The first recorded entry by the Mistress of the Infant’s Department, Miss Hesford, is on January 10th 1876:
“Opened school with 66 children”
On Thursday March 24th it is recorded that Mr J Hayes,
“One of the managers of the school visited us”.
Local history records tell us that the Hayes family were local mill owners and they had given land, that is the site of the present school, in trust for the building of a Wesleyan school. Many local people still remember Victoria Mill which was on the site of Asda. (See History of Leigh by John Lunn. Page 82 Victoria Mills 1856)
On April 10th and 11th the Mistress describes the school as being, “upset” during the construction of a gallery in the hall for the Sunday School.
On May 1st, the annual visit of the fair to Leigh seems to have affected the attendance and this happens year on year! There are many entries in the log books about attendance which seemed to be an issue and many reasons are given such as the children suffering from diphtheria, coal strikes, Whit week, pupils having to work, staff illness and even, wet weather described as “inclement weather”.
It seems that the school did not have long summer holidays like we do now as there are records of examinations taking place during August although a two week break was taken in mid June. The end of the school year is recorded as August 31st and the new year beginning September 1st with 128 pupils present.
On November 13th, the Mistress closed the school for the week on account of, “Measles being very prevalent, nearly all the children suffering from them or fever.”
An inspection in early December of this year stated that the infant premises were unsatisfactory. The report goes onto explain that unless the accommodation is reorganised, the school will not satisfy the requirements of Article 17c and that:
“Their lordships may be required to withhold the entire grant next year.” (Article 7c)
In January 1877, the pews were removed and this “improved the accommodation” as directed by the Inspectors. New desks were ordered and a “large slate”(blackboard) delivered.
There are many entries about the standard of pupils’ work and the Mistress regularly tested the children in Reading, Writing and Arithmetic and noted their progress regularly in the Log Book.
A typical entry can be seen on Friday April 27th the Mistress examined the classes are wrote:
“Examined the classes; improving nicely in Writing and Arithmetic”.
Standards were also inspected by the School Managers who visited the school almost on a weekly basis. The school was also regularly visited by Her Majesty’s Inspector. These visits and their reports were recorded in the Log Books.
Examinations taken by the Pupil Teachers were also recorded. The examinations were usually held at local Methodist Chapels such Leigh Wesleyan Chapel or Brunswick Chapel in Hindley which showed the Churches commitment to education. Pupil Teachers were tested in all subjects including Religious Education, Geography and History.
We know that the school was also used as the chapel because of the need to remove the pews but also on Friday May 11th, there is a record of a Mr Hoyle repairing the harmonium and the Headteacher wrote:
“The children’s attention has been taken several times whilst he was playing”.
On Monday June 25th a new Infant Mistress, Miss Emily Allen commenced her duties after the resignation of Miss Hesford.
Her entries are focused on standards and attendance levels.
“Friday 19th October: Examined the children in the first three classes in Writing and Spelling. Results very satisfactory.
Friday November 30th: Pleased with the considerable improvement in the 2nd class under the care of Mary Pemberton, and also with the great care and neatness with which she does her lessons”.
In his report in March 1878 Mr Hayes, one of the School Managers writes:
“The Infants passed a creditable examination and are in good order.
The new Mistress, who seems likely to do well, should improve the attainment of the lower division of the first class and that of the third class. On the whole she deserves much praise for the results of the examination. “
Mr Hayes also notes that:
“My Lords have, on HM Inspectors recommendation, consented to allow payment at the 10/- rate in consideration of the Managers undertaking to provide new and suitable accommodation for the Infants with as little delay as possible”.
On Friday 2nd August the Mistress notes that the new Infant School has been commenced and “The completion of which we are all looking forward to with delight.”
In his report in March Mr Hayes writes about the new infant school and describes it as an “excellent and spacious new school which is about to be opened”.
The school was closed for a week on Friday 28th March in order for the new infant school to be completed and the Mistress resumed duties in the new Infant School on Monday April 7th. She describes the new build:
“It is a splendid room in which I trust many successful examinations may take place.”
She is disappointed with the attendance as many of the children are at home ill with whooping cough.
However in December the Mistress had to take the children out of the new Infant room on account of it being so cold and she goes onto write that a couple of children have already left the school because of this. She describes it as causing “Great inconvenience”.
Monday January 5th: On return to school after a week’s holiday for Christmas the Mistress describes the school as being “much warmer and consequently, more comfortable”.
