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OUTLINE OF A SYSTEM OF NATIONAL
BEFORE commencing this chapter, it may be necessary to state the advantage of having three schools near together, or if possible, on the same premises, that is to say, an Infant School in one building, of which dimensions shall be given in another place; Girls' School in another building; and Boys' Schools in another; to each of these there should be separate play-grounds, totally distinct from each other, fenced off, so that the children cannot, if possible, see each other; there should be separate entrances into each school, and by no means should the entrance be through the play-ground, as this is almost, if I may be allowed the expression, sacred ground. Brothers and sisters, who come for the children, and I am sorry to say, even parents, will steal the fruit and flowers, and if this is seen by the children, it does more injury than can be eradicated for many months. I have also known, and I grieve to say it, even visitors too have been guilty of the same offences; and I have known a respectable person pluck the flowers, and give them to her children. Nurse-maids are constantly in the habit of doing the same thing, without, for a moment, considering the impropriety of the act, and when it has been pointed out to them, their answer, has been, “Dear me! I thought it no harm !" but the trained infant pupils have thought very differently on the subject; they have run into the teacher with the greatest consterna. tion, saying, “Please, teacher, there has been a lady stealing the fruit, or a nurse-maid stealing the flowers; and
plcase, sir, do you know she gave them to some little children that were with her, which will teach them to do the same thing.” It is also of the highest importance, that separate places of convenience be erected, and that the pupils in such places may not have to go through the rain in wet weather, to get to them.
At Windsor, there are three schools fitted up as I have been describing, with separate play-grounds connected with each school, and fruit trees planted all round the walls of each play-ground, and a dressed border four fcct wide; and I am happy to say, that the master of the boys' school, and also the mistress of the girls' and infants' schools take the greatest pains to give their pupils moral education, and their efforts are in the highest degrcc satisfactory to all who know them. The Corporation Schools in Liverpool are fitted up with similar appendages, as are also the model schools connected with the Board of Education in Dublin.
All these things, however, will be useless to inexperienced teachers, who think no teaching can be useful, unless it is crammed into the heads of the children in the school-room, and who consider it is enough for the children to learn to write from the copy book, that “ Honesty is the best policy."
Rules and Regulations-Observations Illustrative Lessons-Botany
--Natural History-Specimens of Scripture Lessons for Little Children-How to Establish Infant Schools wbere none exist Rules for Committees.
The following rules have been adopted by various com. mittees, in different parts of the three countries, and they have been found, after many years trial, to succeed.
1. That the principle of Infant Education, as developed in the seventh edition of Mr. Wilderspin's work, entitled, "“ The Infant System,” be followed out as far as practicable, which includes the time to commence and close school, and contains arrangements for a whole week's work, both on the floor of the room, and in the gallery.
2. That the master take the intellectual and laborious part in the management of the children, and that, in all respects, he act the paternal part, similar to the father of a family, which consists in enforcing order and regularity, and, seeing that the monitors do their duty; and, in fact, that the whole school works according to the principles of mental, moral, and physical development, intended by the inventor of the system.
3. That the mistress take the maternal part, and act the part of a mother, in following up the rules insisted upon, and enforced by the master; in all things co-operating with him to bring the scholars under the same affectionate controul, as would be found in a well regulated family, where the father and mother act in unison, and at the same time, understand each other, so that one should not undo what the other does.