The BWI Archives

1896 ~ An Overview from the Log Book


Ruislip Church of England School
Log Book 1890-1925
(General Introduction - Opens in a new window)

- 1896 -

The Revised Code of 1862, article 55(a), had required schools to keep a Log Book in which the principal teacher should make a brief daily record of any significant events. That for 1896 was kept by the School Master, James Garrett until August, with his replacement, Charles Edwin Ratcliffe from the start of September.

James Garrett appeared to be more rigorous in his attempts to improve the attendance of children, and also to improve standards.  However, the Inspection report for 1896 was still mediocre, notwithstanding higher grants being paid.  It also highlighted the improvements in the Infant Department through the work of Miss Fitt, in contrast to the ongoing weaknesses in the Junior section, the responsibility of Mr Garrett. That said, the Inspector made positive comments on the development of the ‘Night School’, also Mr Garrett’s responsibility (see below). From the Managers’ minutes, any negative points from inspections did not appear to have been the catalyst for his enforced departure, rather something in his ‘conduct’ which had caused the Vicar concern. In fact, the Managers were already in the process of removing him well before the inspection.    

James Garrett left to become Master of Sundon Board School, near Dunstable.  Mr Ratcliffe moved from Christ Church School, Leeds, to succeed him. He also took over Mr Garrett’s duties as the church organist. He was joined by his wife who was also a certificated teacher.  

Before his departure, James Garrett had made the school’s third attempt as developing an evening class for young men of at least twelve years of age (previously in 1868 and 1876).  This time the classes had started on 12th November 1895 and seem to have been much more successful, since the Night School was still running when H.M. Inspector visited on 3rd June, commenting “Good progress has been made by the scholars attending this well-conducted village school” .








School reopened after holidays.


Night School re-opened.


Entered by the Vicar:
Examined registers in whole school and found correct. 
A good attendance all [?]

T.M. Everett


Attendance not quite so good as last week.  102 present this morning – many are absent with bad colds & coughs.


Attendance average for past week 121.




Average for past week 121.


Mrs Garrett has been absent this week owing to her father’s illness.  Average for week 122.


Mrs Garrett is too unwell to attend to her duties this morning.


Attendance for past week 124.


116 present this morning.  A good many of the younger children are away through colds.


Average for week 101.4.  This fall from last week’s average is caused by the illness of the younger children.




Attendance this afternoon only 100.  A large number are kept at home to mind the house &c while their mothers attend a meeting at Eastcote Institute.


In the vicar’s hand:
Examined registers in Infant Department and found correct.

T.M. Everett


In the vicar’s hand:
Counted heads which corresponded with total number in register books. eg. 132.  Beautiful weather with good attendance.

T.M. Everett


Annual Diocesan Inspection.


No School. Annual Parish Councils Elections


Work as usual.




Examined the Standard work throughout the school & am glad to note a steady improvement.  In Standard I, Lewis, Lavender & Daisy Small are still very weak but I hope that by the Exam. They will be able to do the work of that Standard.

George Collett must do Standard I work.

The Arithmetic & Writing of Standard III was nicely done.

I am glad to see that the upper standards are beginning to do this work much better on paper & some of the work especially that of Charles Gordon.  Bertie Weller & Leonard Lavender deserve much praise. [LB1_121:1896]

This being Passion Week (i.e. Holy Week) the upper Standards have gone as usual to church.  We close today until next Tuesday April 7th.  Attendance good.




Good Friday


Reopened School.  Fairly good attendance.  Miss Fitt has written to say that she is not well enough to return to her duties.


Attendance better.  Miss Fitt absent.

In the vicar’s hand:
Tested registers and found correct.

T.M. Everett




Average for past week 124.


School work as usual.  Fairly good attendance.  Miss Fitt returned to school today.  Rev. T.M. Everett visited the school


Work as usual.


Attendance for past week not quite so good as last.  Some of the younger children are suffering from colds.  I purpose going round to call upon some of the parents after school.


Pupil Teachers exam. at Acton.




In the vicar’s hand:
Tested Infants Register and found correct.

T.M. Everett


Examined the Standard work of the school & found it progressing.  The Standard V girls do not yet grasp fractions although I have spent a good deal of time with them lately.  Practice & Rule of Three are nicely done. The paper work of Standards III & IV shows much improvement & I am looking forward to these standards doing well at the exam. in June.  Alice Deacon absent from Standard II although I wished her to be present.  Standard I & II did well in all three subjects especially arithmetic.

