If you are reading this page using a screenreader, we support ARIA landmarks for quick navigation too

Wiltshire Community History

School Search Results

There were 1 items found.

Bratton - National Evening Continuation School, Bratton

The evening school of the 1860s seems to have faded away but was re-established in October 1893 and continued until 1908. It was an 'evening continuation school which met on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. The sessions lasted from October to March with a week's holiday about Christmas. There was one certificated teacher in charge, and at first the subjects taught were reading, writing, arithmetic. Later commercial arithmetic and alternately commercial geography and history were taken; in some cases a combined course of the two latter subjects was taken and there is mention that Nature Study and elementary Rural Science were at one time added to the curriculum. There seems to have been a yearly inspection by one of HM Inspectors, and sometimes one from the County Secretary.

The number of scholars on the roll varied from 11 to 30, some of these coming from Edington and from 'the hill', as there is mention in the school log book that for various reasons scholars in the above mentioned places were unable to attend classes.

The following are extracts from the log book which will give some idea of the running of the school:

Bratton National Evening Continuation School

Opened Tuesday 3 October 1893 by the Rev. R. S. Jacob who spoke to the pupils advising them to attend regularly and punctually and endeavour to make it a success. It will be called an 'Evening Continuation School' and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

The subjects taught are Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. It was proposed to teach geography but finding the scholars exceedingly ignorant it was abandoned. Twenty eight presented themselves for admission and the teachers present were:

Mary Elizabeth Bridgeman (Certificated) (Mistress of Day School)
Ada Annie Haines. Ex. Pupil Teacher
Mr. George Cleverley (Farmer).
Mr. Charles Millard (Fitter) (of Reeves Iron Foundry).

26 October 1893 Attendance 31.

7 November 1893 Poor attendance on account of some supper given by some gentleman.

14 November 1893 Attendance again thin through supper and very wet night.

25 January 1894 School closed this evening on account of Mutual Improvement Society tea and concert. Most of the scholars are members.

1 March 1894 School closed for the session this evening on account of the falling off of attendance.

The session of 1894 closed with a satisfactory report from HM Inspector: 'The scholars are orderly and are making satisfactory progress.'

Sessions followed uneventfully. On 21 January 1896 the County Secretary reported:

'Tuesday evening visited the school without notice. Three teachers and twenty six scholars present. Work going on quietly and effectively.'

And in this year HM Inspector reported:

'The scholars are orderly and attentive. They have been very carefully taught and have made good progress.'

The Autumn of 1896 saw an innovation:

20 October 1896 Had a magic lantern to illustrate the geography lesson.

17 November 1896 Had a magic lantern for geography.

Reports continue to be uniformly good and the school pursued its way to the end of the century and to the Boer War, only being closed for weather or for poor attendance, or meeting on another night when there was a Mission on the Church or an entertainment in the village.

In 1903, 15 February, we are told: 'Several boys absent, having joined the Volunteers, others to watch them marching.'

In January 1905 HM Inspector reports: As in former years, steady and effective work is carried on. The teacher is not paid by fixed salary.

The records close in 1908. More ambitious mention of elementary rural science begins to be made and we are clearly beyond the days when such schools had to teach reading and writing. Since then Bratton has developed a flourishing Workers' Educational Association for evening lectures of a very different kind, but we have not pursued the question of evening classes beyond the National School.

We ought to note, in conclusion, the interest in Mr. Millard, the Fitter of Reeves' Iron Foundry, being a teacher in the evening school. Mr. Millard taught there for years and his work is another sign of the completeness of the community of Bratton which supplied its own needs so completely in days before modern transport.

Extract from Historical Notes on the Village of Bratton, made by Students of Salisbury Diocesan Training College at St. Boniface College, Warminster,(1959) to whom due acknowledgement is made.



This website

Contact details

Contact Wiltshire Council

Write to us or call us

Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN