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Hardly any of the candidates seemed to appreciate the point raised in Question 3-the difference between the use of the ear and the eye in the teaching of spelling. At least 60 per cent. of the papers indicated an ignorance of what "orally" means.
Question 4 found the candidates at their best. Here they had clearly mastered, in an intelligent way, what they had been taught about position in handwriting.
In Question 5, too, there was much intelligent answering, though very many candidates contented themselves with repeating a general statement about ventilation, and made no specific application to the needs of the schoolroom.
Question 6 brought out a great deal of common-sense answering. The candidates were obviously writing, in the great majority of cases, from personal experience, though there was the usual residuum of unintelligent candidates who demanded lessons in Arithmetic lasting three hours, and in Music lasting an hour and three-quarters.
Considering the papers as a whole, there was a striking inequality among them. The best were exceedingly well done, both in form and in matter; but there was a "tail" of papers that must be regarded as hopeless. Between the two extremes there was a solid body of papers that gave evidence of careful and intelligent study of a subject that is, in the nature of things, a little beyond the grasp of candidates of this age.
In the Report of last year a careful statement was given of a sound system of Drawing (and, inferentially, of teaching Drawing) from the flat. Either those concerned did not have their attention drawn to it or (as sometimes happens) the Report was not read. Be the case as it may, the fact remains that errors which should have been avoided were again conspicuous in many instances. The example set-a jug of absolutely symmetrical form (but for spout and handle)-called at once for an axis, but in a large number of cases no axis had been drawn, with the result that the object was falling over. Many of the candidates appear to have commenced the drawing of a curve without knowing
of the figure were frequently imperfect. Careful and persistent teaching is the means by which such faults may be corrected.
It is not unreasonable to expect that candidates of this grade should be at least twelve months better than those in the primary grade. Speaking broadly, the character of the primary work showed that the children are intelligent. The weak preliminary papers were so numerous and the quality so poor that special leniency has had to be exercised to prevent a very heavy percentage of failures-a leniency which brings the minimum qualification very nearly level with that of the primary grade.
Drawings emphasized by inking and lines made up of numerous dots were still to be found. Apparently these methods were the vagaries of individual candidates, but it is desirable that endeavours should be made to put an end to such practices, as they are great hindrances to progress.
The good drawings were very good, but they were too few in number. Only one candidate submitted an exercise in Model Drawing. For this grade it was a satisfactory effort. There were about twenty each in 1910 and 1911 of high average quality.
The papers, on the whole, showed a very marked improvement over those of last year, and it was therefore very disappointing to find among them certain groups from candidates who had not mastered even the first lesson, and who were quite unable to distinguish between the vowel sounds in such words as "lad" and "laid." In this stage there should not be a single failure.
The papers were again of good general merit, with a large percentage obtaining half marks and many Distinction, while few failed to reach the low Pass mark. The report for 1911 applies to these papers also, but it is satisfactory to see fewer papers with a "back hand style." The line-ends were better, and fewer candidates divided words incorrectly (e.g., "desperat- ely," "belo- ng"). The cultivation of a uniform slope with full and regular loops, and the avoidance of "blind"
TYPEWRITING AND OFFICE ROUTINE.
In the Time Test, punctuation was neglected and the direction as to width of left margin disregarded. In lieu of erasure of errors overprinting was resorted to a habit to be deprecated. The answers to the theory questions were not up to last year's standard. Spelling, punctuation, and arrangement need improvement.
Well proportioned and carefully cut garments were sent in by some of the candidates, but far too many did not seem to have gained any good idea of the general shape of the garment asked for, or of the size required for children of any given age. The amount of material mentioned as necessary for cutting out three of the specified garments varied very much. The material used for the calico specimen was not well chosen in many instances, and thus the difficulties of the workers were increased.
Most of the work was carefully done, and deserved much commendation for the neatness, cleanliness, and finish shown in the different specimens. Very little lace work was sent in, and the few specimens exhibited did not, as a whole, reach the standard of the other stitches. The material used for the drawn-thread work was not in some cases of sufficiently strong texture.
SPELLING TEST, HANDWRITING, AND REPRODUCTION OF STORY.
The Reproduction of the Story was, on the whole, very good. Although very few obtained the maximum, most candidates displayed a good memory and kept clearly in mind the proper sequence of events. The phrasing, however, was often at fault, and candidates generally
The Spelling, with few exceptions, did not reach a high standard ; errors, especially in the "Story," were frequent, and were due mainly to carelessness, which was often painfully evident in the handwriting test.
In the "Handwriting," which was not altogether satisfactory, many candidates lost marks through failure to read intelligently the instructions. There was often a lack of care and neatness shown in the copying.
The papers sent in showed that the teaching had been, on the whole, good. With few exceptions, candidates gave evidence of a satisfactory general knowledge of the parts of speech (Questions 1 and 3); but the explanations given were in most cases weak (Question 4). Only a comparatively small percentage defined a syllable correctly (Question 2) ; many of those who did showed that they had learnt the definition by heart, without being able to put the definition to practical use.
The simple analysis was generally well done, and few failed to obtain good marks. Many marks were lost (especially in Question 5) through the failure of candidates to read the questions carefully.
There was a general improvement in the quality of the answers, though there was still a large amount of poor work, and the raising of the standard for passing caused a considerable increase in the percentage of failures. Very few candidates could do much with Questions 2 and 4, but some very creditable answers to these were sent up. In the descriptive questions the chief faults were the omission of needful details and the insertion of large quantities of irrelevant matter. A few papers were excellent, and showed a thorough application of the subject.
The results were disappointing, over 40 per cent. of the candidates failing to reach the minimum mark of 30 out of a possible 100, and this in spite of very liberal marking. It is probable that
of Questions 4 and 8, to which exception was taken, it should be stated that supplementary marks were allowed for these, and it was possible to attain the maximum without attempting them. Such questions have a distinct value in bringing out originality and general knowledge of individual pupils, as well as in discouraging mechanical methods of teaching. But, setting these questions aside, the rest of the paper produced only poor results. Only the simplest and most straightforward questions were, as a rule, successfully attempted. Thus the locality of famous English places was very imperfectly known. Only two or three candidates could locate Runnymede on the Thames, or Canterbury in the South East of England. Most placed them "in Europe," or "in England," and some "in Japan." Question 6 also, involving some knowledge of English dominion in France, was hardly known at all, and no one attempted the map. The naval history of the period was well dealt with by half-a-dozen candidates; but to the vast majority this important subject was a blank. The spelling of proper names is also a matter needing attention. Oral teaching of elementary history, excellent as it is up to a certain point, needs to be supplemented by the use of the Blackboard, before children are called on to write what they have heard (e.g., nearly half the candidates wrote of Augustine as Agustine).
Though many of the papers were excellently done and gave evidence of thorough and thoughtful teaching, the average quality of the work was not quite up to the standard of previous years.
The answers to Question 1 were, on the whole, very satisfactorily done, and in the many cases where a map was drawn the outline was remarkable for its care and accuracy. Questions 4 and 6 were generally selected and produced good results, while the answers to Questions 2 and 5 were the least satisfactory. The illustrations to Question 3, considering the excellence of the map referred to above, were poor.
The chief faults generally noticeable were vagueness in giving locality, confusion between East and West, and a tendency to omit half a question.