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Normansfield: The Early Years 1868 to 1913. Part 6 Teaching
Formal education formed an important part of treatment in Normansfield. Teachers, however, were expected to participate fully in the life of patients and to bond with them. As will be seen from the work rotas, duties were not, therefore, confined to the classroom.
Timetable extracted from LMA File Ref H29/NF/B/16/01
TEACHER ROTA IN 1907 – Weekdays
TEACHER ROTA – Sundays in rotation
TOTAL WORKING HOURS/WEEK
(Counting meals on Sunday and 10 ~ 11pm as 2 hours)
In common with nurses, teachers were expected to work very long hours and the rotas do not give any indication of days off work, which must have been allowed. There was also a stipulation that teachers could only attend one church service on Sunday, presumably so that other duties were not unduly compromised.
The timetables on the following page were for classes for children of limited ability and combine academic, fitness and practical skills subjects. Bead threading was specifically used as a measure of co-ordination and dexterity. School reports exist for some of the children who attended these classes and, in most cases, it was noted that the children could perform tasks under instruction, but were unable to do so on their own initiative.
The school report for A. Walker, who was a higher calibre of patient intellectually and lived in Trematon, reflects a teaching programme with a predominantly academic basis.
Clearly, the school programme was tailored to the needs and ability of the patient to fulfil the aim to educate, train and stimulate. Extra curricular activities supplemented schoolwork with a strong emphasis on entertainment based primarily in the theatre and, where possible, practical work on the farm or in the workshops or gardens on site.
Data Extracted from LMA File Ref: H29/NF/B/16/01
CLASS TIMETABLES circa 1905 – 1907
Class Ia, Class IV
Monday or Friday 9.15 ~ 11.00 mat making, letters and beads
Private lessons also given:
Needlework (Tues & Thurs), Singing (Mon), Music (Wed), Drawing (Tues)
Basketwork, Painting, Colouring
MUSEUM & THEATRE OPEN DAY
Next date to be announced
11am Talk: Dr John Langdon Down & Normansfield
The life of the Victorian physician Dr John Langdon Down and his family where a revolutionary and enlightened approach was developed for the care of people with learning disabilities.
1pm – 2pm Tour of the museum and theatre
The archivist will give a 60 minute talk and tour around the museum and theatre.
This events are free. Booking not required. Donations welcome.