Carrington Public School Turns 150
Carrington Public School turns 150 this year. Onybigambah Public School in the County of Northumberland was established in August 1873. The School was re-named Carrington Public School in January 1889.
Rescued from a trash skip
Important local historical records salvaged from a skip around the 15 September 2000 turned out to be important State records protected by an Act of the NSW Parliament.
In the care of the University of Newcastle Archives (now Special Collections) since 2000, the records of the Carrington Public School dating from 1873 were rescued by local historians (the late) Marj Cramp and Angie Parkes after they were inadvertently thrown out after a fire.
By 2005 these records were fully documented and described, and available for researchers on the State Records NSW (now Museums of History NSW) database.
The collection consists of class rolls, punishment books, lesson registers, observation and daily report books, as well as some charming correspondence.
Access via the database to these valuable records was all made possible by an Archives in the Bush grant which allowed then University Project Archivist Dr Edward Bridle to document our schools, hospitals and University records deemed as State Archives under the Act.
Seeing these Carrington Public School records listed and researched struck a great chord. We were very lucky that people such as Marj and Angie were on the lookout and rescued these important records at a time when they could have easily been trashed.
These efforts have not only proven valuable in historical terms, but also in financial terms as the University has secured an additional $14, 940 in funding to continue the work for Phase II of the Archives in the Bush Project.
The Carrington Public School records listings are now available below, and also on the Museums of History NSW site.
The Many Names of Carrington
Onybigambah was also known under the spelling of Onebygamba, and appears to be another name of Aboriginal origin. Its meaning has been recorded as “mud crab place“(Aborigines of the Hunter Region Kit p.68) and elsewhere as “large mound” (See Carrington Hydraulic Engine House Conservation Report 2005).
The earliest name Corrumba (as an authentic Aboriginal name and sound) recorded appears on Dangar’s 1828 map.
Carrington, in addition to its original name Corrumbah (as an highly probable authentic Aboriginal word), also appeared on Barrallier’s 1801 surveys named Chapman Island, then named Bullock Island in 1844 by Surveyor George Boyle White.
Onybigamba, under the spelling of Onebygamba, makes its first appear in the NSW Government Gazette on the 4 February 1868.The site of the school at Onybigamba Allotment 7 Section 37 at a place described as the “Town of Onybigamba, Bullock Island, near Newcastle) was gazetted on the 24 February 1874 for the purposes of a public school under the Crown Lands Alienation Act 1861.
The name Carrington was bestowed on the municipality on the 30 March 1887. For more on Carrington’s history consult Coulin’s History of Carrington.
Carrington Public School Centenary 1873-1973 Booklet
In 1973 the School celebrated its centenary with a booklet. You can read it here.
Onybigambah Public School (1873-1889) Carrington Public School (1889- ) Archives Listing
(Conduit: Mrs. M. Cramp). [Received: 15th September 2000]. [Accessioned: 4th November 2003] With additional material (in red) Conduit: Angie Parkes Received: 18th May 2007.
Carrington Public School: Registers of Admission Progress and Withdrawl
The purpose of an admission register was to record basic details about children admitted to the school, and about their parents or guardians. The registers were also used to record the progress of the children through various classes and the date of their leaving the school. With only minor variations, their format is generally consistent throughout the period of their use in N.S.W. schools.
The present series is represented by eight surviving volumes, which cover the years 1885-1903, 1922-1958, and (Infants’ School only) 1960-1965. These volumes contain information pertaining to each pupil including: date of admission; pupil’s name; date of birth; religious denomination; name of previous school and date of leaving. The following details are recorded about the child’s parents or guardians: name, residence and occupation. The pupil’s date of admission to each subsequent grade, date of leaving the school and any occupation entered into on leaving school are also recorded.
Girls and boys are listed on opposite pages in order of admission. Entries are numbered consecutively, with different numbering sequences maintained for girls and for boys. In the surviving volumes of this series, the numbering begins anew at the beginning of each register volume until 1946, whereafter new sequences are begun at the start of each school year. In the volume for the years 1892-1903, however, a second numbering, in a different hand to that responsible for most of the volume, has been entered in the margins. This renumbering only involves a minority of the names in this volume, and those mostly the more recent ones, which suggests that it may have been carried out at or not long after the end of this register in 1903, and that it refers to enrolments still current at that point.
One of the two Primary School register volumes for the period beginning in 1885 (item no.  in Consignment 2) is a copy of the other (1/6696), including some enrolments omitted from the earlier volume, and omitting those pupils whose enrolments were no longer current after mid-1895. This copy then becomes the volume of record until the end of 1896. The earlier volume (1/6696) is much damaged, and may already have been so at the time when the copy was made. It is now missing its first two leaves, which contained girls’ enrolments 1-36 and boys’ enrolments 1-71, along with portions of the third leaf.
The entries in these two volumes include enrolments for pupils of all ages until the end of 1889. A separate register was then maintained for the school’s Infants’ Department until the end of 1896. Thereafter a new register (1/6697) was begun, in which current enrolments in both departments were consolidated into a single record, which was continued during subsequent years. Entries in the new register are therefore retrospective from 1892 to 1896, and the enrolments during this period which were no longer current at the beginning of 1897 are omitted from the volume. It is possible that the Infants’ Department was once more amalgamated administratively with the Primary Department at about this time, and that this is what the new, consolidated Admission Register reflects. One leaf, containing 32 entries for boys’ enrolments during the period 1892-1895, is now missing at the beginning of the consolidated register for 1892-1903 (1/6697).
The Infants’ Department register volume which was commenced in March 1890 (item no.  in Consignment 2) was in use only for two months, after which a copy (item no.  in Consignment 2) was made and continued until the end of 1896. The reason for the making of this copy is not apparent.
