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ftansoni, Josephine 

Schools of to-morrow in 
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Schools of To- Morrow 
in England 


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A sketch of the life of one who, while appre- 
ciating to the full the joys of life, never felt the 
fear of death, but looked upon it as the beginning 
of a great and wonderful adventure, opening up 
more wonderful and more beautiful possibilities. 









H f 


THESE sketches of some of the pioneering 
schools of the country are not intended to be 
more than sketches. My purpose in investigat- 
ing experimental schools was simply to try 
to discover what was in them that marked 
them as belonging to the " To-morrow " that 
is, the future in Education. I had no inten- 
tion of going into a close examination or analysis 
of their methods. It will be seen, though, that 
each one contributes something to the solution 
of the problem of educational reform. Here a 
little point is solved, there another, but in no 
one school is to be found a complete solution of 
all the immense and complicated problems of 
educational reform. 

Moreover, I would venture to say that not 
every school now struggling with pioneer work 
will succeed and become established. I would 
even go so far as to say that if some of them did 
persist they would defeat their own purpose. 


With some the very " failure " that they may 
encounter will be their lasting success. They 
will have added an intangible but important 
element to the stream of education; they will 
have made the stream wider and fuller, and in 
that lies much of the very reason of their exist- 
ence. They enrich the content of education and 
contribute distinctly to the formation of opinion 
as to its meaning and purpose. 

It will be clearly understood, of course, that 
the schools here described by no means exhaust 
the number of experimental schools distributed 
throughout the country. They are merely a 
few of them. Some, indeed, will be seen to be 
ordinary schools, with just some special element 
in them which is of significance to the future. 
Others are whole-heartedly pioneer schools. This 
does not mean that they are either fanciful or 
extravagant in their operations, but that they 
carry out all their work with a special intention, 
and illumine it all with a high purpose, and this 
in even quite small details. 

Of one thing I am fully convinced at present : 
I hope nothing will ever interfere in England 
with the freedom that now exists for enterprise 
in educational work. From one point of view 
it may be wholly desirable to have a standard 
type of education to which all are required to 


conform; for my own part I prefer to see a 
margin left for adventure. The unrest that 
stirs the educational world almost continually 
breaks out into individual rebellion, to be fol- 
lowed by fresh lines of endeavour, and this spells 
health and sanity for the nation. No educational 
system is as yet so perfect that we can say the 
final expression has been reached. We are only 
now finding out some of the truth about child- 
hood and its needs, and are engaged in exploding 
many orthodox views on the training of children. 
We must be on our guard against falling into the 
main error of the past in education: which is 
thinking that any given system or method is to 
be established into a settled and permanent 
form. We are at last becoming conscious that 
this procedure is wholly adverse to the spirit of 
mankind, which is eternally engaged in the dis- 
covery of vaster horizons, and can therefore 
brook no particular and limited view for very 
long. Within itself this spirit in man is aware 
of its ineffable divine glory, and that its goal is 
the full, free exercise of its divinity. To the 
gaining of that goal every move among men is 
directed. How, then, shall any system satisfy 
that spirit. It outgrows them all, however 
splendid and satisfactory they may be for a time. 
Teachers and taught are to-day climbing to 


new heights, and their way is by no means easy 
or clear of obstacles. Some help to make the 
pathway so far but no farther; some press on 
yet higher; but all are to-day road-makers and 
road-menders. Possibly a halt may be called 
presently and all enjoy the view-point gained; 
but the enjoyment will last only so long as is 
needed to take breath before climbing still 

In watching the children in these schools, I 
think I have discovered that here we see the 
leaders of the future in the making. We who 
have seen much sorrow, and who strain to 
catch a glimpse of the future, may well feel un- 
certain about it, and even say that the prospect 
is gloomy. Perhaps it is for us; there is so 
much wrong that w r e have to put right. But 
when I look into the clear eyes of youth, and, in 
particular, of those who are being given special 
advantages, I am comforted. I cannot but 
rejoice, for here is a free and joyous youth, 
already half conscious of the difference between 
itself and the past. It is a youth which is not 
afraid, which is sensible of its inalienable spiritual 
right to liberty, and which walks with the dignity 
of comradeship in our midst and will meet and 
mingle with us on no other terms. One point 
I should like to press: this type of child is not 


confined to any one class of the community, but 
conies from all classes, from the palace and the 
slum. Such children are the beginnings of the 
true and noble democracy of the future. 

In examining these schools I have met with 
the greatest kindness from those in charge of 
them. I record here my warm thanks to them, 
for it must at times be a nuisance to have in- 
quisitive visitors wandering about and asking 
innumerable questions. 

It is by courtesy of the Herald of the Star, in 
most of which these articles first appeared, that 
they are now reproduced in a book. I hope 
that in this form they will reach all who as 
teachers or parents are interested in watching 
the present tendencies in education. It has 
been a labour of love, and as such I offer 
whatever it may possess of value to those who 
are as deeply interested as I am in the training 
of our children for the playing of their part in 
the future. 

J. R. 






















IN the beginning of 1915 the first Theosophical 
School in England was opened at Letchworth 
Garden City, Herts. No one knew how long 
the Great War might Jast, and everyone was 
hoping for its speedy conclusion. It did not 
seem wise to those interested and eager to see a 
beginning made to put off the opening of the 
School, since children and teachers were ready. 
To many, the idea of a Theosophical School did 
not seem very pressing, as there were many good 
schools throughout the country where the 
children of Theosophists could be taught. But 
careful investigation showed that in every case 
there was something that would not give to 
their children all that Theosophists desired for 
them, especially where freedom of thought and 
religious teaching and practice were concerned. 

Dr. Armstrong Smith had gone to France 
immediately on the outbreak of war to help to 
organise hospitals. He put in some very stren- 



uous work till Christmas, 1914, and suffered 
severely from the strain. As the hospitals grew 
more organised, he felt himself free to answer 
the potent call of childhood, and took up his 
duties as Principal of the little School, giving 
his services voluntarilv. A staff of teachers and 


about a dozen children formed the first group 
of those willing to put Theosophical principles 
to the test. 

At the end of the first term the question of 
finance faced the promoters, and, with the help 
of friends, was overcome. Then there came an 
opportunity to acquire a large school in Letch- 
worth, which was about to close owing to war 
difficulties. The matter was taken up seriously, 
and Dr. Armstrong Smith and his growing 
number of pupils were moved into it in August, 
1915. Since then the School has gone on rapidly. 

It was due to the great exertions of Dr. Arm- 
strong Smith, who never spared himself, that 
the School has been able to progress during the 
war period, and become firmly established. He 
sacrificed everything to it, even his health. This 
finally necessitated his taking a long rest. So, 
regretfully, he resigned, and his place was taken 
by Wilfrid Layton, B.Sc., F.R.C.O. 

I do not propose to follow the course of the 
development of the School, nor the experiments 


carried on by Dr. Armstrong Smith, which were 
attended with very happy results. I am very 
mindful that it was his efforts which made pos- 
sible the special conditions that now prevail in 
the School, and that to his genius for the under- 
standing of children the School owes a debt it 
is not likely to forget. His enthusiasm over- 
came a whole mountain of obstacles, and gave 
the School the chance it now has of swift and 
steady progress. 

Additions have just been made to the existing 
buildings which make for added comfort for 
everyone, staff and children alike. 

The special quality that distinguishes this 
School from other schools, though in a measure 
it distinguishes all Theosophical Schools, is that 
a belief in Re-incarnation affects the treatment 
of the children. It is taken for granted that a 
long past lies behind each child which makes him 
what he is. The result is highly individualistic 
work, which is turned to co-operative effort. 
Therefore, one finds an unusual independence 
combined with real fraternisation. With rare 
freedom, the children express their views; with 
rare tact, the elders meet them seriously. A 
child may question the accuracy of a statement 
made by a teacher who is wise enough to discuss 
the matter at length, and till the young mind is 


satisfied one way or the other. Very often 
teachers coming from more strict schools are 
puzzled by this freedom, and confuse it at first 
with rudeness. It might easily be the latter if 
not sympathetically met. To those who under- 
stand, it is a joyous venture to embark upon a 
lesson with alert and inquiring minds, ready to 
question, to doubt, to discuss, and to express 

This sense of freedom comes out in the fact 
that, contrary to the practice in older and more 
" oithodox " schools, the sense of honour is in- 
dividual, too. There is added to what usually 
is the tradition of honour in schools a keen sense 
of personal responsibility, and willingness to 
acknowledge mistake or fault. 

In the " Moot," this personal freedom has been 
discussed, and especially its reactions in the 
form of " punishments." It is interesting to 
find that children with a developed sense of 
personal responsibility will come of themselves 
to the point where they demand checks and 
safeguards, and the power to enforce decisions. 
They realise that an ordered society with rules 
and regulations must have the right to hold its 
members to those rules when their desires and 
actions are disorderly. It is something to dis- 
cover how much it means to give willing obe- 


dience to laws, and also the right one has to try 
to change them once they become oppressive. 
The way in which civilisations grow by volun- 
tary cohesions for the sake of the common good, 
and then break as men grow out of them, is 
thus seen by the children in the growth of their 
own " Moot " or attempt to practise self- 

In religion, the same spirit of independence 
has run through several phases. At first it was 
thought by the School authorities that they 
should insist upon those children whose parents 
wished it that they should attend some place of 
worship. Very soon, however, with exceptions, 
this presented a difficulty. The children liked 
the services in some ways, in others they were 
repelled by them. So far as the children of 
Theosophists were concerned, this question 
came: " Who is right those who tell us we are 
divine in origin, but make mistakes because that 
divinity has not yet reached in us its perfection; 
or those who tell us that we are all sinners, to 
be redeemed only by our belief in one great and 
perfect Teacher the Christ ?" And one more 
question: "Who is right those who tell us 
Christianity is the only religion that is true; or 
those who tell us that there have been other 
great teachers who, in God's name, have taught 


Truth to the world ?" The children have pre- 
ferred to adhere to the idea that mankind is 
divine in origin, and there have been many great 
teachers to lead the world. This decision makes 
the orthodox Church teachings less interesting to 
them, and they turn and seek religious satisfac- 
tion in other ways. Various kinds of School ser- 
vices have been tried, and I am not sure that any 
of them have met fully the needs of the children. 
They have been free to devise ways and means 
for themselves, with some success, and it is a 
great lesson to watch small people conduct their 
own religious service with gravity and a full sense 
of the decorum demanded by such occasions. 

The religious problem is by no means yet 
solved in Arundale School. The children seek 
religion, but are not satisfied with the forms of 
it presented to them either by adults or evolved 
by themselves. I heard Mr. Layton giving a 
Scripture lesson, and did not envy him the task. 
He was subjected to a running fire of questions, 
all of which he answered squarely, admitting 
the difficulties that the teachings of the Christ 
presented. Shrewd comment from both boys 
and girls showed that certain fundamental rules 
of right and wrong as against convention were 
already firmly fixed in their minds, as pivots upon 
which all the rest turned. 


The presence of boys and girls in all the 
classes evokes rich play of opinions, likes, and 
dislikes. For the School is co-educational, with 
the happiest results. There is a wonderful 
friendliness in all the classes, a delightful spirit 
of comradeship, and a sweet wholesomeness of 
behaviour that is one of the particular delights 
of Arundale School. Co-education is an impera- 
tive necessity to youth. It offers a range of 
experience that is denied to those who are edu- 
cated solely with boys or with girls. Delicately 
intimate friendships are established, giving a 
richness to the School-life that could not other- 
wise be gained. Some girls need the corrective 
of a boy's outlook; some boys are helped to an 
incredible extent by the warm understanding 
and friendship of a girl of their own age. Every- 
one who knows Arundale School admits that the 
effect of co-education, frankly and sympatheti- 
cally carried out, has given the School an atmos- 
phere of happy intimacy that it is difficult to 
describe in mere words. 

I have wandered through the School at lesson 
time, and watched the different classes at work. 
I have always been struck by the fact that the 
teachers are aware that they are educating not 
only the brains and bodies of the children, but 
are calling upon a deeper life and consciousness 


within them. To sit and feel this at play is a 
revelation. History, it may be, is in progress, 
or mathematics, but whatever it is, there goes 
on a subtle interchange all the time of the big, 
deep forces in human nature. It is as though 
the children put out invisible feelers, and sen- 
sitively contacted the realities and the depths 
of the teaching that is being imparted. To this 
both teacher and taught respond, and to the 
driest of subjects is imparted a quality that is 
of the highest importance. Moreover, it satis- 
fies that " pitiless logic " which is the peculiar 
quality of childhood, so long as it is not covered 
over or destroyed by the subterfuges and eva- 
sions such as far too often accompany our grown- 
up outlook. 

The usual games and gymnastic exercises are 
part of the School life, but Eurhythmies also 
are added. The children seem thoroughly to 
enjoy the power thus given them of self-expres- 
sion. A thorough grasp of time-values and 
rhythms is engendered by this system of musical 
interpretation, and, in a high degree, control 
over the movements of the body. The group 
work is particularly interesting. One pupil in- 
terprets a piece of music as it appeals to him or 
to her. The rest closely watch, and obey the 
graceful, decided gestures of this director. They 


rise or sink, move to left or to right, advance or 
recede with appropriate steps in quick obedience, 
and thus make beautiful pictures of ordered 
movement. It is fascinating to watch. Of one 
thing only we must be careful in describing 
Eurhythmies: not to call it " dancing." If one 
does, at once a chorus of young voices arises: 
" It is not dancing. It is Eurhythmies !" 

In the playing-fields, boys and girls together 
take part in all that goes on, except in the foot- 
ball of the older boys. Here, too, the influence 
of one sex upon the other plays its part. The 
adult fear that it would spoil the game for boys, 
or make them less brisk and efficient, has been 
shown to be falsely founded. The fact is, that 
they win most of their matches against schools 
where only boys are taken as scholars. 

In art, the pupils at Arundale take a great 
interest, and many of them belong to the Art 
Guild, which has, as its special motive, the 
beautifying of the School, and generally to bring 
beauty into everything. The work that is pro- 
duced attains a high level of artistic expression. 
Here, too, freedom of expression, combined with 
accuracy of workmanship, show very happy 

A Dramatic Society gives the needed stimulus 
to those pupils who delight in the portrayal of 


character and the play of emotion. One small 
girl on the Committee was exceedingly proud 
of the honour, and one day when a Committee 
was called to consider some " resignations," used 
the long word with delightful importance. 

There are many other sides to the life led at 
Arundale School, notably the kindly, free, home 
atmosphere that pervades it. But the most 
marked thing of all is the great happiness of the 
pupils, big and small. They love the School, 
and rejoice in all its activities. They are fond 
of their teachers, and have a charming intimacy 
with them, and they are at peace among them- 
selves. They respect their Head; but they have 
a nickname for him which they do not attempt 
to hide, and when he gives them permission to 
accomplish some special desire, they will say to 
him by way of fervent thanks, "It's jolly decent 
of you !" and then confide to one another that 
" Latey is a jolly decent chap !" 

Arundale is one of those schools which most 
distinctly point the way of the To-morrow in 
education. Even if in nothing else, yet in this : 
it has rid its small, but important, world of fear. 
Impositions, punishments, are unknown. Correc- 
tive measures, yes; but kindly ones, appeal- 
ing to that reasonableness that exists in the most 
refractory child when properly approached. 


Of course, there have been many pitfalls at 
Arundale, into some of which they have fallen, 
and courageously climbed out of; but of the one 
of punishment they have kept clear. To this is 
due the cheery, eager spirit of the pupils. They 
leap forward to attain, not sideways to avoid. 
It makes all the difference. I always feel that 
in children such as these we see the makings of 
that New Age for which we all long. The grip 
of ancient things is hard upon us who are grown- 
ups, but these children know not even the 
shadow of it. They march to a future of sun- 
shine, and will bring to birth the fair, new day for 
which we have fought. It is our privilege to have 
done so, and theirs to reap the benefit. Therefore 
one greets this School as one of the heralds of the 
future, and watches its growth with keen interest 
to see how it will develop, and what will be the 
reward of its faith in being among the pioneers 
in educational reform. 


THE effect of the application of the New Ideals 
in Education is often seen at its best in schools 
like the Brackenhill Home School. It is of 
recent growth, and has therefore no traditions 
through which to break, and this is at once an 
advantage and a difficulty. When one says 
" at its best," one really means that the School 
is bravely testing how much is valuable and how 
much is valueless in what is being urgently advo- 
cated under the name of " New Ideals in Educa- 
tion." Brackenhill frankly started out upon the 
new road. It has found that a few of the sign- 
posts were at fault, and has found, also, that 
some parts of the road need re-making. But it 
has acquired experience, and knows some of the 
defects of the way it pursues and how, to a 
certain extent at least, to avoid them. 

The School was specially founded to meet the 
needs of children who were at complete disad- 
vantage in their environment. Several of the 



cases would make sad reading. Some were 
cruelly treated, some neglected, some deserted, 
and some were, so-called, illegitimate. This 
latter is usually regarded as a stain upon the 
child, whereas the only real stain rests upon 
those who brought children into the world only 
basely to desert them because the helpless little 
ones had no " legal" claim upon them. Bracken- 
hill did not at first confine itself to this class of 
case, but did have, and still has, some children 
in it whose parents were, and are, kindly, and 
their homes secure, who desired the modern 
educational methods for their children, but 
could not afford the high fees of most schools. 
Bursaries have been raised to assist most of 
these, and thus have left Brackenhill free for 
the ones who most need it. 

At present the School is at Bromley, Kent; 
but there is hope that it will be removed more 
into the country. The house is a large, de- 
tached one, standing upon high ground, and 
surrounded by a big garden. This environment 
was made possible by the generosity of one who 
is a keen " lover of children," who lent the pre- 
mises, and who watches the experiment carried 
on with deep and sympathetic interest. 