The year starts with very poor attendance because of the severe weather.
Mrs Collins, the Infant Mistress was absent from school from April till August because of illness. She resumed duties on Monday 8th August It seems that a new Mistress was appointed at some point between April 1880 and the start of this year as the previous Mistress was recorded as Miss Allen but there is no record of her leaving.
In 1882 there is record of measles affecting the school community quite badly. The Mistress was absent on account of her child’s sickness with the measles. There are 49 recorded cases of measles in the school including staff. On Monday October 30th, the Mistress records that there have been two deaths amongst pupils from measles.
Illness continued into 1883 when the pupil teacher opened the school as the Mistress was detained at home due to illness and attendance is described as “poor”.
In April the attendance continued to be affected by another illness, scarlet fever.
The illnesses continued with further recorded cases of measles and whooping cough well into the year.
On August 24th the Mistress writes that she has been absent all week on account of the illness and death of her younger child. Staff continue to be absent through illness as well as children.
For the first time the end of the school year is recorded as May 31st.
On Monday 19th June, Mrs Collins resigned her duties as Infant Mistress and new Mistress was appointed, Miss Mary L Wilson.
In her first examinations of the children she found them to be “backward especially in writing and reading”.
She described many of the “Very backward children” as making “rapid progress” in August of this year. Further improvements are noted in paper handling where the children show “considerable care” and “their answers are more intelligent”.
This Mistress seemed committed to improving standards and even visited several of the children’s homes to encourage their parents to send them to school earlier.
In September she describes the children as making steady progress and attendance as being good. “The babies make letters with pieces of wood for the purpose”.
On September 19th she writes that she has furnished each class with a bucket and water “In order to cultivate method and cleanliness” …”as the children have the untidy habit of spitting on their slates”.
In October, Miss Wilson describes the pupil teacher’s object lessons as improving and she has purchased pictures to help with the lessons and with the consent of the Managers, intends to set up a museum cupboard with artefacts to help with object lessons. The log details the object lessons on several occasions. The objects include plants, animals and minerals. (See pages 56 -63; 76- 80)
The issue of non attendance at school remains. The Mistress writes:
“April 30th: A girl and boy have been admitted this week- the girl is eight and has never been at school before, and the boy has been away for six months and has attended no school. I have placed both in the baby class”.
Later this year, she describes it as the main difficulty in her work.
“There is a constant drag with old children. If the mothers would send them earlier to school , Infant School work would be much more successful.”
Measles was still rife in May of this year and the Mistress, “ sprinkled the floors, forms etc… with a dilution of Grundy’s Fluid and we have some in the buckets for cleaning their slates”.
A report for Mr Hayes in July states that the children are rather dependent on their fingers for Arithmetic but class instruction in Reading and Writing is good.
On January 19th the Mistress recorded only 15 pupils present because of the heavy fall of snow. The children complete a drill each morning but in September the Mistress records that they now use dumb bells with a musical accompaniment and “it is a very good means of training the children to a precision of action”.
In November, in order to improve attendance, the Managers agreed to pay a farthing to each child for every attendance made over 400 and they had bills distributed among the children to that effect.
The attendance at the start of the year was very low due to illness and the severity of the weather.
On January 21st the children were presented with a present from Mr Hayes of an orange, a few nuts and ginger biscuits.
On May 12th, the Mistress recorded the entry of a boy aged 9, formerly a pupil of the Catholic School. He cannot read or write. His mother has stated that he attended school “badly”.
On July 22nd , after inspection, the school was awarded the “Excellent Merit” Grant.
In July further measures were agreed to improve attendance. Each quarter those who have not been absent will be awarded a picture as a prize.
Mr Hayes, in his report dated July 21st, states that:
“The school is very well and carefully conducted. The sewing is rather poor but in all other respects the instruction is thoroughly satisfactory and the discipline is good”.
A number of changes to the curriculum were introduced from August. This included Drawing and the work done was described as “good” and musical exercises using wands.
Another 9 year old boy, “a confirmed truant “ from the Catholic School was admitted in November. The Mistress reported that he “Is well behaved so far, while in school” and in December there is a further entry which says he has “Much improved. He now comes regularly”.
Staffing issues seem to put a great deal of pressure on the Mistress. Various absences and resignations are noted. On March 16th, the Mistress wrote: “The work proves very harassing owing to insufficient teaching staff”.
