The Old School at Raglan, Emily Siddall, 1997

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HORATIA DURANT MEMORIAL PRIZE ESSAY COMPETITION 1997

THE OLD SCHOOL AT RAGLAN

BY - EMILY SIDDALL

INTRODUCTION

There have been many changes to the village of Raglan but the old school, as it is known, has stood unchanged for many years. It was the only school in Raglan until the new infants school was built during the late 1960's. The new Junior School was built some years later and from then on the school was hired out to clubs and societies.

Neither of my parents went to school in Raglan so I put together a Questionnaire which I gave out to teachers past and present to help me with this project.

THE OLD SCHOOL AT RAGLAN

UNIFORM - From the information I got from my Questionnaire I found that the children did not wear uniform they just wore every day clothes.

AGE OF PUPILS - The children started school at the age of 5 and went through the school until they got to the age of 11 years old and then left. There were about six classes, there about twenty children in each class.

SCHOOL DINNERS - The children did have school dinners and seemed to like them, it consisted of meat with potatoes and gravy, followed by a semolena pudding, rice pudding or a steam pudding with syrup.

TEACHERS - There were about 7 teachers in the school the headteachers name was Mr. Clarke, the rest were called: Mr. Whitney,Mrs. Thomas, Mr. D.,Miss Carne, Mr. Herron, Mrs. Mann

SUBJECTS - The subjects in the school were about the same as they are now. They include English, Geography, Maths, Science, Projects, Questions from Ladybird book question cards – one for each book.

THE SCHOOL DAY - The school day started at 9.00 a.m. And finished at 3.30 p.m. With one and a half hours for lunch. They also had a playtime in the morning and one in the afternoon the same as we do now. At playtime they played normal childrens games.

GAMES - They also had games lessons, they played football, baseball and rounders. They did not have any formal uniforms they just wore ordinary shorts and T-shirts.

GETTING TO SCHOOL - The children that lived in the village of Raglan would have been able to walk to school but the children who lived in the outlying villages would haves caught the bus. One of the people that answered my Questionnaire wrote that he waited at the old Blacksmiths shop in Llandenny, about a third of a mile from home for the bus.

EXAMS - They did not have exams they mainly worked for the 11+ if you passed the 11+ you went to Grammar School in Monmouth if you failed you went to the Secondary Modern.

HOMEWORK - The children were given homework. This was often spelling and maths,which was given out to learn and complete. Much the same as is done today in primary schools.

BIBLIOGRAPHY I put together my projects with help from the following people:

      a) Simon James - a pupil at Raglan School during the 1960's and 70's.
      b)Mr. J. Deakin - A teacher. 
      c)Miss J. Jenkins - A teacher.
      d) I also wrote to Mr. M.B. Dally, a former Headteacher of Raglan Junior School.  Unfortunately he was unable to give me any information himself but he wrote me a very kind letter which I have enclosed.

I hope all the information is correct as it was very difficult to check it.

1 St. Anne's View, Mantyg, Blaenavon, Gwent.NP3 4JN.

May 16th, 1997. Dear Emily,

I am in receipt of your questionaire and was delighted to note that you are doing a project on the “Old” Raglan School. Unfortunately, I was not the Headmaster during the period you have chosen for your project.

I became Headmaster of the new Raglan Junior school on the 1st May 1980, but I am sure my predecessor Mr. Clarke would be able to assist you. I do not have his address, but if you contact Mrs. Elizabeth Blakemore the present Headteacher of the school, she may have it on record. Mrs.Moira Thomas who lives at the “Hawthorns” was a teacher at Raglan Junior and Infant School during the latter years listed for your project. She also may be able to help you in someway.

I am sorry I cannot be of further assistance to you, because I enjoy talking about the happy years I spent at Raglan Junior School. It was an excellent school and I was always very proud of it's achievements.

May I take the opportunity to wish you every success in your efforts. Perhaps when you have compiled the information you requie you would be very kind enough to send me a copy. I am sure it will be very interesting.

Sincerely,

 Malcolm Dally


QUESTIONNAIRE - BY EMILY SIDDALL

The following questions are for a project I'm doing on the old Raglan School in the 1950's 60's and 70's. Please answer as many questions as you can, If you can think of any more information please put it down.

  • Did you wear school uniform? What was it like? If you didn't wear uniform what did you wear?
  • What ages were the children? How many children were there in the school?​ How many children were in your class?​ How many classes were there?
  • Did you eat school dinners? If you did what were they like? How many teachers were there?
  • What were the teachers names? What was the headteachers name?
  • What subjects were there in school? How long was the school day?
  • Did you have play time? If you did how many did you have? What did you play at play time?
  • Did you have games lessons? What games did you play? What did you wear for games? What time did school start?​ What time did school finish?
  • How did you get to and from school? Did you have school buses?
  • Did you have exams? What age did you leave school?
  • Did you have homework?
  • Did you have after school activities? If you did what were they?

Thank you very much for helping me with my project.

Emily Siddall


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