An entry from a school log book of 1905. This one is from Lightcliffe but it could, perhaps, have been from any of the local schools. Log books have, until recently, been regularly completed by headteachers since Victorian times. They were required to record major events in the life of the school, including a record of school inspections, staff absences, unplanned closures and curriculum issues. Luckily for those interested in a wider picture of community life many heads also recorded fascinating pieces of information relating to local affairs, the weather and happy and occasionally unhappy occurrences. No opinions were to be expressed by the compiler. That, however, must have been difficult when a headteacher had the laborious task, that they had until the 1960s, of copying in fine detail a less than welcome report of one of Her, or His, Majesty’s inspectors! It is impossible here to do justice to the rich material available and the following selection is but a flavour.
Lightcliffe: 1895: Commenced giving about 50 of the poor children soup dinners as a great many of their fathers have not been to work since Christmas on account of the poor weather.
Bailiff Bridge, 1906: Received one gross of penholders and six dozen pencils to replace those destroyed owing to diphtheria.
Bailiff Bridge, 1907: New school opened today (10 Sept). After a few remarks respecting the care of the premises, a hymn was sung, prayers said, then the scholars marched back to their classrooms.
Lightcliffe, 1913: Local Cricket match between the police and a team of gentlemen was the cause of poor attendance.
Norwood Green, 1950: This school on the crest of a hill, serves a village community that has preserved its quiet, countryside character to a surprising degree. It is essentially a country school. (Inspection report)
Hipperholme Infants, 1952: There is still no staffroom, no stockroom and no indoor sanitation for the staff.