Miss E.A. Hopper
On 2nd September 1929, Miss E.A.Hopper, formerly HT at Beaumont Street Infants School, was appointed to replace Miss Hall.
On the following day there was a reclassification of the classes in accordance with Circular 29/13 (dated 26/4/1929), as follows:
The ‘Babies’ became Class I.
The ‘Advanced Babies’ became Class Ia.
The Infants became Classes II, III, IIIa.
Standard I became Class IV.
In the coming weeks there were the usual fire drills, visits by managers, medical officer and drill instructor.
On 16/10/29 the HT attended the opening ceremony of nearby Salters Lane Open Air School. (For background to this see book in G’boro bookshop - had been summer only elsewhere for TB children etc. In 1910 there had been an experiment to teach physically handicapped children in the open air but it was soon abandoned due to incessant rain and cold.)
On 18/12/1929 there was an Open Afternoon when ‘crowds of people’ took the
opportunity of seeing the children’s work.
After the Xmas break, on 7/1/1930, many children were refused admission on the grounds that the school was full. (But 17 were admitted on 2/2/1930).
On 18/7/1930 the Lowson Street Building closed as an Infant Department and the children occupied the Senior School premises in Thompson Street from 25/8/1930.
The School was now organised in seven classes. The extra class (I b) was for new admissions, a preparatory class leading to Class I.
Below are Miss Hopper’s entries verbatim.
14/1/31: Sale of milk, during morning session, to children, started this morning.
02/2/31: Three eight year olds had to be retained and not transferred to Junior School.
09/2/31: Inside of school being painted and decorated – classes disorganised.
Fire drill at the request of a Corporation official. It took longer than usual because
at the time two classes were being taught in the hall.
24/3/31: School closed early - Princess Mary in town.
(Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, paid her first official visit to the town. She was given a civic reception by the Mayor, J.D.Hinks (see picture in DSD4), and then received 43 purses of money collected by individuals and organisations on behalf of the local YMCA. Later in the day she visited the George Dent Nursery School.)
29/10/31:HT attended opening of the new Dodmire Junior School.
18th March:Board of Education Report.
The HT is conducting the school in a very able manner, and is to be congratulated on the marked improvement that has been effected since she took charge. She has secured the hearty cooperation of her assistants – indeed the excellent team spirit that exists is one of the most pleasing features of the school.
Though many of the children should, by virtue of their age, be able to follow more advanced syllabuses than those at present provided, the majority are receiving a good grounding in the 3 R’s, and the more recreative side of school life is now well developed. Special mention should be made of the good quality of the singing, handwork and physical training. On the other hand the recitation is frequently marred by indistinct speech and the instruction in drawing is scarcely as purposeful as it ought to be.
The tone is excellent and the children evidently enjoy their time at school.
8th November: Distribution of soup by the Mayor at Tidyman’s Shop. ??
13th December: Miss T invigilated scholarship (11+) exam at Reid St Junior School.
14th December: Teacher from Staindrop C of E School visited to observe methods.
4th April: Five school managers visited for three minutes. They ordered the removal of a clock from the East wall of the hall.The clock was sent to the Office two days later.
13th April: HT permitted to leave early to catch train to Aberystwyth for NUT Conference.
25th April: Miss Fleming, BA, was appointed as temporary assistant in charge of Class I b
(Babies).(This is the first reference to the BA degree.)
5th May: The schools were given a half day holiday for the visit to Darlington of Prince George to open the new Memorial Hospital.
(The Borough Council’s original suggestion was that the Greenbank Hospital be extended, but this developed into the idea of a completely new hospital to commemorate the dead of the First World War. Lord Daryngton (formerly Herbert Pike Pease, MP 1898-1/1910 and 12/1910-1923) laid the foundation stone, and Prince George, later Duke of Kent, performed the official opening. In DSD26 Prince George is seen talking to veterans. He also inspected the Municipal Baths). (SeeGJFOPP72,83)
Miss B off with nervous debility.
21st November: Instructions from Education Office - classes to be numbered as follows:
3a, 3b, 2a, 2b, 1a, 1b (babies)
There are now 300 children in the school. An extra class ( 1c ) created for the over sixes.
25th January: Received copies of Board of Education Syllabus of Physical Training.
Put into immediate effect.
29th May: Some classes too large - 50+ pupils!!
1st June: Three classes spent one hour in North End Park for Nature Study and Games.
3rd September: Miss Henderson joined our staff from North Road Infants.
20th September: Parents invited to see PT in school yard.
29th November: School closed to celebrate the wedding of George, Duke of Kent, and Princess Marina of Greece.(George was the fourth son of King George V.)