J.B. Garrett
April 24 96

(The Rule of Three is a shorthand version for a particular form of cross-multiplication, that may be taught to students by rote.)



no date

In the vicar’s hand:
Visited School.  Examined registers in both Departments and found them correct.  With continued fine weather the average is increasing – being 142 for the week to date.

T.M. Everett


Few children present this morning owing to the day (May Day?).
Holiday in afternoon.


Week ending with this date has an average attendance of 141.  This is the best weekly average since I have been master of the school.


Ascension Day & Ruislip Fair.




Claude Hudson Esq. examined the boys in Drawing.  Good attendance in morning.  Holiday given to the girls & infants in afternoon. 
Rev. T.M. Everett was present during part of the examination.


Attendance fairly good.


Attendance for the past week has not been so good.  A wet morning prevented a good many from attending & only 96 were registered. In the afternoon I am glad to state that the attendance was much better.




Bank Holiday.  Notice received re. Government Exam. for June 3rd.


In hand of Mr Willis H.M.I.
1896 June 3rd  School inspected

Class work Standard   I   -  III    Geography & Objects
                                    IV - VII   Geography & History

Geography & History of Upper Group – 4th Standard course
Recitation to be settled

J Armine Willis




A general holiday given to the children with the consent of the vicar.


Attendance fairly good.


Work as usual


Left the school in charge of teachers this afternoon as I have received a telegram calling me away

J.B. Garrett


Work as usual from Time Table.  Attendance fairly good.


Spoke to children concerning lateness.  Work as usual.  Attendance good.




Fairly good attendance.  Some boys in the upper part of the school are busy in the hay fields.  Work as usual from Time Table.


Rev. T.M. Everett visited the school this morning.


Pinner Sports take place today.  As usual this affects the attendance.  Afternoon’s attendance 76.  Pinner Sports take way all the Eastcote children.


Attendance thin this morning. Work as usual.


Received Drawing Report from J & A. Department.  Again awarded the ‘Good’ mark





Mr A Newman <School Attendance Officer> visited the school & took a list of irregulars (i.e. of those pupils with poor attendance).


Received Night School Grant & Report


In the vicar’s hand:
Received Government Reports on Evening Continuation School – as follows.

Good progress has been made by the scholars attending this well-conducted village school

                                                        £.   s.      d
Fixed Grant.                                     4.   9.      0
Variable Grant.                                 5.   6.      6
                                                     £9.  15.     6

Examined registers and found correct

T.M. Everett


School closed for annual Summer Holiday.


Government Report 1896

July 14

<Mixed School>
“The intelligence displayed by the lower standards shows the good effect of the object lessons.  The history is but fair; the girls are very dull.  Elementary work would be very fairly good, but is marred by inaccuracy, and the monotony of the boys’ reading is a serious fault.  Order fairly good.  Needlework is satisfactory.  Geography fairly good.”  

Infants’ Class
“This little class has made commendable progress.  Elementary subjects are very fairly good in all respects.  Handwriting is above the average, and great pains have been taken with the mental arithmetic.  The general intelligence is also satisfactory, but the girls do not all speak out.  Some additional assistance is required here during the last two or three months of the school years, when the babies begin to flock in.”

J.E. Garrett and P.E. Fitt are continued under Article 68 of the Code.”



(calculation of grant on p.131)




(in margin: calculation of average attendance)


Rev. Sir, “My Lords have sanctioned the omission of the annual Inspection due by H.M. Inspector in June 1897. 

Your attention is requested to Art. 84 (b) of the Code.

Notice should be sent to H.M.I. as soon as is possible in each case of every date upon which the school will be closed or its ordinary work suspended during the year.  These dates should include the usual & any special holidays & and closing on account of epidemic – sickness, local elections & such occasions as the Diocesan or Drawing Examinations.”

I have the honour to be, Rev. Sir, Your obedient servant 
G.W. Renwick




I, Charles Edwin Ratcliffe, A.C.P. Certificated teacher, commenced duties as master of this school, August 31st 1896.

Mrs Jane Ratcliffe, Certificated, also commenced duties here.

Miss Fitt (Art. 68), Assistant was late, viz 10.30.  A wet morning.  Work of course slightly disorganised owing to change of staff and 6 weeks holiday.  Present 115.
(A.C.P. = Associate of the College of Preceptors)


In the vicar’s hand:
Visited School – Read prayers – Marked Registers in Infant School in the absence of Teacher.

T.M. Everett


A very wet morning.  Only 48 present out of 169 on roll.  65 in the afternoon only.  Work as usual.




