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INFANTS' DEPARTMENT - continued

 

The master's house was also extended in 1901 to include a wash house and tool shed.

 

In 1923 Helen Armitage became the Headteacher, An inspection in 1926 found a "well behaved and efficiently taught school, one of its many praiseworthy features being the clean, happy and well behaved children who attend it."

 

By 1927 there were 397 children on roll. Two children were admitted by special letter although they lived "outside the City boundary" on Middlewood Estate.

 

Children were being admitted from the lower end of the Parson Cross Estate before the opening of Shireciiffe Junior School and, as numbers began to climb, it was decided in 1928 to form two Schools.

 

This became effective on the 2nd July 1928. Miss Heywood was Head of Junior B School, and Miss Armitage continued to be Head of the other department — Junior A.

 

This meant that each school had infants and children up to Standard 3. Despite being split, the two schools had high numbers e.g. Junior A had 323 in April 1929, Apart from the Reception class, each other class had between 48 and 50 children.

 

The Report of September 1929 found, "Without exception, die children are clean and polite, and quite happy in all they are called upon to do."

Epidemics of scarlet fever, whooping cough and diphtheria were always prevalent during this period.

 

On the 10th March 1932 the Head reports "A man came in at 10.45 a.m. with an order to disinfect two classrooms in which diphtheria cases have been." That afternoon she reports "Dr. Sykes and Nurse Lee came to take a swab of the teacher and all the children in Class 3 as one of the suspects is certified diphtheria.."

 

Each year the school was subjected to a Scripture Report. One for l£36 reads thus:-"It was a pleasure to visit and examine this department. I was impressed by the tone and atmosphere of the opening devotions, there was an obvious happy relationship between the staff and the children, which was expressed in the hall assembly and made the religious exercises a good beginning to the school day.

 

"I appreciated the reverence and meaning which marked their prayer. In each class J found that each teacher had dealt thoroughly with the Scripture syllabus. There were evidences of their keenness in dealing with the subject, and that they were making the Bible vivid to the children. In the Old Testament and New Testament sections they had done, the children showed a sound grasp of detail, story and meaning. The classes seemed to enjoy Scripture, which in itself marked a tribute to the methods of teaching."

 

On 22nd August 1938 the 'A' school reverted to an Infants' Department although keeping Standard 1.

 

The 50 estate children who had been coming by bus stopped attending on the 10th October 1938 as Shirecliffe Junior School was opened.
 

 

Junior B School closed on the 5th December 1938 and thus the Infant school had to take Standard 2 children. Standard 2 Boys, consisting of 50 boys, were taken by Miss Thompson and 52 girls were taken by Miss Lewis.

 

More younger children came from the Parson Cross Estate so by April, 1939 there were 305 children on roll.

 

With the onset of war in September the school was closed. Children, whose parents wished it, were evacuated to Castle Donington Kegworth School. The school was taken aver by the A.R.P. (Air Raid Police) and the Educational Home Service began until air raid shelters were provided.

 

From January the children continued to use the Home Service in the mornings but were able to return to the school for the afternoons.

On 1st April, Hillsborough School was opened for all the infant classes (186 children). Miss Armitage had remained at Kegworth with the evacuees, and was to remain until May 1940.

 

After the Sheffield Blitz in December, when the sirens started at 7.00 p.m. and the ail clear did not sound until 4.40 a.m, only 15 children came. At noon the school was com­mandeered by the military as a. billet for a Rescue and Clearance Squad from Halifax. The school was reopened on the 20th January and four children were admitted from unusable schools (Sharrow Lane, Abbeydale and Duchess Road).

 

From the 22nd September, School dinners were provided. 71 children stayed on the first day. Mrs. B. Walker of 8 Minto Road was appointed as the first dinner lady.

 

Helen Armitage terminated her appointment as Head on the 30th October 1941 and Miss M. Barton was appointed. With class size up to 60 during these war years, teaching could never be easy.

 

The school was to celebrate V.E. Day with three extra days holiday and V.J. Day also meant extra days added to the Half term holiday.

 

The H.M.I. Report in May 1951 mentioned the premises included a hall surrounded by eight classrooms. In addition, there was a staff room and a Head's room. Two of these classrooms were, however, used by the adjoining boys' and girls' schools. In each of the six classes there were approximately 50 children Reflecting changes in educational practice, the report stated "Presentation of material to the whole class might more often give place to group or individual work at the child's level of success. In the reception classes more use might be made of the play material available for imaginative play." The staff at this time included Mabel Barton (Head), Kathleen Pitt, Joan Winkworth, Sheila True, Miriam Henning, Doreen Cooke-Fox and Helen Tingle.

 

On the 14th September 1951, Miss Barton became the Head of Hucklow Road and Elsie Leesley became the new Head.

 

By 1960 the buildings on the site had been reorganised to include a junior school and an infants' school. The two all age Boys' and Girls’ Schools had closed, and the children transferred to Chaucer. The special school had become a Child Guidances and Speech Therapy clinic.

 

The H.M.I, was pleased to report much had been done to assemble a quantity of equipment for active play and creative work. Singing and percussion were greatly enjoyed by the children.

 

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