Mavesyn Ridware Schools 1887 – 1995  Extracts from the logbooks

This publication very briefly charts the history of education in England so as to put the village school of Mavesyn/Hill Ridware into context

The book begins with a short history of the school followed by extracts from the six logbooks kept by each head master or mistress, spanning 108 years. There is a wealth of local, social and educational history to be gleaned from these extracts. The book is also a useful tool for the family historian, as, especially in the early logbooks, many of the local children and teachers are named.

The book concludes with a selection of memories and photographs of past pupils.

Below are shown some extracts from the first and last years in the log book:




April 19





Commenced my duties as Master of these schools, this day. Present 48

                                               Henry S Okey   Certificated Maste

May 20




May 24

Mrs. Pritchard sent a letter this morning, making very grave complaints respecting the conduct of some of the bigger boys to several little girls on their way home from school in the afternoon. Cautioned the boys strongly about this.    .                                                          

Good attendance. 62 present. Children very noisy. Moved Thomas Chamberlain and Alice Tunnicliffe into the 3rd Standard.


June 7


June 21

Attendance this afternoon rather small; many of the children having gone to the fair at Rugeley.*

The children were examined in the afternoon in Scripture and Catechism, by the Diocesan Inspector. 65 presented. The Rector was present

July 2


July 13


July 22


July 29


Excessively warm in school room today. Many of the children were away in the afternoon.

Good attendance, 71 present. The writing from dictation, on paper, was very fairly done in the Upper Standards. Several children were slightly punished for continued talking after many cautions given.

Many children working in the hay field. Four boys were punished for coming to school late in the afternoon. They had been in Mr. Jervis’ meadow stealing cherries. All Blithbury boys.

Sums in 3rd & 4th Standards improving

August 27

Closed for Harvest Vacation


September 27

Re-opened after 4 week


October 7

October 29

Five children sent home this week suffering from a scurvy complaint.

School closed and the services of Mr. and Mrs. Okey finished on this date.  [This was written by Revd. De Lacy White who was the Co-respondent and one of the Managers. The school did not re-open until January 1887.]


January 10



This school was taken charge of by me, Clara F Sadler on Monday Jan 10th. There were 33 children present

February 4


February 11

February 28


Received 2 doz table books, ink bottle and ink, ½ quire of foolscap and pens and pen holders.

HM Inspector, Rev. Wilkinson & W P Jervis Esq. visited the school this afternoon.

Isabel Bradbury came on trial as Pupil Teacher Monday February 28th

March 10

March 18


Mistress examined Standard I this week and moved several children into Standard II. Miss Bradbury has worked well in school since she came.

The visiting officer* came on Wednesday, and took names of absentees.

April 22


School left in charge of Pupil Teacher on Friday in consequence of illness of Mistress.

May 6

Miss Bradbury away on Wednesday afternoon, she having gone to Rugeley to be confirmed


June 3


June 10


Children were examined on Friday afternoon in Scripture & Catechism, by the Diocesan Inspector.  Many children away in consequence of the heavy rain.

Children had a holiday on Tuesday as there was a feast* in the village.



January 6

January 13



January 25

January 27



January 30


New Term Begins.  NOR 84.  An unusual Friday first day return but numbers almost average despite bus not turning up to collect children this morning.

HT at Gentleshaw CP to begin HT appraisal.  Another new development for HT after 31 years of teaching.  This is also the first year for our teacher appraisals.  HT appraised Mrs. Wright, deputy head, last term.  With County reducing budgets by 2-3% this year HT considers that appraisals are one area where savings could be made without any adverse effects what so ever.

Years 5/6 (class H) were taken to Fair Oak School (pm) to view a production written by the pupils there.  Much enjoyed.

HT Appraisal began in earnest today.  Ms K Lister (Ed officer) and Mr. R Watson (H Teacher) observed HT in maths lesson with special emphasis on ‘relationships in classroom’  The day progressed with HT appraising Mr. Watson at Gentleshaw School.  The whole day taken up with appraisal observations and discussions

Road Safety Officer, Sonia Atkins, leading a technology ‘car crash’ investigation in class H this morning – this is one of a series of visit

February 7


February 13


February 14


February 15

HT appraised again today on ‘Assembly and Relationship Interaction.

HT at Head teacher Budgetary meeting, Friary Grange, led by Dr. Hunter (chief EO) The budget news is not good particularly in our case where our number of children is down by eleven from last year. (equiv. to £11,000 deficit).