On roll 169.  Average attendance 104. Percentage 60.  Several children have not returned to school.  I am making an examination of the work as I find time and will record the results on September 11th


The Attendance Officer called and took a few names for visitation.  I am marking punctual children in red ink and ‘late’ children in black ink.  During the holiday the school has been put into good repair.  The principal entrance to the playground has been considerably altered; a new handsome iron gateway being substituted for the red wooden one.


Average attendance 126.  On roll 161, PerCentage 78.

A very wet week.  Discipline improves, but is yet unsatisfactory.  Very little, if any new work appears to be mastered in the new classes.  I arranged and took stock of school material.




In the hand of W.J. Murch, Churchwarden:
Tested registers & found correct

W.J. Murch


Average attendance 127.  On roll 160, Percentage 80.

Have overhauled the work, and reclassified several children.  The groundwork in the three Rs is badly laid. Drawing is very creditable.  Made out an order for necessary goods and sent the same to the vicar this day. 


Rev. Vicar visited at noon today.

Average attendance 121.  On roll 158. Percentage 76%

The percentage and average would both have been better but for today’s gale & rain.  It has rained most of the time for the last four weeks.  The children do their best to attend – often from long distances; but they cannot be expected to come on a day like this.  The work of the school shows more system.


Marching to music has been introduced with good effect.  There is still a tendency to ‘stamp’, perhaps not always accidentally.  Movements in the school, which were very noisily made, show some improvement.

Reading is fairly fluent in all the standards except the IVth There the boys cannot read.  There is however, no expression – no phrasing; and no great knowledge of the subject matter. Writing, as an art, is simply non-existent.  I never saw worse writing anywhere.  Spelling, on the contrary is very good throughout – of course with exceptions.  The spelling is good only as applied to fairly long works.  The common works – as has – is his – does, add had, to, too, two, which &c are not correctly used anywhere.  Arithmetic.  A fair amount of routine work has been mastered done. Problems are either not attempted – or incorrectly so.  Mental Arithmetic, Tables and the like appear to have been entirely neglected.  The ‘setting down’ of the sums is not well done.  In the lower standards notation is bad.

Object lessons I have not examined – nor Geography; as the work is new this year, and not a continuation of last years.

Singing by note in all five branches is unsatisfactory.  Two part singing has not been attempted.  We have commenced this, and learnt two songs in parts.  Needlework is satisfactory in the upper standards and deficient in the lower. Drawing is most creditable, as is Composition in the 5th and 6th (1895-6) standards.

An order for some necessary stock has been sent by the Vicar this week.  When this arrives a good deal of slate work will be abandoned. The above is a summary of my impressions gathered during four weeks.




Taught 2 songs in two parts.  Also 4 hymns words & melody.  Also Catechism to end of Baptismal Covenant.  Special attention has been paid to (1) Scripture (2) Handwriting (3|) Mental Arithmetic & Tables (4) Setting down of sums.  Syllabus of work for Standard I handed to teacher containing [LB1:137] work for three periods.  Pupil teacher has been taken from 8 to 9 p.m. at my house.  Next week she will be taken (8 ½ to 9 ) from 4 to (4 ½) 5; and so for the future.  I gave her all day today for private study.  It is proposed to let her have Friday afternoon, as a rule, for that purpose.  A record is being kept of the work done in the school – and formal examination papers are preserved. Handwriting has improved.  So has the discipline.  The Water Closets need attention; and the Vicar has promised to see this done.

C.E. Ratcliffe. Head Master.


Pupil teachers’ Diocesan Exam. Uxbridge 10 a.m.


Miss Fitt was late for school this afternoon.


Upper children went to church at 11.15

Admitted four children from the Breakspear Arms.  They previously attended Harefield School.




The attendance is very poor.  While the excuses tendered were paltry in the extreme.  Mental Arithmetic is even worse that I stated in my previous ‘summary’ of work.  It needs much attention.  There is great need for increased exertion on the part of the children if satisfactory work is to be done.  I have already called attention to the Bad reading of Standards IV, VI


Opened at 1 p.m. & marked registers so as to close at 3.5 for Uxbridge Fair.  Attendance not as good as in morning 117 as to 125.


In the vicar’s hand:
Visited school and tested registers.  Found correct.  131 present.

T.M. Everett


Admitted 4 children from Harefield School. 
On roll 160. Average 127. PerCentage 80

I have made out a syllabus of work for Standards I. II. III. and am proceeding as rapidly as possible with the rest. [LB1:139]

The work improves in accuracy, but much remains to be done in securing neatness – good figures – and better writing.  The Vicar visited yesterday, and the Attendance Officer today.  Kate King, Albert King and Alice Bowden have not attended since the holiday (5 weeks), and Walter Jones plays truant.


