Barvas School Log Book

26 September 1899 - 29 January 1900
Fios a’ Bhaile 16 contained selected extracts from January until  30 August 1899, when school closed for the “Autumn Vacation.” The Headmaster (1897-1900) was Frank R.S. Black and the Assistant Teacher Miss Naomi Ross. They were helped by Pupil Teachers, who obtained Certificates on successful completion of a 5-year training course. The school roll was over 120 with attendance compulsory. “Defaulting” parents could be fined or imprisoned, so the Log Book records visits by the Compulsory Attendance Officer - 15 in the period covered below.

26 Sept. 1899
Reopened today at usual hour. Attendance was only fair on account of stormy nature of weather.

28 Sept. 1899
No school tomorrow. Day given out of respect to the funeral of the only son of Mr Helm, chairman of the School Board.

20 Oct. 1899
Standard II in a general English lesson did fairly well. The class is improving as a whole but it is still slow. Answering might be brisker.

23 Oct. 1899 
“Report on Religious Instruction in Barvas School 1899.  This school continues to make progress. The Infant Department and first two Standards advanced very much for the past year. The answers were correct and the memory work very good. The 3rd & 4th Standards did very well in History but the memory work, both Catechism and Psalms, was but fair. The upper Standards professed but the first part of Judges and I Samuel omitting the Gospel of Matthew. They showed very good general knowledge of the work professed. They were somewhat weak in memory work especially in catechism. The capacity of the children and the character of the teaching warrant the assumption that the school will rank much higher next year.”

3 Nov. 1899
On account of exceptionally wet weather only 24 pupils came out today and we dismissed without marking registers. This week Std. III and upwards were examined on paper in Arithmetic. The average result was good. VI & ex VI did very well, V fairly, IV fairly, but lacked neatness, while III, except two pupils, did creditably.

17 Nov. 1899
Attendance this week 107.2. Examined Junior Latin class on slates & had fair results. Std. I in Arithmetic proved rather slow but is improving. Mid-day interval now 30 minutes instead of 55 minutes.

24 Nov. 1899
The weather conditions this week were extremely unfavourable to good attendance. Boys in Geometry made a creditable pass.

30 Nov. 1899
No school today: day observed as Thanksgiving day for the harvest.

1 Dec. 1899
Tested Geography & History of Std. IV and found fair proficiency. Std. II showed great improvement in readiness of answering on their Reading lesson.

4 Dec. 1899
Visited the School. Examined the Register and found everything correct. The attendance today is good. I am pleased that the children look very clean and tidy and the improvement in this direction is very great. The Headmaster and his Assistants seem to take great pains to instruct the children, and I am happy to say that the children take much interest in their work. The discipline is very good. L. MacKinnon, Manager

8 Dec. 1899
1st & 2nd Latin gave in very fair papers in an exam. School had to dismiss on Monday to admit painters.

11 Dec. 1899
Visited this School. Examined Registers & found same correct. In spite of the day being very stormy the attendance was excellent. The management of the School is first rate. J. R. Helm, Member

11 Dec. 1899
Mr Strachan, H. M. Inspector, visited the school today and examined the junior division: Standard III & downwards.

18 Dec. 1899
Cold weather interfered with regular attendance last week. Scholars preparing for merit certificate did very fairly in an arithmetic test.

22 Dec. 1899
Attendance did not improve during this week. Weather was wet & disagreeable. Euclid boys wrote very neat papers in a test exam. Std. IV did creditably in a paper on “Capacity.“

29 Dec. 1899 (Friday) 
Work of week according to Time-table. Std. IV was examined with good results. Very cold wet weather somewhat hampered regular attendance again this week.

1 Jan. 1900  (Monday)
No school today. New Year’s Day: annual holiday.

5 Jan. 1900  (Friday)
Attendance improved with more favourable weather conditions: av. att. 102.5. Tested Merit Certificate pupils on work professed and had excellent results.

8 Jan. 1900
Visited the School. Examined Register and found everything correct. L. MacKinnon Manager.

12 Jan. 1900
Work of week according to Time-table. Nothing special to record.

19 Jan. 1900
Examined all senior division in Arithmetic & Writing with fair results. Merit Certificate pupils did well except three boys.

22 Jan. 1900
Had to dismiss the school on account of bad weather.

29 Jan. 1900
Work according to Time-table except that a slight departure had to be made in afternoons for special lessons to Std. IV in Arithmetic. Tested this class in History - James I & Charles I - and found the outstanding events fairly well known.