By March 23rd, the Infant Mistress, Miss Wilson, has resigned her post giving three months’ notice and it appears that the Managers were forced to close the school on June 15th.
A recording on Monday July 23rd states that Miss Annie Yates was given charge of the Infants School with Miss M Briggs as assistant until September 1st when Miss A Yates of Tottington will commence duties as Infant Mistress.
Despite problems with children paying their school fees the Managers raised the fee to 2d per week from August 10th.
On September 3rd Miss Yates commenced her duties as Infant Mistress. Miss Briggs tendered her resignation in August and from September 17th, Miss Yates had to take charge of two classes, 1st and 2nd with Miss Hoyle taking the third class in the Infant room. Attendance was poor on account of the “Wakes” and continued to be an issue throughout the year. Miss Yates recorded visiting several parents in October to try and improve attendance and introducing a reward system for good attendance.
Also in September, Miss Yates tried to introduce knitting into the curriculum, but found only one child in the whole school who could knit.
In November, Miss Yates described herself as being “disheartened” because of the numerous cases of measles, over 20 cases and the attendance being very low.
On January 18th the Mistress wrote about losing 7 schloars to a new school opened on Kirkhall Lane which we can presume is St John’s. The reason given is that it is a long way for many of the “little ones” to come.
On March 15th, Miss Yates also states that she is finding the job “awkward and harassing” as her time is taken up by the Babies, “not having sufficient teachers”.
Pupil number increased over term and attendance improved. In April, the Mistress recorded admitting three scholars and a week later, they left. “They came with the fair”.
Miss Yates was able to reward 70 children in May for full attendance.
In his inspection report in August, Mr Hayes stated that standards were falling. He described the children as “restless”, their writing, “not well formed” and their reading and knowledge “only fairly satisfactory”.
A number of the pupils during this term were sent home for their school fees but failed to return.
An outbreak of ringworm during the Autumn Term affected attendance and some children had be sent home.
A fairly normal year it seems characterised by sickness and the Mistresses concerns over attendance.
The Report in July from the School Managers states:
“Good order is now kept here and there is found some improvement in the children’s work, which would, there is reason to believe, be generally satisfactory and successful had not the epidemic sickness interrupted the Teacher’s work. The Reading should be more fluent in the first class and easy mental sums be more accurately known, and the object lessons given with better effect”.
On August 14th it is recorded that tomorrow the children were to be taken to Rivington Pike for their annual treat.
On October 10th, Miss Yates stated that she had looked at the attendance over the last 6 years and that the average was considerably less than had been recorded. She goes on to write:
“I cannot account for it. I have done what I can to induce the children to come to school, and have visited their homes. The parent’s excuse is ‘they are not five’ ” .
The year opened with good attendance but within a week the school was hit by a severe measles epidemic. From 27th January, the Infant Mistress recorded all the names of the children who had measles. By January 30th, it was 39 pupils and by February 6th, there were 7 more cases. The mistress wrote:
“It is very disheartening, I think that if the sanitary arrangements were better looked after, there would be fewer cases in this district. I have been at this school 2 ½ years and not once to my knowledge has the Sanitary Inspector visited us”.
By February 20th she notes that the attendance improving with 20 children set to return after and absence of one month.
On April 10th she described the week as a “red letter week” as “It is the first week there has not been a fresh case of either measles or scarlet fever”.
By April 24th, Miss Yates had to close the school because of illness and influenza amongst all the teachers. Influenza struck the children as well during the month of May.
On July 16th Mr Hayes’ report (Page 144) was quite condemning. He noted that, “discipline and instruction is barely satisfactory. The children are restless and inattentive and show but little intelligence or interest in their work….The sewing is only moderate and singing by note a failure”. One teachers work is of poor quality and one had her name removed from the register.
On July 31st, Miss Yates, the Infant Mistress tendered her resignation. She wrote:
“I find that I cannot produce the results which I should like with the poor and inefficient staff which is provided in this department. “
During her notice period she was understaffed and had to rely on support from the upper department and the work of monitors. As the attendance increased in October, she records needing a new pupil teacher.
On November 2nd, Miss Lydia Unsworth of St Paul’s School, Compstall, Stockport was appointed as Head Mistress but could not commence duties till January 1892. Thus Miss Mary Thomason an assistant in the Mixed Department for 8 years was appointed to take charge of the Infant’s Department supported by Charles Ingham Hoyle, the 2nd year Pupil Teacher from the Mixed Department.
