School; Monovian Editorials

Editorials - 1932

 

 

No 19 February, 1932.


Editor: M. J. GURNEY
EASTER, 1932.

Last term ended on a comparatively quiet note for a Christmas term, as the building operations made it impossible to hold the Prize Giving. But the gap was partly filled by two House Teas, which were held in spite of the adverse conditions; by the revival of its once Annual Exhibition by the Photographic Society, which can feel justly proud of the work it displayed; and finally by the two excellent innovations of an afternoon of carol singing, accompanied by the Instrumental Society, and a morning of one-act plays by the Dramatic Society. This term the Instrumental Society has once more taken part in the London Secondary Schools Musical Festival; the Debating Society has had an active and successful season; and the Dramatic Society is preparing for the production of the Prize Day play. Further we are glad to see that the Headmaster carries on the tradition of former Heads in taking a very active interest in School Societies, which continue to provide that cultural interest which is so essential to any educational system. For the object of education is not the mass-production of mere "Men in the Street," but the development of cultured citizens. But a school is not simply a machine, which from raw material of very varying character will produce cultured citizens after some four or five years. The individual boy has to play his part, and it is a very large and important one. The absorption of facts must not be his sole aim, though this must necessarily occupy a considerable part of his time in view of examinations. His aim must be to develop his mind in learning how to use those facts and in attempting to form ideas of his own; to develop his character in striving against the herd instinct, which claims so many victims, and which leads to the annihilation of individual character. In a word, to become what is expected of a member of a school in such a position as our own: a "gentleman," a worthy citizen of a civilized world. As is already known, this term sees the severance of Mr. Prowse's official connection with the School. Beyond this brief announcement we make no further comment in the present issue of the Magazine, reserving until the Summer number a detailed account of his career, a host of tributes from various sources-and an excellent photograph. 

 

 

No. 20 SUMMER, 1932.


Editor: E. W. SCOTT.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
June, 1932.

In the Easter number of the Monovian it was promised that the present issue would contain a photograph of Mr. Prowse, together with an account of his career and tributes to his work from various sources. The promise has been kept, and we refer our readers to the details of his long and honourable connection with the School. This term has been the close season for the majority of the School societies, and consequently there is little of outstanding importance in the reports of them in this number. Only the Photographic Society, which has enjoyed one or two good outings, and the Instrumental Society, which has been working at its programme for Speech Day, have been at all active. We are glad that, as recorded later in the magazine, greater attention is to be paid to School swimming. Swimming is the best alternative to cricket as a summer sport in schools, and there are many doubtless who think that an alternative is badly needed. It seems that good cricketers are born and not made. At any rate, the making of them is a long and often expensive business, and not one that could be easily undertaken by such a school as o urs. The result is that often strong, healthy boys spend their games-time at a game on which they are not very keen, and in which, as not even its most enthusiastic advocates will deny, they get little exercise. During the term the new building has risen superbly before our eyes. It supplies, of course, a real need: no school of the size of ours can be said to be really complete without a gymnasium and a dining-hall. We are glad that the ruling powers have recognized this fact. Finally, we would ask all our readers to pay great attention to the short article by Mr. Ellis on page 17. It would be difficult to over-estimate the distinction that Holdsworth has gained, and the honour he has conferred upon the School, through his election to the Presidency of the Cambridge Union.

 

No. 21 November, 1932.


CHRISTMAS, 1932.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

The addition of three new members to the Staff, the inauguration of three new School societies, the establishment of regular gymnasium instruction for the whole School, and the opening of the Tuck Shop have all helped to make the term that is now ending a very remarkable one. The excellent record of the Football First Eleven, which up to half term had won five of the seven matches played and drawn the rest, has contributed towards the same end. Finally we must not fail to mention the Prefects' Room, it long last has been made fit for habitation. Its walls are now decorated in becoming black and yellow, while the stained and carpeted floor and curtained windows contribute largely to its air of comfort. A noticeable feature this term has been the increasing of boys wearing the recognised School dress. While we can see the virtues of this change, we are thankful it has not been brought about under compulsion. We do not, however go so far as to side with those who would say that compulsory uniformity in school dress is an abomination, and that a boy should be allowed to dress as he likes. We think, rather, that, though freedom of choice with regard to one's clothes may be a pleasant thing, it is hardly a matter of great importance. There are surely many much more essential outlets for the expression of one's individuality than that provided by dress. And many people, indeed would gladly welcome the idea that the problem of what they should wear should be solved for them, for all places and all occasions, during their school days and later in their lives, by the provision of a uniform regulation dress. Anyhow, we applaud the good sense and taste of those boys-the great majority who are wearing the excellent official dress of the School. We draw the attention of readers to the following notes from the Headmaster: - A word of explanation is perhaps needed concerning the Tutorial System, which has been introduced into the School this year. In my opinion the House System, a product of Boarding Schools applied to Day Schools, is of little use beyond promoting rivalry in games, and so facilitating the organisation of matches within the School. The House unit in a School of this size is too large for a House Master to know his boys very well. In future, therefore, every boy on entering the School will be placed under the special personal supervision of one of his Housemasters. Thus every member of the Staff will have a direct knowledge of and responsibility for some 24 boys with whom he will retain contact during their whole School life. Where the system is successful, one Master should be able to know the boy more fully than has any Master been able to do heretofore, and, understanding the special circumstances of the individual, he will, I hope, be able to give that boy far better help in his difficulties and perplexities than has been possible in the past. I hope that parents will get to know their boys' "Tutor" and encourage their sons to go to him for guidance and help. This year we are also trying to get rid of the bugbear of exams below the Fifth Forms. Admittedly, it is an experiment, but we are keeping careful watch not only on the work of the School, hut also on the "health" of the School, and we believe that both will be the better for it. For this year, at any rate, there will he no positions or mark percentages given on the Term Reports, but boys will be classified in groups. Such classification, together with individual remarks when deemed necessary, will, it is hoped, be a clearer indication to parents of how a boy stands with regard to the various subjects taken.

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