FOYERS PRIMARY SCHOOL
Extracts from Head Teacher’s Log, 14th January 1901 to 2nd April 1948
Opened school today. Mr. Morrison, member of School Board, paid a visit to the school.
Total number of children enrolled during the week was twenty-seven.
No school opening all through the week except on Monday. Teacher laid up with influenza.
Had to cancel attendance as only nine children attended.
Received from clerk to School Board, inspector’s report on school as follows: “Boleskine & Foyers Public School. Thirty-nine scholars were presented at this, the first inspection of the school. The premises are temporary but are, in the circumstances, adequate and are well equipped and may be sanctioned for a further period. It is recommended that enrolment should be permitted under the stage or class corresponding to Standard IV of the old Code. The teaching has been very brisk and intelligent and the discipline is very good indeed.”
Visited School and found the work going on satisfactory. The attendance, however, is not good, the parents fearing to send their children owing to a report that there is diphtheria in the district. Attendance 32. John B. MacArthur, Member.
Visit of School Board Officer. Attendance good. Progress fair, children very crowded in benches and discipline not so good, owing to proper want of accommodation.
No school owing to outbreak of Scarlet Fever, by order of School manager and Doctor.
Summary of H.M.I.’s Report for Foyers Public School. “The school is now uncomfortably overcrowded and the attendance is steadily increasing – the net increase during the past year being twenty four. And, as there is every prospect of the rate of increase being accelerated in the near future, the matter of additional accommodation is urgent. It is understood, however, that immediate steps are to be taken by the Managers to provide ample accommodation and, on that account, an unreduced grant can be recommended. The pupils are bright and responsive and, in the special circumstances, their general efficiency may be regarded as good. The due promotion of the older pupils in the junior classes should receive the earnest attention of the new mistress. The Staff should be at once strengthened so as to meet the requirements of the Code, which are not at present satisfied.
Attendance poor at the end of the week – sickness and a few potato lifting.
School reopened today. Distribution of prizes purchased with £1 received from School Board.
Attendance good. A few children away with chicken pox and ringworm.
Summary of H.M.I.’s Report. “The new school is in the process of construction and will, it is expected, be opened in September. There were 79 pupils present at the inspection and, of these, only two were over twelve years of age and none were presented above the lowest class of the Senior Division. In the circumstances, very fair progress has been made and the teacher is quite alive to the importance of broader methods of oral instruction. A deduction of £14 has been ordered under Art. 32(C) for insufficient staff during the whole year.
School closed today owing to headmaster’s marriage.
Summary of H.M.I.’s Report. Boleskine & Foyers Public School: “The handsome new school recently erected on a commanding site that seems to have all sanitary advantages is now in full occupation. The design of the interior is generally satisfactory, and the outer premises meet all reasonable requirements. The furnishing is very substantial so far as it goes, and the Managers are quite willing to supplement deficiencies, and these are only of a minor character.”
“The new headmaster has entered on his work with great spirit and is well supported by a competent subordinate staff. The educational results promise very well indeed, and the headmaster fully appreciates the various suggestions made during the inspection in regard to methods and further details as to equipment and organization.”
“A deduction from the grant at £29 for 7 months has been made under Article 32(C) of the code for insufficiency of staff during the period April – December.”
School closed on the afternoon of this day owing to an epidemic of whooping cough.
Attendance remaining stationary – 85/135 being present: attendance in infant room is very poor owing to children not yet being completely recovered from whooping cough.
School reopened. Walls and ceilings very wet owing to burst water pipe.
School closed during afternoon to enable staff & pupils to attend the funeral of Mary Ross, a pupil in the Supplementary Class, who was accidentally drowned in Loch Ness on July 9th.
Attendance rather irregular for some time back. Many of the Senior boys have been kept at home for Peat cutting; and there are a few cases of chickenpox among the Juniors & Infants. Gave list of absentees to Compulsory Officer.
School closed by order of the Board from 19th to 23rd – both days included – in honour of the Coronation.
A slight change had to be made this week in the timetables of the Supplementary & Senior Classrooms. The Sewing Mistress complained that, even with the help of the lamp, the girls could not see the stitches etc. in their sewing from 3.30 – 4 p.m.
