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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 31

Girls' High School, Dunedin

page 5

Girls' High School, Dunedin.

The Classes are all conducted by teachers thoroughly efficient in their several departments, while the Lady Principal in addition to her own special classes exercises a general supervision over the whole school.

The School is divided into an Upper and a Lower Department, each comprising two classes; these classes are again sub-divided when necessary.

No examination is required for admission to the Lower School but it is expected that those entering shall be able to read and spell fairly, and know the four simple rules of arithmetic.

The aim in the Lower School is to lay the foundation of a sound English education—the studies being Reading, Spelling, Grammar, Composition, Arithmetic, Geography, Object Lessons, Writing, and Class Singing. Very simple lessons in History are also given. When the pupils reach the Upper Division of the Lowest or D Class they begin French unless the parents desire otherwise.

The studies become gradually more difficult as the pupils are ready to be moved upward. When the C class is reached, the study of Botany takes the place of Object Lessons; that branch of Natural Science along with Physical Geography forming the Science Course for the Lower Divisions of the Upper School. In the A, or Highest Class, Heat or Geology is the Science Course in alternate years. Lessons on the Laws of Health and on Social Economy are given as time and opportunity can be found for them. In the Upper School Mathematics forms an important part of the school work as a means of training the girls to habits of steady and accurate thought. The pupils of the A class are also introduced to the study of English Classics, a book of Paradise Lost and one of Shakespear's Plays being read critically each session.

The aim of the Educational Course given in the Girls' High School is to make of the girls thoughtful young women, who will, when they leave school continue to add to the knowledge acquired during their attendance there, and thus fit themselves for being useful members of society. Needlework is taught in all classes in the school except the highest. The girls who reach it are supposed to be able to sew well, and the studies in that class are so numerous that the school time does not admit of instruction in that branch.

The appointment of a Sewing Teacher will naturally benefit the industrial department, as the elder girls will be taught to cut and place garments as well as sew them. Fancy work is only permitted after pupils have satisfactorily made some piece of clothing. The lady Principal has been able to secure the services of an experienced dressmaker, who will conduct an extra class after school hours to teach any girls who may choose to attend it, to cut, fit, and make page 6 their own dresses. The Lady Principal would desire to draw the attention of parents to the importance of Class-Singing, as being good, not only as a healthy exercise, but as a means of cultivating the voice, giving facility in reading music, and thus preparing the pupils for taking private singing lessons.

The girls are drilled twice a week by Sergeant-Major Stevens. Gymnastic classes are conducted during the winter six months of the year by Mr. W. B. Long. Attendance at this class is also urged as a means of physical education.

The School possesses an excellent Library containing upwards of 400 volumes of useful and entertaining books, which may be taken advantage of on payment of an annual subscription of 4s. or a quarterly one of Is. 6d.

General School Arrangements.

Examinations are held monthly, and also quarterly, in all the classes, and prizes are awarded at the end of the session by the results-of these.

Reports are sent quarterly to the parents, containing the average percentage of marks obtained by the pupils. These reports are intended to assist parents in judging the average progress that has been made by their children during the quarter.

Prizes,—The ordinary class prizes arc awarded at the end of the season for proficiency in all the subjects of study; and, in addition, special prizes are granted to those in the Upper and lower Schools who have obtained the highest marks in each section into which the school work is divided.

Certificates of Merit are given to all who obtain 75 per cent, of marks in any one section.

When any pupil has been absent, she must, on her return, produce a note signed by her parents or guardian explaining the cause of her absence; and no pupil is allowed to leave during school hours without a similar note.

Besides the usual Public Holidays, a fortnight's recess is given at midwinter, and six weeks at Christmas.

The Lady Principal is always glad to see parents or guardians if they have any communication to make to her concerning their children.

The Boarding Department.

The Boarding Department is under the superintendence of Mrs. M. H. Martin who is assisted in her duties by a well-qualified resident governess.

The domestic arrangements approach as nearly as possible those of a well-regulated family, and every effort is made to secure the happiness and comfort of the pupils. Constant supervision is exercised, and habits of neatness and order are inculcated. The page 7 dormitories are large and well ventilated and there are four excellent bath rooms. The girls take daily walking exercise, weather permitting, and a Croquet lawn is attached to the grounds for the use of the boarders. Arrangements are made for daily practice of Music by each boarder by payment of 10s. per quarter for the use of a Piano. The preparation of lessons is presided over by Mrs. Martin and her governess.

Each boarder will have a separate bed, except in case of sisters, and must bring with her 4 table-napkins, 4 single sheets', 4 pillowslips, 6 towels.

The following articles of Clothing, for each boarder are requisite:
4 changes of underclothing, A common and a better hat,
2 morning dresses, A waterproof,
I afternoon dresses, An umbrella.
I visiting dresses, 2 pairs of stout boots,
I sponge dresses, 1 pair of slippers,

A full supply of collars, cuffs, handkerchiefs, and stockings: the usual supply of combs and brushes; bags for soiled clothes and for hair brushes.