12th December: Miss H at Rise Carr Juniors to assist with Scholarship Exam.
28th January: HMI Edwards:
There are many new and interesting features. New schemes have recently been drawn up which together with a revised timetable now provide a better balance between formal work, expression work and natural activities.
Generally speaking the children make a steady rate of progress in reading, writing and number. The use of well graded apparatus and of individual record cards are two features worthy of commendation.
Much care is devoted to speech training in which dramatisation now plays an important part. The speech of the children is steadily improving though the HT fully realises that much remains to be done. The teaching of music is commendable. Singing is tuneful and dancing is rhythmical. The children are also keenly interested in their percussion band work through which a deeper foundation of music is being laid. Plastic modelling, pastel drawing and other forms of handwork give pleasurable variety to expression work. The children work intently as their impressions assume concrete form under their hands. During the past two years seven supply teachers and one temporary teacher have been on duty here for varying periods on account of sickness and retirements. It says much for the keen enthusiasm of the staff that so much progress has been made under difficult conditions. The natural sympathetic handling of the children evokes a ready response and instils in them a desire to give of their best.
30th April: The Mayor visited the school and addressed the children on the meaning of the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary.
6th May: Tea party and sports in schoolyard – souvenir mugs presented.
8th October: School closed for the Non- Competitive Musical Festival.(Harrowgate Hill entered competitors in both Singing and Percussion Band.)
10th October: HT at Educational Exhibition in Sunderland.
22nd October: Visit of Art specialist to inspect children’s work.
6th November: At the request of King George V, the schools had one day’s holiday to celebrate the wedding of his son Henry, Duke of Gloucester, to Lady Alice Scott. (Henry was the king’s third son)
23rd January: Proclamation of HM King Edward VIII. School closed so that teachers and pupils might attend the ceremony at the Town Hall.
(The king’s proclamation was read by the Town Clerk, H.Hopkins, accompanied by the Mayor, T.E.Hudson.(Photo DSD42) The Abdication followed soon after.
This had special significance for Darlington, for the Vicar of St. Paul’s Church, R. Anderson Jardine, went to France to perform the wedding ceremony for the Duke of Windsor.
28th January: Closed all day.
Funeral of His Majesty George V (passed away 20/1/36 at 11.55 pm)
11th May: Closed early for teachers to attend a meeting about speech training at North Road Junior School.
27th May: School open to visitors. Programme of speech training, physical training and music submitted to parents and friends.
28th September: Opening of the new Eastbourne Council School - HT attended the ceremony.
Opening of the Blanche Pease Hall at the Training College.(Which member of the family was Blanche Pease?) (See 9/10/1905)(GJFOPP7778 DTC)
Closed early to enable assistant teachers to attend the college and hear the Hon. Oliver Stanley, Minister of Education.
5th October: Miss D. Skinner,T.C.,has been appointed to this staff. She has returned from a year’s interchange teaching in Australia.
3rd February: Fire Chief visited.
12th May: Coronation of George VI. Cold and wet.
Tea party in school for 360 children.
(The Town Hall, market buildings and main thoroughfares of the town were decorated, and prizes were offered by the Corporation for the best decorated streets. There were band concerts in the parks, open-air dancing, tree-planting ceremonies and a grand fireworks display. Next day there were special school sports days, and the celebrations ended with a showing of the Coronation film for the over-65s.)
8th September: Miss M, teacher from the Occupation Centre for Mental Defectives, visited
the school to see PT, Handwork, rhythm etc.
13th September: More time to be devoted to English at expense of Needlework (Girls) and Crafts (Boys)
30th September: Miss X notified the Office of her inability to resume teaching owing to chronic nerve trouble. She has applied for her breakdown pension. Pension granted.
28th October: Instructions received from the Office that 58 children who will be eight years old before 31/1/38 must be transferred to the Junior department.
24th November: Four of our teachers visited Infants schools in Middlesbrough. Students replaced them.
26th January: Miss H from the Mental Welfare Association visited.
27th June: HT and others attended lectures on Air Raid Precautions (ARP), arranged by the Local Authority.(See AOY 43).
8th July: Closed for Railway Holiday Week.
20th December: Open Day. Display of music and speech training. Councillor Luck and Lady Starmer present.
22nd December: Assistant Medical Officer examined all children for nutrition.
24th January: Visit of new PT organiser, Mr Hayfield (successor to Major Robert Robson?). Five classes were seen at work.
6th March: HMI Edwards’ report on January visit:
Earnest, sincere work is being done. All staff co-operate wholeheartedly in the children’s interests. There is an atmosphere of confidence, the children learn happily. The good features mentioned in the last report have been maintained, even strengthened, especially in art and craft, music, speech training.