A separate Infants’ School register was recommenced in 1963. The entries in the volume which begins this part of the series (1/6700) are retrospective until the beginning of 1963, as explained by the note entered on its title-page: “Names and Numbers 1960-61 + 62 Transferred from Primary Book. Infants School commenced 29.1.63.”
Admission registers in paper format ceased in approximately 1995 when they were transferred to the Office Administration System in Schools (OASIS).
|B8174||Register of Admission of Public School at Onybigambah||23 Nov 1885 ~ 03 Jun 1895|
|B8175||Register of Admission of Carrington Public School||19 Sep 1892 ~ 22 Jun 1903|
|B8177||Admission Register Carrington||23 Jan 1922 ~ 27 Nov 1945|
|B8176||Register of Admission of Public School at Carrington||29 Jan 1946 ~ 28 Jan 1958|
|B8178||Register of Admission, Infants’ School, Carrington||02 Feb 1960 ~ 01 Dec 1965|
|M4587||Register of Admission [Public Primary School at Carrington]||06 Jul 1885 ~ 30 Nov 1896|
|M4588||Register of Admission of Public Infants’ School at Carrington||03 Mar 1890 ~ 21 Apr 1890|
|M4589||Register of Admission of Public Infants’ School at Carrington||03 Mar 1890 ~ 23 Nov 1896|
Consignment 2: Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007
M- Registers of Admission Progress and Withdrawl. 1887-1900
Carrington Public School: Applications to be Relieved from Payment of School Fees
This series consists of completed forms of application submitted by parents who sought to be excused from payment of school fees for their children attending Carrington Public School. Each form consists of four sections:
- the actual application, to be completed by the parent, giving details of children, family income and reason for applying;
- the teacher’s recommendation as to whether the application should be granted, or not;
- the teacher’s report on the case, justifying their recommendation (this appears on the reverse of the form);
- the Inspector’s memorandum to the teacher, authorising them to relieve the applicant from paying school fees for a set period.
The current series is represented by six files of forms dating from July, 1895 to January-February, 1901.
A7794(xvi) Applications to be Relieved from Payment of School Fees forms. 1895 – 1901.
18/07/1895 – 30/07/1895
16/01/1899 – 30/01/1899
28/01/1901 – 13/02/1901
Applications to be Relieved from Payment of School Fees forms. 1897 – 1899.
A8809(viii) 12/07/1897 – 22/07/1897
A8809(ix) 30/01/1898 – 17/02/1898
A8809(x) 19/07/1898 – 26/07/1898
A8809(xii) 13/07/1899 – 21/07/1899
Carrington Public School  – Class Roll Books
The Class Roll Books were required to be kept under Regulations in accordance with the Public Schools Act of 1866, issued on 27 February 1867, s. 17. They give a day-by-day record of each pupil’s attendance at school.
The format of the Roll Books remains consistent over time. The volumes are designed to allow for each double-page opening to constitute the record for one class during one quarter of the year. Pages are divided vertically into columns, which are organised in groups of five, representing school weeks of five days each. Each column is headed with the date (day and month), and the attendance of each pupil is recorded in that column against the pupil’s name. Rolls were normally called twice daily, morning and afternoon, and one bar of a cross was entered for each pupil present, so that a complete cross (X) against a pupil’s name indicates that they were present all day, while a single stroke (/) indicates their presence only for a morning or afternoon. In addition to their attendance record, the information recorded about each pupil includes their name and number in the admission register, their age, class at last inspection, and religious denomination, the fees due for them and fees in arrears, and their total attendance in each quarter.
Normally each opening is used for a single class, as the basic format of the volumes provides, or separate openings are used for the girls or boys of each class. Individual volumes, however, may be used to record the attendance in either one class or several. At Carrington Public School, it is not uncommon for one nineteenth-century Roll Book to have been used for as many as four concurrent classes.
Surviving nineteenth-century volumes of this series cover the years 1880-1900, although accidents of survival have meant that not all classes are continuously represented throughout these years. All classes in the school are recorded in one volume until 1882. Thereafter the increase in enrolments and consequent subdivision of some grades into “Upper” and “Lower” classes necessitates the use of two parallel volumes to cover the whole school. The establishment of a separate Infants’ Department, taking in the former First Class (already divided into “Upper” and “Lower”), in March, 1890 is reflected by the commencement of new Rolls for the classes of the Infants’ and Primary Departments at the beginning of that year, and the re-amalgamation of the two Departments at the end of 1896 likewise finds expression in the commencement of a further set of new Rolls. From 1897 until 1900 four concurrent volumes are required to cover the whole school.
M4547 First/Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 26/01/1880 – 25/06/1881*
M4548 Lower First/Upper First/Second Class Roll. 15/01/1883 – 26/09/1885
[M4549 Lower First/Middle First Class Roll. 18/01/1904 – 24/06/1905] NSA
M4550 Upper Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 31/03/1884 – 26/06/1886
M4551 Fragment: List of Parents. n.d.