Bessie Fraser, a pupil on Senior Supplementary Class, died today.
The School was closed in the afternoon yesterday and today, with the consent of the School Convener, out of respect for the late Bessie Fraser. Miss Fraser terminated her engagement as Interim today, owing to the death of her sister.
Copy of H.M.I.’s Report: “This School is well organised, fully staffed, and successfully conducted. It is also well equipped for the teaching of all the branches of instruction with the exception of Cookery & Woodwork. This defect, however, will soon be remedied as an annexe for accommodating pupils taking part in these practical subjects is in course of erection and will be ready for occupation at an early date. The attendance is quite satisfactory, and, as one might reasonably expect in the favorable circumstances, the work of all the divisions is distinctly good. It is gratifying to find that a beginning has been made in the regional study of Geography.”
Received instruction from Chief Medical Officer not to admit MacLeans 52 Glenlia, unless furnished with the necessary medical certificate as there has been a case of Scarlet Fever in their house.
Visit of Compulsory Officer. Re-admitted Jacky & Elizabeth Maclean having received the necessary medical certificate.
Terrific snowstorm. 48 pupils absent.
Copy of H.M.I.’s Report: Foyers & Boleskine Public School. “In view of the fact that both headmasters are quite competent to give a few selected pupils some preparatory secondary instruction covering one year, or exceptionally two years of the nearest secondary centre, the Board is strongly recommended to give a small inexpensive equipment suitable for Science teaching. In Boleskine a double bench for Manual Woodwork with the usual provision of tools might be supplied. The teacher might be usefully consulted on this point. The Board are reminded that concurrently with any such selected instruction, the interests of the Supplementary Course pupils must be carefully safeguarded.”
Woodwork tools found very rusty so spent part of lesson cleaning these.
A number of children seem to be suffering sore feet, sore hands and, in several cases, festering.
The C.O. reports that many children are suffering from sore hands and feet, the sores being irritated by bad water supply in the district.
One boy who was 12 in November commenced woodwork today; his father considered him too small for working at the benches at the time he was 12, and even yet he is rather small. Another boy, who is still under 12, but well grown and also well advanced in schoolwork, has also made a start, to remain in the class if the H.M.I. shall approve when he visits school.
Attendance shows a slight improvement. The harvest and the beating, which were causes of absenteeism in the upper classes, now seem to be over.
Attendance has improved slightly in spite of some being kept at home to carry water – no water in school or village.
No water yet and so no cookery class possible.
No water – no cookery.
No water – no cookery.
Weather not quite so dry this week but the water supply is still “off”.
No water – no cookery.
Water supply restored. The supply is still unfit for drinking purposes so can not be turned on for the children.
No cookery class owing to burst hot water pipe.
School dismissed at 1.30 p.m. – the stormiest day of the week. This has been the worst week for the school in the whole year: attendance is down and most of those present are unable to work. In fact the noise of coughing is almost deafening and wholly unceasing.
School visited by Dr. Lang, School Medical Officer, who examined premises and commanded School to be closed for 3 weeks or longer if necessary, and school to be cleaned & disinfected.
School required for military purposes in the afternoon, so school closed.
Weather thawing. School kept on as usual, but many absent in afternoon through wet feet. No cookery class owing to burst hot water pipe.
Owing to bad weather and severe colds the list of absentees has been abnormally big every day, while those present suffer from cold and sometimes wet feet and cannot work for coughing, and the noise made by those coughing interferes with work and attention of others.
School visited by Messrs. Skelton and MacPherson, Members, regarding case of Renie MacDonald, whose mother had accosted Miss McKillop on the way to school with an unfounded charge of punishing and ill-treating her girl.
School granted half-holiday in honour of Empire Day. On dismissal, boys march past and salute the Union Jack and give three cheers in honour of the Flag.
Headmaster off duty – reporting to military authorities in Inverness re calling up of “Groups”.
Miss Menzies, Infants’ Teacher, off with Scabia. Dr, John MacDonald, Inverness, visits School in afternoon & excludes family of Kennedy for Scabia. He arranges to send disinfectant fluid for school.
