Headmaster's Logbook, January-March 1945


Headmaster’s Logbook, January-March 1945

January 1945

Headmaster – Dr William Barry

January 8th

‘This school re-opened today at 10am. Prior to re-opening all the pupils attended Mass at 9.30am to start the session well. All teachers were present. Miss McCormack resumed duty for Music teaching. She had been absent since Sept owing to having contracted diphtheria. Six pupils were enrolled from Holy Cross School, Croy and placed in class Ie & f. Twenty-five new infants were enrolled for first time.’

January 9th

‘Mr Edmond, Music Supervisor, called here this afternoon. Miss Brady re-arranged the Infants’ Division, took charge of Room 7 herself and formed a new class of (approx) thirty pupils, who are being taught in Westermains by Mrs McCann.’


January 15th

‘Attendance last week (12-1-45) for whole school was Primary Division 88 per cent on a roll of 630, and Secondary Division 89 per cent on a roll of 330. Meals Service: for fifty-seven school days (Oct, Nov & Dec 1944) the number of meals cooked for, and consumed by pupils was 425 and the cash remitted for the same period amounted to £445-16-3.’


January 17th

‘Headmaster left school at 10am to attend meeting of managers of Springboig Approved School and interview boys being recommended for release on licence. Dr Cowan was here examining pupils all day.’


January 18th

‘Owing to the heavy snowfall and the inclemency of the weather, the school was closed after four hours secular instruction in Primary & Secondary Division, and three-and-a-quarter hours in Infants’ Division. In Secondary Division the usual periods were contracted to half-hour each. Arrangements for luncheon were revised but all received meals as usual.’


January 19th

‘Weather was still bad: roads were treacherous and buses late. Made a “double” attendance on same lines as on previous day.’


January 22nd

‘Attendance bad owing to severe frost, bad roads and bitterly cold wind. Gave English vocabulary and comprehension tests in Rooms 15 and 14 to all pupils of 11½ years plus by 1st September ’45. Time taken was from 2pm to 3.40pm. Carmichael’s buses did not arrive until 10.30am this morning owing to bad roads and engine trouble. Mr A. Hamilton began here today as spare man, assisting janitors etc. His primary work is to drive motor van from this school with pupils’ meals to Gartconner P.S., return to Townhead P. School and convey cooked meals thence to Lenzie Academy.’


January 23rd

‘Gave dictation and Composition to all pupils over 11½ at 1st Sept 1945. Mr Paton, Supervisor of Art, was here all day. Gave Mr Dolan Scheme in Art for L.C. Candidates.’


January 26th

‘Owing to water in lavatories and cloakrooms being frozen, Primary and Infants’ pupils were dismissed early this afternoon.’

January 29th

‘Weather is still very severe: snow is hardened on ground, but lavatories etc are functioning normally. In the afternoon a heavy fall of snow came down. Conditions of heating in school are satisfactory.’


January 30th

‘Snow has fallen heavily since yesterday afternoon and is several inches deep on layer of frozen snow almost a fortnight on the ground. The roads are blocked and traffic is almost impossible. In the Primary department there were 131 pupils present, including 24 infants: in the Secondary there were 175 pupils in attendance or in all 306 out of a roll of 959.’ After consulting with the Clerk of the S.M.C. I sent the Primary Pupils home at 11.30am, and made a “double2 attendance for Secondary pupils. No motor van to Gartconner today owing to roads being impassable.’


February 6th

‘Tested Py 4b Room 13 in English etc. Dr M. Hutchison, Director of Education, called in the afternoon.’


February 7th

‘Mr Cruickshanks, H.M.I. was here all day and examined all boys in Physical Education. Mr Brison, Supervisor, was also here.’


February 21st

‘Headmaster attending meeting in Edinburgh of Teachers’ Panel of the National Joint Council on Teachers’ Salaries.’ Twelve girls from First and Second Year Classes visited the Vindanda Laundry this afternoon in charge of Miss Langan, Teacher of Domestic Science. The visit had been arranged by the local Ministry of Labour officials, and was enjoyed by the girls. In an account of their visit, written the following day, all were opposed to accepting work in the laundry owing to the steam, damp floors and stuffy atmosphere.’


February 23rd

‘Headmaster was in Edinburgh today, attending meeting of Advisory Council on treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. Dr Munro, H.M Chief Inspector of Schools, visited the school today and examined First, Second and Fourth Year classes in French. An entertainment in puppetry was given to the pupils in the Assembly Hall in the afternoon.’


February 28th

‘Miss Maguire, Teacher of Domestic Science, absent today with sore eye. Miss Murray, H.M.I. called at 1.30pm and remained until 4pm inspecting needlework in Primary Division.’


March 2nd

‘Headmaster in Edinburgh at meeting of Advisory Council on Education. Miss Lithgow, H.M.I Physical Education was here all day, and examined girls in III, IV-V-VI, Ia & b, IId, Ie & f.   She also examined Primary Classes Rooms 8, 13 15 and Infants’ Class.’


March 14th

‘The annual religious inspection took place today at 11am of all classes from Infants to III year Secondary. It was the first time that III year were examined and that “Religious Knowledge” became official syllabus. The Examiners were Rev Frs. McDonald, Ashe, Plunkett and Douglas. All were finished and away by 12.30pm when the classes resumed their usual secondary timetable. Numbers present were: Secy. 293 and Py. 568: total 861. Teachers’ salaries were to hand and were paid today.’


March 19th

‘Church Holyday – School closed. Headmaster present all day – Senior L.C. Exams in French in progress. Miss Shearer came for Dicteé at 1pm.’


March 20th

‘Result of recent Religious Examination V.G. all round.’


March 21st

‘Reissued copies of circular drafted in this school at 28.2.1941 dealing with corporal punishment in school, to teachers in Primary Division.

 “Requested all teachers in Primary, until told otherwise, to refrain from the use of the strap and to try, if it is not possible, as a test of efficiency and personality, by kindness, praise and the creation of a livelier interest in their work amongst the pupils to achieve even more lasting results and a happier relationship, and so improve in a positive manner, the tone of the School.”

The accompanying note conveying the above message was signed by all members of Py. Staff who were present today. The Circular was the result of a meeting held on 25th June 1940 between representatives of Education Authority members and teachers, when this matter of corporal punishment was considered and discussed at length. It was then agreed to adhere to a decision arrived at by a former Joint Committee on 24th Feb. 1932, viz:

(i)                   That as the Head Teacher is ultimately responsible for the discipline of his school, it is his duty to see that there is no excessive punishment.

(ii)                 That Head Teachers should re-state their views on the subject to their Staffs.’


March 28th

‘Miss Boston from Ministry of Labour and Mr Richardson from Juvenile Advisory Council interviewed 18 of the 30 pupils leaving today.

At a gathering of the senior pupils in Primary and the Secondary Divisions, the headmaster presented Squadron-Leader M Docherty R.A.F., D.F.C., with a wallet of notes in recognition of his being awarded the D.F.C. for general excellence – “fortitude, courage and devotion to duty”. Rev. Frs. Tennant, Dunne, McGuilar, and Mr Richardson, his Managing Director in Switchgear, were present on platform, as were also his parents. Staff and friends entertained to lunch thereafter the guests and relatives. School closed for Easter Holidays today.’