M4552 Lower First/Upper First/Second Class Roll. 28/09/1885 – 22/04/1887
M4553 Upper Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 29/03/1886 – 30/06/1888
M4554 Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 02/07/1888 – 27/12/1889
[M4555 Rough List of Fees Due. 01/05/1889 – 30/06/1889] NSA
M4556 First Class Roll. 08/07/1889 – 28/02/1890
M4557 (Primary) Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 13/01/1890 – 27/12/1890
M4558 (Infants’) First/Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll.03/03/1890 – 27/12/1890
M4559 (Primary) Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 12/01/1891 – 05/11/1891**
M4560 (Primary) Second/Lower Third Class Roll. 28/09/1891 – 24/06/1893
M4561 (Infants’) First/Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 18/01/1892 – 24/12/1892
M4562 (Infants’) First/Second Class Roll. 16/01/1893 – 29/12/1894
M4563 (Primary) Second/Lower Third Class Roll. 10/07/1893 – 29/12/1894
M4564 (Primary) Upper Third/Fourth Class Roll. 10/07/1893 – 30/06/1894
M4565 (Infants’) Third/Fourth Class Roll. 14/01/1895 – 26/12/1896
M4566 (Primary) Upper Third Class Roll. 14/01/1895 – 26/12/1896
M4567 (Infants’) First/Second Class Roll. 14/01/1895 – 26/12/1896
M4568 (Primary) Fourth Class Roll. 18/01/1895 – 26/12/1896
M4569 Class Roll: First and Lower First Classes. 18/01/1897 – 25/06/1898
M4570 Class Roll: Upper Third and Fourth Classes. 18/01/1897 – 24/09/1898
M4571 Class Roll: Lower Third and Third Classes. 18/01/1897 – 31/12/1898
M4572 Class Roll: Upper Third and Fourth Classes. 26/09/1898 – 30/12/1899
M4573 Empty covers (x2). pre-1889
M4574 Second Class Roll. 16/01/1899 – 29/12/1900
* last entries made on 30/03/1881
** all classes save Lower Third finish on 26/09/1891
M4575 March 1900 – March 1902
M4576 March 1900 – April 1902
M4577 March 1902 – Dec 1903
M4578 June 1902 – Dec 1903
M4579 Sept 1902 – Sept 1903
M4580 March 1903 – Dec 1903
M4581 March 1904 – Sept 1905
M4582 Dec 1906 – Dec 1907
M4768 First/Second/Third/Fourth Class Roll. 28/03/1881 – 24/06/1882
Consignment 3: Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007
M- Class Roll: First, Second, Third and Fourth Classes. 28/03/1891 – 26/12/1891
M- Class Roll: Third and Fourth Classes. 25/03/1893 – 29/12/1894
M- Class Roll: Upper First, Lower Second (one entry 29/6/1898) and Second Classes. 27/03/1897 – 31/12/1898
Carrington Public School: Comments and Suggestions Books
The purpose of the Comments and Suggestions Book is defined by the notice inside its front cover, as follows:
“This book is for the purpose of recording such comments and suggestions on the work of each member of the staff, favourable or otherwise, as are deemed appropriate.
“These remarks should be made in clear and concise terms. The Teacher concerned should read and attach his initials to what has been recorded regarding his work.”
The book contains detailed comments on the state and progress of each class in the school, including evaluations of the pupils’ performance in the various subjects taught, the teacher’s proficiency (or otherwise), character and general deportment, the needs of the class generally and the needs of particular pupils. These comments are made by the Headmaster or the Deputy Headmaster, normally in July and December in the aftermath of the half-yearly and yearly examinations. They may be either in the form of typescript sheets pasted into the volume, or handwritten reports entered directly onto its pages.
The present series is represented by a single volume, which covers the period from July 1946 to December, 1951, and has been initialled as having been viewed by the Inspector in 1952. Typed and manuscript entries alternate until 1948; thereafter the record is exclusively hand-written. A number of pages remain unused towards the end of the volume.
B8158 (1/6680) Comments & Suggestions Book. 01/07/1946 – 10/07/1952
Carrington Public School: Correspondence and Forms, 1892-1905
This series consists of two files of papers from Carrington Public School, whose contents include:
- Exchange of notes, dating from March, 1898, between A.E. Cradick, apparently a junior teacher at the School, taking the Upper Second Class, and H. Clemens, Headmaster, concerning Mr Cradick’s management of classes; surviving items of this correspondence are numbered 3-7;
- Notices issued (in 1898) to parents whose children were not attending school with the frequency required under clauses 20 and 21 of the Public Instruction Act;
- Letter from pupil-teacher I. Macara to the Inspector of Schools, Mr Flashman, reporting his Entrance on Duty (January, 1900);
- Rules for Public School Savings Banks, issued by the Department of Public Instruction (1892);
- Unused Departmental forms, including School Reports to the State Children Relief Department, Inventories of Departmental Property, Returns of Postage Stamps, Applications for Grants of Kindergarten Materials and Reports on Pupil-Teachers. These all appear to be of similar date to the other items in this file.
- Copy of the Electoral Roll for Adamstown, 1905.
- Letter of notification of appointment of pupil-teacher B. Hobson, 1896
It is likely that these files are merely representative of a body of papers which will have been accumulating at the School since its opening in 1873.
(a) Cradick-Clemens correspondence. 10/03/1898 – 16/03/1898
(b) Notices of Obligatory Attendance of Children. 04/04/1898 – 07/04/1898
(c) I. Macara: Entrance on Duty. 16/01/1900
(d) Rules for Public School Savings Banks. 1892
(e) Unused forms. c.1900
(f) Adamstown Electoral Roll. 1905
A8809(xiii) Notification of appointment of pupil teacher (Benj. Hobson). 11 June, 1896
Consignment 3 (Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007)
Correspondence, forms 1896-1889
Carrington Public School: Daily Report Books
The Daily Report Books were required to be kept under Regulations in accordance with the Public Schools Acts of 1866, issued on 27 February 1867, s. 17, and are the daily record of attendance for each class of the school. Their pre-printed format provides for this record to be kept by day, class and gender. Figures for boys’ attendance are entered on the left-hand page of each opening, girls’ attendance figures on the right. Each page is divided into four vertical columns, and each column divided horizontally into five days. Within each day, one line is provided for each class from First to Fifth. For each class, the total enrolment on each day and the average number in attendance on that day are both recorded, and the total daily figures are then made up for the whole school. Average attendance figures for the school as a whole are also made up on a weekly basis, and provision is also made to enter weekly totals of school fees received.
The series of Report Books for Carrington Public School is now represented by the volumes for 1881-1884 and 1888-1900 (although only fragments are preserved of the volume for the period January, 1892 – August, 1894).