At last desks are sponged with disinfectant but scrubbing of floors etc. to be left over ’till Saturday – nearly a fortnight after the outbreak of scabia.
Headmaster takes military drill from senior Boys.
School granted a half-holiday in honour of Empire Day. Children saluted the Flag and gave three cheers for King, soldiers and sailors.
Still snow & frost are severe & attendance in lower classes is poor. Fires not lit until after 9am with result that temperature of rooms is at zero and work cannot be carried on for a time. Many pupils off with colds and cold of classroom is at fault.
Fires lit somewhat earlier today.
Copy of H.M.I.’s report. “In the absence of the Headmaster on military service the temporary arrangements made by the Board are working smoothly and effectively………….”
The headmaster resumes duty after over two and a half years’ absence on War Service.
Decrease in percentage of attendances this week due to an epidemic of swollen necks.
A number of the children still suffering from swollen necks.
A number of children, suffering from swollen necks, were sent home during the week.
Thirty-three children were absent today, most of them suffering from mumps. The local doctor visited the school this afternoon and advised closing. A telegram was received from Dr. MacDonald M.O.H. ordering the closing of the school for a fortnight as from tomorrow.
The school re-opened today. A few children still suffer from mumps.
A number of pupils have been absent this week – more towards the end – having contracted mumps since the school was re-opened.
The attendance is still poor – only 13 infants present out of 41. Fresh cases of mumps recorded.
Owing to inclement weather and some lingering cases of mumps, the attendance in the infant division was only 39.7% for the week.
The mumps epidemic has died down. Only two fresh cases were reported this week.
Received this week a letter from Clerk S.M.C. saying the Education Authority have appointed Foyers P. School as a Sub-Intermediate School as from the commencement of the Session 1921-22.
Miss MacKillop is absent today through inability of getting conveyance to Foyers owing to coal strike.
The attendance for the week is good – two or three pupils irregular through being kept at home for peat cutting.
Two or three pupils were absent for two days this week, being employed as “beaters” notwithstanding warnings given last year.
All this week the attendance in the Infant Room has been very disappointing. There were only 7 present today out of 23. There seems to be an epidemic of bronchitis or some pneumonic trouble going the village at present.
The school cleaner left today for Fort William. Pending the appointment of a new one on Thursday, the elder girls have undertaken to dust the school.
The new school cleaner has arrived and some of the dust is beginning to disappear.
The following report has been received on the Religious Knowledge of the School. The report is signed by F.Gordon MacLaren, Missionary at Foyers.
“Today I had the pleasure of examining Foyers P. School in Religious Knowledge. I have as great pleasure – more if more be possible – in reporting on the very excellent and efficient work of the school in Religious Instruction. Not only did the scholars show an exact knowledge of the letter of the text but a deep appreciation and understanding of its teaching – this especially in the Advanced Division.”
“The Senior and Junior Divisions showed a keen and infectious delight in the work they had been doing which, besides warming one’s heart, made them appear to challenge and defy any examination or examiner in so interesting and fascinating and profitable a study: well they might.”
“The opening minds of the infants besides being delighted and pleased with the Bible stories, which they knew with exceptional accuracy, were being visibly enlightened, strengthened and furnished with the truth.”
“Altogether, for both the children and myself to have enjoyed an examination so thoroughly speaks volumes for the kind diligence and sympathetic instruction of Masters and teachers – even the memory work was free and unlaboured leaving nothing to be desired.”
The attendance this morning has fallen to 60%. Influenza has obtained a strong hold in the village.
Attendance today 46%.
Attendance 28%. Have communicated with Director of Education. He suggests keeping school open until Monday in order to see if an improvement sets in.
Attendance 19%. Coughing was so prevalent this morning among the few pupils present that the school was dismissed at 1.30pm.
Fourteen pupils appeared this morning. The register was not marked. Received wire from Dr. MacDonald M.O.H. as follows: “Close school for 2 weeks from today”.
Four pupils have been excluded by order of the sanitary authority.
Electric light has now been fitted in all classrooms.
