1952 - 1967 continued

Extracted from "A Century of Schooling" by Donald Woodhead
- Page Three -

Concerts were often given in school in the evening for parents. In December 1958, one such concert had a programme made up of Verse and Prose Speaking, Mime, Singing, Drama and Mumming. On the other occasions the performances were for members of the school only, presented during school hours. In July 1967, as a final display of talent and skill, the staff and 5th form gave a concert for the school. Forms 2A and 2E entertained with singing, recorders, and a play, the 4th year leavers gave a mannequin display, and 3E gave a display of P.E. in the playground.

In most years there was a Harvest Festival Service in October, with the gifts generally distributed to the elderly. At Christmastime, there was a changing of pattern. In 1959, a Carol Service and Nativity play was given in St. Matthew's Hall, whilst in 1960, there was the traditional service of Carols and Lessons. In 1962 the Carol Service included a play. All these were for the school alone; but from 1964 onwards, a joint Carol Service with Nicholls Boys School was held in St. Matthew's Church, led by the Rector, Rev. H. Ackerley, with prefects taking a major part in the service. Additionally, in December 1965, the school had a concert with each form giving an item; and in December 1966, there was a concert which included a Nativity play.

One of the earliest events arranged for parents was an afternoon visit to the Housewifery Centre (1952), when tea and cakes were served. From 1963 parents' evenings were arranged on a year group basis. In 1958, there was a general parents'evening, with displays of work in' all subjects, demonstrations in Typewriting and Shorthand, Flower arrangement and Heat sealing of book jackets. There were also singing, P.E. displays, a Mannequin parade, Poetry reading and a short play. Most of these activities were seen by the school the next day. On an evening in July,1959, there was a talk to parents by the Principal of the local Further Education Centre (Mr. Toft) on "Opportunities in Further Education". Further open evenings for parents occurred from time to time, as in July 1953, when Alderman L. Lever and Councillor W. Parkinson were special guests. When the selective stream entry began in 1958, parents of those offered places had the opportunity of visiting the school at the end of the summer termóin accordance with the practice in all the City schools.

Lecturers from the Commonwealth Institute came to the school frequently to give a variety of talks, and occasionally a lecturer visited from the Athenaeum. In April 1964, the school acted as host for a History Conference, sponsored by the Education Committee, and attended by 70 teachers and H.M.l's. Two days earlier the school commemorated the Shakespeare Quarter Centenary by an exhibition in school and by watching television programmes on the Stratford celebrations. In May 1961, the school had an exhibit in a Science Fair for the British Association holding its conference in the city. Among other interesting talks and lectures were those by Professor Wright Baker on "The Dead Sea Scrolls" (February 1964); "The Work and History of the Salvation Army" by Brigadier Garside (January 1966), and "My work as an Interviewer" by Keith Macklin of the BBC (March 1966).

Out of school visits were many and varied. 117 visited the Circus (October 1962); 100 sailed down the Ship Canal (May 1953 and May 1966); 50 went to Ingleton and Morecambe (May 1956); a group went to Chatsworth House (May 1957); 25 to Stratford (April 1961); 38 to Chester (July 1964) and a party went to Blackpool illuminations in October 1964, and on the Mersey estuary in 1966. Visits were made to most of the museums, art galleries and buildings of historic interest within reasonable distance of Manchester. In May,1959, a party of 23 went to London for a weekend and in February 1965, 25 spent the half term period in Grasmere, a visit repeated in February 1967. The first of many visits abroad began in July 1956, when 12 girls and 2 staff joined with another school in a holiday in Pertisau in Austria. In April 1960, led by Mrs Moore, 26 from the 4th year spent 9 days in Belgium and Paris; 12 went to Interlaken in Switzerland at Easter 1961, and for the next 4 years, led by Mrs Moore, groups went to Sitges in Spain, Switzerland (1963 and 1964) and to Luxembourg.

During these years, Mr. E. Power, M.E.C. District Inspector was the main link between Authorrty and school. H.M.l's Mr. Auty, and then Mr. Banks and Miss Latham-Brown and finally Miss Brunt, visited on occasions and in October 1960, there was a full inspection of the school by H.M.l's Miss Brunt and her colleagues, Miss Dewey, Mr. Bullock, Mr. Rapp, Miss Westbrook and Miss Johnson. At the close of the inspection on 20th October the inspectors met the Governors (Secondary Education Sub-Committee) and officers with Miss McKaig present, and a written report was produced in May 1961. In November 1966, when re-organisation for next year was an established fact, H.M.l's Mr. Ruffet and Mr. Briggs spent a day in school.

Councillor Mrs V. Wilson visited in November 1952 and Alderman Miss Mary Kingsmill Jones in June 1963. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress called in at the 3rd and 4th year Christmas party in December 1957; Alderman Leslie Lever and Dr. Kathleen Ollerenshaw both visited in 1959 and Lady Simon came on two occasions.