This document explains some of the unfamiliar terms and archaic practices that are contained in the school log. They are listed in alphabetical order.





Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity. It has now largely been eradicated through vaccination. In the USA in the 1920's some 100,000 - 200,000 cases were estimated and led to over 13,000 deaths.


the current month, short for instant


The Hiring Fairs of Martinmas, held in November, were the annual opportunity for farm and domestic workers to have a new job or re-contract for their existing one.

Farmhands had a fortnight free at the end of their working year, and flush with a year's pay - less any deductions - they would troop into town to spend their wages. When all that merriment was done with, the will­ing, and not so will­ing, workers lined themselves up for the highest bidder. The deal, when struck with a prospective em­ployer, was sealed by a handshake and the exchange of I/-, known as a Feste. The worker's clothes, often housed in a tin trunk, were then taken to the new place of employment, ready for the start of the working year. A year that was to be faced without wages until the next hiring fair - unless of course the employer would agree to a 'sub' in advance.


a weed - wild mustard.Children were commonly employed to "pull" these weeds and also dock leaves (dockings) also.


Martinmas was one of the quarter days which were used to divide the year. It originates in a Christian feast observed in commemoration of the death and burial of Saint Martin of Tours. Martinmas was usually observed around November 11. This day was important in the agricultural calendar as it was the day from which agricultural and other workers were hired for 12 months at a time and also the date on which rents and other payments fell due. The single men who had been hired for the year would return home for the Martinmas Week, would attend the Hiring Fair in Beverley or Driffield and often move to another farm if not asked to stay for another year. They would seek promotion i.e. fourth lad to third lad and then waggoner, after a few years they might marry and then seek a post as foreman which gave them a house in which they would board the single men. Men on the isolated Wold Farms might never leave them for the whole year.


object lesson

Although many of the lessons followed the same pattern of rote learning and repetition, children were given the chance to experience and learn by using their personal observations and their senses through an object lesson on ‘Common Things' and ‘Elements of Science'.


Teachers were encouraged to keep three points in view when preparing these lessons:


1. The production of full and accurate information,

2. The arrangement of the matter in its teaching order,

3. The indication of the method by which the ideas are to be worked out.


In the selection of objects to be used, preferences were to be given to items that were likely to come to the children's notice in their daily life stating that, ‘the study of which will help to cultivate observation and intelligent inquiry; the habits which will tend to make the individual exact [in] his statements, correct in his judgements, and useful in his future avocations.'


The object lesson was split into four subjects:

I           Common things E.g. table, hair-brush, window

II           Food substances E.g. tea, sugar, olive oil, water

III          Clothing materials E.g. linen and flax, wool and woollen cloth

IV         Animal and vegetable substances used in Manufactures and Domestic Life E.g. candles, horn, paper



records of attendance by the children. They were verified and certified by members of the school board on their visits to the school and these are recorded in the school log.

scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is a rash accompanied by a sore throat caused by the streptococcus bacteria.

The disease most commonly affects children, but can occur in any age group. The characteristic symptoms are a rash and a 'strawberry tongue'. The disease is now treated with antibiotics and it is usually resolved without complications but before antibiotics its complications could lead to the death of children.

It is a notifiable disease in the UK. This means that cases are required by law to be reported to a health officer or local government authority.


the practice of separating vegetable crops such as turnips or cabbages that grow in clumps. A man would hoe or chop out turnips to space them; he might single with his hoe or just chop out and be followed by a boy singling. There is a memorial in BB Church to an Almack who had three farms in the village and who published a paper on the pro's and con's of both methods.

standard, stds

In 1862 a Revised Code was introduced outlining the curricula to be followed, much like the way the government introduced the National Curriculum in the 1990s. The Code only included the three R's (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic) and followed six standards. The code was revised in 1879 and again in 1890.


The average age for each standard was:


Standard I         6 years

Standard II        7 years

Standard III       8 years

Standard IV       9 years

Standard V       10 years

Standard VI       11 years


However progression through the Standards was by examination and not age. If a child failed the examination then the whole year was repeated, with many children being in the same groups as much younger children.



looking after crops usually to scare birds away. Cows would be turned out to graze the roadside verges. A boy would be engaged to look after them and bring them back for afternoon milking. Tenting cows is thus another use of the word tenting.

whooping cough

Whooping cough (pertussis) is still a very serious disease when it occurs in children under the age of one year old. But thanks to an an effective immunisation programme, it's now quite rare. Before the vaccination against whooping cough was introduced in the 1950's, there were more than 100,000 reported cases in England and Wales per year. Three out of four children caught the disease and some died every year.





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