It is necessary to appreciate to the full the 
beauty and freshness of the place in order to 


realise what it must mean to the little ones who 
go there. Tall trees wave in the wind, shrubs 
of every hue cluster beneath them, the lawns 
spread their delightful green for little bare feet 
in the summer, the birds sing and nest unmo- 
lested ; away in the distance are the blue Kentish 
hills, and everywhere the sweet, fresh air. 

This dedicated place accommodates about 
thirty children. To investigate some of their 
short lives of but a few summers is to come face 
to face with tragedy. It would sometimes seem 
impossible that such small fragile things, tender 
and helpless as children are, could survive some 
of the vicissitudes that have befallen them. In 
one case it has been that the parents have been 
destitute through the father being but an " odd- 
job " man, and yet having a family of twelve. 
They had perforce to live in a basement, where 
light and fresh air never penetrated. The 
mother eventually died of consumption, and the 
family scattered, some of the little weaker ones, 
in spite of all effort, dying, others becoming 
tubercular. Imagine what it must have meant 
to come out of such a spot into the sunshine and 
to plenty. 

Again, two children came to Brackenhill who 
had been cruelly treated by a mother who drank. 
Little sullen creatures, cowed and beaten, they 


scarcely knew what it meant to be loved and 
cared for; but presently the very happiness of 
heaven shone through their eyes. They were 
no longer afraid ! A very simple thing to say, 
but in it a whole world of meaning. How oddly 
that phrase, " the fear of the Lord," has been 
used, and children, even babies, are threatened 
with having the fear of the Lord put into them ! 
Perhaps one day we shall say of fine men and 
women, not that they are " God-fearing," but 
that they are " God-loving," and a new attitude, 
a new habit, and a new psychology, will be set 
up, for who could strike the little ones " for the 
love of God"? 

Other cases could be quoted, even to the baby 
left on the doorstep, of whose parentage nothing 
is known. But it must be clear from even these 
few that the purpose is to give the children that 
famous " equal opportunity " for which the 
world clamours. And here the first difficulty 
arises. Money can be spent exactly equally on 
each child, everything can be shared by all alike. 
It is there for them to grasp. But they do not 
come to the School equal in capacity to take 
and to benefit. 

A healthy child would gain by the instruction 
fifty times more than these children can gain, 
because their heredity is against them. Parents 


might take special note of this : that they help 
greatly to determine the equality of opportunity 
that they ask for their children. If they will 
indulge in vice and bad habits themselves, they 
are endowing their children with some tendency 
to physical weakness. The moral, intellectual, 
and spiritual sides of a child are helped or hin- 
dered by the heredity bestowed upon him by his 
parents. So is it at Brackenhill that many 
weeks of the year are lost to ordinary accom- 
plishment of the subjects set down in the curri- 
culum, while the children's bodies are being 
treated for ailments that are frequently (not 
always) the outcome of bad heredity. 

Brackenhill is intended to offer to the few it 
can accommodate the corrective of all that is 
indicated by what is written above. To start 
with the physical side. Cleanliness of body, 
clothes, and food is insisted upon, and, of course, 
quickly reacts upon the child's own character. 
Fresh air and exercise complete the bodily 
transformation. Pale faces grow rosy, dull eyes 
grow bright, listless limbs awake to that rest- 
lessness which betokens the growing body. 
Proneness to sickness passes as vitality asserts 
its sway, and fretfulness yields to smiling happi- 
ness. So is the first step taken. 

Not immorality exactly, but lack of morality ? 


so often goes hand-in-hand with the poverty- 
stricken condition of many children. No one 
has time to help and to train them, no one to 
watch incessantly, and to bend inclinations and 
habits in the right direction. So at Brackenhill 
instruction begins at once in attention not only 
to physical habits, but to moral habits as well. 
Even tiny ones have sometimes contracted habits 
that are desperately hard to overcome. As the 
physical improves, the morals improve in almost 
every case, and vice versa. But the teachers 
spend many anxious hours puzzling over how to 
call up in a child the will to rule and control the 
body, to cultivate the intellect to accept reasons 
for the discontinuance of injurious habits. 
Except where there happens to be mental de- 
fectiveness, the battle is invariably won. Moral 
stability is the next step. Emotion that ran 
riot is satisfied, and its channel and expression 
altered by lovely surroundings, attractive books, 
rhythmic dancing and handicrafts, and love and 

Intellectually, the children show average 
capacity. They get on as fast as is possible 
with the usual set of lessons, the subjects which 
are normally included in intellectual equipment. 
Spiritually, they gain by being allowed self- 
expression and the satisfaction of natural craving 



after answers to the meaning of things. There 
is a spiritual flavour to the School through- 

" Do you know my father ?" asked one small 

" No," I replied, and I knew that that laddie 
had no claim upon a father. 

" He is dead," he asserted. Well, it was 
perhaps charitable to let him think so. 

" No," chimed a sweet voice from the corner, 
" he has only gone away to get a new coat and 
come back again." 

" Yes, come back again in a new coat," 
chorused the young voices, and they laughed. 
So. thus easily did they grasp the problem 
of immortality, and it left them joyous, not 
deserted and forlorn. They, the so-called dead, 
would come again, wearing other garments that 
are new. 

There is a Montessori department to the 
School, where dear, chubby, small folk rejoice in 
that wonderful method of direction, and instruct 
themselves. Everyone knows the spirit of 
friendliness that the Montessori method induces 
in children. They walk up to one, and cooingly 
touch buttons or anything bright. They bring 
their blocks or cards, and invite one with an ir- 
resistible appeal in their baby eyes to take part 


in the entrancing game, or to watch them do it. 
They pass from apparatus to apparatus in a 
leisurely but absorbed way, and grow wise, and 
do not know how it happened. They only know 
they are happy, with freedom all the time, and 
outside the song of birds and the dance of leaves 
and nothing to be afraid of ! 

The other sections of the School are carried on 
along more or less usual lines. But some of the 
classes are held in a little bungalow that nestles 
among the trees in the grounds. In summer the 
classes can be held out on the wide veranda; and 
some are held under the big, shady trees near 
the house. 

Experiments of various sorts have been tried; 
some have succeeded, and others have not. 
Efforts along the line of self-government produce 
the fact that these children are not behind those 
who have had greater advantages. They can 
tackle quite big problems, for them, and can 
arrive at fairly satisfactory solutions. Respon- 
sibility they like, as a rule, though unruly spirits 
sometimes break through and fling precautions 
to the winds. That is the way of Youth. It 
grows canny only with experience. 

The food is vegetarian, and upon it the children 
all seem to thrive. They give service by helping 
at meal-time, and by many little courtesies they 


show their appreciation of the inter-play that 
communal life demands. 

No expense that goes to make the happiness 
and comfort of the children is spared, and it is 
met in this way. Each child costs about 60 
a year to keep. The School Committee insist that 
someone parent, guardian, or supporter of a 
cot shall guarantee 25; the rest is made up by 
raising subscriptions, and by donations from the 
public. So far, all expenses have been met, and 
as the School grows and the numbers can be 
increased, it is to be hoped that these donations, 
subscriptions, and endowments, will also increase. 
No greater service to the future can be done to 
humanity than to give children the best possible 
chance to equip them fully for the discharge of 
their duties in later life. 

It cannot be without reason, surely, that fate 
has intervened and given such an opportunity to 
children who had started out so badly, so heavily 
handicapped. When one knows how greatly, 
incredibly, it has benefited them, one is filled 
with uneasiness for all those who have not had 
" equal opportunity," upon whom the burden 
is heavy and the shoulders not over strong to 
bear it. 

One would, in seeking to express the meaning 
and purpose of this School, say, perhaps, that 


its value to the future is in its wonderful power 
of redemption. It does prove, beyond all doubt, 
that there is in every human being a fundamen- 
tally spiritual nature which but needs the right 
means to manifest itself. It is character, and 
more: it is that divine radiance which illumines 
minds and hearts, and to evoke which is the joy 
of every true educator. Perhaps one ought to 
say there should be no need for redemption; we 
all know so much better. We do. But there 
is still an evil side to our civilisation, and it grips 
young and old alike. It is the business of all 
connected with Brackenhill to try to get the 
child out of its grip, and to give him the chance 
to know at least a little of his divine heritage 
and to enjoy it. Such should be the glorious 
chance for all children and would be, were the 
adult world generous enough with its wealth. 


FIRST and foremost the beginnings and early 
environment of the Caldecott Community should 
be noted. It began in October, 1911, as a 
Nursery School in connection with the St. 
Pancras Creche with a handful of small folk ; very 
soon it had more than it could manage. It is 
not difficult to imagine what the surroundings 
were in Cartwright Gardens, near St. Pancras 
Station, nor the conditions of the streets and 
houses in which the children had their homes. 
As their school premises were condemned by the 
L.C.C. Education Authorities, the Hon. Directors 
of the Community put forward their conviction 
that only the wide quiet and beauty of the 
country could supply the right environment for 
its development. Now the Community finds it- 
self in Charlton Court, a fine Jacobean house upon 
the side of the Kentish hills, about six miles 
beyond Maidstone, with the wonderful sweeps 
of the Weald rolling away into the blue distance. 
It is called a Community rather than a School 


because it was felt how great was the lack of co- 
ordination between home and school life; also 
that the many urgent claims upon a child's 
attention should cease to be " attacks," and 
become instead fused interests. This required a 
brave throwing over of education routine as 
usually carried out, a close reciprocal contact 
with mothers, and freedom for the school to grow 
with the children. 

Here we find them, then, in Mid-Kent, with 
every charm of refined home-life and beautiful 
surroundings in which to grow. There are 
about thirty children all told, who are frankly 
acknowledged as working men's children, their 
parents paying according to their income, and 
the remainder raised by donations and subscrip- 
tions. That the work is a charity is stoutly re- 
pudiated; it is rightly described as opportunity 
as an escape from conditions entirely un- 
favourable to child growth. From evils that 
are innumerable they have entered into a world 
of opportunity, from the terrors of London to 
the happy ease of the country and we cannot 
but emphasise the difference between what we 
know a child of London's poorer quarters 
gets and what the Community gives him in 
his new home. 

The children all present a very cheerful, well- 


cared-for appearance, the smart bows of the 
girls and their little check aprons giving quite 
a French touch, which has that enviable knack 
of being simple yet distinguished. The boys 
looked capable and workmanlike in their belted 
smocks again a French touch. 

I spent some of my time looking over the 
house, with its light, airy, and cheerful dormi- 
tories, where are wholly delightful, simple little 
beds for the smaller children. They are about 
a foot high, with boards top and bottom, in 
which are holes through which run poles on 
which canvas is stretched. They are light, 
portable, and comfortable. The babies have a 
nursery and nurse to themselves, for they come 
into the Community at the age of three. As 
there is a plentiful supply of hot water the 
children are bathed every night, and this they 
love, contrasting it with the " one bath a week 
in the kitchen " of London life. 

A big, well-matured kitchen garden supplies 
amply all the vegetables and fruit required and 
more, and the lady gardener makes a success 
of her work, as do the trained domestic workers 
in the house. The children take part in every- 
thing house, garden, looking after the donkey 
and the pig, and waiting at table, where the 
domestic workers join in the meals. 


I spent the whole afternoon in the schoolroom, 
with aboift twenty children present, under the 
supervision of Miss Potter, one of the capable 
and enthusiastic Hon. Directors. Each child 
had its own time-table devised to suit its own 
needs, and with emphasis upon its own particular 
needs. A bell rang and the children settled 
themselves, taking about ten minutes till they 
were quietly at work, each at a separate table. 
Some were busy painting maps, some reading, 
some sewing; others clay modelling; two were 
having dictation, others learning tables, and 
others writing. The writing is after the new 
method, and seemed to give the children no 
trouble; and I noticed how high was the standard 
of neatness and clearness of the writing, as well 
as the ease with which they all wrote. The 
directress said very little, but gave quick and 
eager attention to any demand upon her assist- 
ance or advice. Once or twice she asked that 
one familiar with a certain lesson should help 
another, and then it was delightful to watch the 
two little heads bent absorbedly over the work, 
and note the spirit of willing service that existed 
between them. As one lesson was completed 
another was taken up, and if the whole set was 
completed before the appointed closing hour, 
then each child could please itself for the rest 


of the time with some favourite occupation. 
From time to time a deep and steady silence 
fell upon the room, to be broken presently by a 
child needing fresh apparatus or some change of 
occupation. There was no sign of idleness or 
evasion, but of continuous work, self-directed 
and happy. The children spoke to each other 
sometimes in quiet undertones, and only once, 
when several children were seeking for materials 
for another lesson, the supervisor's voice was 
raised in a request for less bustle. 

From time to time the children get individual 
lessons alone or in groups of two or three, never 
more. Miss Rendel, the other Hon. Director, 
told me that each child gets seven hours a week 
of individual teaching, and these lessons they 
like so much that they cannot bear missing them. 
Sometimes they are missed when the general 
lessons are not well done and must be redone; then 
the precious lesson is forfeited to the repetition 
of what was not up to the proper standard. 

I asked Miss Rendel what conclusions her 
work had brought to her; for one soon realises 
that she and Miss Potter are trying not merely 
to train these children, but are striving to read 
aright the very heart of childhood and find out 
how best it can be supplied with what it actually 
needs. Of course her conclusions are tentative, 


because, as experience grows, she finds she must 
alter her outlook and her methods and be willing 
to realise that change must be always taking 
place. She is careful to distinguish between 
tone and tradition; the former giving steadiness, 
the latter perhaps proving sometimes a barrier 
to progress. The children, too, offer a special 
variety of experience because of the general level 
of the class from which they come, though the 
Community is fast developing them into unusual 
members of that class. Here one wonders again, 
as one does with regard to Letchworth and 
Brackenhill what does it all mean ? What is 
the future asking of these children ? 

Sincerity is the aim after which the Community 
Directors strive; to enable the children to be 
sincere to themselves and to others, and to face 
their motives openly. Therefore in troublous 
moments the motives of the disturbance are 
sought for and brought clearly to light. In their 
work the children are offered honest criticisms; 
if the work is not good, no one pretends it is in 
order to please them, and they soon appreciate 
such honesty. 

" Lowness of standard " is one of the problems 
the Community has to tackle. The children's 
idea of play is to be free to do as they please 
without the smallest interference of any kind. 


This does not mean to them even the joy of a 
loved occupation, but entire and complete 
flinging aside of all standards. It is the " street " 
life with its lack of restraint that engenders this 
disposition. With this class of children it often 
happens that they are locked out in the street 
all day with a bag of food, and left to do precisely 
as they like till the mother returns from work 
in the evening. 

Another difficulty is the prevalence of bad 
physical habits. Here Miss Rendel spoke only 
tentatively, but she thought this was responsible 
for so much of the moral laxity found in adult 
life. An older child, with a bad habit acquired 
either by itself or from another, can taint a whole 
tenement of children, and does. The little ones 
often recover; with many the habit breaks out 
about the age of seven, and then is most difficult 
to cure, for it destroys at once the instinct of self- 
respect, and of course later on moral responsibility, 
without which no community can be morally 
sane and healthy. This is a tremendous problem, 
and the Community is bravely facing it and 
openly combating it on the basis of its being a 
" disease " which requires treatment. 

One must appreciate the courage and faith of 
the Directors and supporters of the Caldecott 
Community, and their infinite belief in the possi- 


bilities of childhood. Not that they are blind 
to defects and shortcomings, but that, realising 
these, they attempt in this beautiful fashion to 
rectify both. The whole work is an extra- 
ordinarily honest attempt to find the golden 
mean between the ideal and the practical, to 
blend the two into a scheme suited to a particular 
class of child. 


;< To get down to realities," said Dr. Rouse in 
response to our query as to the aim of the 
methods carried out in the Perse Grammar 
School. Everyone who knows what a lover of 
truth Dr. Rouse is, and who has read H. Cald- 
well Cook's entrancing book, The Play Way, 
will realise how characteristic was the reply. 
Naturally the logical outcome of such an attitude 
in education leads straight to dealing directly 
with the true underlying values of every subject 
in every educational department. It led Dr. 
Rouse to the enthusiastic championship of 
" direct method " in all things including the 
Classics. He still confesses to more difficulty in 
mathematics and science, simply because at 
first sight there seem in them to be less of the 
" humanities "; but he thought that the royal 
road to them would prove to be through nature 
study in its many phases. 

The Perse School has seen many hundreds of 


boys come and go, and has acquired traditions. 
With long- established schools one sees that 
traditions do not easily yield to the innovator, 
however precious the truth he brings. However, 
we find that the Perse School under Dr. Rouse 
has ventured greatly away from beaten tracks 
into the spirit of the education of " to-morrow "; 
into, indeed, the pathway of realities, which it 
still eagerly pursues. 

We went first to watch the Preparatory School 
at work, because Dr. Rouse is passionately keen 
on an ordered and sequential education, the 
foundations of which are laid in early child- 
hood; without this preparation much time is 
wasted in the later school stages. We found 
the smallest boys busy putting practical ex- 
perience into paper cutting. One little fellow 
triumphantly declared his paper door was half 
glass, " like my own house," and he demanded 
of all that imagination should see it as such. 
To minimise imperfection as much as possible 
is the underlying ideal of all the Preparatory 
School. " Unseens " are not given in dictation. 
In various ways the work is first prepared so 
that there shall be as few chances as possible 
left for the child to feel that he is struggling with 
the unknown, and therefore making many mis- 
takes inevitably. Confidence is first given by 


preparation, and the children get so eager and 
sure of their fitness to cope with the lesson that 
they frequently ask for their marks beforehand, 
and then strive to keep them unaltered. 