January 15th, Miss Lydia Unsworth commenced her duties. She examined the children and found them “backward” especially in writing with little attention paid to the lines. She described letters as being badly formed. Reading the first class lacked expression and numeration throughout school was weak. She introduced marching to music and observed the pupil teacher, A.M. Gerrard give a lesson on “Trees”.
On January 29th she introduced the dumb bell exercises and later that week gave the children their first lesson in embroidery. During this time, she was supported by Miss Thomason but she had to return to duties in the Mixed Department at the start of February and Charles Ingham Hoyle returned to the Mixed Department in June.
Attendance is noted as being much better throughout the year with an average in March of 131.
By June, Miss Alice Maud Gerrard had charge of the 2nd class and Miss Isabella Longworth had charge of the 3rd Class.
An Inspection by Mr Hayes took place in July (Page 155) and suggested that much work needed to be done to improve standards. As Miss Gerrard failed her examination for the second time, she was removed from the staff and replaced by Ruth Anne Hoyle.
In August, Miss Gerrard remained in school assisting Miss Longworth. On August 25th the school had a half day holiday for Miss Unsworth’s wedding. This also coincided with Leigh holidays.
In November, Miss Edith Bowden from the Mistresses old school, St Paul’s Compstall began duties as Assistant Mistress taking charge of the 2nd class.
On November 25th, the Head Mistress describes some new resources which have been delivered to the school:
“We have had half a dozen new pointers made of stiff card-board and several dozen packets containing the alphabet for word building. Each child is supplied with a packet and picks out the letters named and shown by the teacher. We have also had ten new pictures to illustrate the object lessons”.
In August/September there is mention of a coal strike and the Mistress recorded that the children were being fed each day at school during the strike. Dinners were served at 12 o’clock and some days, tea was provided at 4 o’clock.
On September 12th she wrote that the Wigan Coal and Iron Company have allowed the villagers to clear away a dirt heap during the strike and she has closed the school to allow children to help their parents.
In September she wrote about some plans for alterations to the school and recorded that these had been approved on October 6th.
In October, she recorded attendance as being poor as many children were absent, coal picking during the strike. Further references are made to the coal strike during November and December.
On January 19th, the Mistress recorded that the Infant Room had been made smaller by the alterations which have created another classroom for the Mixed Department. On February 12th she wrote that the wall dividing the Infant Room from the new Mixed Form room was finished and that cupboards had been placed against the wall making the room look better.
She also recorded closing the school for the morning as the weather was very rough and there was a danger of slates falling off the roof.
On May 18th it is recorded that there was a half day holiday on Friday afternoon and a full day on Monday on account of the Queen’s visit to Manchester to open the “Ship Canal”.
A Report of the school in July showed improvements.
On Monday September 28th she recorded that the school would be taking a holiday on Wednesday in honour of the opening of the Technical College in Leigh by Lord Derby.
On November 16th the Infant Mistress recorded a break in at the school over the weekend:
“School broken into last Friday night or Saturday morning (9th or 10th) apparently by a set of roughs bent on mischief . Much damage done to the school – nothing missed except a bell. No clue as yet”.
On December 20th there is a record of a school concert by the Mixed Department. This is the first record of a concert and it was very well attended and the children performed over two nights. The Mistress described it as, “Quite a success”.
On September 30th the Infant Mistress tendered her resignation.
Another outbreak of measles has affected the school attendance as well as severe weather conditions. There are three deaths of pupils reported in November.
On January 7th, the new Infant Mistress, Clara Smith, began her duties. She noted finding the attendance unsatisfactory owing the continuing epidemic of measles. She stated that writing and figure writing lacked uniformity and attention to detail and reading in the first class was only fair.
During her first few months as Mistress she writes about changes she has introduced and monitors their impact. These included introducing “triple line writing” for handwriting and a new timetable. Again as with previous Mistresses her efforts were hindered by attendance and children starting school late with no basic skills in English and Arithmetic. By mid February, whooping cough has affected attendance.
To add to her problems, there were problems with the boiler and in March the school closed as the fires had to be put out while the workmen worked on the furnace. To make matters worse the weather was very wet and cold.
Battling attendance remained a priority and on 17th April she recorded receiving two “insulting” notes from parents of a girl who had not made one attendance in five weeks and a boy who had not been to school since Christmas. On May 22nd she wrote about experiencing difficulty getting the children to come to school on time when they did attend.
