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Ministry of Education Report, Carried Out 20th To 23rd April 1951

Wootton County School, New Road.

The village of Wootton is situated on the main road between Ryde and Newport, each of which is three and a half miles away. The school has had in the passed an educational connection with Newport, as the village is situated in that borough. This is reflected by the transfer of pupils at the age of fourteen for the last year of their compulsory education to single sex all age school there. Senior pupils also attended these schools for instruction in Handicraft and Housecraft, the boys for half a day and the girls for a whole day each week.

There are 108 pupils in the school, organised in four classes; at present only 12 are seniors. Some 33 Juniors and Infant pupils travel from the village each day at their parents expense to a neighbouring County Primary School about three miles away.

The premises have been improved as much as would appear possible, but with four classes in the school -the large room cannot be used as a hall. It would, though small for the purpose, otherwise serve reasonably well, and there is a sliding partition between this and another room. The playground is divided into two parts by a long wooden partition and its appearance is unattractive. The school is adequately equipped for the work it undertakes, but storage space is limited.

The Headmaster was appointed nearly seven years ago after experience, which included teaching in Selective Central Schools and evening institutes on the mainland, and his interests lie mainly with the older pupils. During the post war period there have been many changes of staff. One of the Mistresses was appointed five years ago, the other and the Assistant Headmaster have each served the school for less than two years.

The two classes of Infants and Lower Juniors each contain over 30 pupils. The infant’s classroom is attractively set out, and much thought and preparation is given to teaching. The classroom contains much pro-reading material and ideas for this are obtained from life in the village itself and visits to the farm. The pupils are well occupied and should make progress. The majority of the pupils in this class are under seven years of age. As the main age groups of class 3 consist of seven and eight year old pupils, the change to more formal class teaching seems unnecessarily pronounced. Work of a reasonable standard is achieved. There might, however, be more attractive reading books set out for use, arithmetic could be more practical and writing more often the expression of the pupils own ideas than formal exercises of the text book.

Two higher classes are smaller in size and are taught by the two men teachers. The preparations for the lessons in class 2 are outstanding good, and the nine and ten year old pupils cannot fail to profit from the efforts of their understanding teacher. Some junior pupils have been promoted this term to class 1 which is taught by the headmaster. At the top of the school the standard of attainment is inferior in written exercise, which may show signs of insufficient care and attention. The skill of the pupil in reading and arithmetic reaches a more satisfactory level. There are inevitable limitations to the educational opportunities for the small numbers of senior pupils, and so for no genuine interest for knowledge on the part of pupils seems to have been aroused.

Some specialisation is undertaken in the teaching of History, Geography, Music and the practical subjects. Proper weights and attention is given to the teaching of these subjects of the curriculum, and schemes of work have been carefully prepared.

The school is fortunate in having the use of a neighbouring privately owned swimming pool. Although playing space on the school site is restricted, the parish recreation ground about half a mile away from the school is available for games. Each teacher is responsible for Physical Education.

Sixty per cent of the pupils remain to the school dinner, which is provided from a central kitchen in Ryde and eaten in the classroom.

The behaviour of the pupils is satisfactory, but despite the efforts of the teacher their response is sometimes disappointing. The general standard of work does not fall below average, although it lacks any distinction.

The reorganisation of this School to provide education for juniors only is recommended as soon as possible. The seniors would profit from their transfer to a neighbouring Secondary School, and the aims of the education of junior pupils could be more easily achieved. At present the character of interest of the school are too greatly affected by the type of curriculum proposed for the older pupils.

Source: Isle of Wight County Records, P.45 [223]/8/5.

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:46

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