During the period covered by these volumes, Carrington Public School only included classes from First to Fourth, although some of these were divided into Upper and Lower classes, attendance figures for which are kept distinct. It is noteworthy that the record for the First Class is omitted from this extant portion of the series from the 3rd March, 1890 until the 14th January, 1895, which suggests that a separate record of attendance might have been kept during this time for the school’s short-lived Infants’ Department, established in 1890 and re-absorbed into the main body of the school by 1897.
On occasion the relevant page of a volume might be annotated to record events such as public holidays and the absence or replacement of a teacher, or, as is the case with the volumes for 1895-1896 and 1897-1900, the blank page at the front of the volume might be ruled to receive this information.
M4590 Daily Report Book. 25/04/1881 – 12/12/1884
M4591 Daily Report Book. 24/09/1888 – 22/01/1892
M4592 Daily Report Book. (fragments). 18/01/1892 – 19/02/1892; 07/08/1893 – 29/09/1893
M4593 Daily Report Book. 03/09/1894 – 21/12/1894
M4594 Daily Report Book. 14/01/1895 – 18/12/1896
M4595 Daily Report Book. 18/01/1897 – 09/02/1900 (MOH NSW Entry)
M4596 Daily Report Book. (blank) [n.d.]
Consignment 2: Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007
M- Daily Reports. 1892-1894
Carrington Public School: Examination Books
The nature and function of the School Examination Book is indicated by the following passage, which, with variations, is printed on the inside front cover of each volume:
Half-yearly Examination of Pupils
- All classes must be examined half-yearly by the head of the Department or the First Assistant, the examinations to be completed by the end of June and November.
- The nature of each test, and, as far as possible, the actual questions set, should be indicated.
- Pupils’ names should be, as far as practicable, arranged in alphabetical order.
- Absentees from the regular class examination should be tested as opportunity offers.
- The record for each class should be signed both by the Examiner and the class teacher.
- The results of the class teacher’s tests may be taken into account, or, in some cases, may be entirely accepted for the purposes of the half-yearly examination when the Head of Department has satisfied himself as to the character and usefulness of the tests. By examination of pupils’ written work, more, perhaps, than by any other single procedure, the nature of the tests given by the teacher, the character of the work attempted, and the effectiveness of the teaching will be disclosed. The neatness of the written work and the standard of the writing are strong indications of the tone of the class and of the teacher’s control.
- This record is of great importance both to teacher and inspector. The teacher will learn from it the general result of his teaching and the development of individual pupils. The inspector will take it into account in estimating the general management of the school and the work of the class teacher. It is also an essential factor in determining the fitness of candidates for the “Permit to Enrol.”
Each volume of the Examination Book typically contains copies of examination papers, normally pasted in but occasionally handwritten, with a record of the marks achieved by individual pupils in each subject, their overall results, and, if deemed appropriate, the teacher’s comments. The pre-printed format of the volumes provides for results to be recorded in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Composition, Arithmetic and two or three other subjects (with variations over time), and for the results of the June and November examinations to be recorded alongside each other. Normally one volume will be used to record the performance of pupils in the same grade during successive years, but occasionally the record may instead follow the progression of a particular class through the several grades.
The surviving Examination Registers for 1893 and 1894 are volumes originally printed as Lesson Registers, but used to record the dates of examinations and the pupils’ results on a class-by-class basis. Rough notes giving some indication of the examination questions have also been entered into these volumes. A note on the originally blank first page of the volume for 1893 reads: “New book provided As no trace can now be found of the book two or three last examinations always kept with the teachers records.” [sic]
B8170 (1/6692) 2nd Class Examination Book. 1961-1962
B8165 (1/6687) Grades 1/2 Examination Book. 1963-1968
B8166 (1/6688) Grade 3 Examination Book. 1963-1965
B8164 (1/6686) Grade 4 Examination Book. 1960-1965
B8171 (1/6693) Grade 5 Examination Book. 1959-1963
B8163 (1/6685) Grade 5 Examination Book. 1964-1965
B8167 (1/6689) Grade 6 Examination Book. 1962-1966
B8169 (1/6691) Class 3B-4B-5B Examination Book. 1961-1963
B8168 (1/6690) Class 6B Examination Book. 1964
A7794 (xiii) Examination Register (all classes). 14/02/1893 – 07/12/1893
A7794 (xiv) Examination Register (all classes). 15/02/1894 – 15/12/1894
Carrington Public School  – Programme & Lesson Registers
The earlier Lesson Registers in this series provide simply for a daily record to be kept of all subjects taught in a particular class. Volumes are pre-printed, with each double-page opening divided into columns headed by the names of the subjects in the curriculum. In the period from the 1880’s to the opening years of the twentieth century these include Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, Object Lessons, Scripture Lessons, Drawing, and Vocal Music, with a final column provided under the heading “Other Subjects.” The content of each day’s lessons in each subject is briefly indicated in the appropriate column. Each opening is headed by the names of the school, the class and the teacher, with the average age of the pupils for that term or quarter and the date on which the teacher had taken charge of the class. All classes used the same format of register.
With the passage of time a tendency emerges for teachers to break up the record into weekly sections. From 1906 this gives rise to a change in the pre-printed format of the Lesson Registers. The newer format provides one page for each week’s record, each page being divided into horizontal sections bearing the titles of the various subjects in the curriculum. These are now given as English, Mathematics, Nature Knowledge, Civics and Morals, Music, Art and Manual Training, and Physical Culture. A final section is provided, entitled “Special Remarks.”
By the third quarter of the twentieth century further changes had been introduced. Rather than a current record of teaching actually done, the registers – now Programme and Lesson Registers – have become a programme of the teaching intended to be undertaken in each term, and are written up in advance of the term. Separate formats are now provided for Kindergarten and Primary grades.
