Family Names

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A to Z Challenge - E is for Education

Snippets from the life of Martha Sarah Ellis.



Martha’s education

Martha began her elementary on 29th August 1875 at Gloucester Road School.  She arrived at the school after spending 2 ½ years in infant school.  She was said to have already attained level 1 of the educational standards when she arrived.  She progressed to level 2 in April 1879 (9years old) and level 3 in April 1880 (at the age of 10). From the records, we know that the 4 eldest Ellis children were enrolled in school (using the Lee surname).[1]  Her younger sister Kate Ellen joined her in 1873.  However, the records do not tell us when either Martha or Kate left school but we do know that she was still in school when the 1881 census was taken as she was listed as a scholar as was Kate.[2]

Education Act of 1870

The year that Martha was born the 1870 Education Act was passed, making elementary education compulsory for all children from the age of 5 to the age of 12. Government funded schools were run by elected school boards and were referred to as Board Schools. The schools were usually three storey buildings, one story for each of the three departments, infants, boys and girls, each having its own entrance and playground.

Classroom sizes were quite big for all departments; an Infant school had classroom sizes around 50 to 60 students with the total number of students in each department varying from 300 to 500 students.[3]
Elementary schools were for the working classes. Their focus was narrow and almost exclusively on the '3Rs' (reading, writing and 'rithmetic) to help instil social-disciplinary objectives, such as the acceptance of the teacher's authority, the need for punctuality, obedience, conformity etc.  The schools operated the 'monitorial' system, whereby a teacher supervised a large class with assistance from a team of monitors (usually older pupils).[4]  The school curriculum was governed by the "Code" which laid out minimum levels of attainment and subjects that must be offered in order for the school to receive continued funding for each student from the government.  The curriculum was not broadened as I understand till after 1880 to include the domestic arts etc, unless you reached one of the higher levels.

Figure 1 2008, Gloucester Road School [Copyright Phil and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence], http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1715200, imaged altered by Sandra Williamson 2017

Sequence of School Enrolments for the Eldest 4 Ellis Children

Ironically the Martha the 3rd oldest child appears to have begun formal education first followed by her sister Kate and her older brother’s Alfred and Edward.
From the Schools admission record books
  • Circa 1872 Martha Sarah was enrolled in an infant school she stayed for 2.5 years
  • Circa 1873 Kate Ellen was enrolled in Glosles Rd Infants she stayed for 3 years
  • Circa 1873 Alfred was enrolled in British Sch: Old Kent Rd he stayed for 9 months
  • Circa 1873 Edward was enrolled in British Sch: Old Kent Rd he stayed for 6 months
  • 1874 (21 September) Alfred & Edward enrolled in Southampton Street School.
  • 1875 (29 August)  Martha Sarah enrolled in Gloucester Road School she had previously attended a public elementary school (infant for 2.5 years)
  • 1876 (June) Kate Ellen enrolled in the Gloucester Road School joiner her older sister, she had previously attended Glosles Rd Infants for 3 years

Individual Details in the School Records

[Note all were enrolled using the surname Lee to read more about this click here]

Expected age of attainment
Alfred
Edward
Martha
Kate
Born
15/10/1865
31/2/1867
31/12/1870
12/6/1872
Time in other schools
9mths++
6mths++
2.5 yrs?
3 yrs+
Estimated yr of schooling beginning
1873
1873
1872.5
1876
Enrolled
1874**
1874**
1875*
1876*
Level of difficulty 1
6-7 yrs
1875
1876
1875
1876
Level of difficulty 2
7-8 yrs
[blank]
1877
1879
[blank]
Level of difficulty 3
8-9 yrs
1876
1878
1880
[blank]
Level of difficulty 4
9-10 yrs
1877
1879
[blank]
[blank]
     *Gloucester Road School
     **Southampton Street School
     + Glosles Rd Infants
    ++British Sch: Old Kent Rd
    ? possibly also Glosles Rd Infants