The great aim of this preparatory stage is 
good English, to have the language well under- 
stood and handled with ease and accuracy. 
All the other subjects are aids to this develop- 
ment. Nowhere is there dependence upon time- 
tables and books. As one of the mistresses said, 
Dr. Rouse gave them every encouragement to 
educate and not cram the child. If, therefore, 
history seemed to demand it, the morning would 
be spent exploring some of the historical treasures 
of Cambridge, and with geography the same. 
This led to the construction of models of the 
scenes described, and so manual craft came in; 
ballads led to costumes and their preparation 
by the boys themselves even to the making of 
their own dyes. Hence body and mind and feel- 
ing go together in an all-round development. All 
the boys learn to knit, darn, and sew on buttons ! 

The teachers are all women : they get more out 
of the child, worry him less, and give him the 
necessary motherly interest in and attention to 
detail of clothes and person which establish 
habits that remain with him through life. 

Throughout the whole of the Perse Grammar 


School runs the note that the boy must fight his 
own battles, struggle to his own conclusions and 
test them. This appeared strongly in the French 
classes after the " direct method," given by Mr. 
de Glehn. The boys were reading from the 
phonetic script, and as they proceeded the 
master took infinite pains that every sound 
should be as correct as possible, every word 
understood. His instructions in simple, em- 
phatic French kept every boy alive and alert to 
catch the exact sound and sense. They daringly 
ventured on answers, and they were genuinely 
glad when at last they grasped the correct use 
of an idiom. The next class of older boys were 
past the phonetic stage, and read with ease. 
They, too, listened and worked with eager in- 
terest. One could not help contrasting with 
this direct method the old way of one's youth, 
when languages were approached through the 
tortuous ways of dull grammars and duller 
commentaries, and the Classics were a thing of 
terror and a morass of unintelligible words. 
Imagine trying to give a ten minutes' speech in 
Latin or Greek ! And, further, think of this 
method and its warm interest in the Classics as 
living history, acted out, and then think of that 
method described in a telling, though exagger- 
ated, fashion in The Loom of Youth. 



One thing we noted in passing: in the French 
room the maps were in French, and also the 
pictures were of French scenes ; there were maps 
in Latin for Latin work and history, and the 
same for Greek. Details, it is true, but details 
that showed the underlying desire to make 
things real and living, full of meaning and pur- 
pose to young and impressionable minds. 

The boys of the higher classes were in uniform : 
they belong to the O.T.C. young men passing 
out of school into the world's struggle and we 
appreciated at once the ready courtesy with 
which they piloted us about; also the fact that 
their work seemed largely to be self-directed 
and exceedingly practical. 

There is also the Perse School House, on the 
edge of the town, with the fields stretching be- 
yond. Here Dr. Rouse has a number of boys rang- 
ing in age from six to nineteen. This arrangement 
is deliberately kept up to provide a sense of the 
family life wheie all different ages learn to work 
out their lives in harmony, and Dr. Rouse finds 
it most successful. Here there is a miniature 
farm, where the boys have constant contact 
with and care of a variety of pets horses, goats, 
dogs, etc. Like every other educationist who 
understands life, Dr. Rouse has had to face the 
great problem of instruction in matters of sex. 


He, too, has turned to Nature for help, and 
thinks that in the care of pets youth gets a 
natural and balanced knowledge of sex, to 
which he tries to add in the human a sense of 
control, of moral power, and of a conscience 
attuned to an ideal. Nor does he draw his moral 
lessons from set lessons and dull instruction, but 
from the facts of life and from the great events 
in history so clearly realised by the boys as they 
act them out, and come thus to understand 
human weakness and strength and whither each 
leads or drives. 

Dr. Rouse has embarked upon a school of his 
own a Preparatory School at Chesterton, two 
miles out of Cambridge, but this we did not see. 
Here he is free to carry out his ideals, and put 
his beliefs to the test, his experience into fuller 
practice. Very wisely, he has made it co- 
educational. Truly he sees life as a whole, and 
education as one of its most vital stages not as 
a scheme isolated from Nature, from the commu- 
nity, and out of touch with its issues. He speaks 
wistfully of his desire to prepare youth for busi- 
ness life, to inculcate a spirit of co-operation, of 
the right relation to the other nations of the 
earth, as well as to its own people; for if one 
learnt deeply and truly and comprehended the 
facts of national life and the interdependence of 


its parts, one could not exploit it, and then, of 
course, one would not want to exploit other 

It will be seen from this brief description that 
the Perse Grammar School stands and works for 
a great deal that is of vital importance to the 
world of youth and its education along right lines. 
The keynote of it all is the " direct and truthful 
attitude adopted towards all the pursuits in 
which the boy is engaged." There is a pioneer- 
ing element in the whole scheme which delights 
anyone desiring to see educational methods led 
in directions which will best and most truly 
serve the " to-morrow " of the world, and its 
whole-hearted self-realisation. 


THE Hornsey County School, under the guidance 
of Dr. H. E. Piggott, M.A., gives one a memor- 
able impression of the training that goes to the 
making of a very large proportion of English 
boys and girls. Their parents are for the most 
part engaged in some form of clerical business 
work, and form part of the vast army of City 
workers, whose steady, unostentatious devotion 
to a somewhat monotonous duty helps to give 
England that solidarity of purpose for which 
she gains the commendation of the world. Dr. 
Piggott said he thought that the majority of their 
boys followed the same kind of career, with the 
exception of a small but regular percentage. 

The School is now of the secondary grade, in- 
spected by the Board of Education and examined 
by the University of London. About three hun- 
dred and fifty boys and girls are on the roll. An 
entrance examination tests the merit of the 
new-comer, and from the time of entry onwards 
ability and rate of progress determine the divi- 



sions of forms. Happily for all concerned, the 
endeavour is not to allow a class to exceed 
thirty in number. Even a glance at the young 
faces showed that the range varied from the keen 
and clever to the dull and uninterested, with the 
average as generally eager and alive. The 
actual educational requirements are kept up to 
the standards set for such schools, so one need 
not dwell on that side, but turn to seek the hint 
of " to-morrow " in the School as a whole. In 
various ways this shows itself. 

It was my happy fate to have chanced upon a 
day when captains were being installed, and was 
permitted the privilege of witnessing an installa- 
tion. In 1907 the system of prefects was intro- 
duced, and since then has undergone various 
modifications, aiming at making it an institution 
serving the highest interests of the School. The 
School motto is significant Vincit que se vincit. 
Upon this declaration is moulded the principles 
by which the prefects and captains promise to 
abide. When undertaking to keep the customs 
and traditions of the School the word " rightful " 
is there to guide their enthusiasm. They may 
compel their fellows " only so far as is lawful " 
to do the same. The reason for keeping the 
good name of the School unsullied is that it may 
be a " Christian school in very deed and truth." 


Each is to champion " lawful interests " and 
privileges, protect the weaker and younger, be 
sympathetic, and, above all, maintain justice 
and fair play. " To make my School the house 
of things lovely and admirable," outwardly and 
inwardly, is the final pledge taken by the prefect. 

The pledge of the captain of a form is not 
quite so full or exacting, but runs substantially 
the same. The captain is nominated by the 
pupils and approved by the teachers. Induction 
does not take place till next day, so as to give 
the boys and girls time to consider the declara- 
tion of responsibilities and to discuss it with 
their parents. One boy and one girl are elected 
for each class, for all the classes are " mixed." 

Before the class stood a teacher, spiritedly 
directing the induction, to her right a boy facing 
his fellows, to the left a sturdy girl facing her 
classmates. The speaker for the girls rose and 
declared that their leader was their rightfully 
elected captain, to whom they promised their 
loyal support and obedience, and that they would 
strive to make their form an honourable and 
happy fellowship under her. The boys did the 
same. Then the captains pledged their honour, 
" with God's help," to carry out the responsi- 
bility entrusted to them. The teacher then 
accepted them as loyal supporters, and shook 


hands. Dr. Piggott congratulated the class 
upon its choice of leaders. Captains, he said, 
now took the place of monitors. It was the duty 
of monitors to warn, but captains led. He urged 
them " to play the game " of life in every one of 
its aspects well and worthily. If all the commu- 
nity were well-behaved there would be no need 
for police. He noted with pleasure that they 
chose for their captains those who had proved 
themselves suitable, and not for any personal 
reasons of their own. It was through the evils 
of personal bias that Parliaments were despoiled 
of their full and true meaning. They must try 
to choose the right leaders, and having chosen, 
support them loyally. " Play the game " and 
" loyalty " are old, trite words, but clearly they 
thrilled each young heart afresh, kindling that 
power to rule and obey which is regarded as one 
of the high- water marks of human attainment, 
and renders a nation at once dominant and 
humble, ready to lead and yet ready to serve. 
It was obvious that the class would tolerate no 
autocratic rule, but would accept their captain 
in a fine spirit of fellowship. Later would come 
an initiation ceremony, with the teachers 
present, when Dr. Piggott would give the cap- 
tain the " secret " key to his or her own conduct 
during office. After that came an investiture 


before the whole School. There was in it all a 
big purpose to cultivate to the full in plastic 
youth honour and integrity by means that 
appeal to and cultivate the imagination as well 
as the sense of chivalry, those most potent aids 
to character-building, when properly drawn 
upon by teachers possessed of insight into the 
heart of youth. 

" Insularity " has been regarded as one of the 
defects of the English character. By means of 
school journeys involving some measuie of 
regional survey this defect is avoided, or at least 
minimised, in the Hornsey County School. Some 
of these journeys have been abroad to Belgium, 
to Switzerland, to France, as well as several to 
historical places of England and Scotland. The 
account of the journey to the old pre-Roman 
Fecamp, Easter, 1914, is a delightful, concise, 
yet complete account of a happy holiday. Some 
of the accounts of these journeys have been 
published, so excellent are they. 

A Parents' Union inconnection with the School 
is one of its several special activities. By means 
of it a warm link is kept between parents, 
teachers, and pupils. As Dr. Piggott justly says : 
tc Education creates out of the helpless infant 
the healthy, honest, efficient English citizen. 
This work of education the home and the school 


share at a most important period of life. . . . 
The best interests of the children can be fully 
served only when there is a clear understanding 
and full sympathy between parents and 

The handicraft teacher's outlook was the 
result of much experience. He has been with 
the School some years, and he is deeply appre- 
ciative of the freedom for expression extended to 
him by the Head. He shrewdly remarked: " It 
was good for the Head." His is the only depart- 
ment not hampered by examinations, though all 
take the course. He pointed out that his work 
was " teaching boys and girls, not woodwork." 
About the room are records of tests of character, 
some ending in failure, some in brilliant success. 
Good design, he said, was the evidence of wide 
experience, of richness of memory; bad design, 
of poor experience and inward poverty. 

The playing-fields have been the joy and the 
glory of the English Public Schools. There boys 
won renown in their own world of youth, learnt 
to accept success and defeat with cool heads and 
kindly hearts. Youth honours physical prowess, 
and Dr. Piggott has wisely given much emphasis 
to games. To facilitate development in this 
respect the School is divided into " Houses," as 
in Public Schools; but it has taken time for 


captains and vice-captains to understand their 
position, not merely as an empty honour, but 
one which involved them in responsibility. Tone 
and tradition both are precious, but not at the 
cost of present needs and changing ideals. In 
the experience that " Houses " give of interplay 
in many ways comes an invaluable aid to the 
growth of potentialities in both boys and girls. 

The ideal of the School is best expressed by 
Dr. Piggott himself when he writes: "Know- 
ledge is power; but only when power is behind it. 
It is an unspeakable treasure, but only to those 
who have power to employ and increase it. 
Having knowledge, but with little power to use 
it, the pupil may be instructed, but is not edu- 
cated. . . . Education is a lifelong process. 
. . . Power comes of independent activity 
from work which one selects, organises, and 
executes for oneself in seeking to achieve certain 
desired ends. ..." The whole atmosphere of 
the School amply demonstrates that these are 
not mere utterances, but driving ideals, worked 
into the daily routine and adding to it a fine one- 
pointedness and charm. 


SWIFTLY and surely the Montessori Ideal is 
making its appeal to the educational world in 
England. Many teachers in all kinds of schools 
were feeling that the system under which they 
worked lacked in some essential, and to a certain 
extent knew the lack to be that of ' ' liberty. " To 
Madame Montessori it was given to find that 
which they sought. Her genius put to the test 
a great principle which emerged triumphant from 
the severe and exacting trials to which she sub- 
jected it through years of patient toil. That great 
principle is best enunciated in Mrne. Montessori's 
own words : 

" The child, because of the peculiar character- 
istics of helplessness with which he is born, and 
because of his qualities as a social individual, is 
circumscribed by bonds which limit his activity. 

" An educational method that shall have 
liberty as its basis must intervene to help the 
child to a conquest of the various obstacles. In 
other words, his training must be such as shall 



help him to diminish, in a rational manner, the 
social bonds which limit his activity. 

" Little by little, as the child grows in such an 
atmosphere, his spontaneous manifestations will 
become more clear, with the clearness of truth 
revealing his nature. For all these reasons the 
first form of educational intervention must tend 
to lead the child towards independence. No 
one can be free unless he is independent. ..." 

With this as her guiding intuition, added to 
a profoundly scientific knowledge of psycho- 
logy and a complete medical training, Mme. 
Montessori. went direct to the root of human 
interest and understanding. This is the arousing 
of the inner consciousness with its marvellous 
power to comprehend one might almost say to 
meditate upon the object presented to it. It 
is a procedure hitherto regarded peculiar to the 
Eastern type of mind, and its manner of arousing 
the inner consciousness; but here we have it in- 
vented anew in a way entirely suited to the 
Western type, and, of course, a consequent 
arousal of those deeper layers of consciousness 
which are left untouched by the usual, though 
now passing, methods in education. It is note- 
worthy that in The Advanced Montessori 
Method, Part I., Mme. Montessori says: "Now 
the method chosen by our children in following 


their natural development is meditation,' for in 
no other way would they be led to linger so long 
over each individual task, and so to derive a 
gradual maturation therefrom. . . . This is 
the habit by which they gradually co-ordinate 
and enrich their intelligence. As they meditate 
they enter upon that path of progress which will 
continue without end." 

Apparatus was, of course, necessary, and this, 
self-corrective in design, is pre-eminently suited 
to child-consciousness awakening to the meaning 
of the world about it. It is also provocative of 
the inner and deep-seated power of the will to 
pay attention to, and through the mind obtain 
knowledge of, the material used. Hence it is 
here that we find every sense trained fully, every 
human faculty brought into play, and through 
these the child's own inner guidance first sensi- 
tively sought, this then establishing its own 
control over the whole personality. 

We see, then, that the gift that Mme. Mon- 
tessori has given to the world is, roughly put, 
the substitution of self- discipline for imposed 
discipline. It is true, of course, that other and 
earlier great educationalists have enunciated an 
almost similar ideal, but perhaps Mme. Montes- 
sori may be regarded as having brought it to 
fruition. In doing so she has induced an almost 


complete reversal of the usual treatment of 
children in and out of school life; in turn this 
will bring about a complete reversal in the adult 
world of ' ' to-morrow. ' ' The self-disciplined child 
of to-day will not tolerate, when an adult, imposed 
or autocratic systems of thought or governance. 
Free himself, yet keenly aware of the necessity 
of harmonious relations with all about him, he 
will seek that the whole world of men shall stand 
free, and yet united in the will to serve. 

There are, in England, quite a number of 
schools established for the express purpose of 
working out the Montessori method. Some of 
them are private, some are a " department " of 
a large school, some are " rooms " in Elemen- 
tary and other schools, and occasionally one 
finds the principle of liberty applied in certain 
measure to a whole Infants' School, as at South- 
field Road School, under Miss E. Dowling. After 
a while one detects a difference in Montessori 
Schools, and eventually one concludes that the 
difference is due to the fact that the directresses 
have or have not been in personal contact with 
Mme. Montessori. Those Schools where the 
directresses have had this privilege are truer to 
type (that is the best way, perhaps, of putting 
it); they seem to express a quality, indefinable 
but appreciable, which the others do not possess. 


But always one finds the work carried out with 
fervour and enthusiasm, and with a fine realisa- 
tion of all that it means to the children. Teachers 
who are free to use the method draw a deep sigh 
of satisfaction over the opportunities it gives 
them to evoke the innate and often splendid 
qualities of the little ones, qualities which other- 
wise might have lain dormant, and left the dis- 
tress of frustrated power to eat into the whole 
character like an acid. 

Mrs. Lily Hutchinson (a Montessori pupil, and 
in direct communication with the Dottoressa), 
in her Infants' School in Hoxton, has had splendid 
results. But one realises that the initial stages 
must have demanded from the directress a most 
perfect patience. Weeks were spent in awaiting 
the response of the children, but when it came 
at last, with it came a tremendous rush of power, 
of eagerness and continuous progress which 
knows no looking back. 

One remembers with an amazing clearness 
the incidents that occur in Montessori Schools. 
At Hoxton a wee girl had been using insets and 
wearied of them. She wandered away to a bench 
that ran along one side of the room. Something 
flashed into her mind, probably a message from 
a tired little body. She lay down on the floor 
on her back and tried to touch the bench with 


her toes. This occupied her for a short time, 
then she got up and looked round for something 
to do; but evidently the message was still per- 
sistent, so she went back to her self-imposed 
gymnastics. Presently she seemed satisfied and 
went direct to insets, and sat absorbed in taking 
them out and putting them in again and again. 
I could not help thinking of some schools where 
I had seen large classes of little girls penned in 
their desks and not permitted any but the most 
limited of movements for the period of their 
lessons. Sometimes this is due entirely to the 
teachers, but very often it is the grief of the 
teachers that they must do thus, in accordance 
with the will of the inspector, who must abide 
by a system, by which they in turn are bound. 

In another room a child of seven had been free 
for the play-time, and then had gone to the circle 
insets. For at least one hour and a half she 
went many times through the whole process, and 
seemed quite unwearied at the end. 

