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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Advert for Heavitree Collegiate School 1878


In Henry Bright's advert appeared in various local publications over time - in this instance the year was 1878.

The first thing to notice is that Henry was an Associate of the College of Proctors in an age when many head masters were either clergymen or had no qualification whatsoever. The Public Schools recruited young graduates and turned them loose in the classrooms with no further teacher training other than what they could remember of their own schooldays, relying on corporal punishment to maintain some sort of order.

The College of Preceptors came into being in 1849 and only renamed itself  the College of Teachers in 1998. Its function was to set up and examine a system of training for teachers of secondary-age children. This was a National project aimed at producing a standardised approach to teaching throughout the country. There were three levels of qualification: ACP (Associate), LCP (Licentiate) and FCP (Fellow). In those early days, all training took place within the classroom rather than at a Teacher Training College; the students were monitored on a regular basis over a period of time before receiving visits from an examiner.

In addition, the College of Preceptors set external examinations and awarded certificates to pupils at the end of their education, setting standards not only in learning content but in achievement of results.

Henry Bright certainly knew what his customers wanted. He offered the usual Classical education approach which was the basis of Public School education but he also offered something he called an "English" education. He knew that most of the boys in his school would enter the world of trade or become local government clerks or take over their father's farms so he taught them to read and write good English, to estimate, calculate and apply their knowledge of mathematics to the commercial world, to keep accounts and he taught them  French so that parents could justify paying his fees by telling their neighbours they had a son who was learning to speak a foreign language!


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