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the university: many of the sons of the first nobility and gentry are placed under the tuition of the masters and their assistants of this school.
This seminary is divided into two schools, the upper and lower, comprising seven forms, or classes. There is a head master and a second master, with numerous assistants. Several very celebrated persons have, at different periods, presided over this establishment. Among them may be noticed, Camden, the author of the Britannia; Dr. Richard Busby, famous for his classical knowledge and the severity of his discipline; Dr. Markham, Archbishop of York; the late Dr. William Vincent, author of the Voyage of Nearchus, and Dr. Carey, the present Bishop of Exeter.
St. Paul's School, St. Paul's Church Yard, was founded in 1509 by Dr. John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, son of Sir Henry Colet, twice Lord Mayor of London. The Mercers' Company were appointed trustees of this charity, which was instituted to be a free-school for the education of 155 boys, under the superintendance of a master, an usher, and a chaplain. Many of the scholars are removed to the Universities, with exhibitions to defray a portion of their expenses. This school is divided into eight classes, or forms. In 1822, the building, situated on the east side of St. Paul's Church Yard, was taken down: it has been since rebuilt, and greatly enlarged towards the north. The new edifice, which was erected under the direction and from the designs of George Smith, architect, is a very handsome building, fronted with stone, and consists of a centre and wings, ornamented with a colonnade.
Merchant-Tailors' School, Suffolk Lane, Cannon Street. -In 1561, the company of Merchant-Tailors, in consequence of the gift of 500l. by Richard Hills, one of their masters, for the purchase of suitable premises, founded this school, in which, agreeably to the original statutes, 100 boys are taught at 5s. each per quarter; 50 at 2s. 6d. each; and 100 gratis. In the whole, about 300 boys are now constantly on this establishment.
The present building consists of the School House,
apartments for the ushers, a house for the head-master, a library, and a chapel : all of which were erected immediately after the Fire of 1666, at the expence of the company, on the site of the former school, which had been destroyed at that time. Several scholars from this establishment are annually sent to St. John's College, Oxford.
Schools under the patronage of the National, and the British and Foreign School Societies. In the year 1798, Joseph Lancaster, of the respectable society of Friends, usually called Quakers, began the practice of a novel mode of instructing youth, which has, in an extraordinary degree, lessened the labour of teachers, and facilitated the improvement of their pupils. His late Majesty warmly patronized the scheme, soon after it was made public; but its advantages were not generally appreciated, nor did it attract national attention, till the year 1808. Between that year and the year 1816, the plan had been prosecuted with such success, that more than 200 schools for boys and 80 for girls had been established upon this system, in London and various parts of England; and each school educated from 150 to 500 children.
But, in the mean time, although the usefulness of the plan thus actively promulgated by Joseph Lancaster, with the assistance of some munificent friends, could not be questioned, the claims of that person to its invention or original introduction into this country, were warmly controverted by numbers of the religious party usually called the High-Church. They insisted, that not Joseph Lancaster, but the Rev. Dr. Bell, had introduced the system, and that the worthy doctor had himself only transplanted it from the shores of Hindostan. The conflict of opinions on this subject occasioned not merely the farther spread of the schools, then called Lancasterian, but also the foundation of a great number of new schools, on the same plan, but under the authority of Dr. Bell.
The schools thus instituted are styled the National, from a society, so called, supported by some of the first characters in the kingdom, having been formed to promote them. The grand principle on which they are founded is, that the English constitution being "fundamentally Pro
testant," the doctrines of the English church alone should be inculcated in the minds of our youth, in order to their being brought up faithful and well-affected subjects and churchmen, and who should take the creed of the establishment as the only safe and orthodox exposition of the Bible itself. Upon this principle, the children of sectarian parents are not admitted into the National Schools. The British and Foreign School Society (formerly the Lancasterian), however, adopting wider and more liberal views, make neither religion nor country a barrier to admission into their establishments.
Not only in the metropolis, but likewise in other parts of the kingdom, schools for the instruction of the poor on the new system have been formed, under the patronage of both societies; and the advantages to the rising generation from these institutions must be numerous and of great moral importance.
