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Conception Bay North - Harbour Grace

Victoria Street School Annual Exams 1878

From the Harbor Grace Standard Dec. 28, 1878

Victoria Street School

The Annual Examination of this highly popular Seminary took place on Saturday last in presence of an unusually large number of the parents and other friends of the children who came evidently expecting a rich treat - and they were not disappointed. The schoolroom through the combined labors of teacher and pupils had been tastefully decorated for the occasion with evergreens and with such suitable mottoes as "Welcome", "A Merry Christmas", "Come Again".

The exercises of the day were opened as usual by the singing of an appropriate hymn by the children, followed by the Lord's Prayer.

The different classes were then examined in reading, commencing with the lowest. In this important but oft-neglected branch the pupils displayed commendable proficiency. The drawling, hesitation, indistinctness, and inexpressiveness which so frequently characterize the reading of even otherwise well educated persons, were conspicuous by their absence. The children read as if they understood what they read and were anxious that the listeners should understand it also. To particularize, the performance of each class would occupy too much space. We cannot refrain, however, from expressing our pleasure at the concert reading of the senior pupils who displayed considerable elocutionary powers. As a rev. gentleman remarked further on, such perfection could be arrived at only through the exercise of infinite painstaking and careful supervision on the part of the teacher. The pupil showed likewise a knowledge of the spelling and definition of words that would have delighted the great Johnson himself.

Next followed what we may designate as a chat on geographical matters. The little ones pointed to the largest continent, the smallest, the one we live in, etc.; the school seemed familiar with many of the habits and customs of the fur-clad natives of the icy North, and we dare say, had time permitted, would have shown a like acquaintanceship with the inhabitants of the sunny South.

The class studying the History of England were next examined. And here, we do not know which to admire the more - the ready, clear, comprehensive questions of the teachers, or the prompt, correct, and intelligent answers of the pupils. This was to visitors old and young, a most pleasing and instructive part of the proceedings. Arithmetic also was not forgotten. The wee ones who recited the multiplication table proved that it would be a difficult undertaking to "cheat them in two and two". This table- the source of vexation to the possessors of poor memories in the days when they were young - is evidently found by the children of this school a pleasing task. They know that two threes are six not because the card tells them so; they have proved it to be so by actual experiment. The other classes in arithmetic had also seemingly made good use of their advantages.

The teacher tested the reasoning powers of the elder pupils to the utmost when she placed before them sentences containing grammatical blunders and required them to correct them and state the reasons for the change. The manner in which both pupils and teacher here acquitted themselves filled us at least with admiration.

The visitors then listened with great pleasure to the recitation by several of the pupils of pieces in turn humorous, pathetic, and ethical. Since all were surprisingly well rendered, it would be unfair to particularize. We therefore pass on to the distribution of prizes, which at the request of the chairman became the pleasing task of John Munn, Esq., who prefaced it by a few remarks expressive of his deep gratification at the high state of efficiency to which the school has attained. He complimented both teacher and pupils on such satisfactory results of their mutual efforts; and trusted that in the not far distant future provision would be made in our schools for imparting to the future wives and mothers a knowledge of that indispensable accomplishment - Domestic Economy. Each of the prizes was bestowed not only on the ground of progress, but of good conduct as well.

Several gentlemen next spoke in glowing terms of the pleasure they experienced in knowing that the children of this institution were receiving such a thorough training in the branches of knowledge which will prove of incalculable benefit to them in after life. Above all, were they pleased with the wholesome moral atmosphere which pervaded the school. After a vote of thanks to Miss Ellis, the talented teacher, and the presentation to her of a copy of Tennyson's poems, the pupils parted for the holidays - all, we trust, to meet again to pursue their studies with renewed vigour.

The following will show the quarterly average of honor marks for Dep. and Recitation while attending during the year:

FIRST CLASS Lizzie Kennedy, 253 - 1st prize Mary Hanrahan, 243 - 2nd do

SECOND CLASS Bessie Godden, 229 - 1st prize Bell Hanrahan, 226 - 2nd do

SECOND PART Emma Martin, 232 - 1st prize Etta Green, 204 - 2nd do

CLASS D Lamont Paterson, 210 - 1st prize Willie Hippisley, 210 - 2nd do

CLASS C James Smith, 234 - 1st prize Lizzie Breaker, 219 - 2nd do

CLASS B Thomas Squarey, 187 - 1st prize Josie Green, 178 - 2nd do

CLASS A Robert Hippisley, 230 - 1st prize Jonn McRae, 171 - 2nd do.

Most improvement in writing during the year - Minnie Oke

Best general progress while attending during the year - Annie Collins

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