St.Thomas School Log Book

The National School at St.Thomas Mow Cop has provided a lot of information, however to try and decipher and write all the entries from the 2 -3 year period I have obtained would be totally unnecessary. From the book I have noted that the School was run from 3 district Unions: - Wolstanton (Tunstall), Biddulph and Congleton. The Children would pay their school pence to the district/board that they lived under. I have shown a few examples of entries just to give you a feel for how the school log was kept.
There was a head master when the log began in January 1887, a Mr John F Holme superseded him in July 1888, and he stayed at the school for nearly 3 years. During this period the head teachers were assisted by both teachers: - Fanny Lawton
and Pupil Teachers: - Bertha Sharples, Hugh Minshull, Howard Riley, John Wilkinson, Joseph Brookes and a Miss Chadwick.

The school has many visitors, teachers, school managers, school board officers, many are named in accordance to their position, and many of the entries in the log are general day to day and rather mundane. To save you all from complete boredom, I have selected what appears to be the most interesting of the entries. I have also shown just a few examples of the finances of the school.

Dimensions of the School

Room

Length

Breadth

Height

School Room

45ft 3in

20ft 6in

15ft 1in

Class Room

22ft

12ft

14ft 6in

Infants

30ft

11ft 6in

14ft 6in

1887

This headmaster whose name I have been unable to ascertain is very pre occupied in his entries with staff discipline and the finance of the school. Lots of the entries have been left out, as they are pages upon page of school accounts and do not provide much in the way of new information. The 1888 entries paint a bleak picture leading up to the resignation of the head.

Jan 28th
Fanny Lawton was given Burma to prepare for her lessons and this morning when asked about it
replied "I don't know where Burma is".
Feb 4th
Standard I appear to be making good progress in reading and writing. Arithmetic is still the worst
subject. Mr Heath School Board Officer called this afternoon.
Feb 18th
Have requested Miss Chadwick to keep back for a few minutes after 3:30, the first class infants
in order to give them extra reading lessons
Feb 21st
Miss Chadwick does not appear to care about staying in behind the usual school hours.
Have complained today about the slovenly way in which the infants are taught sewing
Mar 15th
Rev Seed visited the school the morning and examined the registers, and has complained
the 1st and 2nd class on their poor writing
May 10th
Rev Seed called this morning. Howard Riley allowed to leave a little early this afternoon
to attend a sale near his home
May12th
Punished several children for bad behaviour during the time allowed for assembly
Examined standard I this morning and 79 percent passed.
Spoke to Howard Riley about being late, this is the second time this week he has been
nearly fifteen minutes late
May13th
Miss Chadwick has given the following object lessons this week, Zebra, Tiger, Ostrich
Eagle, Coffee, Oak, Hare & Flea.
May19th
Have heard the first class repeat the poetry they have prepared for H.M.I (Her Majesty's Inspectors)
June 1st
The commencement of another school year. Fanny Lawton who has had charge of Standard I
throughout the year has been placed in charge of the infants
June 13th
Howard Riley has taken charge of Standard I and III this week, and has also taken the arithmetic
of standard II. He appears to work with energy

Jun 17th
James Arthur Mollart Pupil Teacher from Kidsgrove National School has assisted me today and
had special charge of Standard II. Hugh Riley taught the children the National Anthem
June 30th
The following a/c has been sent to Mr Mills, School Attendance Officer, Biddulph for quarter ending June 17th 1889

Arthur Hood

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Sarah Mills

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

John Mills

10 wks @ 3d

2.6

Richard Jones

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Ellen Jones

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Lloyd Jones

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Jun 30th
Forwarded the following to Mr Hay School Attendance Officer Congleton

John Bailey

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Lorraine Pointon

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Joel Pointon

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Sarah Ann Pointon

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Robert Corbishley

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Stephen Corbishley

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Albert Corbishley

11 wks @ 3d

2.9

Jul 6th
Howard Riley and Fanny Lawton absent this week by permission Attending the Mickleover and Derby for the purpose of passing their scholarship examination. The work of the school has not been so satisfactory owing to their absence
Jul 28th
The following amounts have been received from the guardians for the quarter ending June 17th