Description - Levels of Education

Level of difficulty 1
Reading - To read a short paragraph from a book, not words of one syllable; Writing - Copy a manuscript character a line of print, on slates or in copy books.  At choice of managers; and write from dictation a few common words; Arithmetic - Notation and numeration up to 1,000. Simple addition and subtraction of numbers of not more than four figures, and the multiplication table to 6 times 12.
Level of difficulty 2
Reading - To read with intelligence a short paragraph from an elementary reading book; Writing - A sentence from the same book, slowly read once, and then dictated. Copy books (large or half-text) to be shown; Arithmetic - Notation and numeration up to 100,000. The four simple rules to short division (inclusive)
Level of difficulty 3
Reading - To read with intelligence a short paragraph from a more advanced reading book; Writing - A sentence slowly dictated once from the same book. Copy books to be shown (small hand, capital letters and figures); Arithmetic - Notation and numeration up to 1,000,000. Long division and compound addition and subtraction (money)
Level of difficulty 4
Reading - To read with intelligence a few lines of prose or poetry selected by the inspector; Writing - Eight lines slowly dictated once from a reading book. Copy books to be shown (improved small hand); Arithmetic - Compound rules (money) and reduction (common weights and measures). The weights and measures taught in public elementary schools should be only such as are really useful; such as Avoindupois weight, Long Measure, Liquid Measure, Time Table, Square and Cubical Measure, and any measure which is connected with the industrial occupations of the district.

I would love to know what where Martha’s siblings were educated and how they fared.

To Read more about Martha's life for articles previously posted they are all summarised here.


Edit History

Originally posted on the as part of the A to Z Challenge - 5 April 2017
Updated and revised on 10 May 2017

Sources

  • Mitchell, Sally. 2008. Daily Life in Victorian England, Second Edition. ABC-CLIO. P.20
  • Gillard, Derek. 2017. "Education In England - Chapter 3". Educationengland.Org.Uk. Accessed March 13 2017. http://www.educationengland.org.uk/history/chapter03.html. (http://www.educationengland.org.uk/index.html)
  • Mitchell, Sally & EBL ebook Library 1996, Daily life in Victorian England, Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn
  • Christensen, Penelope 2004, Researching English education and health records, Heritage Productions, [Toronto]


[1] London Metropolitan Archives, "London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911," p. unpaginated, 1875, Enrolment for Martha Lee Admission Number 996, 29 August 1875, Gloucester Road School; digital images, Ancestry, "citing London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911 Reference Number: LCC/EO/DIV07/GLO/AD/001," Ancestry (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 30 Jan 2017); London Metropolitan Archives, "London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911," p. unpaginated, 1876, Enrolment for Kate Lee Admission Number 1259. June 76, Gloucester Road School; digital images, Ancestry, "citing London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911 Reference Number:LCC/EO/DIV07/GLO/AD/001," Ancestry (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 30 Jan 2017); London Metropolitan Archives, "London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911," p. unpaginated, 1874, Enrolment for Alfred & Edward Lee Admission Number 128 & 129.21 September 1874, Southampton Street School; digital images, Ancestry, "citing London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911 Reference Number:LCC/EO/DIV07/SOU/AD/001," Ancestry (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 30 Jan 2017) – the address was given as 257 St. George's Road.

[2] 1881 census of England, Camberwell, (Boot Shop) 245 St Georges Rd, Camberwell, London, England, folio 21, page 35, Household of Alfred Lee widowed bootmaker; digital images, Ancestry (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 30 Jan 2017); citing PRO RG 11/698. 

[3]Booth, Charles. 1904. Life and labour of the people in London: First series: Poverty. London: Macmillan and Co. Page 212

[4] Gillard, Derek. 2017. "Education In England - Chapter 3". Educationengland.Org.Uk. Accessed March 13 2017. http://www.educationengland.org.uk/history/chapter03.html.

6 comments:

  1. That's a mindbogglingly large school for a young girl to walk into! Good for Martha and Kate for lasting so long given those huge class sizes.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Molly, I used to think the same and then I realised that their houses were so small and living quarters so cramped. That going to school must have seemed like a real treat. I also think that girls who stayed home in the lower classes also probably had to become unpaid domestic workers in their parent's home. NO such things as idle hands in the old days..

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  2. Glad to find your blog! My husband and I just started diving in with one of those DNA tests. His father was adopted so we look forward with anticipation to finding out some information. I really like how you have your family names formatted on your page.
    AtoZer
    Stephanie Finnell
    @randallbychance from
    Katy Trail CreationsLetterE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie, Thanks for dropping by. I went to visit your blog but your link isn't working :-( Good luck with your CNA tests.

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  3. Sandra I was really interested to read how the school was physically organised with a different level for each grade as it were.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Alex, I just wish I could find out what the levels of education mean and what they equate to.

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