Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

38 days until Armistice

A school during wartime

Maintaining normal school routines must have been very difficult during the War.  Staff from all areas joined up or were conscripted, leaving the operational side very short-handed, while the teaching staff were replaced by much older, retired teachers or academics from Oxford who had never taught young boys at all.  Parents struggled to find fees, with their own staff or fathers at the Front and rising inflation. For all of them there was the constant question whether it was all futile: the War itself, educating those about to die, and the massive changes to society which the War brought about.

Today we feature:  Inspection Report by Oxford & Cambridge Examiners Board 1914. Part of the report on Science teaching at Radley College.  Radley was one of the earliest schools to employ specialist teachers for sciences from the early 1860s. However, entry to the universities required Classics to a high standard so at Radley only lower ability pupils destined for an army career were taught science.

WW1 saw many developments in all areas of science and the government became deeply concerned at the poor level of science teaching nationally.  A government commission set up in 1919 recommended that improved science teaching be made compulsory at all schools.