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Wiltshire Community History

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Wylye - National School, Wylye

The tithe award map dated 1841 shows that a schoolroom stood at the west end of Teapot Street. This Sunday and day school was united to the National Society and in 1848 it was attended by 44 boys and 33 girls. The mistress was paid £18.18.0 and the total annual cost of £30 was met by voluntary subscriptions and the payment of fees. When this same school was inspected in 1858 it was attended by only 20 -30 pupils. The accommodation was considered unsatisfactory, as was the ability of the schoolmistress.

A new National School and a teacher's house were built near the church in 1873. There was one classroom measuring 36 feet by 18 feet which could accommodate 90 pupils. The average attendance in the 1880s was 60-70. In 1893 the school was enlarged to allow room for 120 children. A second classroom for the infants was added, measuring just 19 feet by 15 feet.

Unfortunately no logbooks from the Victorian period survive in the public domain but we know in general terms what school life would have entailed. By 1880 children were educated up to the age of ten, although they could stay longer. The learning age was raised to eleven in 1893, when children normally started as infants, aged four or five. School fees, one penny or twopence a week, had been removed in 1891. The school day was likely to have been from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon and from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. Children either brought their lunch and ate it in the schoolroom or went home to eat. The teacher was assisted by paid monitors in their mid teens or by a pupil teacher, who was training to become a certified teacher.

Lessons were the elementary ones of reading, writing and arithmetic with scripture; some lessons in the latter subject were often taken by the vicar. The girls learned sewing and all had singing and recitation. Some geography and history would have been taught. School holidays were about a week or 10 days at Christmas and Easter, a week at Whitsun and five weeks Harvest Holiday in the summer. Full day and half day holidays were given for various reasons such as church or chapel teas or Sunday school outings, Royal and national occasions and the afternoon after the H.M.I. examinations. Unauthorised absences included seasonal work on the farm and in the garden for the older children and visits to local fairs, military events and other local happenings.

The tithe award map dated 1841 shows that a schoolroom stood at the west end of Teapot Street. This Sunday and day school was united to the National Society and in 1848 it was attended by 44 boys and 33 girls. The mistress was paid £18.18.0 and the total annual cost of £30 was met by voluntary subscriptions and the payment of fees. When this same school was inspected in 1858 it was attended by only 20 -30 pupils. The accommodation was considered unsatisfactory, as was the ability of the schoolmistress.

For further information see Church of England Elementary School, Wylye.
 

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National School, Wylye
 
National School, WylyeImage Date: 1906
Image Details: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre
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