Average attendance 131. On roll 162. PerCentage 81.

There is an improvement in the attendance in spite of weather such as I have not before experienced.  The work improves but slowly.  Order is better but still unsatisfactory in the absence of the teacher.  We are endeavouring to improve this.  Have allowed the girls to use the swing in my garden.  A quantity of new stock arrived particulars of which will be found over-leaf.


October 8th 1896
New Stock received


2 waste paper baskets
I Bottle gum & brush
2 Gross exercise books (regular?)
1 Gross St III writing
1 Gross Drawing books
1 Gross HB lead pencils
6 boxes slate  ditto (refers to blackboards?)
1 dozen XL Compasses
1 Ream foolscap St II
1 Ream foolscap St III
1 Ream foolscap St IV
6 Record Books
1 Bottle Red Ink (large)
4 Tins Blue Black ink
1 Box elastic Bands
1 Small     do.
1 Gross Junior Rulers
1 Gross drawing pins
5 packets squared paper
2 Boxes chalk

Half gross 4 inch set squares
3 dozen white inkwells
Tray for   do.
½ ream Blotting paper
2 Easels
2 Blackboards
1 pen tray
I Gross pen holders
1 Box Gillotts 404 nibs
2 Pointers
1 Modulator
1 set ‘Concrete'
4 dozen drawing books
72 Boxes crayons
Rooper’s Drawing Book
1 Drill Book (Gills)
4 Dozen mats
8 Dozen embroidery cards?
1 Dozen mat. weavers
1           pri   others
1 Dozen Readers




A heavy gale has been blowing during the past night.  Rain fell heavily before school.  In consequence there are only 91 present.  There were 143 on Friday morning.


Fires commenced on Monday last.


On roll 163.  Average 122. PerCentage 75

Severe weather has interfered with what would have otherwise been a very good weeks’ work.  The children are allowed to stay in school to use the fires during the noon recess.  Coloured drawing taken this afternoon as a varied occupation.  Have rearranged the desks as Code directs; so that the light falls from the left or right.  This has also been done in the Infant Schools.  I find that Bessie Weller has not been to draw up ‘Notes of Lessons’.




On roll 163. Average 124. Per Cent 76%

This attendance is not satisfactory.  On Monday several stayed away because there was a circus at Uxbridge.  The books, both writing and arithmetic & drawing are now in very good order. My draft Time Table works almost to my satisfaction.  Fires keep the rooms at about 60 degrees.  The maps have been taken down and some prints hung round the room.  The clock also has been moved to where the children can see it.


Winter session Commenced.  Afternoon time 1 to 3.30 p.m. instead of 1.30 to 4.  This enables children who live a long distance away to reach home in the day-light.  I am spending considerable time with B. Weller on ‘Notes of Lessons’


In the hand of J.A. Willis, Inspector:
1896 October 29th   School visited under 84 . 6 . (1)

The general condition of the school is decidedly healthy and the methods employed are sound

I observed that the Head Master has to take a good deal on himself that should be done by the Pupil Teacher – I hope that she will develop into a real help.

There is a need of books in Standard I.

There should be sufficient lobby room to enable the children to hang all their clothes outside the school room, those in the class room are distinctly unsavoury.

The ventilation of the Infants room is unsatisfactory; the ventilator is insufficient in size.

A [?] modulator should be prepared in the Infants.

J Armine Willis

Cup-boards, Lockers &c – want repair.





Mr Willis H.M.I. visited this school yesterday. He arrived at 10.30 and, staying all the morning returned at 1.45, staying till 3 p.m.  He went thoroughly into all the work, and seemed satisfied with all that he saw.  All record books, timetables, registers, summary & log book were entered up to date.

On roll 163. Average 127. PerCentage 78.

The attendance in the upper school is good and improving.  I am taking much interest in this part of the work.  Further investigation shows me that the ground work in Reading Writing Arithmetic is badly done throughout.  Musical drill extensively practised.


Miss Fitt away ill. Telegram.





My daughter is in charge.  The upper standards do their history so execrably that I am falling back on ‘English’ as their class subject.




In consequence of Miss Fitt’s absence and the custom of giving half a day’s holiday on this date, and further as a reward for good attendance, I am giving a half holiday this afternoon.


Miss Fitt still away.  Much inconvenience results. 

On roll 164.  Average 140. PerCentage 85.