s

d

Wolstanton Union

1

18

0

Biddulph Union

16

3

Congleton Union

19

3

Total

3

3

6

Sep 28th
Mr Pointon one of the school managers called yesterday and also Mr George Bostock. They expressed
themselves pleased with the behaviour of the children.
Sep 30th
Howard Riley taught the first class to sing "Snow Flakes" many of the 1st class children absent this week
Oct 5th
Mrs Barber came to complain about Sara Ellen being beaten this morning. I had punished her with an
open hand on the back and Mrs Barber persisted in saying that she had been held down on my desk
and hit on the back and the belly. Ellen Pointon and Lizzie Rouse were then called out and asked, and they both denied Mrs Barbers accusations. They also complained about Fanny Lawton beating Frederick with a stick on the head. Fanny Lawton was called and denied it. Have warned her not to punish the little ones.
Oct 11th
Rev Seed visited the school this afternoon. Snow fell this afternoon and it had been colder than usual
Oct 26th
Mr Thomas Heath School Board Officer called this morning and also the Rev Seed
Oct 28th
Verified the register and found them correct signed Abraham Pointon manager
Nov 11th
Mr Mills School attendance officer called
Nov 16th
Punished Stephen Corbishley and Joseph Ikin for lifting funeral bearers clothes
Dec 9th
Punished several boys yesterday for calling Benjamin Pointon nicknames, and today Howard Riley has
taken a portion of the children in singing, to practice them for the concert on Monday. Many children absent due to snowy weather

 1888

Jan 13th
Fanny Lawton's lessons not done. Yesterday they we also imperfectly done
Jan 29th
Warned John Wilkinson about punishing Thomas Hewitt
Feb 3rd
Asked Bertha Sharples to explain about leaving school before the other teachers got away. Have warned her previously yesterday, Mrs Mould came to complain that she couldn't get her little boy to come to school owing to the above teacher thrashing him.
Feb 20th
Pupil teachers lessons very indifferently done. At 9:10 Howard Riley who stood with his back to the fire keeping the warmth from the children was told to move away and get out the books and scales, absolutely refused to do either. Rev Seed spoke to Riley who excused himself on the ground that H Minshull and J Brookes should do the work. F Lawton said that she had too many home lessons given her, and could not do them, and that I had given her more to do this weekend. A lesson table is placed at the end of their books containing the work for each night.
Feb 29th
Sent after Joseph Ikin and Ernest Evans who are both very irregular in their attendance. The parents of these Children seem to care very little whether they attend school or not.
March 16th
Miss Platt, one of the teachers from the Newchapel Church School called.
April 24th
Mr Mills and Mr Heath, School Attendance officers for the Biddulph and Wolstanton Parishes called this morning and afternoon.
May 4th
Examination for the whole school. Standard I did the worst, Standard III the best.
June 6th
Miss Seed called in school this morning and told me that her father the Rev had said the school must be closed and the key taken to the vicarage. I therefore closed the school and gave the children a 3 weeks holiday.
June 29th
Resigned charge of this school today and hope my successor may find it a happier stay than I have done during the last twelve months

A New Era

The majority of the entries of Mr John F Holme are about pupil attendance, being exact down to the last decimal point. Attendance throughout this entire period appear to be poor, however on numerous occasions reason of bad weather and illness are cited.

Jul 9th
Took charge of these schools this morning. Owing to the school being closed since June many children have left and the attendance is very poor
Jul 13th
Rev Seed visited the school this afternoon. Average attendance for the week 34.3
July 16th
This morning admitted two new scholars:- Samuel Sheratt and Thomas Sheratt.
Jul 20th
The attendance throughout the week has been very poor, although there are twelve more children on the books than last week. The average attendance for the week is 38.1
Jul 24th
There is a slight improvement in the attendance this week. The number present this morning is 46, the largest total since I have been in charge of this school
Aug 2nd
Mr Arthur Morris Head Assistant Master in a large board school at Stalybridge visited the school this morning.
Aug 7th
Punished George Jones for leaving the school without permission.
Aug 9th
Mrs Wilkinson complained to me today about Hugh Minshull beating her son Robert with a stick about the neck, and also bumping his head on the desk. Have warned Minshull about punishing the boys in his class.
Aug 10th
The attendance during the week ending today has been very poor, probably owing to many children being employed in the hay harvest. School, closed today for one weeks holiday.
Aug 21st
Register marked at 1:15 and school closed at 3:15 on account of the Annual Flower Show being held in the neighbourhood. Mr Harding Assistant Master in a School at Congleton visited the school.
Dec 15th
Joseph Brookes absent from duty this morning through sickness
Dec 20th
Joseph Brookes returned to duty this morning, School closed for Xmas holidays