There has been a steady rate of progress in the three R’s, the children read with fluency, write clearly and unaffectedly on the happenings of their school and home life. Personal experience is given of counting and measuring, resulting in… successful mastery of number.
10th March: National Fitness Exhibition.Half day holiday - Class 2b taking part in display.
22nd May: HT at ARP committee meeting.
10-14/7/39 Railway Holiday Week.
From here on the HT’s entries are paraphrased.
On Monday, 28th August 1939 the school re-opened after the summer vacation and the following Sunday war broke out. Schools were closed indefinitely.
On 16th October the Junior school children returned and half of them were taught in the Infants School by Infants’ staff. (Misses Thompson, Young, Johnson, Henderson, James, Raffle). Air-raid shelters were by now provided. On 1st November Miss Kennedy, a trained certificated teacher from Hull, joined the staff.
On 6th November the school was re-opened for infants although no children under the age of six were admitted. Two rooms in the Infants School continued to be occupied by Junior pupils. An HMI visited the school to check on accommodation. On 1st December the Education Office instructed the school to include on roll all children over five years old on 1st August. In the final week before Xmas school finished early each day to enable the caretakers to proceed with cleaning before the “black-out”.
On 9th January 1940 the school re-opened but the extra air-raid shelters were still not ready. On 29th January the first official air raid warning took place and the shelters were occupied from 9.35 – 10.30. The following day Miss Young left to get married. About this time the severe weather had an adverse effect on attendance. Several teachers, including the headmistress, had time off too.
On 6th March 49 five-year olds were admitted. Extra air raid shelter accommodation was now provided. Gas masks were tried on and adjusted. (See DSD57 for picture of women from Henry Pease & Co.’s Mill assembling gas masks in a Houndgate warehouse.)The two lowest classes each worked on half time in view of limited shelter space. The school closed on 2nd May – Ascension Day.
Later in May the Whitsuntide holidays were cancelled owing to ‘the serious war situation’. An extra shelter was provided so that all classes could attend full-time.
On 27th May Mrs Green (née Young) re-joined the staff on a temporary basis. A new “contex”(?) was fitted to the children’s gas masks and all respirators were tried on and tested.
On 14th June Miss Kennedy was absent to take her driving test.
Increasing numbers of children exceeded places in shelters and some younger children had to be excluded from school.
From 25th June the air raid shelters were used as porches. Children deposited their hats, coats and gas masks in the shelter on arrival at school and were thus ready for any emergency.
From 8th July, following War Emergency Circular 40/44, the school day began at 10am. (A.R.P) if the All Clear had sounded after midnight.
At the end of term Mrs Green, Mrs Bell and Miss E. James left the school and were replaced in the autumn by Miss Ella Bogg (Darlington Training College), Miss Arnott (Maria Gray TC) and Miss Joyce Winpenny (Darlington TC). The school continued to open daily at 10am.
On Monday, 16th September there were two air raid warnings and the children occupied the shelters from 2.30-2.45 and 3.53-4.25. There were further warnings on 18th and 25th September.
In October there were short disruptions as workmen applied nets to the windows as protection against splintering glass.
In November students visited the school on teaching practice.
On 9th January 1941 there was an air raid shelter drill and all gas masks were tested. Later that month all members of staff attended demonstrations of the treatment of incendiary bombs at other schools in the town (North Road, Cockerton and Albert Road). On 4th February ARP officials visited the school and tested all respirators in a tear gas chamber. On 20th February heavy snow had a serious effect on attendance.
On 3rd March the school sessions reverted to normal, i.e. 9.15-12.15 and 1.45-4.15, but after an air raid warning in the night of 11th/12th March, changed again. There were further warnings on 19th and 24th March, 1st and 3rd April.
On 22nd April Mrs Childs started as a temporary teacher.
On 24th April 1941 a film in connection with National Savings was shown to Infants And Juniors.
There were visits by the Medical Officer and an HMI.
On 26th May the school was informed it may be required for use as an Emergency Feeding Centre. Instructions were received to vacate one room for storage. As a result one class had to work in the Hall.
On 10th June there was an Air-raid Warning and the children were in the shelters from 2.27-2.45 p.m.
On 23rd June, following a conference at Eastbourne School, an experiment was initiated. For a few weeks the children would be allowed to work more freely under teachers’ guidance. The teachers would note the results and a fresh scheme of work would be introduced.
From 26th June there was a timetable alteration. Scripture was moved from its daily morning slot (9.15-9.45.) to the afternoon (3.50-4.10) because registration, milk money etc were taking up too much time.
