From the Archives – Schools Reports
The stories of our past students’ school careers can be pieced together from a variety of original record sources in the College’s archives. One type of record that is little represented in the archives, however, is a student’s school reports. This is hardly surprising, as the reports are sent home to the boys’ parents or guardians and, historically, the College did not keep a copy. Consequently, when an Old Newingtonian offers his school reports to us for the College’s archives, we are particularly grateful.
Warwick Dunn (ON 1946) was a young student in the Preparatory School between 1937 and 1939. When he returned to Newington for the re-opening of the Le Couteur Centre on 26 February this year, he brought his school reports and presented them to me for preservation in the College’s archives.
There are four reports: one for the third term of 1937 and one each for the three terms of 1938. Each is a single page form completed by the student’s Form teacher and signed by the Headmaster, PR Le Couteur. Warwick’s reports show him in Form 1B (covering the equivalent of today’s Years 1 and 2), and show that this Form had an average of just eight students during this period. They show the subjects that he studied (English, History, Geography, Arithmetic, Spelling, Reading, Writing and Scripture), his rank in the Form and his marks that term.
There is also a ‘Remarks’ area, providing room for a short assessment. In Warwick’s case, these are all very positive, noting his good work, keenness and improvements each term. He is shown as absent from school for only one day during the four terms covered. Perhaps keen to make a good impression, Warwick practised his handwriting by writing the name and address of the College five times on the back of the December 1937 report.
Warwick Dunn’s school reports provide us with a unique insight into his time as a young student at Newington and into primary school education in this period. We are grateful that Warwick has kept his reports safe for 75 years and has now given them to the College to be preserved by his old school.
Mr David Roberts