The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 31
"I have the honor to submit my sixth annual report of the Girls' High School of Otago. The attendance during the session just ended has been the largest since the opening of the school six years ago, having during the second quarter reached as high as 195. Two-fifths of that number were new pupils. During the third and fourth quarters the attendance was diminished in consequence of sickness in several families to which pupils belonged, though in only one case has a pupil of the school been attacked by fever. In all cases of fever at their homes pupils have been removed from school at once, and in no case has anyone returned till the medical attendant gave satisfaction as to the safety or her doing so. To these precautions, in which all the parents of pupils concerned have most kindly aided me, I attribute the general good health of the school. There has not been a case of serious illness in the boarding department during the year.
"The work of the school in all the classes has gone on very much as heretofore. From the fact of so many new pupils having joined the school this year the lower classes have been more numerously attended than the upper, as no girl can pass to the upper classes unless she reaches the standard I have fixed for admission to them. The general progress of all the classes as tested by the examination just over, as well as by frequent examinations in the course of the year, has been satisfactory. The school sustained a page 8 serious loss at mid-winter in the resignation of Mr. Pope,. on his appointment to the Principal ship of Ballarat College, This loss has been especially felt in the upper class, which, for the greater part, was composed of girls trained by Mr. Pope and myself from the time they entered school, and who could not easily take to a new master or to a style of teaching which, however able, was, as might be expected, different in some respects from that to which they had so long been accustomed. Mr. Peattie, M.A., was appointed by the Education Board to the post vacated by Mr. Pope. He had a difficult position to occupy, cooling, as he did, in the middle of the school year, and after so experienced and popular a predecessor. Time in this, as in most things, has worked beneficially, and I anticipate very successful results in Mr. Peattie's department next year.
"In the Science Department astronomy formed the work of the A class. During the first six months these lessons were made thoroughly interesting by actual observations with Mr. Pope's excellent telescopes. Before he left he held an examination on his half-year's work, the results of which have been added to those of the Christmas examination. "Proctor's Manual of Astronomy" has been the textbook during the last half-year. In mathematics the upper division of the A class has reached the sixth book of euclid, and as far as surds and indices in algebra. The higher rules of arithmetie have also been carefully gone over. The science lessons in the B and C classes were confined to botany. A very fair acquaintance with the subject has been made by the B class. The instruction in the C class was necessarily somewhat elementary. The instruction in the upper branches of the school course has been carried on much as usual, and does not call for any special notice.
"At the beginning of the session the Education Board sanctioned the addition of German to the "ordinary course" of instruction. Miss Huie has had the charge of the French and the German classes. Comparatively few girls have entered on the study of German, as I do not permit them to begin that language until they have acquired a certain knowledge of French, and are old enough to undertake the additional labour necessary for its acquisition. I am hopeful that year by year the students of German will increase in number. The drawing classes, under the care of Mr. Hutton and assistants, have made even more satisfactory progress than in any former year. This is greatly owing to the additional school-room accommodation, which enables us to carry on separate classes much more satisfactorily. As a matter of course the elder pupils are beginning to show the results of Mr. Hutton's valuable training; and are now drawing from models, and in a few cases from nature: The other visiting teachers have carried on their classes very much as in past years. An additional branch of fancy work has been introduced by Mrs. W. W, Brown, the success of which was seen in the fretwork ornaments and fern-spray tables exhibited last Wednesday along with the plain and fancy needlework.page 9
"I now tender my cordial thanks to all my fellow-teachers, most of whom have now worked with me for several sessions, and who one and all have seconded use in all my plans for securing the efficiency and well-being of the school.
"In the early part of the year I felt that I could no longer take charge of both day school and boarding establishment, the burden and anxiety being quite beyond, not my will, but my strength. The Education Board, on my representation, was kind enough to relieve me of the care of the boarders at mid-winter, and appointed Mrs. M. H. Martin lady superintendent of the boarding department. I have every reason to believe that this division of labour will result in the more efficient and successful working of both departments. The highest number of boarders this year was 36.
"In conclusion I desire to thank very heartily the many kind friends who have so liberally provided prizes for the school. They are: Mrs. M. Holmes, Mrs. Norrie, Mrs. Henry Campbell, Miss Dalrymple, the Hon. Sir John Richardson, his Worship the Mayor, Messrs. A. C. Strode, E: C. Chapman, W. I). Stewart, W. Joel, Reith and Wilkie, T. Matheson, Hanoi) and Neill, and friends who do not wish their names to be mentioned. Some of the teachers have also presented special prizes, for which I tender my thanks. They are as follows:—Miss Huie, eight prizes for French and German Miss E. Huie, three prizes for neatness in home exercises; Miss Smith, prize for industry; Miss M'Gregor, prize for composition Mr. J. H. Pope, mathematical dux prize; Mr. G. M. Thomson, science prize; Mrs. Brown, prize for fretwork; and Mrs. Burn, silver medal and 'prizes for kindly helpfulness and improvement. The music teachers' prizes are given in the prize list."