Final appraisal meeting at this school.  There will be a follow up development meeting in 12 months. (2 year cycle).

Another evening Governors meeting went on for 3 hours further discussing budget. There appears to be no alternative but for cuts in non-teaching staff and everywhere else where possible!

March 8

March 9


March 10

March 14

March 20


March 27


March 28


March 30

Three staff (HT, Mrs. Wright/Holmes) at Music course held at Chancel  (4pm – 5.30pm) ‘Demystification of the N/C in Music’  Practical ideas.

Mrs. Holmes out for day – Staffordshire Partnership (Industry Visits).

Budget figures arrived today, a week earlier than expected.  Slightly better global sum than expected because of ‘parachute’ safety net of 5% maximum reduction.  HT first appraisal of  Mrs. Holmes teaching (pm).

Soccer match win against Kings Bromley. 3-1

Governors meeting 7-10 pm.  Decisions on budget finalised.  Future staffing discussed.  HT gave year 3 the NFER reading comprehension test* as requested by them [the Governors] for analysis.

Mr P Moore (Adviser) came to speak to HT about HT’s impending early retirement – a request recently granted by the Governors on the grounds of efficiency of service.

Recorder Festival held at Churchfields, Rugeley.  Apparently the children played well for Mrs. Hassell with behaviour also of a very high standard – something we expect anyway.  Mrs. Hassell rang HT to say how pleased she was with our group.

Today we welcomed Mrs. K Breen to the school for a day and a half stay. She has come from Luxembourg, where she teaches Civil Service children (4-6yrs), to experience the working of the Nat/Curric. in the Infant school. Such a scheme has not yet reached Luxembourg but interest is developing

April 3



April 4


April 6


April 28

Mrs. Foyster visited to give practical demonstration to Juniors on water safety this afternoon.  This evening there was a full Governors meeting (excluding HT) chaired by Mr. P Moore to discuss procedure & requirements necessary for appointing a new Head teacher, to begin in September if possible.

Educational trip to Birmingham Science Museum for Class Y and class G, Years 1,2,3,4 Accompanied by staff (Mrs. Homes and Mrs. Young)  The trip correlates work done within N/C requirements.

Mr. Patterson (Twycross) bought in a Wiesler dog, royal python, falcon and tarantula for two lectures Infants & Juniors), much enjoyed.  Three potential applicants for HT job viewed school this afternoon.

Six a side soccer tournament held at Croft school this morning.  Didn’t win, but bronze medals for team members.




July 1


July 5


July 6

July 8 Saturday)


July 10

July 12



July 19



July 21

Village Church Fair began 1.30pm today.  Class H (Y5/6) performed four maypole dances in front of a large group of people.  All our staff were there to see the children perform admirably under the overall charge of Mrs. Holmes.

Sports day.  There has been a spell of very hot weather lately and the children were equipped with hats and located under tree shade.  Another very good turnout. Children had lollipops whilst parents were supplied with strawberry & cream scones by the PFA.  Cawarden winners by just one point.

Children entering school in September spent the afternoon with us.

HT and wife accepted invitation to leaving party of Mrs. Foyster, Friary Grange swimming instructor, at Stowe St. Chad’s Primary School, Lichfield 7.30pm.

School reports issued.  As a ‘thank you’ to the school maypole dancers, the church committee has donated £30 to school funds.  A very kind gesture.

Mrs. H Holmes at Kingston TC [Teacher’s Centre]. Foreign Language intro.

Open evening – parents 3.45 – 7.00pm followed by Governors report to parents in school hall at 7.15pm.  Open evening well attended but only three people stayed for the Gov. report.

Rounders losers/winners final.  Surprise evening dinner arranged by whole staff for my (HT) benefit accompanied by wife at local hostelry. Great shock but much enjoyed.  Visit from Mr. P Moore (LEA) HT’s retirement.

Final day of term & final school day for HT who completes 13 years. Special afternoon service attended by children, parents, friends, colleagues.  Service led by Deaconess Finn.  Also speech of thanks by Chairman of Governors, Mr. Nigel Shepperson.  HT received two adjustable garden chairs and a garden bird sculpture.  Wife received a beautiful bouquet of flowers

September 1

“I Derek Gunn, cease to be Head Teacher of this school as from today.  I would like to thank all the staff who have supported me over the past, rather tumultuous, but most satisfying thirteen years of my Headship.  I would also wish my successor, Mr. Jeffery Gray, the very best for the future years ahead as I settle down to enjoy my early retirement.”






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