One teacher in the Montessori department at 
Southfield Road has made a special study of 
mathematics, applying the Montessori method 
to the English money system. The children 
acquire the power of comprehending money sums 
even before tiny fingers can write the figures. 
Demonstrations here and at Hoxton in a fresh 



branch of mathematics, such as subtraction or 
multiplication, made it startlingly clear that the 
right method made children eager. I am 
afraid I have painful memories of lessons in 
arithmetic leaving me puzzled and rebellious 
because I saw no reason in the method used. It 
seemed so like juggling with figures for no other 
purpose than to torture small brains with im- 
possible situations. Here there is no room for 
helpless puzzlement; it is all so abundantly clear 
and simple; and, above all, the child grasps it, 
and can immediately apply it to fresh problems 
and solve them with a high degree of accuracy. 

At the Gipsy Hill Training College for Teachers 
of Young Children, under Miss de Lissa (also a 
Montessori diplomee, and with experience of 
the work in Rome and America), there is, as one 
usually finds in Montessori Schools, the same fine 
atmosphere of conscious co-operation between 
child and adult. Not wee brains struggling to 
cope with many and urgent demands upon their 
precious inner fields of imagination and budding 
thought, but a wholly satisfactory opportunity 
of seizing upon experience to enrich the inner 
and render the outer competent. Contentedly 
they realise their immediate world without hustle 
or strain, and between the child and teacher 
there is a warm bond of understanding. 

One could occupy much space in discussing 


the experience of such Montessori Schools as that 
at St. George's, Harpenden, or that at East 
Runton, run by Mr. Bertram Hawker; also in 
discussing the experiences of those who have 
worked out experiments on Montessori lines. 
Among these latter are Miss Mary Blackburn, 
in the Demonstration School for the Leeds City 
Training College, Miss Crouch, Miss Muriel 
Matters, the Heritage Craft Schools at Chailey, 
and a number of others. Out of this experience 
is appearing a divergence of opinion as to how 
strictly the Montessori method shall be applied 
or followed. It is fairly certain that the tem- 
perament of each country adopting it will in 
the end introduce, both consciously and uncon- 
sciously, modifications which may or may not 
enrich the system as a whole. 

There is one fact in connection with children's 
work, whether the Montessori method is used 
or not, and that is the unsuitability of the rooms 
used. One is painfully aware of the fact that 
tiny children are presented with brick walls and 
that windows begin high up, too high to be of 
much value to them as a means of seeing the 
outside. Not that the world surrounding most 
schools is worth seeing. Even where buildings 
have been erected specially for little ones, the 
windows began above their heads walls, and 
nothing but walls, all day long and in one place 


there were fields all around, but no chance for 
little eyes to look upon their refreshing greenness. 

One is tempted to speculate on the future of 
the Montessori method, and whither it will lead. 
To great possibilities, undoubtedly, when the 
educational world, as well as the parents, realise 
the truth of such statements as this, for they are 
the kernel of the whole method. 

" Air and food are not sufficient for the body 
of man; all the physiological functions are subject 
to a higher welfare, wherein the sole key of all 
life is found. The child's body lives also by 
joyousness of soul. . . . With man the life of 
the body depends on the life of the spirit. . . . 
It is a joyous spirit which causes ' the bones of 
man to exult.' ' 

It was Miss Crouch who said: " It is notice- 
able that a burst of affection invariably follows 
a new accomplishment. The discovery of a 
new fact seems to give the child a halo of happi- 
ness." If one were to search the records of the 
world for the results of spiritual attainment one 
could not find them more tersely stated. 

It is hoped that so soon as time and circum- 
stance permit, Mme. Montessori will visit this 
country. She will find the warmest of welcomes 
awaiting her, and the keenest of interest in all 
that she has to say. 


IT is difficult to do full justice to the subject I 
have before me, to evoke a full realisation of the 
wonderful work done at Chailey. The Heritage 
Craft Schools are devoted to the children who, 
otherwise, would be flung aside in the struggle 
for existence, and, instead, opens out for them 
the way to a useful life the one consolation, 
perhaps, to the Ego who wears a broken, almost 
useless, body. Here those bodies are equipped 
to play their limited part in the world. One day, 
it is prophesied, disease will disappear from the 
world so may it be but here, at present, the 
afflicted child is a great and puzzling responsi- 

In 1894, on St. Martin's Day, a Guild, quaintly 
named The Guild of the Brave Poor Things, was 
founded by Mrs. C. W. Kimmins, taking its 
motto and inspiration from a little book called 
The Story of a Short Life, by Mrs. Ewing. It 
set to work to draw together all maimed people, 



whether men, women, or children. Presently, in 
1903, Mrs. Kimmins and Miss Alice Rennie 
began an experiment at Chailey, Sussex, " to 
enable specially afflicted and disabled members 
of the Guild who show special talent to be thor- 
oughly trained and to become in time partially, 
if not wholly, self-supporting." This, they felt, 
could best be done in the quiet of the country, 
where fresh air and good food would help and 
strengthen the boys and girls. 

For this no better spot than Chailey could have 
been selected. On the top of the hill is an old 
conically-cut tree marking the centre of Sussex, 
and beside it rises a neat white windmill, with 
white wings spread in the sweet pure air. 
Thence on every hand is an uninterrupted view 
over miles of the beautiful Sussex Weald with not 
a factory chimney in sight, and, fifteen miles 
away from over the Downs, there comes direct 
from the sea a wind that carries healing in its 
wings. The high moor, or common, on which the 
windmill stands, is a delicious open space where 
the bracken and heather flourish, and is the 
happy playground of young crippled human 
beings, with all the splendours of the clear sky 
above them. 

The experiment succeeded, and it was decided 
to carry on the work more extensively. But the 


Board of Education condemned the old farm 
building as insanitary and unfit for educational 
work of a permanent nature. So Mrs. Kimmins 
and Miss Rennie turned it into a charming execu- 
tive quarters and set about the erection of some- 
thing more suitable. H.R.H. Princess Louise, 
Duchess of Argyll, made an appeal, and the 
result was the building of the New Boys' Heri- 
tage. To this Mr. F. J. Benson was the chief 
contributor, and laid the foundation stone on 
St. Martin's Eve, 1911. 

It is a fine building with one of the cheeriest 
dormitories it is possible to imagine. At present 
much of this block of buildings is devoted to 
crippled soldiers, the first of whom came in 1915. 
Here the boys were assigned as orderlies to them, 
the policy being to " set a cripple to teach a 
cripple." The soldiers who came feeling wrecked 
go back to the world happy and courageous. The 
crippled guests soon discovered how many things 
they could learn and do well, and thus by their 
own skill and industry could keep themselves 
and their families. 

The Heritage Boys' Craft Schools were built 
by the late Lord Llangattock, who had always 
been interested in this work, and who owns pro- 
perty in the south of London, where the Guild 
of Play and the Guild of the Brave Poor Things 


took their rise under the inspiration of Mrs. 
Kimmins. The boys begin with simple things 
that are most easily understood, and mostly toys ; 
and then they pass through graded lessons till 
they are able to design and make quite compli- 
cated things. All the Sussex-oak furniture in 
the dining-room of the Girls' Heritage, with its 
deep surfaces and simple strong designs, the 
entire library furniture, the girls' oak school 
tables with special drawers for the fine needle- 
work, the furniture of the staff and general re- 
ception rooms of both schools, have been made 
by crippled boys in their big, light, well-equipped 
workshops presided over by cheery, sympathetic 
teachers of the crafts. 

A short distance away is a large open-air 
school with one side entirely open to the air and 
sun, where a large class of boys were completing 
a lesson. Those boys who were under thirteen 
go on with the usual school work and subjects, 
going into the workshop for their craft lessons. 
Later, when over this age. they spend the greater 
part of their time in the workshop and train 
deliberately in some craft in preparation for their 
work in the world. They usually spend about 
three years before they are counted as fairly 
skilled workmen. Some, the most capable, 
earned 47s. a week; most earned over 15s.; the 


least capable, or perhaps the most crippled, 
earned at least 10s. Wages in war-time are quite 

As the soldiers now occupy Heritage Boys' 
School, the boys have had sleeping-huts, dining- 
rooms, and so on, built for them up beside the 
white windmill. The sleeping-huts are on a 
pivot, so that they can be turned with their backs 
to the wind and the curtains drawn wide in 
front throughout the night. For laddies such 
as these there needs to be special provision made 
for their bodily ailments; so there is a nurse on 
the premises who has every convenience at hand. 
The space being limited, every kind of ingenious 
device tending towards extreme simplicity is in 
use, so that the whole place can be run with the 
minimum of attention. 

Still a little farther on, just over the brow of the 
hill, is a set of buildings comprising the Girls' 
Heritage Craft School, over which a lovely, 
sweet-scented little pine- wood presides. The first 
buildings were erected by Lord Llangattock in 
1908, and opened by Princess Louise. Other 
buildings have been added a dining-hall of 
simple dignity, the Domestic Economy and 
Housewifery School and Cottage Laundry (this 
for non-crippled children, who are trained in all 
branches of domestic service), a staff wing to the 


laundry, a Recreation Room with a wide ver- 
anda having a glass roof, a Heritage Prepara- 
tory School for quite small crippled children, 
where is a Montessori department. 

When I arrived at the door under the guidance 
of a kindly secretary, it was opened by a rosy- 
cheeked maid who rather took one aback by 
dropping a curtsey. It was an entirely charming 
greeting. I was conducted to the sweet-faced 
matron, who has been quite ten years at Chailey 
and watched it grow, and who obviously knows 
every detail of the large establishment she 
manages with sympathy and understanding. 
In a long, light room sat many girls of all ages, 
and all crippled in some way some quite badly, 
some less so. Needlework was their occupation. 
The older girls were doing dainty, fine embroidery 
on underclothing, the beginners were at less 
exacting tasks. But all seemed happy, and all 
looked brown and well despite their ailing bodies. 
All were dressed alike in blue, with peaked caps 
upon their heads, and each and all dropped 
curtseys when they could. The Montessori 
babies were away in their little cart having a 
wayside lesson in the names of trees and plants. 
Some a little older were having a rest. One boy 
came with infantile paralysis disabling both legs, 
but he walks now with ease upon two sturdy 


brown limbs. Some girls were playing in the 
garden " raid-shock " sufferers on holiday, 
revelling in the wind and sun and garden. Each 
resident child has a little piece of garden which he 
or she cultivates. Truly " the children's gardens 
are one of the chief attractions of this colony." 

The three women who look after the House- 
wifery School are cripples ; two of them are con- 
stantly employed in the mending that is needed 
for the 300 or so residents of the scattered colony. 
They train about twenty normal girls, the course 
extending over about two years. They combine 
work with play and leisure in a most healthful 
way. I caught a passing glimpse of fresh young 
faces and blue-clad figures, and as I looked they 
dropped the same quaint curtsey, to which was 
added smiles and roguish looks as they realised 
my amusement at and appreciation of their 
salute. In the laundry the expert ironer is one 
who is stone-deaf; she loves to smooth out pretty 
garments of delicate fabric. Sometimes as many 
as 4,000 pieces or more are dealt with in the 
weekly washing, so it is serious work. 

I asked if years of experience had brought 
conclusions as to the source of the crippled con- 
dition of the children was it drunkenness in the 
parents? "No," was the reply; "it is mostly 
due to their evil living." In one word syphilis. 


A sweet-toned bell rang somewhere, and the 
matron was interested in finding out the meaning 
of it. Finally she came upon a tiny maiden of 
about two, clad like Red Riding Hood, struggling 
with a long bell-rope. She watched the efforts 
with great interest till the wee one saw us and 
was suddenly stricken with shyness. 

Energetic and active Miss Rennie then called 
for me to whirl me back to the Boys' Heritage to 
see the Chapel, a graceful little building with a 
spire a hundred feet high, shingled with Sussex- 
oak and toned by wind and weather to a soft 
silky grey. Memories already cluster thickly in 
the Chapel: a head in stained glass from a famous 
Continental church destroyed in the war, sent 
by a soldier friend; a stained-glass window in 
memory of some lost relative or friend. The 
whole building is erected, by his wife, in memory 
of Captain Harcourt Rose, who had always been 
interested in the School. 

Thence to peep into the little dispensary fitted 
out by Sir Jesse Boot, and then to a room that 
will live in my memory for ever. It was a small 
room, really, though somehow it seemed filled 
with a large spirit that made walls of little 
account. There were many things in the room 
tools, benches, bits of leather, a fine collection 
of whips and handles of umbrellas made of wood 


and bits of leather, the sticks having been care- 
fully selected from the woods, seasoned and 
polished. The presiding genius of the room is a 
shell-shock man with a delight in neat and useful 
things. But that which struck one particularly 
was the presence of two young men, neither of 
whom possess arms. One, the older, was born 
thus, and so is scarcely conscious of his loss; the 
other lost his in a factory accident. Both sat 
upon high benches where the light from a big 
window flooded their work. The older boy has 
long been an expert in the use of his feet, and 
was busy putting finishing touches to the study 
in oils of the head of a cat, and a very creditable 
picture, too. With the utmost ease he mixed 
and laid on his colours. He is exceedingly good 
at painting notices and signs, and the many neat 
notices about the premises are his work. The 
other boy was mastering the art of using his feet, 
and was also engaged in painting, and succeeding 
very well. 

Chailey is distinctly a " School of To-morrow," 
From it we realise how much can be done with 
what has been rather thoughtlessly called the 
" flotsam and jetsam " of humanity, the irre- 
deemable frayed and torn fringe for which no 
one was seemingly responsible; from it we also 
carry away the feeling that out of tribulation 


can be extracted power and usefulness, and even 
laughter and some of the sunshine of life loving 
service finding its reward in love. One is 
tempted to speculate as to what causes in the 
past linked Mrs. Kimmins with so much of woe, 
and created in her the insight and genius to plan 
and work for its alleviation, and then to dream 
of the lives hence, and how again her link with 
them will reappear and find other and un- 
doubtedly yet more intimate adjustment ! It 
is only after seeing it that one understands and 
realises why the motto of the whole scheme is 
Lcetus sorte mea (Happy in my lot). 


No. 23, Store Street, W.C., did not appeal to me 
as a promising place in which to find a School 
of Eurhythmies. The exterior in no way belied 
my apprehension, and the short narrow passage 
down which I ventured merely served to increase 
it. On opening the door a staircase was dis- 
covered. At once another atmosphere was 
apparent, a breath of something different. On 
mounting the neat stairs I came into a world of 
whiteness and sweetness. There were sounds of 
youthful laughter, the beat of a piano. I was 
directed through a white door labelled " Students 
Only," and passed up white stairs into a large 
light room. 

The walls and floor of this room are of a cool, 
soft neutral colour; all the rest is white. A 
grand piano on a raised platform, a blackboard, 
and some chairs are the only furniture. A class 
was about to begin, the pupils all being grown 
up. They were all very simply clad in close- 


fitting blue costumes which left the bare limbs 
entirely free. I felt that my heavy outdoor 
garments were suddenly a stuffy burden. I 
could not possibly move with ease in them. It 
was the effect of the spacious room, the graceful 
untrammelled figures weaving with gesture and 
movement harmonies that suggested the freedom 
of birds' wings through the blue, or of the free 
swing of the lissom pine- tops of the hills to the 
winds that pass. 

I realised, as I watched the class at work, the 
emotional value of bare limbs with their beautiful 
curves. It certainly was genius in Jaques 
Dalcroze which enabled him to discover, or re- 
discover, the beauty of rhythm in the movements 
of the human body set to music; also to have 
realised how an " inner self" in each should so 
grip" the purpose of the music, be so at one with 
it, as to be able to render its meaning through 
the physical body. It is characteristic of 
Eurhythmic classes that the pupils lose self- 
consciousness they are absorbed in their work 
and seem oblivious of any distracting factors 
about them. One sees this deep concentration 
when a change takes place in the music. Per- 
haps the pupils are walking slowly and beating 
slowly: the music changes, is livelier, more alert, 
and at once there is an answering alertness in 


the eyes of the pupils, and an instant translation 
of the change into action. 

Rest between exercises is taken with real 
relaxation, with all the abandon of pose that 
marks the play of children perhaps absence 
of clogging skirts has something to do with it. 
Even when clustered at the blackboard, eagerly 
working out the notation of rhythms, the pupils 
formed a charming and graceful group. 

Some exercises were undertaken in which one 
pupil translated the music in gesture, expressing 
also fortissimo and pianissimo. The remainder 
were to watch and express her gestures, to rise 
with high free gestures to the fortissimo, to subside 
low-crouched to pianissimo. Each phase of the 
exercise was a picture of grace, and the wrapt 
attention that the pupils gave to the leader of 
the exercise so as to interpret aright her every 
gesture, her wish, her vision, was remarkable. It 
is this which is so fascinating in all Eurhythmic 
classes. It shows character so clearly, too. It is 
very interesting to watch how different is the vision 
and power and mode of expression in each pupil. 

