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J W FIRTH HEADMASTER 1959

Discussion in 'Lescudjack School' started by Halfhidden, Apr 3, 2016.

By Halfhidden on Apr 3, 2016 at 6:39 PM
  1. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Written by J.W.Firth (Headmaster Lescudjack County Secondary School 1959 - 1972) Credits Ray and Rhys Owens
    Written in 1964 as a review of the school.

    I was appointed Headmaster of Lescudjack County Secondary School on April 13th 1959 and joined the staff in the following September. It was soon apparent, that in spite of the complete absence of luxury and indeed of many facilities which today have become common-place, Lescudjack had that kind of tradition, atmosphere and corporate spirit which made many of the country's old schools famous. This is the Jubilee Year of this fine old school and I feel privileged and honoured to be at the helm as this milestone is reached and to be able to pay tribute to the splendid work performed in the educational field by those who have gone before. It would be impossible in the limited time and space available to honour or mention all those who have served and I trust that all omissions will be understood and forgiven.

    On the occasion of the Jubilee Dinner, Mr. J. G. Harries, Secretary for Education said of the school, " It is a splendid example of a living and growing community which has overcome radical changes in its curriculum " and in referring to the pilot scheme of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award said " And it was no accident that I chose Lescudjack as one of the two schools. It was because I have such a tremendous admiration for all the school has done and will do." Mr. T. J. Watkins, Inspector of schools for Cornwall commented on the happy relationship at the school and said " Lescudjack was one of the few schools we had visited where pupils and staff had their mid-day meal together. At this school we regard staff and pupils as a family."

    In recent years as in the past, there have been many changes and improvements, particularly in the field of minor building and the provision of new equipment. A most ambitious minor building programme was completed by a local contractor at Whitsuntide 1962. A new Dining Room and kitchen capable of supplying some 200—300 meals daily for both seniors and infants came into operation, the old premises being converted into fully equipped metalwork and pottery rooms. A modern efficient oil-fired heating system replaced the coke burning one which had had a somewhat chequered career. The much needed and appreciated other improvements included a 13 amp. power circuit throughout, portable stage with up to date lighting and curtains, a library and two new separate changing rooms, with showers for boys and girls. After Easter 1964 a new needlework room opened in the girls' playground greatly enhancing the teaching scope of the subject and providing another form room base. At the same time the school acquired the use of an allotment near to the Science block and it is hoped that the provision of a potting shed and greenhouse is imminent. During the past six years the additional teaching aids have included a 16 mm. sound-film projector and screen, a television and V.H.F. radio, a record player, and an Episcope. The School Fund contributed 50% towards the cost of the 16 mm. projector and also purchased an 8 mm. cine camera, an 8 mm. Eumig " S " projector, and a new tape recorder to assist with the teaching of French, a new subject introduced into the curriculum in September 1962. This fund has always provided the materials from which the boys have constructed an Enterprise sailing dinghy and six canoes.

    Some three years ago the playing fields at Chapel St. Clare were enlarged by the inclusion of " the garden area," removal of trees and the wall running across the centre of the playing field; girls now have a separate changing room and both changing rooms have stores, toilets, hot and cold showers. The new adequately sized machine mower has ensured that the playing area is now second to none in the County. They have been in it demand for use by National, County and local sporting associations both for tournaments coaching.

    Since last Easter, Lescudjack has been one of the six schools selected by the County Authority to conduct an educational experiment on the lines suggested by the Newsom Report, namely to promote outgoing activities in or on, as one afternoon per week coupled with an extended session of formal work. The response from both children and staff has been almost one hundred per cent, "
    This year, some 14 pupils took various subjects in the new school-based, country-wide examination Certificate of Secondary Education (C.S.E.), at the end of their fifth year. The results were most encouraging. Much will be heard of this new examination in years to come. It has already added a greater purpose to much of our work and we look forward eagerly and confidently to future developments and the increased acceptance of this Certificate.

    At an " Open Evening " in May 1959, Mr. F. J. Hill, then Deputy Secretary for Education, said " It is what goes on inside a school which is the important thing." This is both obviously and undeniably true but it must be remembered that the standards reached, the wide variety of activity attempted, the enthusiasm engendered, the corporate spirit aroused, would neither be achieved nor maintained without the continued and loyal support from the Governing Body, the local Education Authority, parents, and old pupils.
     

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Discussion in 'Lescudjack School' started by Halfhidden, Apr 3, 2016.

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