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INTRODUCTION.

School Buildings and Apparatus.

WITHOUT suitable premises and appliances the best teachers cannot achieve all that could be wished.

Each department of a large school ought to have its own yard and playground attached. In a smaller school two may suffice, one for boys, another for girls and infants together. A mixed school ought to have either two playgrounds, one for boys over seven, the other for joint use of girls and infants; or else one playground for all, and two distinct yards and sets of offices.

The latter ought to be so arranged as to suit children of different ages, and to secure the utmost privacy compatible with due supervision.

The two sets of offices and the approaches to each must be completely separated. In country places the earth or pail system should be used wherever the proximity of a large garden makes it likely that the pails will have regular and constant cleansing. Where there is no certainty of such unremitting attention, the vaults should be carefully cemented and roofed, kept dry by free use of ashes, and frequently emptied. Where, as ought always to be the case, the yards are inaccessible to the public, teachers may fairly be held responsible for seeing that the seats, walls, and doors are kept clean and free from foul or foolish writing.

Asphalte makes the best flooring for playgrounds, as it offers no facilities for stone-throwing. Drains, walls, roofs, eaves, spouts, windows, and doors must be kept clean and in good repair. .

Each sex ought to have its own porch or lobby, with conveniences for hanging up caps, hats, shawls, &c., so as to avoid confusion and loss of time on entering and quitting school. Where there are many infants it is well to give them a lobby to themselves. Each department ought to have its own washing apparatus and supply of drinking water. In the smallest school an iron basin, watercan, soap, nail-brushes, and towels in some convenient place should be always available. Useful at all times, especially for infants, when needlework is on hand, they are indispensable.

Every school and class room, more particularly those intended for infants, should be well warmed and lighted, and present a cheerful and comfortable appearance. If the windows be not high enough (and they can hardly be too high) skylights should be inserted in the roof; as it is important that the children's shadows should not be thrown on their books, that writing on the Black Board should be clearly seen, and that the teacher should be able to look into the children's eyes, and they into his, without being dazzled by horizontal rays of light.

The walls ought to be frequently washed with some cheerful and clean-looking tint, as pale blue sage, or apple green in a town, salmon in the country. They must be hung with good maps, of sizes suited to the dimensions of the room, and a few well-selected pictures of animals, tools, utensils, trees, flowers, &c. ; with, if possible, some of the coloured prints issued with the illustrated weekly newspapers. A very small outlay on the latter will add greatly to the brightness of any school and to the pleasure of the inmates. No school, however small, should lack maps of (1) the World, in two hemispheres; (2) the British Isles ; (3) Europe ; (4) its own County. For an Infant department the World alone is wanted. From one-third to half of the width of the room should be kept free from desks and benches. This space or passage ought to be on that side on which are the doors, the fireplaces or stoves, and the book cupboards. In a central position in this space should stand the Head Teacher's table or desk, with locked drawers for Registers, Log Book, and private stationery. In spaces between the cupboards along the wall should be easels for maps and pictures, Black Boards, and pointers of various lengths. There should be one Black Board or large slate to every thirty children one side of each of these should be ruled. In the cupboards will be at least two reading books for every child on the rolls, an ample supply of slates (with one side ruled), pencils, pens, papers, inkwells, dictation and exercise books, chalk, and dusters. Reading books, slates, pens, pencils, dictation and exercise books, paper, and ink ought always to be supplied by managers, and their cost covered by a small addition to the school fees. Teachers will then be able to reduce to a minimum the wear and tear of books and waste of other materials which, as school property, are in their keeping. Poverty cannot then be pleaded as an excuse for broken slates, short pencils, bad pens, torn books, tattered copies, or the lack of any.

The remaining two-thirds or half of the room will be occupied by rows of parallel desks of various sizes carefully adapted to

1 Variety of reading books may be secured by three or more neighbouring schools purchasing each two different sets and interchanging them every year.

By this

the frames of the children who are to use them. They should be arranged in groups, if possible not more than three deep, with gang ways

about a yard wide between each group, and should allow room for a teacher to pass easily along each desk.

arrangement of desks all the children face one way. On the wall facing the teacher should hang a well-regulated clock; on the opposite wall the Time Table, Seventh Section of the Elementary Education Act, and a large reprint of the admirable definition of tone and discipline to be found in Article 19 (A) of the New Code. The doors leading into the class rooms should be supplied with

panes of glass so placed that the Head Teacher may look in without leaving the main room, but not so that the children can see from one room into the other. The room in which needlework is taught should be hung with demonstration sheets of various stitches, and should contain a Black Board having one side chequered with inch squares. There should be a large work-table for cutting out and measuring, with drawers for work and materials, &c. Managers should supply materials for needlework and let the children buy back at cost price the underclothing they make for themselves out of it.

An Infant school should be wider than one for older children to allow space for marching and Kinder Garten exercises. Instead of a huge unsightly gallery at one end, there should be two or more smaller galleries at convenient intervals, and a few flat desks which can be placed together in two's to form tables. The structure of an infants' gallery and their arrangement on it are matters that deserve more attention than they sometimes receive. Most galleries are too high. No child should look down on its teacher. The usual construction forces children to mount or descend seven or even nine inches at a step. (which if not dangerous is at least ungraceful), allows them to drum with their heels, and to soil with their feet the clothes of the children seated in front. No gallery should consist of more than four steps—three are better—from four to five inches high, and twenty-seven inches deep. The front bench should stand on the floor. The seats should be ten inches wide, with a backward slope, so that if the front edge be from eight to nine inches from the floor, the hinder edge will be from six to seven and a half inches. The backs should be eleven inches high, and have a slope of three inches from the perpendicular. The length of the benches should not exceed twelve feet—ten is better; and there should be an eighteen inch gangway at each side of the gallery-never in the middle. If the gallery have a fourth step, and consequently a fifth bench (say ten and a half inches high in front) the seats of the highest will be only from twenty-five to thirty inches above the floor level, and the teacher, standing four feet from the centre of the front row, will have before her a compact array of faces, directed upwards to her eye, which she can watch without turning her head.

Besides the apparatus already named, there ought to be sets of carefully chosen reading sheets mounted for use, boxes containing counters, letters, cardboard or wooden lines and curves to form letters, cubes, coloured wools, and some common objects suitable for gallery lessons, primers and first reading books, coloured prints, various and good, and as many Kinder Garten gifts as the mistress knows how to use.

Great pains must be taken to insure thorough ventilation of every room. As long as architects knew no better modes of ventilation than such as poured cold draughts from above on the heads and necks of the inmates, there was something to be said for teachers' suicidal practice of closing all ventilators in

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