Each volume of the Primary register covered an academic year. There is an introductory page setting out the name of the school, the grade, the dates of the terms, the average age of the pupils, the name of the teacher and the date of assignment to the class. The volumes are sub-divided into terms. At the end of each term is an unstructured two-page section headed “Remarks.” The programme is otherwise set out in pre-printed pages. At the left-hand edge of each verso page is a column marked with week numbers. A four-page double spread is provided for each term’s programmes in English, three-page spreads for Mathematics and Social Studies, and single pages under the headings Health and Physical Education, Natural Science, Music, and Art and Handicrafts/Needlework. Each subject is further broken up under such sub-headings as (for instance) Literature, Language, Expression, any of which may be further broken down into such areas as Handwriting, Vocabulary Building and Grammar. A column for recording variations in the planned programme is provided at the right-hand side of each opening.
The Kindergarten registers are in a similar, but not identical, format. There is a three-page spread for each term’s English programmes, and half- to one-page spreads for other subjects. With slight variations from year to year, the weekly programme is set out under the following subjects: English, Arithmetic, Natural Science (or Nature Study), Scripture, Social Studies, Music, Health Education, Physical Education, Art and Handicrafts (or Handwork), and Developmental and Creative Activities.
The present series is currently represented by volumes from the years 1879-1883, 1888-1897, 1900-1908 and 1963-1967. All classes from Kindergarten to Sixth are represented, including Pupil Teachers from 1890-1894 and 1904-1906. Normally each volume is used for just one class, although, as long as the format permitted, one volume might be in use for that class over several years. In one instance (no. B8179, old system 1/6701), a single volume has been used for two classes simultaneously, and in two others (no. B8186, old system 1/6708, and no. A8809(v)), a volume originally used with one class has been taken up again after a period and used for another class.
Most of the volumes currently held are essentially intact, although many of the older ones are battered and stained, and some are wanting their covers, but the Second Class Pupil Teacher’s Lesson Register for 1894 is fragmentary, and a Third Class Lesson Register from 1895 is represented by one leaf. These are held in a single folder of fragments, along with several loose, blank register pages.
B8204 (1/6726) Upper First Lesson Register. 31/05/1880 – 04/05/1883
B8179 (1/6701) IIIrd & IVth Class Lesson Register. 15/10/1888 – 10/07/1889
B8181 (1/6703) Fourth Infants’ Lesson Register. 07/07/1890 – 26/11/1892
B8180 (1/6702) Fourth Class Pupil Teacher’s Lesson Register. 08/09/1890 – 21/10/1892
B8205 (1/6727) Pupil Teacher in Class III’s Lesson Register. 23/01/1893 – 27/10/1893
B8185 (1/6707) Low Third Lesson Register. 13/07/1903 – 23/09/1904
B8186 (1/6708) Upper Third Lesson Register. 19/01/1903 – 18/12/1903
Fourth B Lesson Register. 29/05/1906 – 14/12/1906
B8187 (1/6709) Pupil Teachers’ Class Lesson Register. 03/10/1904 – 10/08/1906
B8188 (1/6710) Middle First Lesson Register. 06/04/1905 – 14/12/1906
B8182 (1/6704) Third Class Lesson Register. 02/07/1906 – 02/08/1907
B8183 (1/6705) Second B Lesson Register. 22/07/1907 – 20/11/1908
B8184 (1/6706) Fifth Class Lesson Register. 09/03/1908 – 25/09/1908
B8190 (1/6712) 3rd Class Programme & Lesson Register. 29/01/1963 – 12/12/1963
B8189 (1/6711) 5B Programme & Lesson Register. 29/01/1963 – 12/12/1963
B8191 (1/6713) Fourth Class Programme & Lesson Register. 28/01/1964 – 17/12/1964
B8193 (1/6715) Kindergarten Programme & Lesson Register. 02/02/1965 – 16/12/1965
B8194 (1/6716) 4A Programme & Lesson Register. 02/02/1965 – 16/12/1965
B8195 (1/6717) 4B – 5B Programme & Lesson Register. 02/02/1965 – 17/12/1965
B8192 (1/6714) 5A Programme & Lesson Register. 02/02/1965 – 16/12/1965
B8196 (1/6718) Kindergarten Programme & Lesson Register. 01/02/1966 – 15/12/1966
B8197 (1/6719) 3rd Class Programme & Lesson Register. 01/02/1966 – 15/12/1966
B8199 (1/6721) Kindergarten Programme & Lesson Register. 31/01/1967 – 14/12/1967
B8201 (1/6723) Grade 1 Programme & Lesson Register. 31/01/1967 – 14/12/1967
B8200 (1/6722) Grade 3 Programme & Lesson Register. 31/01/1967 – 14/12/1967
B8198 (1/6720) 6th Class Programme & Lesson Register. 31/01/1967 – 14/12/1967
A7794 (i) Fourth Class Lesson Register. 20/08/1879 – 17/12/1880
A7794 (ii) Pupil Teachers’ Class Lesson Register. 26/01/1891 – 11/12/1895
A7794 (iii) Fourth Class Lesson Register. 29/11/1892 – 25/03/1896
A7794 (iv) Lesson Register Fragments:
2nd Class Pupil Teacher Lesson Register. 25/01/1894 – 19/10/1894
3rd Class Lesson Register. 10/06/1895 – 05/07/1895
blank pages [n.d.]