Emile Jaques-Dalcroze was born in 1865. 
From the age of eight onwards he lived at 
Geneva, and became a student at the Conserva- 
toire of Music. Later he studied under famous 
masters both in Paris and Vienna. For a time 



lie was in Algiers, and was fascinated by the 
rhythmic dancing of the Arabs, among whom 
the Dervishes have carried special forms of 
emotional dancing to an extreme point. By 
1892 he was Professor of Harmony at the Geneva 
Conservatoire. Certain lines of thought and 
experiment brought him to the conclusion that 
musical education should aim at musically devel- 
oped human beings. This needed a training of 
the whole human creature to a delicate sensi- 
tiveness, to "the ultimate bases of music, tone 
and rhythm." Tone through the ear, rhythm 
by the beating of the hands these were the first 
steps, and " Gesture Songs " easily demonstrated 
that he was upon the right line of development. 
Then followed a series of arm movements, and 
a system of movements for the whole body. But, 
as usual, officialdom frowned upon his ventures 
and his successes. Like all " Schools of To- 
morrow," the experiments were carried out in 
spite of adverse comment, till in 1905, in Solo- 
thurn, the method was demonstrated with com- 
plete success at the Musical Festival. Recogni- 
tion was immediate as to its value for the early 
and basic training of teachers. " I first devised 
my method as a musician for musicians," said 

Training courses for teachers were held in 


1906: a fortnight was considered long enough. 
At the Institut Jaques-Daleroze, Geneva, and 
at the London School, two to three years are 
spent in training. Diplomas were issued, as on 
the slight basis of the earlier courses people were 
setting up as teachers of the method. Then 
1911 saw the completion of the College for 
Rhythmic Training in the garden suburb of 
Hellerau, Germany. In 1912-13 two hundred 
pupils were taking the full course, the total, 
including others, being six hundred. A great 
School Festival was held in 1913, taking two 
days to complete, and five thousand people 
attended. An even greater effort was made in 
Geneva in July, 1914, when the history of 
Geneva was illustrated in music and rhythm. 
Naturally Hellerau closed down in 1914, and 
M. Dalcroze has no further connection with it. 
He founded the Central Training College for 
Teachers in 1915, and in 1917 the pupils and staff 
numbered over four hundred. 

M. Dalcroze paid his first visit to England in 
1912, bringing over with him six of his Geneva 
pupils, and he gave demonstrations in various 
places, arousing great interest. 1913 saw the 
founding of the London School; and in March, 
1917, the number of pupils throughout the 
country was over eleven hundred. 


The Dalcroze classes are described as con- 
sisting chiefly of: 

1. Rhythmic movement. 

2. Ear training. 

3. Improvisation, or extemporisation (prac- 

tical harmony). 

4. Musical rhythm, or plastic realisation. 

He claimed that out of these the first, rhyth- 
mic movement, is "original," "fundamentally 
new," and " essentially the Jaques-Dalcroze 
method," and of inestimable value to children 
in their musical training. To ensure the success 
of the method two essentials are demanded: 
" That the teacher have the power of free ex- 
pression on some musical instrument, the pupil 
that of hearing correctly." 

Time is shown by movements of the arms, and 
time values i.e., note duration by movements 
of the feet and body. Infinite variety can be, 
and is, introduced. The crotchet is the unit. 
From this is developed all the beats till they 
become a habit automatic, sure. ;c The whole 
training aims at developing the power of rapid 
physical reaction to mental impression." 

The word hopp, chosen as the word of com- 
jnand i.e., when some change is needed does 


not appeal to one's sense of the aesthetic in words 
either as pronounced or written. 

" Upon the health of the whole organism," said 
Dalcroze, the system which he worked out de- 
pended. "It is by trying to discover the indi- 
vidual cause of each musical defect, and to find 
a means of correcting it, that I have gradually 
built up my method of Eurhythmies." From 
this it will be realised how closely the teachers 
must observe the children with whom they work 
so as to counter every defect and bring about that 
"rapid communication between brain and limbs " 
upon which the success of the method depends. 

From many other things which M. Dalcroze 
has said from time to time we realise that he has 
studied very closely and deeply human psycho- 
logy. Gesture is the outward form of an inward 
emotion; *' gesture and music " go together. 
Music, he thinks, became too severely intellec- 
tual, and lost its power of right translation in 
action. He supplies the missing emotional link, 
the " plastic realisation " of music. 

A growing number of schools are adding 
Eurhythmies to their curriculum. At Arundale 
School a class has been in existence since it 
opened in 1915, so that with the long intervening 
practice it is now possible to obtain some remark- 
ably beautiful results. 


At the annual display this year was shown 
some of the highly complicated tone and rhythm 
work, but it is the plastic realisation which 
appeals strongly to the emobions. The children 
interpreted a caravan overcome by heat in the 
desert. A particularly hot summer's day had 
suggested the idea. The intense realism was 
very striking, as the caravan at last succumbed 
to the sand storm. Another interpretation was 
to suggest a cooling fountain. One day, Miss 
Hadyn, the teacher, told us, it had been hot and 
tiring, and so the idea of a fountain had appealed 
to them all flowing, splashing, refreshing. In 
one of the final gestures when the bare arms were 
flung wide, one of the tame pigeons fluttered in 
through the window and perched cooing upon 
the outstretched arm of a delighted child. 

At St. George's, Harpenden, the Eurhythmic 
class is also under Miss Hadyn' s direction, with 
equally successful results. The demand for 
teachers is at present greater than the supply. 

We are sure that the system has come to stay 
and to help in moulding the education of the 
future. W T e trust that a time will come when 
not only private schools will give boys and girls 
this " power to feel all shades of tone music and 
express them muscularly " in terms of " beauty, 
purity, sincerity, and harmony," but that all the 


schools in the country will use it as an integral 
part of the school work. It will prove an in- 
valuable ally in giving a proper place to the 
training and development of the emotions during 
school life. 


Miss ISABEL FRY, principal of the Farmhouse 
School, Mayortorne Manor, Wendover, Bucks, 
had long held special views on teaching children 
" through work rather than solely by books," and 
at last came to a point where she felt she could 
put them into practice and thus demonstrate 
their utility. She could not have chosen a more 
charming spot than Mayortorne Manor, in the 
midst of delightful woods and open spaces in 
Buckinghamshire. The house is old and some- 
what rambling, but adapted to its present uses. 
Gardens and fields are on every side, and the day 
I visited the school the whole countryside was 
robed in the vivid glory of autumn colouring, and 
all aflame in the pale clear sunshine. 

My first pleasure was to capture busy Miss Fry 
long enough to explain to me her ideals, and to 
tell me what had been the outcome of her two 
years' experience. She told me how, through 
years spent in teaching, she saw more and more 
clearly that education must be a training as part 



of social life and environment, and not a mere 
intellectual equipment. At last, in spite of the 
great difficulties presented by war conditions, 
she put her convictions to the test by starting 
the School. It is now well beyond the experi- 
mental stage, and, looking back, she sees the 
justification of her ideas. She had always had 
a strong sense of the economic value in social life. 
We know history and can reel off dates and 
events, and yet we do not know how life fits into 
economic values by which she meant the best 
theory put to the test, and not the use of the 
smartest practice. 

Science, went on Miss Fry in answer to my 
questions, is a fundamental part of the training 
of the coming age; we should be keen on scien- 
tific experience in practice. For instance, in a 
school like hers it was important for the sake 
of crops and animals to know how changes of 
weather affected them, and to know how to 
anticipate those changes. Therefore the chil- 
dren have a rain gauge and keep a chart, and 
make practical use of the knowledge they 
thus gain. Contact with actualities gave to 
children an enormous amount of practical know- 
ledge. The handling of cows, the technique of 
milking, butter and cheese making, the tending 
of poultry and pigs and rabbits, all supplied 


opportunities for the children to realise practical 
values. They leave a door open, the pigs or 
the hens get out; there are results which they 
must rectify, and this trains them to alert and 
keen attention to the true order of things. 

Then Miss Fry was needed elsewhere, and I 
spent an hour listening to the Nature Study 
lesson, the reasoning side of Nature Study. 

" What are the outside influences that affect 
plants ?" asked the teacher. 

" What are ' influences '?" rapped out an 
eager boy. 

" Things that affect plants from the outside," 
began the teacher. 

" Such as caterpillars !" suddenly chimed in a 

" Like the one I've just squashed that was on 
that leaf. I see !" declared the satisfied ques- 

The lesson proceeded with keen questioning 
from the class. A little later on I wandered with 
the next class into the spinney and beech- woods 
quite close by, while they examined and noted 
with close interest the facts of the woods that 
suggest reasoning on the laws of growth and 
plant-world economics. 

As the name indicates, there is a small modern 
(though, as Miss Fry says, not quite model) farm 


attached to the School. In fact, the School 
" carries on a simple or rather primitive busi- 
ness." It supplies the neighbourhood with milk, 
butter, eggs, and so on. There are five or six 
cows, a few calves, pig- styes, and a fowl-run. 
The milk-room was specially built, and there milk 
is weighed, strained, recorded, and distributed. 
A stable has so far only one pony, so the rest of 
the building houses a simple carpentering room, 
and a room for chalk sculpturing. Then there 
are twenty acres of meadow, orchard, and 
spinney; a very fine walled kitchen garden where 
every kind of fruit is represented; and a tennis 
lawn where basket ball is also played. Near by 
are other farms, and here co-operation can find 
expression, for the neighbours help the School 
with hay cutting, and the children in return help 
them to " puddle " their wheat. 

The usual School routine is to rise early and 
attend to various duties, though the morning 
milking is not usually done by the children; 
there is a " land girl " as well as a man to help. 
Breakfast is at 8, set by the children; 8.30 beds 
are made. Then sheds are cleaned, also hutches, 
stables, etc. Morning classes begin at 10, and 
go on till 12.45. Dinner 1 o'clock. From 1.30 to 
2.30 is a free time for reading, sewing, and doing 
as each individual wishes. From 2.30 to 4.30 


games, out-of-door work, dairy work, and so on. 
Tea 4.30. Preparation 5 to 6.30. Supper 6.30. 
" Recollection " 7, then bed, the older children 
retiring at 8. 

The morning lessons are for the cultural side 
in education, and include the usual subjects 
with a strong practical flavour in them all. 
Greek, Latin, and two modern languages are 
usually taught. Greek and Latin are taken for 
the purposes of science. I listened to Miss Fry 
take a history lesson, and realised that she had 
indeed a gift for teaching and making the points 
yield their utmost in value to the children. She 
believes in having a well-stocked and well- 
chosen library, and the large number of books 
at the disposal of the children showed that 
history could be examined from almost any 
point of view, the history of humanity very fully 

A young girl was deputed to take me over the 
farm, and a most efficient little guide she proved. 
She showed me the different departments of the 
establishment, and seemed entirely at her ease 
in all. This is due to the fact that the pupils 
take it in turn to look after the dairy, or the 
pigs, or the fowls and the rabbits, and so become 
accustomed to each and all. She showed me 
charts which recorded the milk yield, the egg 


yield, and so on. Only that morning Miss Fry 
had asked the pupils' opinion as to whether two 
of the cows should be kept. They at once 
showed her the records of the cows and their 
milk yield. They keep the accounts themselves 
of the milk distributed, and from their complete 
records know whether an animal is profitable 
or unprofitable; also they know the price at 
which a creature should be sold. 

Later in the afternoon the same girl (of about 
thirteen) took me to witness the bringing in of 
the cows, the milking, feeding of hens and pigs, 
putting " Henrietta," the fat sow, to bed 
(" Henrietta " had strong opinions of her own 
on the proper time and way to get to her stye), 
and the general preparations for the night so as 
to leave all the creatures safe, comfortable and 

Miss Fry says clearly that she has no wish to 
turn children into farmers; she thinks that her 
type of school does not suit all children; but for 
those it does suit she claims " that farming, being 
one of the elemental, fundamental activities of 
life, is the one which perhaps best of all ... 
prepares a child for taking up any other life 
later." She also says: " I feel that the experi- 
ment has already justified itself, but I am inter- 
ested to find that of the two results which I was 


most consciously aiming at, one has been the 
most marked in its effects. I hoped that the 
children's sense of social solidarity and respon- 
sibility would be developed. This has been 
most clearly attained. I hoped also that the 
science teaching in the classroom would very 
closely associate itself with the everyday tasks 
of farmyard and garden. This result has been 
less clearly realised. But this fact may be ex- 
plained largely by the extreme difficulty of 
getting teachers at this very abnormal time who 
can afford the time to throw themselves into a 
new experimental line." 

There are a few points upon which Miss Fry 
lays stress, and they may be summed up thus 
from her own statements: (1) The school reveals 
real relationships: mistakes and failures show 
their unpleasant results; care and forethought 
show their advantages. (2) The work demands 
exactitude e.g., in carrying milk. (3) It re- 
moves self-consciousness from the child and 
helps him to realise himself as part of the world 
he lives in. (4) It exercises the child in functions 
which are too frequently and mistakenly left 
" till you are grown up." (5) It does away with 
artificial stimulus. 

The impression one brings away from the 
Farmhouse School is not so much that one 


believes it to be the one that should be emulated 
in its details, but that it embodies the right 
principle that Schools of To-morrow must 
necessarily take more and more into considera- 
tion : that true education is the acknowledgment 
and development of " real relationships " at 
every stage in a child's growth, these relationships 
including not only the human but also the other 


IT was upon a grey day in November that I ven- 
tured to try to find the Mixenden County 
School, of which the headmaster is Mr. John 
Arrowsmith. At the New Ideals in Education 
Conference of 1916 Mr. Arrowsmith explained 
the aim that lay behind his work: to introduce 
a system of Physiological Education, or Educa- 
tion through all the Senses, primarily through 
touch. So I sought out Mr. Arrowsmith and 
the practical expression of his ideal. 

It was rather like going on a pilgrimage. 
Halifax is not a prepossessing place, and a long 
tram-ride landed me on the edge of a valley, 
which I crossed on foot, and finally found the 
School. Grey hills, grey hard lines of valley, grey 
houses, grey roofs, grey mists, and streamers of 
dark grey smoke seemed to envelop one on every 
side. I wondered what sort of an enthusiast I 
should find in the midst of such unprepossess- 
ing surroundings. Mr. Arrowsmith afterwards 
assured me that it was very beautiful there in 
the summer. I wonder ! 



The School is small and old, and there are 
within it evidences of poor building and relics 
of an extraordinarily antiquated type of fur- 
nishing. It is high up on the hillside 900 feet 
above sea-level, and around it are rugged and 
bare hillsides, with an absence of trees that gives 
one an uneasy sensation as of something vital 

I found Mr. Arrowsmith at the School, and sat 
down to ply him with questions. His blue eyes 
glowed with inner fires when he spoke of the 
children, and his voice quickened into rebellious 
tones when he discussed the difficulties with 
which he had to deal. For eight and a half years 
he has contended with untoward circumstances. 
The habitations about are sparsely distributed 
over the valley top and sides. The accommoda- 
tion in them is limited; the inmates are herded 
into an insufficient number of rooms. Mills are 
on all sides clamorous for cheap child labour. 
The children who have completed the proper 
number of attendances go at twelve years of age 
to the mills for half-time work. They are up 
and at the mills at six o'clock in the morning, 
and work till 12.30 noon. They attend school 
in the afternoon. The next week they go to 
school in the morning and the mills in the after- 
noon till about 5.30. At thirteen they leave 



school altogether. It seems incredible, but so it 
is; and, unhappily, parents are keen exploiters 
of their own children perhaps the economic 
position of the family demands this sacrifice of 
child vitality and growth. Alas ! that it should 
be so. No wonder a kindly Providence set down 
in their midst a lover of children, who would defy 
custom and opposition and indifference, and who 
believed passionately in " mutual aid " instead 
of competition. 

One of the first things that Mr. Arrowsmith 
did was to unscrew the iron legs of the tables 
from the floor and give the children something 
more flexible to deal with. One room has 
baffled him ; it still has in it a particularly hideous 
and uncomfortable little seat for the small child 
to sit in. What torture it must be ! 

As the whole object of the School is to " de- 
velop the mental and physical growth of the 
individual child by bringing him into contact 
with things," one sees practical demonstration 
of it on every side. Nothing is wasted, every- 
thing is carefully stored for future possible use. 
Boards that no longer serve a definite purpose are 
stacked for future needs ; the same with iron, wire 
netting, nails, and so on. Piles of dry plants lay 
ready to be stripped of their seeds for next year's 
planting. The floor was giving way in one spot; 


some boys put it right very neatly. One room 
had blackboards of the children's own prepara- 
tion all around it blackboards that could be 
taken down and set up outside against the walls 
in the summer-time, when the classes are held 
out of doors. 

" Reading and writing are excellent and 
necessary tools for the further development of 
mind, but it is also recognised that the mind of 
the race gained its knowledge and its power by 
and through things handled, seen, heard, tasted, 
and smelt." In the Mixenden School there is 
ample evidence given of the practical application 
of this belief, though the war interfered with its 
fullest development. The hen-house, chicken- 
coops, rabbit-hutches, and pigeon-loft have all 
been abandoned for the moment, as also the 
simple instruments set up in a small white-fenced 
enclosure to mark and measure the changes of 
wind and weather, and take simple observations. 
But two things remain to compensate them 
the garden, and the construction of an open-air 
bathing-pool. The garden is truly, as Mr. 
Arrowsmith put it, "a veritable oasis " on that 
bare hillside. Everything in it has been done 
by children and teachers together. The soil 
being heavy clay, they had literally to carry to 
their garden all the surface soil in which plants 


and trees could grow. The sheltering border of 
trees they put in themselves, and under their 
shade, in delightful corners, outdoor classes are 

The open-air swimming-pool found in Mr. 
Arrowsmith an enthusiast. " It will be the first 
open-air swimming-pool made by children in an 
elementary school in England," he proudly 
declared. It looked quite promising, but certain 
defects of construction had been ruthlessly 
shown by recent heavy showers of rain. Mr. 
Arrowsmith welcomed these as experience. The 
flow r of water was easily arranged for by pipes 
from the higher ground, and the quaint sluice 
in one corner was to let off the water whenever 
necessary. There was a gleam of mischievous 
delight in Mr. Arrowsmith's eyes when he ex- 
claimed: " I shall like to hear what the parents 
have to say when we commence mixed bathing 
in our pool !" 