The holidays started on 1st August and school restarted on 2nd September.
Three were three new teachers: Miss Doreen Cass from St Hilds (Class5), Audrey Taylor from Homerton College (Class 2) and Mrs Childs TC (Class1b). Miss Bogg took 1c Mrs Coats Class 4.
Morning Scripture was resumed, it having been decided to collect milk money on Mondays only for the whole week.
On 4th November the School Canteen was opened. 87 children had dinner at Lowson Street School.
About this time there were many students on Teaching Practice from DTC.
On 15th January there was an ARP Emergency Demonstration and school closed early. Heavy snow also caused early closure. It also had an effect on attendance. Only 134 attended on one occasion.
There was a Managers visit, including the CEO, Aldermen Luck, Bell, and Miss Stanton.
One day in March Miss Bogg was at North Road School to supervise the Scholarship Exam.
In May there was a Safety First talk by a Police Officer.
There was a new A.R.P.Circular (42/30) which superseded Circular 40/44. ‘If the “raiders passed” signal has sounded after midnight school will begin as usual at 9.15.’ (not 10 a.m. as previously).
In July there was an Open Day for parents and others. The CEO dropped in too.
During the summer holidays the school remained open for children to play and have milk, with two teachers present. It was discontinued however after two weeks due to a poor response.
On 30th September Mrs Childs left for Canada.
In October the HT and Miss H Thompson attended a course at Eastbourne School run by HMIs on ‘Infant School management and storytelling’.
HMIs visited the school to discuss the application of methods of working with special reference to the 3Rs and ‘Baby’ activities in the Entrants class.
Miss C was having trouble handling older children so was put in charge of the Entrants class.
School finished early when wet or dark.
On 12th January the Managers called to see how the interior decoration of the school was progressing. In fact it had not started. Work did however start a couple of weeks later and a second class had to work in the Hall. While the Hall was being repainted pupils of Class 1c were dispersed elsewhere.
In March a new Timetable was introduced on a three-month trial basis.
There was a talk on ‘Care of Water Tanks, fire apparatus etc.’ Councillor Scott, the ARP Controller, addressed the school on ‘Care of Public Shelters’.
In May Miss Bogg took unpaid leave to marry. She returned as Mrs Ramsden.
4th June was ‘Wings for Victory’ Week. £167-9-4 was deposited in the bank as a special effort by children and teachers.
In July Miss Thompson married Mr McCubbin and took two weeks unpaid leave.
In September the HT had to attend her mother’s funeral.
The new timetable was considered satisfactory and so continued.
In November Mrs Ramsden took time off while her husband was on leave.
In December Mrs B was absent due to the death of her mother and Mrs W because of domestic obligations.
In January Mrs B was absent again, this time due to a miscarriage. The HT returned to duty after 37 working days off with flu and nervous debility. Mrs R left the staff for health and domestic reasons.
The classes were renumbered: 1-7.
In February the HT was at the opening of the North Road war-time nursery.
Mrs W (supply teacher) left because her husband was home on leave. There was a lot of staff absence and two classes were without teachers. The HT had to take one class, the pupils of the other were dispersed elsewhere.
12th May was the end of ‘Salute the Soldier’ week. The target was fixed at £180. The bank money was collected on two occasions and the money received totalled £340-16s-5d. School closed early to celebrate.
There were students in the school studying methodology under their college lecturers.
There was an alteration in the timetable. The Milk Period for the whole school was set at 2.45-3.00, followed by playtime until 3.15.
Mrs M went on holiday for two weeks, without pay of course.
Authority was received from the Education Office to have more than fifty names on the registers, if necessary, owing to the number of children coming to school from the London area.
When the school reopened after the summer vacation it had been taken over as a Rest Centre in case of evacuation. Lessons were therefore held in the Junior Department. Juniors attended in the morning, Infants in the afternoon. After a few days however there were orders from the Education Office to remove all beds etc. and to replace the school furniture. School soon resumed normal working. There were however more than 50 children on some registers due to the number of evacuees admitted.
In October Miss Audrey Taylor took time off to marry.
After 3½ years Room 2 was finally cleared by the Emergency Feeding Committee and the Entrants Class was able to move back into this room from the Hall. Dinners were served in Rooms 1, 2, and 7.
On 8th, 9th May the school closed for the VE (Victory in Europe) Holiday.
There was a Celebration Sports Day at Feethams to mark the end of the war. There were prizes and all children received a threepenny piece.
On 2nd July the school closed - V.E.3 was celebrated.
Next day Miss Griffiths replaced Miss Hopper, who resigned on health grounds.