It is particularly requested that each article of clothing be distinctly marked.

A quarter's notice, or half a quarter's fee, is required before the removal of a boarder.

Lady Principal's Report for Year 1876.

"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.

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"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."

Duces of School.

  • 1871—Miss Flora Muir.
  • 1872—Misses Isabella Shand and Flora Muir (equal).
  • 1873—Ms Georgina Tewsley.
  • 1874—Miss Wilhelmina A. J. Mackay.
  • 1875—Misses Isabella J. Hislop and Annie M. Burn (equal).
  • 1876—Miss Isabella L. Gillies.

Prize List for 1876.

Dux of School—Gold Medal, Miss I. L. Gillies.

A Class—2nd prize, Misses M. Montgomery and E. Little, equal. Certificates for 75 per cent. mark: Section A, 1000 marks—Grammar, Milton, Composition, French, and German—Misses Gillies, Little, Montgomery, Banks, Begg, F. Ross, J. Cairns. Section 8oo marks—Mathematics and Astronomy—Misses Gillies, Little, Montgomery, and Banks. Section C, 600 marks—History and Geography.—Misses Gillies, Little, Montgomery, Banks, Begg, and Hay. Writing—Miss Sidey. Drawing—1st, Miss E. Grant; and, Misses Ross and Warren (equal).

B Class.—Dux—Silver medal, Miss Sophia Gifford; and prize, Miss Jane Couper. Certificates for 75 per cent. marks: Section A, page 10 700 marks—Grammar, Etymology, Composition, and French—Misses Gifford, M. Alves, Findlay, Murray, A. Campbell, Woolfe, Kempthorne, Nicholls, Kirkland, Johnston, Grant, K. Section B, 800 marks—Arithmetic, Algebra, Science, History, and Geography—Misses Gifford, Couper, and Johnston. Writing—Miss J. Findlay.

C Class—Dux—Silver medal, Miss Flora Allan; 2nd prize, Miss C. Little. Certificates for 75 per cent. marks: Section A, 500 marks—Grammar, Etymology, Composition, and French—Misses F. Allan, C. Little, K. Ogilvie, E. Purdie, J McNeill, M. Mackerras, H. Levi, K. Oliver, A. Stephenson, E. Alexander, and E. Leary. Section B, 600 marks—History, Geography, Botany, and Arithmetic—Miss F. Allan. Writing—1st prize, Miss Grace Joel; 2nd, Miss E. Leary.

D Class.—Dux—Silver medal, Miss A. Hutton; and prize, Miss F. Roberts. Certificates for 75 per cent, marks in all subjects Misses A. Hutton, Roberts, M'Donald, Goldie, E. Marsden. Writing—Miss J. Gow.

E Class.—1st prize, Miss M. Hutton. Certificate, Miss L. Watson.

Special Prizes.—A Class: Mathematical dux, Miss E. Little. Science prize, Miss M. Montgomery. Essay, Miss E. Grant. Mapping, Miss E. Little. French class work, Miss A. Davies. improvement, Miss F. Ross. French and German, A 1, Miss M. Montgomery. German, A 2, Miss J. Smeaton. B Class—Science, Miss S. Gifford. Essay—1st prize, Miss F. Isaccs; and prize, Miss B. Nicholls and Miss E. Jones (equal). Mapping : 1st prize, Miss K. Sperrey; and prize, Miss A. Branigan. French improvement, Miss B. Nicholls. C Class—French class-work, Miss Barr. Neatness in home exercises, Miss S. Jamieson. D Class—Trench improvement, Misses B. Reith and E Marsden. Neatness in home exercises Misses M. Kempthorne and Crawshaw. Industry, Miss Edith Reid. E Class (French)—French improvement, Miss M. Mackerras.

Moral Education Prize.—Miss Dalrymple's Victoria prizes for diligence, punctuality, and attention—Miss R. Woolfe, Upper School; Miss M. M'Neill, Lower School. Fanny prizes for gentleness, kindness, and courtesy (adjudged by votes of the pupils)—Miss F. Ross, tipper School; Miss C. Little, Lower School, Given by Mrs. Burn for constant kindly help to her companions and steady attention to school duties, Miss Meta Ross. Improvement prize, Miss H. Levi. For diligence and general improvement, by Sir J. L. C. Richardson—A class: Miss J. Hay; B class: Miss A. Campbell.

Music Prizes.—Mrs. White's: Misses Hay, Warren Bowler, Orbell, Nicholls, E. Marsden. Mrs. Wilmott's: Misses I. and A. Gillies, Branigan, and Nixon. Miss Bell's: Misses H. Mackerras A. Kempthorn e and A. Campbell: Miss Browne's: Miss Reith. Mr. Towsey's: Misses Ethel Jones and K. Harris (equal). Special prize for fretwork (given by Mrs. Browne): Miss Annie M. Burn.