On May 1st, new resources were received which included a mat weaving frame and some extra boxes of cubes and later that month she wrote about making lessons more enjoyable for the first class by allowing them to make up their own sums and tables by using the cubes .
On Friday June 5th, Miss Smith wrote about issues with a member of staff, Isabella Longworth, and needed to take decisive steps. The member of staff did not return to work that afternoon or the following Monday and is recorded as absent without leave and without explanation.
The issue was resolved on the return of Miss Longworth on 10th June but poor teaching remained and issue and was highlighted in the school report in June.
During the summer break in August, the Mistress recorded that school was to be painted. Unfortunately the painters had not finished painting on the outside on the return of the children in September and this this was a distraction for them.
26th January- school closed because of the heavy fall of snow.
On the 19th May, the Infant Mistress noted an issue with the timetable and her interpretation of the dismissal times. She stated that an earlier finish of lessons was necessary to be ready for the dismissal times of 12 o’clock and 4 o’clock as she:
“Has known the dressing of babies, cap hunting etc.. To take more than 10 minutes at a time”.
On September 8th, a new Infant Head Mistress, Mrs Jane Cobham began duties at the school. During her short time as Mistress she recorded many things that previous Mistresses had recorded such as the transition of the pupils which was very frequent. On the 25th October she wrote:
“Taken several children’s names from the register, found out they had moved from the village”.
Some days the infant room was cold as the heating was not working properly; attendance was poor, very often because of the weather conditions; she recorded pupils being absent for long periods of time then just turning up; backward children.
On March 26th, it is recorded that Mrs Cobham died and included in the register on Page 221 is a copy of the obituary from the newspaper. Her last recorded entry in the log is on March 11th.
On March 30th it is written that a Mrs Briggs was appointed on supply until a successor could be found for Mrs Cobham.
On May 9th Mrs Meretta Milner commenced her duties as Infant Mistress and her daughter also worked in the school as Candidate Teacher (trainee teacher). It seems that Mrs Milner enjoyed teaching the children new songs and she mentions this several times in the log. She also had problems with Miss Holden an articled teacher who she described as “Lacking of energy in her work. I frequently have to find fault with the order too of her class” and on October 21st it is recorded that Miss Holden resigned her class and worked her notice through till November 18th.
On November 23rd she described there being a “heavy fall of snow” and the cold as being “intense”. Only 33 children were present and thus the school was closed for the afternoon session. Following from this, it appears that attendance was affected by the numbers of children with coughs and colds.
In January, Mrs Milner wrote about the numbers of children coming to school dirty and untidy and that a significant number were suffering from mumps. She described how she had been trying for some time to get the children to answer questions on object and other things, “More intelligently”.
On March 17th she described the girls as making steady progress in Knitting and Serving.
By May, she recorded that children were answering questions more intelligently and that they were coming to school neater and cleaner.
On May 25th she decided to give the children a holiday on the next day in honour of Queen Victoria’s eightieth birthday hoping that the weather might be “a little more propitious”.
The start of the new school year is recorded as June 2nd and the Mistress wrote that she had moved some children up into the Upper School but that some needed to remain, ”As they are mostly irregular attenders and consequently, very backward”.
On June 9th she wrote that attendance was low but on this occasion attributed it to the hot, sunny weather and the children being allowed to play out late at night and not having risen from bed.
On August 4th she states that the children are beginning to progress and that the teachers are very “persevering” but later, after the September holiday, she noted that the children were “somewhat unruly” after their holiday and attendance was poor.
On November 19th she records that one of the “Little ones” sat down on the hot pipes and burnt herself.
On December 12th she describes a “Great fall of snow” and only 23 children present and on the 15th describes many children coming to school in tears “So benumbed were they by the cold”.
On January 25th Mrs Milner records that her notice to leave the school,” expires on Feb 16th” but that the Managers have consented to release her that day on condition her successor started at once.
On January 25th, Janet Goodall arrived as the new Head Mistress of the Infant School. She was to be the longest serving Headteacher yet with twenty plus years’ service. She recorded that she found the school in “Fair working order” and that the timetable needed some adjustments.
On February 9th she described the weather as “Not being fit for little ones” and on February 12th she records, “A very deep snow- the like of which has not been seen here for twenty years”.
Because of the poor weather and attendance she described it as being difficult to assess the children and get a fair picture of what they could do but judging the quality of the work of those present, she confirmed that the classes were very well up in the elementary subjects, though writing needed to be more uniform and reading more fluent. She described the Kindergarten (Babies Class) as weak and in the second class, too much had been attempted so that there was no “Proficiency in any occupations”.