A7794 (v) Second Class Lesson Register. 14/01/1895 – 09/07/1897
A7794 (vi) Fourth Class Lesson Register. 14/01/1895 – 18/12/1896
A7794 (vii) Second Class Lesson Register. 15/01/1900 – 27/06/1902
A7794 (viii) Second Class Lesson Register. 14/07/1902 – 18/12/1902
A7794 (ix) Upper Third Class Lesson Register. 08/12/1902 – 19/12/1902
A7794 (x) Second Class Lesson Register. 19/01/1903 – 23/09/1904
A7794 (xi) Upper Second Class Lesson Register. 03/10/1904 – 25/05/1906
A7794 (xii) 5th Class Lesson Register. 07/07/1905 – 05/10/1906
A8808(i) Middle First Class Lesson Register. 16/06/1901 – 19/12/1901
A8808(ii) Pupil-Teacher’s Class Lesson Register. 10/08/1891 – 06/07/1894
A8808(iii) Third Class Lesson Register. 11/07/1890 – 07/06/1895
A8809(i) Lower First Class Lesson Register. 23/01/1906 – 24/05/1907
A8809(ii) Lower Third to Fourth Class Lesson Register. 19/01/1903 – 23/09/1904
A8809(iii) Third to Fourth Class Lesson Register. 04/10/1904 – 06/04/1906
A8809(iv) Lower to Upper Third Class Lesson Register. 03/10/1904 – 01/06/1906
A8809(v) Fifth Class Lesson Register . 03/10/1904 – 22/06/1905
in same volume Upper 3rd /Fourth A Class Register. 04/06/1906 – 02/11/1906
Consignment 5 (Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007)
Pupil Teachers’ Lesson Register. 1897-1899
Pupil Teachers’ Lesson Register. 1901-1902
1st Class Lesson Register. 9/11/1890 – 7/11/1892
2nd Class Lesson Register. 15/4/1880 – 23/6/1881. In same register, Upper Second, 11/7/1881 – 7/11/1883.
2nd and 3rd Class Lesson Register. September 1891
Lower 3rd Class Lesson Register. 13/7/1891 – 15/1/1895.
3rd Class Lesson Register. 1895 – 1896, in same register, 1st Upper Division, 2/11/1896 – 7/9/1897.
3rd Class Lesson Register. 3/3/1890 – 17/6/1892
3rd Class Lesson Register. 26/9/1881 – 11/6/1883 in same register, 4th Class Lesson Register, 3/4/1883 – 15/6/1883
4th Class Lesson Register. 16/1/1893 – 14/9/1896, in same register Upper 1st Class single entry 14/9/1896.
Fragments 14/1/1895; 14/1/1895; 12/7/1897 and 18/11/1897
Carrington Public School – Observation Books
The purpose of the observation book was for the Inspector to record general remarks about the management of the school, the relationships and discipline within it and the range and effectiveness of the teaching. The Regulations under the Public Schools Act, 1866 noted “The Inspector’s remarks upon the state of the school visited by him, will be entered in the “Observation Book” of the school, which, as a School Record, should be carefully preserved. Entries therein are not to be erased or altered.” (Regulations adopted by the Council of Education on 27 February 1867, s. 83)
The nineteenth- and early twentieth-century volumes are pre-printed to record the Inspector’s remarks on each of the first five grades of the school, and on each of the subjects supposed to be taught in each grade. One full page is allowed for each visit of inspection. Provision is made for him to record each grade’s attainments, with his own suggestions and directions for the teacher to attend to, and his observations on the organisation and discipline of the school. A final section on each page asks for the Inspector to record any suggestions and directions given at his previous visit of inspection which had not been duly observed by the teacher, which information was also to be included in his report to the Minister.
The majority of entries made in post-1938 volumes are entered on a specifically designed form, which is then pasted into the observation book. The form details the school and the inspection date, which was normally only once a year. The form is divided into three main areas: organisation, government and instruction.
The ‘organisation’ section pertains to the school’s equipment, beautification programs, staff direction, records, educational agencies, smoothness and effectiveness of general management, and the standing of the school in relation to the general community.
‘Government’ comments on relations between staff and students, effectiveness of discipline in fostering ideals of conduct and stimulating independent thought and activity, and the socialising influence of the school on its pupils.
‘Instruction’, or general survey evaluates the co-ordination of lesson courses, preparation, general speech-training, teaching methods and their effectiveness in promoting intellectual growth and development, and an appreciation of the higher cultural values.
The present series is represented by seven volumes, which cover the years 1874-1881, 1891-1905 and 1963. Three volumes – for 1891-1895, 1896 and 1963 – relate only to the Infants’ Department of the school, which operated as a separate department with its own sets of records during the years 1891-1896, was re-amalgamated with the main body of the school in 1897, and re-established as a separate department in 1963. The Primary Department volume commenced in 1895 records one visit of inspection for that year, and is otherwise blank; a new volume commences in 1896, and continues thereafter as the volume of record for the whole school. One unused, completely blank volume also forms part of this series; it comes with a covering letter to the school dated the 22nd April, 1899.
B8173 (1/6695) Observation Book. 10/06/1874 – 21/02/1881
B8172 (1/6694) Observation Book. 16/09/1895 – 17/09/1895
B8202 (1/6724) Observation Book (Infants’). 08/11/1963 – 15/11/1963
M4583 Observation Book. 28/07/1896 – 07/03/1905
M4584 Observation Book. (Infants’) 06/05/1891 – 18/09/1895
M4585 Observation Book. (Infants’) 03/08/1896
M4585 Observation Book. (unused) (acc. Letter dated: 22/04/1899)
Carrington Public School: Photographs
This series, if complete, would doubtless consist of an extensive photographic record of the pupils and staff of Carrington Public School. The two representative photographs currently held both appear to date from the decade of the 1890’s. Each is mounted on card for display or framing.
The first photograph is of a class group; the class is identified on a slate held by a boy in the front row as “U 3” or Upper Third. It is a mixed class of boys and girls. No names are given. The photograph is somewhat faded, especially towards the right of the picture. Measurements are 29.5 cm x 19 cm, including mounting.
The second photograph is of a group in what appears to be a bushland setting; the caption, barely legible, reads “Carrington Public School Excursion.” Again, no names are given. The photographer is identified by his stamp on the reverse of the mounting as Ralph Snowball of New Lambton, who continued in business until the 1920’s.  This photograph is extremely faded, and the backing board is beginning to break apart. Measurements are 30.5 cm x 25 cm, including mounting.