The playground has a border of trees around 
it, planted by the children and watched over by 
them. They have learnt to love to beautify. 
Between two of the classrooms is a glass parti- 
tion, and the children were seized with the idea 
that they must decorate it. Each one was 
allowed a pane, and the result was quite effective 
and gay, lending the joy of colour to the dull 


rooms. Nature Study is conducted out of doors 
with Nature. When plays are performed the 
children manage all their own scenery and pre- 
pare it. It is, indeed, all a wonderful demon- 
stration of the belief that " everything they do 
shall be of real use in their daily life." 

Mr. Arrowsmith had stories to tell of the effect 
his work and his ideals have had on the lives of 
the children. He dwelt tenderly on certain 
incidents that showed a bigger realisation of 
life's purpose in those who had been with him 
for several years, whom he had guided through 
all their brief school career. He would see the 
schools of the future as clubs, basically, open 
from 8 a.m. till bed-time, especially in villages, 
where they should be the centres of vitalisation 
for the whole village. In them he would leave 
the " type instinct " to work itself out in the 
grouping of the children. For the realisation of 
themselves there would be gardens, art, science, 
craft, calisthenic and music rooms, not all com- 
pletely equipped, but which the children should 
help to furnish and so create their own atmos- 
phere. In these rooms they could spend a few 
minutes or a few hours as they wished. They 
would have also rooms where the ABC was 
learnt, and reading and writing, and so on. This, 
he dreams, would be the right way to conduct 


a truly continuous education, extended to the 
age of twenty-one or thereabouts, which would 
equip youth for its best and fullest expression. 
To guide and conduct this kind of education he 
would search for the real teachers, men and 
women, who are by nature fathers and mothers 
and lovers of childhood, and to whom teaching 
is a sacred vocation, a joy, and not a routine 

Naturally Mr. Arrowsmith has been in con- 
flict with authority, and with those who de- 
manded of his children the strict method of 
response to question. But he has weathered 
many storms, and is confident that what he has 
done has been good and has brought out the 
true self in the children who have laboured with 
him. He has worked for the " To-morrow " 
that is already becoming the " To-day " with a 
faith and vigour that finds its entire justification 
in the nobler life demanded by those who go 
through his hands: the children who frow out 
of their present conditions and demand the 
larger, freer, and more beautiful life, and are 
deeply imbued with love of, and desire to serve, 
their fellows. 


THE Baby Camp is to be found in the midst of 
one of London's most dreary East End slums. 
On the day I visited it the surroundings were 
not enhanced by that strange, drab fogginess 
that gives to London in winter its air of aloof, 
forbidding gloom. Through a door in a high 
wall one passed into a spacious area with low 
buildings on either side. This was the Baby 
Camp proper. 

Unhappily for us, Miss Margaret McMillan 
herself had just gone to France, to tour through 
the soldiers' camps to tell them of the dreams 
she has of Britain's future, of her glory based 
on right education, so that the dream shall find 
fulfilment in the beautiful lives of men and 
women. The assistant, or nurse-teacher, who 
showed us in paid Miss McMillan glowing and 
unsolicited tribute. " She is a mother to us all !" 
she exclaimed. " We did not want her to go to 
France alone, for she works first and thinks 



of herself last. Our hearts went out with 

One sensed that someone of genius fills the 
place with a vital inspiring atmosphere. There 
is the subtle potent current of a great ideal 
finding its way to birth and expression. So 
often one finds it thus : power, foresight, vision of 
future splendours and all set to grow amidst 
appalling difficulties. Perhaps it is for the sake 
of testing strength and of drawing near to the 
greater beauties that it should be so. 

However, Miss Chignell, the Principal both of 
the Nursery and Training School, gave us 
generously of her time to explain the purpose of 
each part of the work. From her, too, fell 
warm words of trust and love when she referred 
to Miss McMillan's great efforts to realise her 
passionate desire to uplift the world. We saw 
the small babies first wee things a few weeks 
old some of them, who had just been fed and were 
contentedly settling to sleep. A solemn little 
semicircle of half a dozen tiny ones were being 
fed, and they all looked very rosy and healthy. 
Their shelter is a large and airy one, open entirely 
on one side, and heated in the centre by gas. 
Their mothers are mostly at w r ork; all were so a 
short time ago, when munitions were the order 
of the day. They still bring their babies to this 


place of quiet and rest, where they are trained in 
a way for which distracted working mothers have 
but little time. 

Along one wall runs the words : " I desire to live 
worthily all my days, so that after my death I 
may leave to others a record of good work done." 
This, goes on the writing, was a saying of King 
Alfred's which was dear to the heart of Miss 
Rachel McMillan, of whom there is a large photo- 
graph underneath, and whose loss her sister still 
mourns deeply, for they worked together in this 
Baby Camp. 

In the next shelter were older children, though 
still little more than toddlers, from sixteen 
months onwards. They sat sedately feeding 
themselves carefully, and very particular about 
their manners. Upon manners great stress is laid, 
and while the children are delightfully free and 
happy, yeb they are patiently trained in the way 
of such manners as would grace any table in the 
land. In the centre of their table, upon the white 
painted boards, was a bowl filled with mosses 
from which rose delicate snowdrops. All this 
is done with a high purpose. Miss Chignell told 
us of the days when the neighbourhood resented 
their presence, and how the children would bide 
their time to rush in and snatch a growing flower 
and tear it and trample it in sheer wantonness. 


But that has passed, and the Camp and its work 
are respected. The mothers of these little ones 
are also away at factories all day. That at one 
time was a condition of admittance; now any 
child that applies is taken in. Across the wide 
yard the next group were taking their dinner. 
They range from three to four or five years old. 
Again cheery faces, clean and wholesome-looking, 
with rosy cheeks, and again the ease of good 
manners; and our conversation followed up this 
point. They had, before they came to the Camp, 
no physical training, no habits of cleanliness or 
control, no regular hours of eating and sleeping. 
They were wrongly managed, or not managed 
at all, and to correct all that is one of the pur- 
poses of the Baby Camp. It is there to instil 
the first and fundamental lesson of all lessons 
and laws self-control. Upon that hinges civili- 
sation. To this is added the law of consideration 
for other living things. Hence the yard is 
largely a garden where many things try to grow. 
In the far corner is a large tree, and a square of 
earth about it has been seeded, so that in the 
summer the babies may have the pleasure of 
playing on its desirable greenness. A thin, stray 
London cat had its hunger appeased, and I fancy 
that cat was astonished anyway, it made the 
most of its opportunity. 


About ninety children are on the books, but 
that day there were seventy-six in attendance. 
Some were absent because of the recent strikes. 
The weekly charge is two shillings and sixpence, 
inclusive of three-quarters of a pint of milk per 
day and three square meals, to say nothing of 
bathing and heating and attention. But, while 
the strike was on, this was too much for the poor 
mothers to pay. One little boy Miss Chignell 
had specially inquired after a boy whose home 
is in a basement, and who is like a pale plant 
deprived of air and food. His mother acknow- 
ledged that the Camp was the right place for him, 
and that they were doing wonders with him there, 
but she could not spare even a shilling a week. 
Miss Chignell pleaded for him without payment, 
but perhaps some remote sense of pride restrained 
the mother, and the price is the child's health 
and vitality. 

The Baby Camp is open from 7 a.m. till 6 p.m. 
The first thing is a bath or wash and dressing. 
They have breakfast at nine, dinner at twelve, 
and supper at four. Over 75 per cent, of the 
children are rickety when they first come, but 
the good, pure food and open-air, regular life^ 
cure that. Fifty per cent, are verminous, and 
to deal with this there is a special hot-air appara- 
tus, and they are soon largely cleared of this 


detriment to health and comfort. Gradually the 
mothers are won to help in combating this evil, 
and that, with Camp treatment, reduces this to 
20 per cent. 

As we stood talking, another and older group 
of children passed across the yard and out of the 
gate " a little rivulet of child beauty," in Miss 
McMillan's own words. We followed them across 
the street and down an alley and into a yet 
narrower alley which opens upon another space 
and an open shed to one side. Here those of 
from five to seven or eight were settling to their 
mid-day meal, singing grace first and then sitting 
down quietly. There was the same order, kindly 
quiet, and restraint and observance of good 
manners which marked all the rest. We here 
inspected the baths and other appliances where 
body, and, in consequence, mind, are made 
happy by cleanliness. After dinner the whole 
Camp settled to sleep. The beds are simple, 
and each child has a warm rug to cover it. In 
the winter they sleep in the shelters; in the 
summer in the open air. 

Next came a visit to the clinic, where not 
only the Camp children are treated, but many 
others from the neighbourhood. A cheery 
nurse in charge declared that she was kept busy 
all day. There was a characteristic touch in 


this room that was another indication of the 
vision that besets Miss McMillan. Here, where 
healing is the keynote, there hangs over the 
fireplace a lovely picture entitled " The Guardian 
Angel," by Frank Dvorak. It was exhibited 
in 1911 at the Royal Academy, was purchased 
by someone and presented to Miss McMillan. 
It is a lovely thought that keeps it here, before 
the eyes of suffering children, to ease their pain 
and give them the joy of colour and a conception 
of tenderness easily understood by them. In 
another house is a dental department, where 
some of the students also reside. On the ground 
floor is a studio, the resort of colour and that 
charm of careful disorderly order that only an 
artist's studio can attain. Yet another house, 
opposite the Camp, is being prepared for the 
students. The story of this house, though not 
pleasant, amply demonstrates what it is that 
Miss McMillan seeks to alter. 

When the war broke out the house was occu- 
pied by a German family. Presently, as public 
opinion grew more and more resentful against 
Germans, the local feeling blazed into action. 
Paraffin was poured on the place and set alight. 
The interior was burnt out, the occupants escap- 
ing, though the mother was injured. They 
removed to another part of London, only to fall 


victims to bombs during an air-raid, some of the 
children being killed. The mother's reason fled, 
the father is repatriated. The house will now 
be the^iome of those whose ideal is to change the 
goal of the world's desire, to induce it to leave 
behind the days of war and ignorance and 
poverty, and, with the help of tiny children, to 
march forward to a more hopeful future. 

The course of training for these students is a 
full one: English Literature, History, French, 
Drawing and Modelling, Physiology, Dentistry, 
Voice Production, and the Psychology of Chil- 
dren. The Board of Education have not yet 
decided what kind of certificate it will be able 
to award. The working day is from 6.30 a.m. 
to 6 p.m. Out of this comes an interval of two 
hours for meals and four hours for study and 
recreation. There are two sets of people in 
training at the Camp: (1) The nurse-teachers and 
(2) the students. There are seventeen of the 
former, who come from various parts of the 
country for six months' training; the latter are 
girls of from sixteen to twenty-five years of age, 
taking a two or three year course. These 
students go right through the creche and school, 
have a period in the clinic with the dentist, 
doctors, and nurse, attend also at the bathing 
centre and at the minor operations which are 


performed on Saturdays. Their work is thus 
made to cover the whole range of interests which 
shall best serve in the true education of children. 

This is the usual routine of the day: The 
earliest arrivals are at 7 a.m., and are enter- 
tained by a student in the nursery till 8, when 
the rest come in. At 8, nurses, teachers, and 
students take their own children to their respec- 
tive bath-rooms, where bathing, washing, hair- 
dressing, teeth-cleaning, nail-trimming, and 
putting on of the pretty overalls goes on till 
9 or 9.30. Then the children have their break- 
fast, then training in the little physical habits 
that mean so much to health. From 10 to 11.30 
or 12 the school subjects are taught to those old 
enough. The preparation of the tables for dinner 
is carried on by the children of three upwards 
under supervision. Beds and blankets are made 
ready for the afternoon sleep. The length of 
sleep varies for the different ages. Then beds 
and blankets are put away, the children tidy up 
generally, and have some handwork, drawing, 
and singing, or games. Tiny ones are prepared for 
tea at 3.30, and the others are ready at 4. Some 
then go home, others remain till their mothers 
call for them at 6, and some simple, happy 
occupation is found for them while they wait. 

In her Ninth Report of the Deptford Health 


Centre, Miss McMillan says that expenses 
amounted to 1,600 for the building of the new 
Cleansing Centre, the equipment of the new 
Nurses' Home, the Bungalow for Students, and 
a Hall Shelter. This was met by a legacy left 
to her sister during the last week of her lifetime. 
The working expenses amounted this year to 
2,900. The parents* contributions averaged 
500, the Ministry of Munitions granted 500, 
friends donated 300, and premiums from three 
pupils came to 120. The remainder has to be 
found, and I rather think that Miss McMillan 
herself earns a good deal of it by her writings. 

Miss Chignell told us that their dream is a 
model centre from which others may draw in- 
spiration, to be followed by a network of such 
centres all through London. " More humanising, 
more lovely than parks even, or even recreation 
grounds, would be the presence in every neigh- 
bourhood of beautiful and well-nurtured children, 
offering always the object-lesson of a wholly 
redeemed human life," writes Miss McMillan. 

Many questions rise to one's mind when 
examining this Baby Camp and all its accessory 
activities. But the main question is answered 
in the words quoted above. It takes the eye 
of insight into the divine purpose that lies hidden 
in human growth to institute and foster such 


work as is here carried on. The parts have their 
coherence, the work is seen as a whole; clinics 
and studios and beautiful garments all serve 
the central aspiration to make of these chil- 
dren " wholly redeemed human lives." 

As the labouring classes are struggling for some 
freedom, for leisure, striking out almost blindly 
for what some resistless impulse tells them is 
absolutely necessary for that which is in them, 
so here is the beginning of the fulfilment of what 
they are fighting for. Leisure not well filled is 
mere idleness, and leads to many vices ; but now 
babies have a chance to learn to use well and 
worthily, and with cultivated tastes and habits, 
the leisure that will be the rule of the world one 
day. The future already nestles in our midst, 
and in this Centre finds a rich and happy 
environment in which to develop. 


IT is now some years since the Educational 
Authorities definitely added open-air schools to 
their list of ventures for the betterment of the 
bodies as well as the minds of children. Of 
course, open-air schools must be where they are 
most needed, and this Plumstead School has a 
large area from which to draw frail and ailing 
boys and girls. To get to it one passes through 
the long and ugly monotony of South-East 
London. The 'bus swirls through sordid streets 
and grime-laden houses, and the dulness of it all 
seems intolerable. I contrast it with where I 
am writing up the notes of my visit. London 
wearied me, my lungs seemed full of the poison 
of soot and dust, and at last I escaped and am 
miles from everywhere in North Wales, with the 
wild sweetness of the mountain air cleansing my 
body from city impurities, and the silence my 
mind from the clamour that prevails where 
human beings congregate. 


Oddly enough, though, one does not wholly 
escape from human ambitions, for here the 
passion of the few also is the winning of worldly 
wealth, and to that end they toil from dawn till 
dark in a never-ending round of tasks. Their 
recreations are different, and that is all. The 
glory of hill and dale, the purple shadows of 
evening upon the mountains, the glint of moon- 
light on the rushing stream, are scarce noted 
their eyes are all for the immediate and com- 
pelling affair of the moment. 

There is a wonderful pine-wood here, where 
intense and eerie silence reigns. Sometimes it 
is full of a friendly spirit, sometimes so hostile 
that it is no comfort to remain in it. Brilliant 
sunshine and dark shadow are there; and the 
eternal secret of Being and Becoming seems 
strangely near and discoverable. It was the 
same deep secret at Plumstead, only it was em- 
bodied in restless children instead of in lofty 
pines. I would that I could read the secret . . . 
I but guess. 

The Open-Air School buildings cluster beside 
an elm- wood on high ground up behind Woolwich 
Arsenal. The guns of the Arsenal boom out 
regularly and insistently, and recall those recent 
days when gun-fire meant terror and death. 
The Thames winds away into the blue distance, 


and across, beyond its flat valley, rise the hills 
of Essex, and away in another direction are 
Kentish hills, softly, deeply blue. " Excellent 
for geography lessons," said Mr. Turner, pointing 
it all out to me. 

Mr. H. E. Turner has been at the School since 
its opening. He had always been keenly inter- 
ested in open-air work and Nature Study, and he 
certainly studies the children. The buildings at 
his disposal are his constant regret, but they are 
likely to remain unsatisfactory as long as there 
is uncertainty about the land upon which they 
stand. They are just bare necessities. The 
wind was blowing hard, but the sun shone out 
from time to time, and in the well-placed shelters 
there was warmth and comfort and the joy of 
space. The trees were still bare, but in the 
summer their thick green tops must make the 
wood a delight to the children who run and play 

It was the day upon which the School takes 
in new children that my visit fell, and though I 
missed the regular routine of work, yet I gained 
in hearing Mr. Turner give his " first-morning 
talk " to the assembled boys and girls. 

A kindly nurse shepherded some thirty of them 
into Mr. Turner's room, and I sat in a corner and 
listened to him capturing small hearts and minds 


to co-operate with him in the effort to attain to 
better health. 

" I always have a talk to the boys and girls 
on the first day," he began, and his kindly grey 
eyes softened as he looked at the little ones 
clustered about him, " because we have to work 
together. Many boys and girls think that this 
is a funny school when they first come, so I want 
you to understand what it is meant for. Then I 
want you to go home and tell your mother all 
about it. But you must be careful to tell her 
the truth, not just tell tales. Your mother will 
want to know how you liked your first day, so 
be sure and put it right. Don't go and say you 
don't like this and that; just wait a little and 
find out why things are done here in this School 
to make you all well. 

" I want you, then, to be sure and not get 
wet when you are coming in the morning. 
Stand in a shelter and wait awhile, and come 
dry. We will put off breakfast a little, and will 
not mind if you are late. You must not think 
this means you can dawdle; but don't get wet, 
and we will understand. Also, boys and girls 
are funny creatures, you know; they have a little 
headache or feel a bit tired, and say so. Then 
mother says : 4 Oh, you need not go to school 
to-day.' But that does not help you. You 


must come every day to this kind of school, and 
never miss a day unless you are really ill. The 
little pains and aches will all disappear, and as 
you play you will forget all about them. 

