaged in farming pursuits. About 1861 he began teaching, and in 1863 was appointed to the charge of the Kaitoke School at Wanganui, which position he retained for thirteen years. In 1875 he was appointed to the Foxton School, and here he remained until he made up his mind to pay a visit to the land of his youth, and in 1882 started for Europe. He visited the educational establishments, and inspected mines and museums, and many places of scholastic note, in the interests of education. Mr. Hulke remained in Europe for two years, and had two sessions of study at the School of Mines in London, after completing which he returned to the Colony, and accepted the position of assistant-master at the Thorndon School, Wellington. After a year at this school, he occupied a similar position at the Newtown School, and from there was appointed to the charge of the Kilbirnie School. A year later he accepted his present position, entering upon his duties in January, 1887, and during the seven years Mr. Hulke has directed the affairs of this large school, the attendance has more than doubled. He is an enthusiastic analyist, and has fitted up for himself a large laboratory with all the latest appliances and improvements, including Professor Frankland's water analysing apparatus, the most recent arrangement for gas analysis, and the latest improvement in milk-testers, including one he has just imported from Messrs. Leffman and Beam. In use in his laboratory, Mr. Hulke has one of the finest balances that have been invented, by Oertling, of London, which is capable of weighing to the ten thousandth part of fifteen grains. In the interest of the health of the Newtown folks—more particularly the little people—Mr. Hulke has taken upon himself the duty of testing the milk supplied to the residents in his locality, and the result is that the milk suppliers have raised the standard of the milk throughout the entire district, to the benefit of all concerned. Mr. Hulke has fitted up all the chemical cases which are supplied by the Board of Education to the various City schools, and has also seen to the batteries which are likewise provided. He takes a great interest in the amusements of his young charges, and is nearly as enthusiastic over football and cricket as he is over his one great hobby, analytical chemistry.

The Clyde Quay Public School is situated in Clyde Quay and Roxburgh Street, Wellington. It was established in 1889, and is a mixed school, its roll including boys, girls, and infants. The main building, which is a very fine one, contains seven convenient rooms, while the infant department, conducted in a separate building, has three rooms, There are about 827 scholars in attendance at Clyde Quay School, which is about the full number that can be accommodated. This being the latest school built in Wellington, it of course contains all the most recent improvements. One of the rooms is an exceptionally fine one, measuring 49 1/2 feet by 22 1/2 feet, with 15 feet studs. The building is surrounded by an asphalt playground with cover sheds, in addition to the large main playground, the former being intended for wet weather. The staff consists of seven certificated teachers, and ten pupil and ex-pupil-teachers, in addition to the headmaster. The roll of honour for the years 1889 to 1894 inclusive, numbers eleven pupils who have been successful in winning Education Board scholarships, entitling them to a course of tuition at the Wellington College or Girls' High School.

Mr. William Thomas Grundy, the headmaster of the Clyde Quay School, was born at Liverpool, England, and was educated in Birmingham for a time, subsequently attending the Saltley Training College for teachers. Here Mr. Grundy qualified for his profession, taking the certificate under the Committee of Council of Education, equivalent to the D1 certificate of New Zealand. He was appointed to the headmastership of St. Philip's National School, Birmingham, but after three years, resigned and came out to the colonies. He arrived in Brisbane in 1879, per ship “Isola,” to fill a position in one of the schools, which he had accepted while in England; but after remaining in it for about two years, he came to New Zealand. On arrival he accepted an appointment as first assistant-master in the Mount Cook Boys' School. In a short time he was appointed to the headmastership of the Masterton School, where he remained till 1889, when, on the completion of the building, he accepted the position in the Clyde Quay School, which he still holds. He takes a great interest in the sports of the children, and does as much to encourage them to play earnestly as to work earnestly, and is deservedly popular with his young charges.