The Schools of the metropolis alone, however, enter into the plan of this volume; and the stranger who may feel interested in a proper understanding of this valuable method of education, will not fail to avail himself of the permission afforded by the National Society, for any respectable person to inspect their Central School, in Baldwin's Gardens, in order to see the system in operation. A particular description of that school will, with propriety, follow here, and the reader may comprehend from it the leading features of the plan that prevails in all schools of the same kind, whether their system be called Bell's or Lancaster's.
The Central School, Baldwin's Gardens, Gray's Inn Lane, is divided into two rooms, well lighted and ventilated: one for 600 boys, and the other for 400 girls, allowing six square feet for each child. The building is perfectly plain, and fitted up in the simplest manner, the walls white-washed, and the floor level. Writing desks, having in front a single row of benches, on which the children sit to write in successive divisions, are placed round each school room against the wall, with the top ledge about three inches from it, so as to admit the slates on which they write to hang from hooks fixed fourteen inches asunder in a slender deal rail, fastened to the wall
about half a foot above the ledge. In one aile are placed the sand trays, extending across the room, at which the alphabet and stops are taught, and the under-classes write a portion of their reading lessons. The room besides contains only a desk, on which lies a book for the insertion of visitors' names, and a few moveable forms in the boys' school, and two large work-tables and forms in the girls' school; the area being left as open as possible, to allow full space for the classes to form, and the children to pass freely to and from their places.
The schools, in which the National system is strictly observed, as well in the mode of tuition as in discipline, are divided into ailes, and each aile into classes of not more than forty children in each; the only rule for classification is formed by the qualifications of the children.
To each class is attached a teacher, and an assistant teacher, who have the entire management and direction of such class the teachers are selected from a superior class, and the assistants from their own or the class immediately above them, and, in whatever class they have charge, they read a portion of the lesson in turn with the other children.
To each aile is appointed a sub-usher, who sees that the teachers do their duty; and over each school presides a head-usher or monitor.
Employment.-Morning. The schools open precisely at nine with Prayers, consisting of the 2d and 3d collects of Morning Service, the Lord's Prayer, and "the Grace of our Lord," read by one of the children: every child not present at prayers, and not assigning a satisfactory reason for absence, is detained after schoolhours from five to thirty minutes.
After prayers the first aile cipher till ten-learn by heart religious exercises till half-past ten — write till eleven - and read till the schools are dismissed, at twelve. Second aile write till half-past nine-learn religious exercises till ten-read till eleven and cipher till twelve.
Third aile learn religious exercises till half-past nine— and read and write alternately till twelve. Afternoon.-The schools re-open at two.
school, still in classes, with teachers, assistants, &c., learn knitting and needle-work till half-past four, and arithmetical tables till five.
The boys' school-first aile cipher till three-write till half-past three-read till half-past four-and learn arithmetical tables till five.
Second aile write till half-past two-read till half-past three-cipher till half-past four-and learn arithmetical tables till five.
Third aile read and write till half-past four, and learn arithmetical tables or cipher till five; at which hour both schools are dismissed with the Gloria Patri, sung by the children, after prayers read by one of the children, as in the morning, with the substitution only of the 2d and 3d evening collects for the two morning collects.
The books in reading, for which the children are prepared by previous instruction on the sand trays, are — National Society Central School, No. 1, or cards (taught card by card, first by previcus spelling, then by words)— National Society Central School, No. 2, 3, &c. all taught in the usual way, except that the spelling columns, No. 3, are first read syllabically, and then by words: then follow the Bible and Prayer Book, to be put into the hands of such as, by means of this initiatory course, are capable of reading it. The ciphering exercises begin with "Arithmetical tables for the use of schools on the Madras System," in order; viz. the tables of Numeration, counting as far as 100 forwards and backwards, of Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division, and tables of money; after which the children proceed in the same order to the practice of the rules on slates, ending with Compound Multiplication and Division. The writing exercises begin with the letters, figures, and stops, in the sand trays, and then proceed to writing on slates, until sufficient progress is made for occasional writing in copy
It may be added, that there are more than thirty schools, in London, only; each instructing from 200 to 1000 children, united to the National Society, and that the expense of books for the whole number, by which the scholars acquire reading and the rudiments of religion, is calculated