 He is listed in the N.S.W. Post Office Directory for 1920, but not for 1930. Although it is not certain when he first set up in business as a photographer, he was resident at Lambton as early as 1888 (Ben W. Champion, Hunter Valley Register, privately published, 1974, p.634).
A7795 (ix) Two photographs:
(a) Upper Third Class ca.1890s
The boy in the front row is holding a slate, which was the writing implement used by the students (referred to as “scholars”) in their lessons. One of these slates survives to this day in the same box as the photograph; could it be the same one?
(b) “Carrington Public School Excursion” ca.1890s
(by R. Snowball, New Lambton)
The original glass negative is held at Newcastle Region Public Library
Carrington Public School: Punishment Books
Regulations under the Public Schools Act of 1866, adopted by the Council [of Education] 27 February 1867 regulated the punishment of children in schools by stipulating: “In the government of the pupils, all degrading and injurious punishments are to be avoided. The Teacher’s discipline must be mild but firm, his manner kindly, his demeanour cheerful and calculated to gain the confidence of his pupils, and his language marked by strict propriety. While he should overlook no offence, his aim should be to prevent the necessity for punishment by the improvement of the offender.”
In relation to corporal punishment the regulations continue: “Corporal punishment should be inflicted in extreme cases only, and then as a last resource; and the teacher must keep a record of the time and place at which pupils were corporally chastised, the amount of such punishment and the nature of the offence.”
Uniform stationery soon evolved to enable compliance with these regulations. These punishment books are registers of all cases in which corporal punishment was given to pupils. The information they detail includes: the pupil’s name; age; nature of offence; amount of punishment (i.e. number of strokes); by whom sent; the date of the punishment; and by whom the punishment was inflicted.
The present series is represented by three volumes and two fragments (one an empty cover), which pertain to the years 1886-1890, parts of 1893 and 1894, and 1939-1970. The earliest volume records punishments from September, 1886- March, 1890, and has been initialed by the Inspector of Schools, most recently on the 10th April, 1891. This volume is almost completely filled with entries.
The fragment labeled “Lower Third Class Punishment Book” consists of the cover and final leaf of a register volume, recording punishments during the ten-day period 23rd October – 2nd November. Of the 31 children whose punishments are recorded on this leaf, 25 are from the 3rd class, the remainder from the 2nd class. The year is not stated, but it is one in which the 28th October fell on a Sunday, and from the known enrolment dates of the pupils named, the possibilities can be reduced to 1894. This volume, therefore, would probably once have covered the whole period April, 1890 – November, 1894.
Another volume, dating apparently from 1893, records only two punishments, both administered on the same day; the rest of the volume is blank. It has, however, also been initialed by the Inspector. This volume probably related to a different level of the school than that to which the just-described fragment pertained.
The latest volume, from the years 1939-1970, reveals a slow falling-off in the frequency of canings during the period covered, except that this frequency is noticeably higher again in the years 1957-1960 and 1969-1970. Several years (1948-1949, 1952-1954 and 1961) record no instances of corporal punishment at all.
B8203 (1/6725) Punishment Book. 09/02/1939 – 25/06/1970
A7794 (xv)  Punishment Book. 13/09/1886 – 26/03/1890*
A7794 (xv)  Punishment Book (mostly blank). 08/11/1893[?]
A7794 (xv)  Punishment Book (fragment). 23/10/1894 – 02/11/1894
A7794 (xv)  Punishment Book (empty cover). [n.d.]
* Inspector’s signature dated 10/04/1891
Consignment 3 (Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007)
Numbers to be allocated
 Punishment Book. 21/3/1887 – 20/7/1888
 Punishment Book. 23/7/1888 – 15/9/1890
 Punishment Book. 21/5/1891 – 22/10/1894
 Punishment Book. 5/11/1894 – 8/3/1895
 Punishment Book. 15/9/1896 – 7/9/1897
Why does 7 year old Thomas Lowes get 6 strokes of the cane for “Sulkiness”?
One entry from the Punishment Books has always intrigued us. Why, on the 2 March 1887, did Thomas Lowes, get 6 strokes of the cane for sulkiness? It is one of the harshest punishments when most of the students were getting 1,2, or 4 strokes for a variety of offences. Why sulkiness?
A possible reason can be found in Charles Darwin’s work, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872, one year prior to the opening of the School in 1873. Darwin dedicates a portion to describing sulkiness as part of ill-temper, and that it is not a trait common in European children…
“and must be both common and strongly marked with most savage races, as it has caught the attention of many observers. It has been noticed in eight different districts of Australia; and one of my informants remarks how greatly the lips of the children are then protruded.” – Darwin (1915, 1872) p.231
Was Thomas Lowes caned because he was sulking, and there displaying Aboriginal traits? Or was he of Aboriginal descent?
Who Were The Youngest Children Caned?
According to Punishment book A7794 (xv)  the youngest child caned was a little girl, Amy Haynes, aged 2 years old. On the 21 August 1888 she was given one stroke of the cane for talking.
The youngest boy caned was Albert Buckley, aged 3 years. On the 19th October 1886, he was given one stroke of the cane for talking. On the same day Lilly Walsh, aged 3 ¾ received 3 strokes of the can for “Disobedience”.
There are another five recently unearthed punishment books from the same school, what can they tell us about the frequency and age of the pupils caned during those years?
Carrington Public School: Requisition Forms
There are two types of requisition form represented in this series: “Requisition for School Materials” and “Requisition for School Reading Books.”