She goes on to write that the paper flowering making is too difficult in this class and that she intends to introduce pea making and paper folding instead.
On the 16th February, she recorded that materials had arrived for the Kindergarten at the station but because of the bad weather, they were unable to collect it and bring it to school.
On this day, the school was visited by E Percival Esq. HMI. Mrs Goodall writes that she wants to raise attainment in the Kindergarten Class and Mr Percival suggested that the weak point was in the children’s manual occupations.
On March 5th a half day holiday was given for Shrove Tuesday and the “Relief of Ladysmith”. (The Boer War)
To improve standards in the Kindergarten, Mrs Goodall had to free up some her time to teach them as they were mainly taught by a monitor from the Upper School. On March 23rd, she records that she “Would be glad to have a regular teacher for this class”. She continued to express her concern on 29th March when she wrote:
“Throughout the school I find a general numbness in this branch, and much less aptitude than in the agricultural districts in the Midlands. This is probably due to the environments of the children – not many flowers or things of natural beauty being seen around here”.
In April an increase in staffing and support from monitors seemed to having a positive effect on the children’s learning and progress and Mrs Goodall is “encouraged” by this.
She gave an example of progress in the First Class.
“The First Class has made two attempts at writing on paper with black leads and did fairly well. “
Object lessons were a feature of the timetable and often the subjects were planned well in advance. On April 30th, Mrs Goodall described an object lesson on “Setting the Table” and stated that they had real tea and biscuits and dared any one not to call it “interesting”.
In May, Mrs Goodall recorded the benefit of having a monthly scheme of work for the teachers and monitors because it helped each teacher know what she, as Head Mistress, expected each class to get through and learn. She noted that the HMI preferred this monthly scheme and gave it his approval.
Mrs Goodall, in an attempt to improve attendance visited some families in May but found the children “delicate” and the mothers said that they would send the little ones to school when it got warmer. She stated that for May, the school feels very cold.
On 25th May, she recorded attendance as low on account of families being out late the night before celebrating the Queen’s birthday.
On June 5th the school was closed early to honour the taking of Pretoria (Boer War).
On 29th June, Mrs Goodall records that she is concerned about the poor attendance in the mornings. “I have noticed that a nine o’clock at night that many of the tiny tots of three and four are roaming about at play, so one does not wonder that they cannot come to school for nine o’clock in the morning”.
On June 1st, Mrs Goodall recorded the object lessons for the year (Page 257). These were to be information lessons and conversational lessons on:
• Animal Life
• Vegetable Life
• Common Objects
• Natural Phenomena
• Moral Lessons (Proverbs) (Page 258)
On September 25th Mrs Goodall records that her son has been successful in winning a scholarship to the Grammar School.
On October 9th, the school was closed for Election Day.
On 28th October, she cancelled the sewing lesson and had singing and riddle games instead. At 3 o’clock they had a lesson on setting the tea table and had tea, bread and butter, jam and biscuits. “Some of the little ones had brought a few eatable and they had the privilege of setting the table and the rest had food on the gallery”.
On the 9th November she recorded an incident of a little girl getting a large bead up her nose. Mrs Goodall took her to Dr Hayes.
On December 4th, she wrote about a reward system that she had introduced. The children had to gain 60 red marks in a record book for attainment in each subject . She stated that it was a stimulus for the children and that they try from month to month to earn more red marks and have a little reward.
On December 4th Mrs Goodall reflected on the year and wrote:
“The first half of the school year is completed and I think it bears evidence of good work done. If only the attendance were better, one would feel quite encouraged. Never before have I in visiting homes found so much disregard for, and indifference to the welfare of their children. The parents are so dirty and untidy in their homes that it is not very easy to inculcate cleanliness or moral virtue. Still I trust in this school, we are all sowing seed that will one day produce good fruit”.
On return to school in January, Mrs Goodall described the weather as being bitterly cold but the school was snug and warm, besides being beautifully clean.
On Thursday 17th January the school was closed as the Mayor of Leigh was diving a tea party in the school in honour of the scholars and Friday was to be a too so that the school could be cleaned and tidied and the decorations removed after the party.
On 23rd January she wrote:
“We are all very much saddened at the news of our beloved Queen’s death. The children listen with great interest to all that we tell them about our late, noble Sovereign’s life and reign. We all pray now, “God save the King” “.