The new sanitary arrangements have been completed. Seven water closets have been fitted.
The headmaster today read to the senior pupils of the school the message issued to schools on the Disarmament Conference. The teachers of the junior classes told the story in a simpler fashion to their pupils.
The school was closed today to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V.
The school was closed today on the occasion of the funeral of King George V.
The school will be closed tomorrow and will not re-open until Monday 17th. These holidays are to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI. A procession, sports etc. will take place tomorrow. The Education Committee has given as grant of 6d per pupil & the British Aluminium Co. has given a generous donation.
An entirely new main water supply pipe (copper) now provides the school with an excellent supply of water.
The Inspector of Cruelty to Children visited the school today. There were no cases to report to him.
School remained closed today owing to outbreak of war with Germany. Foyers, being a receiving area, has a number of Edinburgh children, accompanied by their mothers, billeted in houses round about. There are 27 such children so far, 16 of whom are of school age, 11 under school age. There are 10 mothers & three helpers also in the evacuated party.
School reopened today. Children, according to instructions, carried their gas-masks & received appropriate instruction on their use & what to do in the event of an air-raid warning. Twenty-two children enrolled today, one being from Glasgow & the others being Edinburgh children. The roll is thus 84.
Another 4 evacuees enrolled today. Roll now is 88. Dr. Fraser accompanied by Nurse Sutherland examined all evacuees.
Received 16 individual desks today for use of additional children now in school.
All windows in rooms including glass in partitions now covered with anti-splinter net.
Monthly inspection of children’s gas-marks held today. The necessary adjustments were made & larger sizes recommended where necessary.
Owing to the continuance of Summer Time throughout winter & the fact that the black-out extends till something after 9am (9.5am today), school will, as from today, open half an hour later in the mornings.
In today’s air-raid in which two workmen lost their lives & considerable damage was done to the factory, the school was not damaged in any way. With one or two exceptions, the children were remarkably cool. They had community singing until the excitement died down.
During today’s air-raid warning, the children had games together.
During today’s air-raid alert, pupils proceeded with their ordinary work.
Visit from Mr. Robertson, Master of Works, & Mr. Graham in connection with the erection of three surface shelters.
At the Duke of Kent’s inspection of the factory today the children were onlookers.
The Ministry of Information Film Van called today and a number of interesting films were shown to the children in the Church Hall.
During War Weapons Week the school savings group collected £21.10s.6d.
Monthly examination of respirators today. All pupils worked for twenty minutes wearing their masks.
Monthly examination of respirators. Two exchanges recommended.
School blacked-out today by tradesmen from Inverness.
One lorry-load of bricks delivered in connection with the surface shelters to be erected here.
“Warships Week” was held in Inverness-shire last week. The School Savings Group collected £9.11s.6d.
All pupils tested their respirators today in the science room by means of a harmless but unpleasant smelling gas. All respirators were satisfactory.
In the paper-salvage campaign the pupils of the school collected slightly over 30-cwt. waste paper.
To mark the third anniversary of the outbreak of war, Mr. Holman conducted a children’s service in the school this morning from 10am to 10.30am.
Pupils today observed the partial eclipse of the sun as from 4pm.
All three surface shelters have now been completed and are ready for use. All pupils given practice in entering shelters. After a few attempts, it became possible to get all children inside the shelters in 30 seconds.
Attendance this week lower owing to exemption being granted to a number of the older children for potato-lifting.
There was no cookery lesson last Friday as the Cookery Teacher, Miss Bruce, was unable to come owing to petrol restrictions. Today Miss Fraser, Domestic Science Teacher, took her place.
As the black-out period now ends at 8.30 in the morning, the school opens in the morning at 9.30 instead of 10 o’clock.
In connection with the School Savings Group, “Wings for Victory” week was held this week. Savings for the week amounted to £48.11s.6d. All pupils are members of the School Group. The average weekly savings in ordinary weeks amount to about £9.
School closed today for four-week summer holiday, the remainder of holiday being reserved till autumn so that children may help in farm-work then.