The “Requisition for School Materials” is used for supplies of paper and writing implements, ink, ink-wells, slates, chalk, maps, charts and diagrammes, new blackboards, easels, music books and various other teaching aids, and also for lesson plans and official stationary such as Admission Registers and Visitors’ Books. The range of items available for requisition, with their prices, is printed on the form, on which the requisitioning teacher is to indicate the number of each item already received, the number presently in stock and the number now required, with the cost of the current requisitions. The number of pupils in each class at the school, and the total enrolment, are also to be entered, and the whole is to be countersigned by the Chief Inspector’s representative. The school is to keep one copy of each form submitted.
The “Requisition for School Reading Books” is similarly organised, differing only in that the list consists solely of the approved School Readers supplied by the Department (and is consequently far shorter than that on the other form).
The series from Carrington Public School consists at present of the School’s record copies of “Requisition for School Materials” forms from 1895 to 1900, and of “Requisition for School Reading Books” forms from 1898 to 1900.
A7794 (xix) Requisition forms 29/03/1895 – 30/03/1900
Carrington Public School: School Returns
The School Returns, submitted quarterly, were primarily but not exclusively reports on the enrolment and attendance at the school. Weekly tallies were recorded of pupils enrolled (broken down by gender and religious denomination), of average attendance over the week, and of school fees received. Quarterly totals for these figures were made up, as also for fees in arrears, children whose fees had been waived, and children who had left the school during the quarter. Details were also entered of the teachers on the establishment on the last day of each quarter, and of the physical state of the school, including inventories of books, maps and diagrammes, and descriptions of the school buildings and grounds. The correctness of the information given was to be certified by both the teacher responsible for its compilation and the Inspector of Schools. In the event of the average enrolment falling below that prescribed for the school’s classification, explanation was to be made by the teacher in the space provided. The forms for School Returns were printed yearly, and each form bears on its last page lists of the authorised school holidays for that year and of the Inspectors then in service in each district.
The School Returns from Carrington Public School appear to be duplicate copies retained at the School as part of its records. The series as preserved is incomplete, but includes representative returns from every decade from the School’s foundation in 1873 until the end of the nineteenth century.
A7794 (xviii) School Returns for the years 1873, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1885, 1886, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1900. Date Range: 29/09/1873 – 29/12/1900
A8809(vii) School Returns for the years 1877, 1878, 1880. Date Range: 29/11/1877 – 25/12/1880
Consignment 3 (Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007)
Numbers to be allocated
School Returns for the years 1877, 1878, 1879
School Returns for the years 1888, 1889, 1890
School Returns for the years 1896, 1897
Carrington Public School: Specification of Repairs and Painting to Public School and Teachers’ Residence
This accession consists of the duplicate copy, held amongst the School’s records, of the Specification of Repairs and Painting issued by the Department of Public Instruction Architect’s Office for work to be done at Carrington Public School and at the teacher’s residence in June and July, 1891. The work consisted mainly of painting to be done at the school, with a few minor repairs required at the residence. The document which constitutes the whole of this series is made up of a pre-printed list of thirteen standard conditions and a handwritten description of the actual work required to be done. The date of the document is the 24th June, 1891, and the work was to be completed by the 4th July.
A7794 (xx) Specification of Repairs and Painting to Public School and Teachers’ Residence, Carrington. 24th June, 1891.
Carrington Public School: Visitors’ Books
The Public Instruction Act, 1866 authorised special religious instruction by visiting clergymen and their delegates (Public Schools Act, 1866, s. 19), and regulations under the Act authorised members of the public to visit schools during ‘the hours of secular instruction’ to observe teaching methods, teaching material and equipment (Regulations adopted by the Council of Education on 27 February 1867, s. 84-85). The regulations required every teacher to keep a visitors’ book ‘in which visitors may enter their names and if they think proper any remarks. Such remarks the Teachers are by no means to erase or alter.’ (Regulations … s. 86).
The purpose of the visitors’ book was to create a record of the persons other than pupils or teachers who attended the school during business hours. Visitors’ books were divided into three columns – date, name and remarks. The remarks usually recorded the purpose of the visit which included religious instruction (by far the most usual purpose for visiting a school), school inspection, medical inspection, departmental officers visiting on business e.g. to inspect the buildings or equipment, and guest speakers. Occasionally visitors (particularly Inspectors) remarked briefly on the conduct or the ambience of the school.
The present series is represented by three volumes, which cover the years 1892-1896 and 1941-1960. The volume for 1892-1896 contains very few entries, less than a page in all, most of which appear to relate to visits of inspection; the rest of this volume is blank. The visits recorded in the later volumes relate almost exclusively to the provision of religious instruction at the school; at the end of the years 1951, 1952 and 1953, tallies of the number of visits by representatives of each denomination have been entered in the record.
B8160 (1/6682) Visitors’ Book, 4.3.93 – 31.7.96
B8161 (1/6683) Visitors’ Book, 24.9.41 – 11.6.52
B8162 (1/6684) Visitors’ Book, 18.6.52 – 28.4.60
Consignment 3 (Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007)
 Visitors’ Book, 12/3/1874 – 13/6/1888
Other Records related to Carrington Public School
Consignment 3 (Conduit: Angie Parkes 18/5/2007) – File of fragments
CARRINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOL:
A6336 (ix) Carrington Public School Centenary, 1873 – 1973.
GAHAN/GUION FAMILY and Carrington Public School (received 25th October, 2005) [Conduit: Mrs Vivienne Northcote, Bourke St, Carrington]
A7795(xi) (b) Photostat copy of a Carrington Public School photograph (1909), with names of children.
Carrington Public School on NBN Television News
5B 04 News item NBN Television September 1987
10B 33 News item NBN Television 11 September 1990
11B 02 News item NBN Television April 1991
14B 40 News item NBN Television December 1992
14B 19 News item NBN Television October 1992
NSW State Records Documentation Prepared by Dr Edward Bridle, Project Archivist.
NBN Television News Stories sourced by Dr Ann Hardy, Co-ordinator, GLAMx and Digitisation Projects
Compiled, Edited with Additions
by Gionni Di Gravio, OAM