Miss Nethersole requested to see the drill today.  This was acceded to, and she was very pleased.  The work has gone along merrily all week.  I still find the boys idle.  We are trying to improve their methods of work.  Handwriting needs & is receiving much attention. I again call attention to the unfitness of the boys in Standard IV for this class notably John Wallis, Edward [LB1:146] Tapping, Harry Thompson, Wallace Keene & Henry Middleton.  It is not however politic to put them in a lower class.  I must be contented with laying a good foundation in I. II. & III hoping for a better state of things in the future.


Miss Fitt returned to work after a week’s absence.


In the vicar’s hand:
Examined registers and found them correct – 56 in Infant Class and 86 in Mixed School.

T.M. Everett


On roll                      Mixed  97    Infants   67
Average attendance             84                54
Percentage                          86%            80%

The attendance, though much improved is not satisfactory. [LB1:147]

The (Attendance) Officer called today and appears to do his work honestly.  Kate King has not attended for 17 weeks, and she is only 10 years old.  The following were away all week.


Rose Churchill
Gladys Weedon
Kate King
Herbert Weller
Henry Middleton
George Collett
Alfred Woodman


No reason
Defying the law
Tic Doloreux
No reason
Wounded foot




Taking away the above 7 from 97 on roll we get 90 on roll.  average attendance 84.6 or a percentage of 94. The Infants do not attend so well.  The work progresses fairly. But old habits of idleness & “putting on the turn” are strong in the upper classes.  Bessie Weller Pupil Teacher does her best, but has been much neglected.






On roll 164. Average 135.6. PerCentage 82.1

Several boys away ‘beating’ game on Thursday.  Attendance otherwise good.  Work as usual.  I do not notice much improvement in handwriting in the upper classes. Bessie Weller works hard, but her methods are still crude.  She confounds ‘teasing’ and ‘teaching’ too much.  Taught a new song this afternoon – ‘The Excursion Train’ only able to learn treble part.



Lily Jones returned to school.  Admitted 3 other boys.  Transferred W. Shelton to Standard I from Infants. George Collett also returned to school.  143 present.  Alice Bowden returned to school.  Lily Jones & Alice Bowden had been absent 16 weeks.



Several boys away again ‘beating’.






On roll 169. Average attendance 144. PerCentage 85.

Steady work has been done this week.  The second quarter ends today and with it my first quarter’s work.  I examined the work of the Infant room in detail yesterday.  The work on the whole is progressing satisfactorily Recitation and Singing were nicely done.  The theory of number 10 had been taught but only one boy had grasped it.  Gave it again for next week.  The average for the quarter is 128 being an advance of 19 over last quarter.  There is far too much ‘talking’ amongst all the school children.



On roll 168. Average 138. PerCentage 82%

I have taken great pains this week with two part singing.  It is not yet anything like satisfactory to me.  Handwriting improves, as does ‘setting down’ of sums.  The children in Standards II. VI have been encouraged to bring inkwells for red ink, which [LB1:150] we have supplied.  We are also subscribing for a football.  Have got over 3/-  Reading in the upper Standards being so bad, I have for a time, adopted the Lancastrian plan of dividing the class up into two’s and threes, so that more practice may be had.  There is a distinct improvement.  B. Weller. Pupil Teacher is working very well – though I have to point out to her frequently that she takes the answers of a few good children, and neglects the bulk. 

Military Drill taken with the boys

Musical Drill regularly taken.

I have to complain again of the illegal employment of boys not eligible for leaving school in ‘beating’ game.



Felt unwell.  Incipient influenza, I fear.  Present however.  Work as usual.






In the Vicar’s hand:
Inspected registers and found correct.  Very good attendance.  144 present.

T.M. Everett



On roll 167. Average 140. PerCentage 84%

The weather is extremely cold.  Work is improving generally.  I have to regret a tendency to take advantage of the absence of the teacher – from any cause – for promiscuous ‘larking’.  When the teacher leaves a class – work practically ceases.  I am trying all I know to improve on this low ‘tone.



The school has, on two mornings this week, suffered considerably from the fact that a concert had been held in the room the previous evening.

On roll 167.  Average 134.7. PerCentage 80.

Many children away to make purchases in Uxbridge.






Saint Thomas’ Day.  No Scriputre.  Upper children go to church at 11.15 (See Time Table)



Closed school for a week and two days.  It is usual to have a fortnight at Christmas here; but as six weeks were given instead of five in Midsummer, and as the Vicar agrees to have a week at Easter instead of two days; it was thought better to have a shorter holiday this year.  The work proceeds fairly well.  Results of December exam will be found in the record books

Average attendance 127.  On roll 167.  This is not 80% and is much to be regretted.  Good work with bad attendance is not easily done.







First uploaded: 27 December 2020
Last revised; 6 February 2021