Equipment has now arrived for the School Canteen which will serve a glass of milk to each pupil early in the forenoon & later on, it is hoped, light lunch – sandwiches plus a hot drink – will be served at the dinner hour.
As from this morning one third of a pint of milk served to school children. The milk is of the spray-process type in powder form. Over 50 children take the milk, the cost being ½d per glass.
School Canteen opened today. Sandwiches containing butter margarine cheese & preserves were served together milk or cocoa. Over fifty children take these lunches.
The Canteen has now been supplied with a number of points with which tinned meat & fish of various kinds may be purchased in order to provide a variety of sandwich fillings.
School reopens in mornings from today at 9.30am instead of 10am as the lengthening day now permits children to leave home after the blacked-out period ends & still be here at the earlier hour.
Eight pairs of wellington boots received from the W.V.S. for the use of children coming long distances. The sizes supplied suit four of these children – but not the other four. The four pairs thus left over are to be issued to children in the village who have a medical certificate recommending their use. The boots are free of charge, but the appropriate number of clothing coupons have to be surrendered.
The supply of powdered milk used in the canteen is at present exhausted although further supplies were ordered four months ago. In the meantime, permission has been received from the Milk Marketing Board to buy liquid milk from J.Forbes, Foyers Mains Farm. This licence is valid only until receipt of the powdered milk.
Received today the following letter: “I have duly received your letter of 23rd March and I write to say that I approve most heartily of your proposal to give demonstration lessons in gardening to the boys. Yours faithfully, J.A. MacLean, Director of Education.”
In the Savings Campaign a special effort was made this week in the School Savings Group for “Salute the Soldier Week”. The School Group subscribed £58.10s.0d. for the week.
The School Canteen still serves lunches, milk etc. A permit has been secured to buy sugar for jam making & at present Mrs. Munro, the Canteen Helper, is making jam with fruit supplied or gathered by the children. This jam is for the children’s use in the canteen.
In connection with the question of how far the Inverfarigaig children have to walk from their homes to the school, and as to whether they are three miles away and therefore entitled to a conveyance, I have received the following letter from Dr. MacLean, Director of Education. I place it on record lest the question arise again in the future: “I am much obliged for your letter of 1st November & for the helpful information you have supplied. The Surveyor has measured the distance between Inverfarigaig Bridge & Foyers School and has found it to be slightly under 2 ½ miles. Confusion is sometimes caused by the fact that two unrelated milestone systems appear on the Inverness-Foyers road, one applying to that road & the other to the road which goes through Inverfarigaig Pass. The milestone at the junction of the two roads refers to the Inverfarigaig Pass road: the third milestone from the school is a considerable distance along the Inverness road beyond Inverfarigaig Bridge.”
Visits from Mr. Carmichael & Mr. Jefferies, two County surveyors, who called to select a site for the proposed kitchen for school children. They selected a site on the west side, alongside and four feet distant from the existing air-raid shelter.
Cookery teacher unable to come to Foyers owing to present snow storm. Six inches snow on ground today.
Nine inches of snow on ground today.
Attendance very poor owing to continued stormy weather. Snow is very deep & hard frost causes much trouble with water system. Water turned off nightly & slow fire kept in ironing stove has so far saved pipes.
Today’s fresh snowstorm with fresh fall of 8 inches in one night affected attendance today.
The Equipment stored in the School Rest Centre in connection with the Emergency Relief Organisation was removed to Inverness today.
Visit from Mr. Scott of the National Association of Boys’ Clubs who called in connection with the newly formed Boys’ Club. He was accompanied by Miss Smith of the Girls’ Club Movement.
In the Book Drive for which the school was depot & the children were the collectors, 4,111 books were dealt with – an average of 62 books per child.
School closed today & tomorrow to mark the occasion of the cessation of hostilities in Europe.
Mrs. Starosta, a British Empire League lecturer, gave a talk to the older pupils this afternoon on the British Empire.
School closed today – the third day of Victory Holiday, VE-3.
Mrs. Baikie, School Dentist, examined teeth of all children in school today & began treatment this afternoon. She will be here for a number of weeks.
Mrs. Baikie completed dental treatment of children here this afternoon. Her treatment included 108 fillings and 80 extractions. Only one case of fluorosis, and that a mild one, was discovered.
