Friday, September 21, 2012

Michael Billings -School Reports 1955 - 58

Along with lots of other material, Michael Billings, who was at the school 1955 - 58 sent copies of his school reports.

The early one 1955 - 57 are designated as Wyre Farm Camp School. The school changed its name to City of Coventry Secondary Boarding school in 1957 so the subsequent reports reflect this in the report headers. However the reports were longer than A4 so the headers are missing on these scans!

This style of report continued until 1961 /2 when the incoming headmaster - Mr Rowland replaced these sheets with a report book, leaving more space for the staff and House masters to write in. The signature is RT Morris - headmaster 1953 - 1960.

Fist the Headers - 

Very small classes - roughly 20 ish per class. Numbers at the school were restricted by the accommodation available. The smaller class size and staff to pupil ratio was promoted as a positive by the school.

One observation of these early reports is that broke down English and arithmetic more specifically than the later report books did.

Form teacher is R. Francis - a name I'm not familiar with.

Interesting for me personally in that the form master was John H Lowe. Mr Lowe was also Deputy head at the time and this must have been just before he left as he went on to be Head of Willenhall Wood Junior school in 1957 (the school I went to before CCBS), and was replaced by Mr Lambley as deputy. another observation is that all subject reports are written by the form master. In the the later report books, the individual teachers wrote their own reports.

The last report by John Lowe. presumably he left at the end of the academic year.

Form teacher now F. Ridley. Mr Ridley was Junior House (Annex) house master when I started in 1962 and left end of the academic year 1963 to become a psychologist of some form I think. He taught maths and Science if i recall correctly. This means he was there from at least September 1957 to summer 1963. I've not heard of W.E. Sterland before.

This report mentions Geoff Oxendale as house master (not sure which house). Geoff  was a maths teacher and still there at least up until 1967 when I left. By then he lived in married quarters at the end of the assembly hall (Bursar's office end).

In this report we see Wally Clarke as form teacher December 1958 - Clark left about 1961.
Note that Michael is to go on to O' Levels in 1960. In 1957 the school changed name and became a secondary modern boarding school offering for the first time GCE's. It's not clear from these reports how that affected the curriculum and teaching methods. If anybody can throw light on that, please comment!


  1. Geoff Oxendale was Dudley House Master. He also took the cricket teams for practice etc.

  2. Mr Sterland was House Master of Radford before it was changed to Dudley.

  3. I can confirm that Geoff Oxendale was Hse/M of Dudley, and Frank Ridley was my Hse/M Mortimer,(M51)Jan '58, I can't recall when he left but Alan Thorne replaced him as Hse/M and Gordon Plaice as Asst Hse/M