' Then I want you to be sure and eat what 
is given you. We will only give you a little, if 
it is something you do not like. So many boys 
and girls do not like porridge at first, but they 
soon get used to it. Keep on trying, and you 
will learn to like it. The same with your other 
meals. The teachers eat the same food as you 
do, and some of them did not like it at first either, 
but now they do. 

' You will have lessons every day, but here, 
too, I want you to do only as much as you can. 
What we want you really to do is to get strong 
and well. You will have as many lessons as you 
can manage, but when you are stronger you can 
do more. So during the morning your teachers 
will help you to do what you can. Then after 
dinner you must all go to sleep. You will sleep 
in the shelter when the weather is rough or wet, 
and in the open whenever it is possible. You 
will each have a blanket, and you will wrap that 
round you and go fast asleep. Then there will 
be more lessons when you wake up, and games, 
and so on. 

" But there is one thing I want you specially 


to remember. You are here to get well and 
strong. That is why you come to this School. 
The one great thing to help you to get well is 
to be happy. That is the quickest way to get 
well. To be happy at your work and at your 
play. Happiness is the greatest and best of all 
medicines. I want you to be happy all the 
time, so that you get quite strong like other boys 
and girls. Then you can go to their schools and 
do as they do. You are here, you know, because 
your bodies are not quite as strong as they should 
be. So be happy ! Don't worry about the 
wind and the cold; you will soon begin to like 
both and learn that they help you to get well, 
so long as your feet are warm and you have on 
warm clothes. 

"So remember that you are to get strong 
and well; you are to tell mother all about every- 
thing, but be sure it is the truth, and not what 
you fancy; and first, last, and always, you are 
to be happy." 

During this little talk the children listened, 
and sometimes they wondered and sometimes 
they approved. You, who read, will have 
gathered, as I did, that here were children below 
the average in health, and that the Open-Air 
School was to cure them, or at least to make them 
stronger, by means of good food and fresh air and 


happiness. Their pale faces and pinched looks 
told the tale of tuberculosis somewhere, and 
when they had all departed I asked questions of 
Mr. Turner. 

Yes, each child who came to him had tuber- 
culosis in the family, and though not active in 
the child it gave to him delicacy and weakness 
of some sort. At home the children were usually 
wrongly treated. Windows were kept closed 
and their food was vicious. One boy had a 
great weakness for pickled onions, and especially 
vinegar. It was injurious, and as long as he took 
it his palate cried out for its coarse pungency. 
Mr. Turner undertook to give up eating pickled 
onions if the boy would too for a month at first. 
He did so, and never went back to them, and 
it helped him enormously. I am not sure 
whether it was this boy or another, equally 
delicate, who is now an A.B. seaman. 

Upon two things great stress is laid: good 
strong boots and warm clothes. Over and over 
mothers had complained of the expense of the 
kind of boots he begged the children should wear. 
But with these delicate little ones the first essen- 
tial is dry warm feet, and finally mothers would 
come to see it; then if they had wariji coats 
the wind and cold did not distress them at all. 
The children had three meals at school, not 


up in the shelters where their lessons were 
carried on, but in the L.C.C. school a short dis- 
tance away. The food was plain, wholesome, 
and well cooked, and the open-air life soon gave 
them an appetite. The percentage of cures 
i.e., the disappearance of tubercular conditions 
was very high. The children reacted in different 
ways to the treatment some began at once to 
show a change, some took even a year before 
Nature was satisfied and bestirred herself. 
Behind much of the difficulty lies the ignorance 
of parents, who dress wrongly, feed wrongly, 
treat wrongly these boys and girls tainted 
by their own health conditions. Much of 
Mr. Turner's time is spent in educating mothers, 
who come at first with many complaints, and who 
end up by being glad and willing co-operators 
with him in winning health and strength for their 

Seeing that Mr. Turner seemed to order his 
curriculum with considerable freedom, I could 
not resist the question as to what inspectors 
thought of his methods and his results. He 
answered, with a twinkle in his grey eyes, that 
if inspectors are worried with questions they 
must, of course in fact, are bound to answer 
according to the code ! But he had invariably 
found inspectors kindly disposed and reasonable. 


This interested me, because I find after many 
inquiries that teachers and inspectors play a 
sort of battledore and shuttlecock with each 
other. They hurl anathemas at one another, 
but the anathemas, like the shuttlecocks, are the 
same, from whichever side they come ! 

Perhaps the peculiar message of open-air 
schools is to the effect that if we would have the 
generations to come in an all-round healthy 
condition we must alter the environment in 
which the children spend the greater part of 
their day. The open air seems so simple a thing 
to command, and yet weak lungs perish for lack 
of it. Most L.C.C. schools are like great prisons 
surrounded by high walls, and these little ailing 
ones, who cannot endure them, bring to us for 
to-morrow the tremendous lesson of the value 
of the good fresh air and the wind and trees, the 
flowers and the little things of the earth, the skies 
and the changing clouds. The finger-post they 
show us reads thus : The way to the future is to 
combine with Nature in education; let us have in- 
tellectual freedom blended with the freedom of 
God's earth and its beauties and interests; so shall 
we grow strong in body, mind, and heart, and 
leave no wreckage on the way to show where 
ignorance of what was best sacrificed us to a 
custom, a code, or a settled observance of any kind. 


OXFORD in the rich beauty and wonder of 
spring-time is a rare delight, especially to the 
passing visitor. And one was glad with a great 
gladness that this year the bronzed and healthy 
young men walked the quiet streets, the busy 
marts, the green ways of the parks, without 
the strange thrilling secret consciousness of 
death awaiting them. The old colleges are 
ringing again to the steps of youth, careless 
laughter, and song. And over all Oxford broods 
once again that proud, high spirit of the intellect 
of man seeking knowledge. It pervades all the 
atmosphere, giving a sense of importance to 
humble folk of the lowlier walks of life, and that 
lofty air to the bare-headed, jaunty young men 
as they stride along arm in arm. 

It was in the midst of all this that I sought 

out Miss Lee's school in the Banbury Road, 

beyond St. Giles's, and where the lovely trees 

overhang the roads and screen the tall houses 



whence come the sounds of laughter and jolly 

To try and find out how fully literature can 
yield up its meaning, and thus contribute to the 
training of young minds, was the object of my 
search. For twenty years Miss Margaret M. 
Lee has held steadily the ideal that literature is 
one of the great moulding forces in education. 
Not that she forced literature upon her pupils 
in any cut-and-dried form, but that she believed 
it could be presented in such a way as to be a 
means of interpreting human life. Miss Lee 
holds that literary epochs have a continuous 
current. In the writings of every period, small 
or great, is to be found the unending chain of 
evolution. Interpretations of spirit and matter 
are found in literature, also the bent of politics, 
the hopes and despairs of the people, their wail 
under oppression, their songs of freedom, the 
call to the ruler, the sense of conservation, the 
power of revolution these, and all other things, 
are to be found in the stream of literature as it 
takes birth in a nation, and flows and eddies, 
is sluggish or fast according to the will and temper 
of the time. 

The School is called the " Wychwood School 
for Girls," and was never intended for a large 
school; rather was it due to the fact that Miss 


Lee and her friend Miss Batty were determined 
to use their gifts for the few children whom 
they could reach, and, without strain amid 
other duties, offer a first-class education. 
Miss Lee herself is devoted to Literature, and 
in the pages of the Herald of the Star has 
expounded its worth and merits in educa- 
tion. She not only teaches regularly in the 
University College, Reading, but is also tutor 
in English to the Society of Oxford Home 
Students, Fellow and Lecturer of King's College 
for Women, and Examiner for the Internal 
B.A. degree in Honours of the University of 

By degrees the School grew, as it proved its 
worth, till in 1918 a larger house standing in 
charming grounds was taken. The deliberate 
intention of the Principals, wisely, is to keep 
the numbers small, so as to be able to pay indi- 
vidual attention to the girls. The specialities 
of the School are: History, Literature, and 
Modern Languages. Many modern experi- 
ments are also tried. For instance, self- 
government was given a trial; but the time 
and opportunity did not prove favourable, and 
a large body of opinion among the pupils 
was at last so against its continuance that 
Miss Lee consented to put a stop to its practice. 


Seemingly the reason was that those available as 
leaders because of age and position in the School 
had not the qualities that, whether in young 
or old, go to constitute a leader. Presumably 
the effort will be made again when the material 
is suitable. It was not at all that self-govern- 
ment was a failure, but that the time did not 
find the right elements at hand, and Miss Lee 
welcomed the failure as she would have wel- 
comed success that is, with understanding of 
the enrichment brought by experience, whether 
good or bad. This does not mean that the 
pupils are not trusted or given responsibility; 
they enjoy a large share of both. 

I should like to give the fourth part of the aims 
set out in a tiny leaflet about the School. I am 
sure that it well expresses the underlying pur- 
pose in the fine work that Miss Lee carries on in 
the classes. It runs: 

" To base all teaching upon a spiritual prin- 
ciple inculcating tolerance and sympathy in 
religious matters, and a diligent practice of her 
own faith on the part of every child. ..." 

Miss Lee kindly permitted me the privilege 
of listening to her literature class. I give some 
brief notes of it which go to show more fully 
than long explanations what the spirit is that 
animates her teaching and entrances her pupils, 


who follow eagerly the train of thought she 

She was discussing the period that began in the 
the latter part of the eighteenth century. The 
deaths of Shelley and Keats, she went on, marked 
the end of the poets of the romantic revival. 
There were others of the same school, but not so 
important, such as Coleridge, Southey, and so on. 
They demanded freedom, the natural things, and 
revolted against the strictness of Pope's diction. 
Keats sought Beauty Beauty. When we trace 
down to the roots this desire for Freedom and 
Beauty we find it is of the spirit. After twenty 
years of the new centui y came a slump. Why ? 
In 1822 in England there was great unhappiness, 
many taxes, bad crops, and high prices. It was 
the discontent that followed the war its after- 
math. There was unemployment and industrial 
discontent. The Chartist Movement was a 
protest against all these things, and finally a 
Bill (1832) was passed to remove grievances. 
The books of the time, like Charlotte Bronte's 
Shirley, and others, as Alton Locke, reveal many 
of the troubles of the time^ but there were no 
great writers. Coleridge and Wordsworth were 
still alive, but Coleridge was in the grip of the 
opium habit, and Wordsworth was at Grasmere. 
The older poets were silent, the younger dead. 


So between them and the next period there seems 
a gap. We get glimpses, though, of what was 
happening in a strange Ode addressed to Queen 
Victoria on her accession to the throne by some 
of the working people of Sheffield. Its tone is 
sad and desperate, and it deals with existing 
industrial and political affairs. Then came 
Matthew Arnold, who was melancholy about the 
state of art and literature. 

Are, then, bad government and poor literature 
related ? Rather are they two results of the 
same cause. 

If people had only read Shelley's Ode to the 
West Wind they would have been cheered. 
" When winter comes can spring be far behind "? 
That was how he saw the meaning of the 
difficult times, and how he tried to express a 
spiritual " unknown #." Difficulties were part 
of the rhythm out of which comes balance. 
Bad and good, and then balance; from the dull 
and exciting must be extracted balance. It is 
a most tremendous principle, that of balance, 
and it depends on memory. There is no good 
in going back; it cannot be done. Our power 
should be to welcome the new, and to be ready 
to move on, with memory to help us, to 
welcome the unknown x after which the poets 
strove, and which is at the back of all change 


and is the spirit. 1832 saw a great change. 
It . was like the sudden change in spring-time 
when the warmth comes. There was a sudden 
revival, a great hopefulness, lasting from 1832 
to 1854. People were happy. The Chartists 
had got what they wanted. But it came to a 
sudden end in war the Crimean War. This 
ended the early Victorian period. Meantime, 
there were new movements going on: the 
Catholic Movement, the Oxford Movement, the 
High Church Movement, the Broad Church 
Movement, which carried (this last) in its name 
its purpose. Electricity and the railways were 
discovered. In Politics big schemes were being 
carried out. Carlyle was enforcing the lesson 
of social brotherhood, and Dickens was writing 
of the evils of education as carried on in his 
day. The Workhouse and the Poor Laws were 
reformed. There were great improvements in 
agriculture, easy transport was available, tele- 
grams were used, news came quicker, and 
we had closer contact with other countries. 

Evolution was perhaps the great rediscovery. 
It had long been known in the East, and Darwin 
found out part of it again. He found out the 
part about the body; how it comes up from the 
lowest forms of life, from protoplasm, through 
the various kingdoms, to the human. It was 



a shock to the dignity of his time ! It did not, 
however, take into account the spirit undying, 
immortal which goes on through the different 
forms, gathering experience from all. All these 
things helped to make people feel life as larger 
and greater. 

In 1832 the Reform Bill had been passed, then 
the Corn Laws repealed: corn was cheaper, there 
was prosperity. Ideas of brotherhood began to 
be talked about more; Carlyle emphasised them. 
Then we come to the new school of poets: 
Tennyson and Browning. Browning published 
Pauline in 1833, and Tennyson his short poems in 
1830. Both represent the new and hopeful feeling. 
They put more into their poetry than did the 
earlier poets. They wrote about everything 
about the sea, the daisy, the grandmother they 
brought together the practical and poetical. One 
thing they had in common, both were optimists. 
They looked on the bright side of things; they 
are more constructive, and inspire us more. 
There was a third great English poet, Matthew 
Arnold, whom England depressed. He was 
conservative, and did not like change. He was 
intellectual, but rose no higher. Both Tennyson 
and Browning soared to the Spirit. They showed 
that, contrary to reasoning alone, things were 
working out for good. They both had the 


sense of free, broad brotherliness, their un- 
known x. 

Then closed the lesson. My rough notes con- 
vey but little of the spirit of deep understand- 
ing that pervaded the whole of that lesson, the 
power of showing how literature carried within 
itself the story of human progress, its continuity, 
its hope, its despair, its love and hatred, its 
tides of misery and rejoicing, its sordidness and 
its splendours. Nor do any notes convey the 
richness and ease of expression, the apt quota- 
tion and the skilful blending of historical move- 
ments with the detail of human environment. 

Literature interpreted thus must surely be a 
part of all To-morrows in education. Yet we 
know that literature, as ordinarily treated, does 
not yield up its full treasure. Of a truth, such 
exposition of it as given by Miss Lee demands 
not only fresh, eager, young minds to receive and 
grow upon it, but finely-tempered teachers en- 
dowed with insight, intuitive and broad-minded. 
No teacher of lesser quality could catch the 
subtle message, the elusive beauty, the truth and 
the power of the poets and writers, and awake 
response to them in children's minds. It will 
undoubtedly make them for ever keen to seek 
the many solaces of literature and the superbly 
potent graces of the unknown x of the spirit. 


TIPTREE HALL is "A Community of War 
Orphans and Others." In that statement lies 
at once the joy and pathos of the scheme. 

Tiptree Hall is away in the country towards 
the coast of Essex. From Kelvedon, a light 
railway jolts one in a friendly fashion to In- 
worth, whence one can either walk the mile and 
a half to Tiptree Hall, or be bundled along in 
the blacksmith's high cart. I preferred the 
latter, and the running comments of the driver 
on things in general were worth all the bumps. 
Driving down a long avenue of flowering chest- 
nuts and other trees, one emerges in front of 
Tiptree Hall. Before the doors stand two 
statues of women, quaintly out of keeping with 
the whole effect; across the drive, masses of 
violet-coloured rhododendron bushes give an 
exquisite touch to the scene. 

Mr. MacMunn welcomed me, and took me at 
once to the work-room, where a few children 
were at various tasks. They took my presence 



for granted. But as Mr. MacMunn gave me his 
attention, one by one the little folk vanished 
away into the garden. 

One boy was sitting in front of four black- 
boards, on which were written a number of 
words. He asked for a word, and I gave him 
" map." He at once picked out from the words 
before him (sixty or more) all those directly 
applicable to the word; after that he picked out 
what might be said of a map, and engaged in 
lively debate with Mr. MacMunn as to the 
logical use of certain words. The idea, said 
Mr. MacMunn, was that he was aiming at finding 
the least common denominator of knowledge. 
Language was essentially a means of classifica- 
tion, and it mattered less that the children 
should know the derivation of a word and more 
that they should know how to use it. The kind of 
child they had came very poorly equipped with 
power of verbal expression. "Not 'arf !" was 
their mainstay in speech, and everything was, 
or was not, " not 'arf !" Now their power of 
expression is incomparably greater; they have 
range and choice of words, and use them with 

Then Mr. MacMunn and the boy showed me 
the catalogue they are building up. On lettered 
cards are words such as " indicate." This card 


has a picture upon it which illustrates the use 
of the word. This leads to the next word, 
" indicator," upon another card, and again an 
illustration. The names of cities, of the coun- 
tries of the world, and many other things, were 
in that wonderful catalogue. It certainly would 
help in the cultivation of a rich, fluent, and 
practical use of language. 

It was the fact that there wfere the names of 
many foreign cities in the catalogue which led 
Mr. MacMunn to remark that he thought children 
prefer to start with universals, and work down 
to particulars. It is a good thing for children 
to study their own immediate neighbourhood, 
but they like to get an idea of the world as a 
whole first. So we have a map of the world 
hanging there (pointing to a large map on the 
wall), and they can, at a glance, see how they 
are related to the whole. It exercises the imag- 

The room was empty by this time of children, 
and from the garden came shouts and laughter. 
We went out, too, to see what was abroad. In 
a beautiful, sheltered corner runs a small lake. 
An old boat had been stranded in it, and this 
had been rescued and made fairly water-tight. 
All the children were in it, and were keeping 
it moving, one with a pole, another with a hoe, 


and the rest with equally quaint instruments. 
They went up and down the small stretch of 
water, and implored Mr. MacMunn to make 
one of the party. They offered to wash a space 
for me, but I still had a long journey back, and 
felt the risks were too many. 