School closed today (Friday) & next Monday for 2 day V.J. holiday.
Visit from members of surveyors’ department who came to re-examine site of proposed new kitchen.
The Surveyor examined site for school kitchen & took particulars of drains etc.
Visit from member of Surveyor’s staff in connection with air raid shelters.
Victory Day. Inter school sports today on Factory Playing field. Six schools took part. The sports were organised by the Foyers Boys’ Club & many other helpers from Foyers & Stratherrick. The day was good & all enjoyed themselves. The Challenge Cup was won by Foyers School. The team selected to represent this school for the Cup competitions was as follows: – Christina Cameron, Billy Cameron, Charles Macdonell & Elizabeth Forbes.
T.T. milk now received from Farmers’ Dairy, Waterloo Place, Inverness. As from today each child gets 1/3 pint, free of charge, during the morning.
Received four new individual desks.
Main water pipe frozen since 19th Feb. Water for canteen etc. from well in wood.
Lavatories attended to with buckets of water.
No water available for past fortnight Canteen etc. kept going from spring which feeds the reservoir. Main pipes all frozen with present severe frost. State of lavatories becoming unsatisfactory.
Lavatories dealt with – flexible rod & many pails of water. They are now much improved.
Frost & snow continue – still no running water. Drinking water & water for Canteen still being taken from well in wood.
Burst in main pipe half way down school brae.
Burst mended, but another appeared between school & house, so no water yet in taps.
Second burst mended. Water in both cloakrooms but bursts in cookery room & lavatories.
Mental Tests today – Termon Merril Scale – to all pupils born in 1936. Eight pupils took the test including one pair of twins.
Dr. Robertson called today in connection with sociological schedules for twins born in 1936 in relation to the Mental Tests taken on June 4th.
Creation of a School Fund. On 3rd & 4th April of this year, the school children appeared in a school concert at the Club Hall. As a result of the two nights activities the sum of £67.10s.0d. was raised. Expenses amounted to £13.15s.9d. & this left a balance of £53.14s.3d. to form a school fund. £50 has been lodged in the Bank of Scotland, High Street, with £3.14s.3d. in hand. This fund will finance prizes, picnics etc.
School picnic held this afternoon in a field granted by Mr. J. Forbes, Foyers. Weather was ideal.
Visit from Mr. Cunningham, Deputy Director of Education, who discussed the forthcoming centralisation scheme.
The firm of James Blake & Co. Ltd. of Aberdeen has been busily engaged with the School Kitchen for the past fortnight. Now the walls are up, the roof on & most of the windows in. A shortage of plumbing equipment may hold up the work in the near future.
Visit from Mr. Halley who inspected buildings & discussed new site for children’s shelter, plans for converting an air-raid shelter into a fuel store, & possibilities for new site for school ash-pit etc.
Visit from Dr. MacLean & Mr. Cunningham who discussed further the Centralisation Scheme for this area. The provisional date for the scheme to start is 15th November.
School closed today to mark the occasion of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding. The children attended a party in the Church Hall.
In connection with the Centralisation Scheme about to start in this area, Miss Annie Duncan has been transferred to the staff of this school. She has been put in charge of classes Primary IV & Primary V.
Miss Duncan requested by Director of Education to take charge of Knockchorlum P. School, owing to illness of the teacher there. The car which was to have taken her there could not get through owing to snowstorm so Miss Duncan reported back here.
Miss Duncan arrived at Knockchorlum today & found no pupils there so reported back here.
In connection with the Centralisation Scheme, the extra furniture ordered for this school has nearly all come. Twenty-four desks, twelve chairs, two cupboards, two bookshelves have been delivered. Twelve chairs & two benches are still to come.
School Kitchen being held up for lack of a boiler. The floor has still to be put in, in the dining hall. Apart from these two hold-ups, the kitchen is ready for use.
One of the air-raid surface shelters has been converted into a coal store.
Our grateful thanks to Mrs. Maureen Brown, current Head Teacher at the school, for the loan of the Log from which these extracts have been taken.
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