1889

Jan 16th
Mr Jonathon Nixon School Attendance Officer visited the school today
Mar 8th
The attendance today has been very poor owing to a very severe snowstorm. The average attendance for the week is 44.3
Mar 11th
The attendance today is again very poor. The chief cause of this is the large amount of snow on the ground, rendering the roads almost impassable. Rev John Seed visited the school this morning whilst the candidates were receiving lessons.
Mar 26th
George Jones, James Baxter and John J White were sent home for their school pence this morning. Owing to the stoppage of the pits in the local vicinity the pence has been very irregularly paid for a long period.
Apr 4th
The attendance for the week has greatly improved; the average attendance is 49.1
May 15th
Examined the whole school in writing and Arithmetic, Standards V to VII did a good exercise in composition, but standards III and IV did badly in dictation. Arithmetic on the whole was pretty fair but it still remains the most backward subject
May 14th
Joseph Brookes came to school this morning at 9 o'clock instead of 8 o'clock. He has invariably been late for lessons during the last fortnight seldom arriving before 8.45a.m. His lessons are also on the whole prepared in an untidy manner and I have to complain to him frequently about them
Jun 10th
Rev John Seed visited the school this morning. The attendance this morning is very bad; the number present being only 31. This is probably accounted for by the fact that it is Whit Monday and all the neighbouring schools are closed today. Hugh Minshull absent from duty again this morning through sickness. Mr G.W Hubbard Assistant Master Middlewich visited the school.
June 11th
Joseph Brookes still continues to show not the slightest improvement in punctuality having arrived yesterday morning at 8.56.a.m and this morning after the children had assembled in school. It seems useless to warn him to arrive with greater punctuality, as I have not noticed an improvement since the entry on mat 17th. Hugh Minshull resumed his duties again this morning.
Jun 17th
School commenced this morning with only a moderate attendance. The following passages of poetry for repetition (1890) were submitted to H.M.I at his annual visit and received his approval
Standard I The blind boy
Standard II The village Blacksmith
Standard III Napoleon and the young English sailor
Standard IV Spanish Armada
Jun 26th
Brookes returned to duty this morning notifying that his absence from duty was caused by sickness. Left school earlier in the afternoon in charge of the assistant master and candidates as I had to see Mr Clayton Receiving officer at Tunstall about the children's fees paid by guardians
Jul 18th
School closed today for the Midsummer Vacation to reopen August 5th Miss Lawton finished her duties but still continues as sewing mistress of the school
Aug 7th
The average attendance for the week ending to day is 52.8 During the week several new scholars have been admitted; this brings the number on the books up to 77
Aug 16th
Rev John Seed visited the school this morning During the week ending today, two more scholars have been admitted. This brings the number on the books up to 79. The average attendance for the week is 55.1
Aug 19th
School commenced this week with only a few in attendance. This probably caused by many children staying away to visit the Wakes at Biddulph
Sep 2nd
Rev John Seed visited the school this morning Miss F Lawton resumed duties again in the school under article 80
Sep 10th
Mr Farmer (clerk) Mr Harding and two other members of the Wolstanton School board visited the school in the morning
Oct 5th
Rev John Seed visited the school this morning. A new football has been kindly given by him for the use of the children attending this school
Dec 9th
Miss Lawton absent from duty this morning owing to the serious illness of her sister. Half Holiday given this afternoon by consent of the managers in order to prepare the room for a concert given for the purpose of providing the children with prizes

1890

Jan 13th
Mrs Taylor came to school this afternoon to complain of H Minshull boxing her daughter Elizabeth on the ears. Have warned Minshull about punishing the children under his charge
Feb 7th
Mr C Yates Langley, Sgt Major Drill Instructor visited the school this afternoon and gave an exhortation of the system of Callisthenics and Physical Exercise for use in schools
Mar 6th
Rev John Seed visited the school. Mr F Tucker of Mount Pleasant visited the school and gave a test examination throughout
Percentage of Passes in Standard

Reading

Writing

Arithmetic

Standard

Standard I

100

100

100

100

Standard II

100

85.7

71.4

85.7

Standard III

88.8

77.7

100

88.4

Standard IV

100

83.5

42.8

73.6

Standard V

100

100

75

91.6

Standard VI

100

0

100

66.6

Whole School

96.8

84.3

78.1

86.4%

Apr 2nd
Punished George Machin, Thomas Hewitt and Joseph Cottrell for being late after previously warning them about the same offence
Sept 26th
Two new scholars have been admitted this week. The average attendance for the week is 55.9 and the number on the book is 75

1891

As with the previous year, this years entries become less and less eventful with visits from Rev Seed and other school officers being the only recorded events

May 26th
Hugh Minshull absent from school to day by permission to attend examination in drawing at the board school Mow Cop
Jun 2nd
Resigned charge of this school after two years eleven months service