We left the merry party, and wandered over 
the rest of the garden. It still needs much 
developing, and the future will no doubt see 
many changes take place. In the sunny yard 
we came upon two who had left the boating- 
party for other interests. They were busy 
pulling a heavy ladder into place against the 
wall. We stood and watched, and they offered 
us various explanations on where they got the 
ladder and what they were up to. The boy 
climbed up, took out a brick from the wall, and 
put in his hand, to withdraw it sharply with an 
exclamation. The baby birds had mistaken it for 
food. Then the girl climbed up, and looked, and 
felt. Then the brick was replaced with great 
care. It must have been very observant little 
eyes that discovered there was a nest there at all. 

Mr. MacMunn remarked that this power of 
keen observation was natural to children, and 
should be encouraged. For instance, if we knew 
the future lines upon which a child would develop 
we should train all his senses in that direction. 


If a child desired to be a doctor, the power of 
diagnosis or observation of signs and facts 
would engender a power of quick sympathy 
and swift deduction which would be invaluable 
later on. 

The children were now making ready for the 
mid-day meal, and were putting the tables in 
order. Then we sat down. The children did 
most of the serving, and were very frank in 
their criticism of one another's ability to do so. 
To my surprise they asked for what they wanted 
in French, and when something new came up 
they asked for the necessary word. They did it 
quite naturally, but I noticed that they were 
not sure of my understanding them, so they 
took care to speak to me in English. As the first 
course came to an end, Mr. MacMunn found 
himself the last to finish. " Slow coach !" 
accused one reproachful voice. " Old slow 
coach," amended another. " No, he isn't," came 
a warm defence; " he's only taking his time to 
eat slowly. That's the proper thing to do, 
isn't it, Mr. MacMunn ?" There was infinite 
love and patronage in the child's voice. The 
argument silenced the accusers. Towards the 
close of the meal two children were engaged in a 
heated discussion over something. They came 
one on each side of Mr. MacMunn and appealed 


to him to settle their dispute. With a quiet 
smile, he said to them gently: " When will you 
learn to settle your own difficulties ?" 

The dining-room opens upon a conservatory, 
where was a shrub in full golden bloom, and 
delicious scents were wafted in from it, and also 
from a great rose-tree that climbed high to the 

As the children were then free till 3.30, Mr. 
MacMunn kindly gave me more of his time. 
The lake was still the fascination, and away to it 
fled the small troop. Their voices were almost 
the only sounds that disturbed the intense quiet 
of the country at mid-day. 

The children arrange their own time-table, and 
as a rule keep to it strictly. They were en- 
couraged to think of all work as play and all play 
as work. From both they gained knowledge and 
experience. They were very responsive children, 
though some were more easily understood than 
others. They were being helped to look for the 
Real and the Beautiful in one another. They 
were being encouraged to face every element in 
their own make-up, and to try to understand it. 

" What of the future of these children ?" I 

" W r e shall keep them till they are sixteen, 
and hope to train them for what suits them and 


their inclinations. Perhaps who knows ? they 
may even be leaders of men." There came a 
shout from the garden, and Mr. MacMunn fled. 
I had visions of small people struggling in the 
water. However, it was only a dispute being 
noisily settled. At 3.30 the bell rang, and the 
children came in. Their clothing was of the 
scantiest. A pair of trousers held up by his 
braces entirely satisfied one boy, and the warmth 
of the day justified his choice or rather lack 
- of covering. 

The blacksmith's cart now appeared to take 
me back to the station, and I left amid the most 
friendly expressions of interest on the part of 
the children. 

I am glad to have seen Tiptree Hall. It is a 
daring venture to make in education, and 
possibly only Mr. MacMunn could carry it on 
successfully. The actual experiments are not 
vastly different from those carried on elsewhere, 
but they are carried out in a way and to an 
extent that I have never seen tried before. It 
is difficult to put it correctly, but it seemed like 
this : Mr. MacMunn has laid bare his soul to the 
children, and they have responded. In externals, 
the School is most poorly equipped; in Truth 
and Reality its riches are untold. There is an 
interplay between the mind and soul of each 
child with Mr. MacMunn's that is strangely 


affecting and stimulating. It is the practical 
Ideal carried out with vast faith, and accom- 
plishing extraordinary results. Mr. MacMunn 
has a quiet, sleepy physical presence, with behind 
it a most amazing alertness to the psyche of 
children. He is sensitive to their every mood 
and change of inner values. 

The children are all orphans except one, and 
there are ten in all. Unhappily, the conditions 
and inconveniences are such as to make it neces- 
sary to cease being co-educational. Perhaps, 
some day, there will be an opportunity to take 
it up again. One hopes so, for it is essential that 
boys and girls should grow up together. 

In religious matters they have already col- 
lected expeiience, though the School has been 
open only since January. Various schemes 
have been tried, but the thing that really seems 
to suit them best is a silent time out of which 
come their own prayers; presently something 
more elaborate may emerge from that. Perhaps 
it is the influence of the silence of the country 
which gives them that sense of the need for 
silence in themselves. And it is not a silence 
of emptiness, but of full, rich growth. 

The School is equipped with the barest necessi- 
ties, in and out of the work-room. It did seem 
to the promoters that this country would be 
grateful enough to its fallen soldiers to make 


such an effort to give the best to their children 
a huge success. Alas ! it is only with difficulty 
that the scheme gets along at present. And 
yet it would not take more than a few, very few, 
thousands a year to give it the power to do so 
much for these orphaned little ones. It seems 
so banal to say we owe them a duty, but we do. 
They are some among our future citizens, and 
if they can be given the best in this way we can, 
and ought, to give it to them. 

With the exception of one or two, the staff at 
Tiptree Hall is either paid a nominal salary, or is 
voluntary. Thus they pay their debt to the 
children. The public cannot do less than 
support their efforts. 

The more I see of piivate enterprise in educa- 
tion, the more I am convinced that it would 
be fatal to the " To-morrow " of England to 
put a stop to it. In the blood of the British is 
the love of enterprise, and in some who dream 
high dreams it takes the form of determination 
to sacrifice all for the sake of the children of the 
race. At Tiptree Hall is to be found an almost 
extreme expression of the British love of a fight 
against heavy odds. May the victory be not 
long delayed ! Faith is there, a great faith, and 
let us all help to justify it. 


IN the midst of the " madding crowd " at Flood 
Street, Chelsea, Miss Margaret Morris has estab- 
lished her widely-known School of Dance. Miss 
Morris is possessed of foresight, so she has a 
settled corner of her own in the little Margaret 
Morris Theatre in which to develop. Here I found 
a group of girls seated around tables and all busy 
with brushes and paints. There were no models 
of any kind, no drapery nor designs from which 
the pupils might be expected to draw inspira- 
tion. They were all merry and yet busy; con- 
templative and yet active in expression. They 
were, in fact, trying to put down in colour and 
form, each according to her imagination, what 
her sense of rhythm dictated. 

The variety of design produced would certainly 
have fascinated a psycho-analyst. A great 
difference showed between those who had been 
some time at the work and those who had only 
just commenced. The former could produce 



amazing analyses of poses in a dance, and trans- 
late them into coloured geometrical designs. 
The pupils said it was quite simple when you 
knew how. I dare say; but it certainly was a 
question of knowing how. The latter were still 
struggling with the memories of ordinary things 
seen, such as shop windows, and statues in the 
park, but produced with considerable accuracy, 
showing great keenness of observation. Some 
were busy painting pictures of the other pupils 
always more with an eye for colour rhythms than, 
for the moment, faithfulness to the proportions 
of the model. 

" I think," said Miss Morris, ' ' including paint- 
ing and drawing in the training of dancers is 
certainly the biggest difference between my 
School and any other; I am pretty certain it has 
never been done before." 

One could see in the pictures produced by 
some of the girls how profoundly the dance had 
affected their minds. They had drawn groups 
of figures expressing certain rhythms, and then 
had designed a background to harmonise with 
them; or they had designed a background that 
pleased their imagination, and then had fitted 
the figures into it in suitable postures. Colour 
is analysed and used as a background, and 
postures analysed and coloured make the most 


extraordinarily effective backgrounds. One saw 
how movement and colour literally flowed to- 
gether. Some of the pupils seemed to delight in 
vivid colouring, very strong and bold, and yet 
well blended or contrasted; others indulged in 
the portrayal of curious groups of figures, having 
odd postures, yet pleasant to behold. 

Miss Morris passed from one pupil to another, 
commenting, suggesting, or approving the work 
shown her. Then came an interval for tea, and 
I had the pleasure of putting to Miss Morris a 
number of questions concerning the growth of 
her work. 

" I come of artistic parentage," she said, " and 
was on the stage since I was eight, and learned 
ballet stage dancing. But, in spite of this, I was 
not really interested in dancing till I met Ray- 
mond Duncan. I realised then that in Greek 
technique dancing might be developed into an 
art, instead of being merely a set of meaningless 

Miss Morris is not a lover of the ballet. She 
sees in it a stilted form of art that can never be 
natural. If there is one word that may be said 
to describe Miss Morris and her work it is the word 
natural. She seems to desire above all things 
to be natural. This comes out in her delightful 
way of treating her pupils. She is not the teacher 


only, but the kindly, sympathetic comrade as 
well, who understands and appreciates difficulties, 
who does not merely rail at inability in order 
the more quickly to produce results, but who 
encourages the beginner with great patience 
through the first halting steps. 

" The difference," went on Miss Morris, " be- 
tween my School and that of ordinary drawing 
schools is that it is a physical and mental train- 
ing, co-ordinated rather than localised. It em- 
bodies a training in the harmonising of form, 
colour, and music, with movement. Instead of 
being a limited set of movements, it allows of 
unlimited numbers of free movements, the possi- 
bilities of developing them depending on the 
capacity of the individual." 

Miss Morris has a vision of the part that danc- 
ing should play in the reconstruction of society. 
Beauty of movement to express, beauty of colour 
to see and then the two combined ! The,y will 
react upon character, and beautify and enrich 
it. Dancing, she thinks, is the sanest form o 
social exercise. She prefers the " fundamental 
soundness " as she describes it of modern 
dancing because it is " based on the natural poise 
and balance of the body, as in walking," and is 
not made of such stilted movements as charac- 
terise the minuet and waltz. 


Then we returned to the theatre to see one of 
the dancing classes taken by Miss Morris herself. 

Very simple dark blue draperies are the decora- 
tions for the part of the theatre where the dancing 
lessons are given. One by one the pupils came 
out from behind the curtains, graceful, bare- 
footed, and clad in exceedingly simple garments, 
vividly or softly coloured according to the taste 
of the wearer. 

Then they carried out their exercises. They 
swung in full free movements, following the 
directions given by Miss Morris. Many of the 
movements appeared to be similar to those used 
in the ballet, but not marred by the tendency 
to artificiality that accompanies the latter. 
Some of the movements resembled those used 
in Eurhythmies, but were free of the close 
application to note values such as are peculiar 
to it. 

Miss Morris acknowledges frankly and gener- 
ously that it is to Duncan that she owes her 
conception of the simple, unaffected Greek posi- 
tions as the foundation of all practice in dancing. 
And it is obvious in the work done by her 
pupils that simplicity is the essence of all they 
do. An arm stretched out fully or bent in grace- 
ful curve, a step taken, or the body bent in 
each and every movement there is simplicity 



and ease of posture. There is no posturing at 
all, such as is found in the ballet. The dancing 
is done for love of it, for joy in lovely movement 
and in making pictures with movements of 
limbs and bodies, but not for the sake of attract- 
ing the onlooker by any sign or smile of invita- 
tion to applaud. 

It is, in fact, the most wonderfully natural 
dancing, and is obviously a source of joy to the 
eager, vivacious pupils. 

Some of the pupils are preparing for a profes- 
sional life, either on the stage or as teachers. 
They are drawn from all ranks of society, and 
each one is watched with care by Miss Morris. 
She has seen such remarkable changes take place 
in the characters of the children as the sense of 
rhythm and beauty sinks more and more deeply 
into their natures. She is now adding a boarding 
school to complete the circle of her work. It 
is not enough, of course, to be able to paint and 
dance ; other and more ordinary elements must be 
added to their daily routine. The School is for 
girls and boys from four to fourteen. It will be 
of interest to students of educational methods 
to have a few sentences from the prospectus on 
the " Objects of the School." 

" To give a child a wide and understanding 
outlook on life, and the relationship and inter- 


dependence of one nation to another by the 
study of international history, and the literature 
and art of all nations." 

" To make all subjects taught so interesting 
that the child will want to learn, and will gain a 
lasting benefit from the lessons (the vividness of 
an impression and its retention depending on the 
amount of interest with which the pupil has 
received it)." 

" All discipline in the School to appeal to the 
reason of the child, as being for the convenience of 
all concerned ; the teachers not to tyrannise over 
the children, nor the children over the teachers." 

" There will be no religious instruction, but 
the whole education will be an attempt to develop 
the child spiritually as well as mentally and 
physically, and to make it honest in everything, 
which must be the common basis of all religion." 

Further, Miss Morris thinks that her way of 
carrying out education is the " Sane and right 
foundation for the study of any subject, business, 
profession, or art." She does not believe in over- 
crowding young minds with unnecessary facts, 
but prefers that children should be helped 
to " use their own brains, that they should be 
given a strength and flexibility of mind and body 
which will make them fit for any occupation they 
may afterwards want to take up." 


At fourteen the children will be drafted off 
either into schools and colleges, where they will 
have business or other training; or they will 
remain and specialise in painting, dancing, or any 
other art. " In my School," writes Miss Morris, 
" there is a main idea, that every subject must 
be unified in the pupil, each subject helping and 
harmonising with the others. . . . Finally, the 
relation of what the child learns to its own life is 
most important of all. As the dancing will make 
the child walk, stand, and breathe properly, the 
mental training must help it to think clearly, to 
make decisions, to organise its own life; in fact, 
to be equal to anything that may present itself 
that is what / understand by education." 

The subjects in her School will range over 
English, International History and Literature, 
Diction and Reading, Geography, Natural Science, 
Mathematics, French, Drawing, Painting and 
Design, Sight Singing and Ear Training, Dancing 
and Gymnastics, Practical Cookery, Needlework, 
Carpentering. Then extra subjects will include 
Latin, Languages, Acting, Professional Dancing, 
Ballroom Dancing, Dance Notation, Singing and 
Voice Production, Piano, Violin, Violoncello. 

This year, 1919, Miss Morris is to hold an Out- 
door Summer School at Harlech, North Wales, 
where there are wonderful views of sea and moun- 


tain. There painting and dancing classes will be 
held so as to study form, colour, and movement 
in Nature, and receive first-hand tuition from 
Mother Nature herself, the great artist and 
creative worker. 

Miss Morris has also founded a Club, called the 
Margaret Morris Club, of the Committee of which 
she is Chairman. The main object of the Club 
is "to further the idea of honesty in art, as 
opposed to compromise for the sake of pecuniary 
gain and benefit." Another object is " to present 
at performances new work, such work to be what 
the artist really wants to do, without any con- 
sideration for the feelings of the audience." 

Among the remarks we find also these words : 
" The main object of this Club is not to make 
money, but to bring together honest artists of all 
kinds, and to form a circle of people who will 
encourage and help them to remain honest." 

As with all other schools which venture out of 
the beaten track, Miss Morris has met with much 
success and also much opposition. There is with 
us still that type of orthodoxy which will grant 
that the methods of another may have in them 
much of good suitable to many, but they do not 
approve, and that, for them, seems to end the 
matter. It is a curious form of mental blind- 
ness; and it hampers those who suffer from it. 


It would be so delightful if only people would 
pursue their own pathway and leave others to 
tread theirs. But that is never enough; they 
must criticise, condemn, and if possible check or 
destroy the pioneer. Of course, we all know 
that opposition stiffens the will and rouses still 
more the courage and resource of the pioneer; 
but it would be a lovely thing could we wel- 
come and examine the new in a friendly spirit, 
and only reject it after mature thought and 
judgment and without rancour. Perhaps this is 
expecting the Ideal to mature too easily and 
readily. The Kingdom of Heaven does not come 
so swiftly to earth. I do think, though, that all 
these new ways in education are heralds of the 
Kingdom, which by such means will come the 
more quickly to earth, and bring the " peace 
and goodwill " that at the present time seem so 
remote from us. 


TheTheosophical Fraternity 
in Education 

President United Kingdom Section : MRS. R. W. ENSOR 
(Motto: "Education as Service") 

AIMS : 1 . To further the Ideal in all Branches of Education. 

2, To secure conditions which will give freedom for 
its expression. 

The Fraternity aims at drawing together in fellowship mem- 
bers of all branches of the teaching profession. It stands for : 
Reverence for the child's individuality ; self-discipline and 
self-government ; co-education ; vital, non-sectarian religious 
teaching ; co-operation ; recognition of the highly honourable 
nature of the teaching vocation ; freedom to attempt and test 
experiments; and closer co-operation between all grades of 
teachers, and between parents and teachers. 

In order to help its members the Fraternity will endeavour 
to give them all possible facilities and encouragement. A 
library of the new educational books has been provided, and 
conferences, lectures, and study classes are held from time to 

FULL MEMBERSHIP is confined to persons of either sex 
who belong to the teaching profession, and who pay an annual 
minimum subscription of 35. 

ASSOCIATESHIP is open to those who are in sympathy 
with the aims of the Fraternity, and who pay an annual 
minimum subscription of 35. 

The Fraternity is International, having Sections in France, 
America, India, Australia, and New Zealand, with Mr. G. S. 
Arundale, M.A., LL.B., as the International President. 

For further information apply to the Secretary, No. u, 
Tavistock Square, London, W.C. i. 

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