The Glasgow Academy
THE GLASGOW ACADEMY, Kelvin Bridge, Great Western Road. Dr. Morrison, Rector.
In the General Report on Education in Scotland, recently
submitted to Parliament, and in other Reports by the Scotch Education
Department, the following highly satisfactory and eulogistic remarks were made
English. All the younger boys read as if they had lost the consciousness of the art in the interest of the story. Nothing could be more admirable or more stimulative than the lessons I heard given on The Cottars Saturday Night, Hamlet, and Midsummer Nights Dream. The commercial value of Geography was never lost sight of. I was much struck by the intelligent essays on the principal characters of Macbeth. The papers show how the scientific teaching of English may be made a most valuable instrument of education.
French and German. M. Barbes practice of speaking generally, and in the higher classes almost exclusively, in the language he is teaching is as praise-worthy as it is notoriously rare. They translate letters from and into French with a facility which will be of great use in a merchants office.
Mathematics. It was possible for a boy to get over 100 per cent. This happened oftener in this school than in any of the twelve examined by me.
Geometry. The better papers were admirable both in style and in matter the best that I got in my group of schools.
Algebra. This is a very brilliant performance. Among 24 boys there was no failure. The striking thing about these is not solely the high marks, but that indefinable quality of style and intelligence which cannot be marked by figures. In the papers of this school I got pieces of consecutive mathematical reasoning that might have been printed with advantage in some of our English elementary text books.
Discovering that the school in question was no other than that excellent and highly popular Institution known so well and widely as the Glasgow Academy, it is only natural that we should have turned our attention in that direction with the highest of anticipations, and it is with great pleasure we have to state that, after a close scrutiny and most exhaustive inspection, high as were our anticipations, in no single particular have they been disappointed.
The Academy was instituted in the year 1846 for the purpose of providing for boys in the West End of Glasgow a full and carefully adjusted course of instruction such as is usually given in the higher class schools of both Scotland and England. For the first thirty-two years of its existence this purpose was most satisfactorily accomplished in premises situated in Elmbank Street, but as years rolled by the Academys reputation and popularity increased, and it became necessary to find larger and more suitable accommodation. An admirable site about a mile farther west adjoining the Kelvin and the Great Western Road offering itself, it was purchased and the present most handsome, stately, and palatial-looking building placed upon one portion of it, the other portion being laid out and fitted as a play and recreation ground.
Of the internal arrangements and general conveniences of the building it would be utterly impossible to speak too highly. Having been constructed especially for educational purposes and from the plans of those well experienced in such matters, all the newest and most approved principles of sanitation, heating, and ventilation have been introduced and such means devised by which in every possible way the health and happiness of the boys shall be fully secured. There are seventeen large and well-appointed class-rooms, a splendid lecture hall for the delivery of lectures and the holding of examinations on scientific subjects, a most fully-equipped laboratory for the use of those pupils who are taking up such subjects as electricity, magnetism, mechanics, dynamics, chemistry, &c., a gymnasium replete with every necessary apparatus and appliance, a spacious and comfortably furnished dining hall where lunch and dinner are provided for those boys coming from a distance, and, in addition to other accommodation, two good-sized halls on the ground area for the exercise and recreation of the pupils during bad weather.
Amongst many wise and distinguishing features in connection with the
construction of this school the system by which the classes are changed seems
especially excellent, the boys moving up using the western staircase, whilst the
eastern is reserved for those moving down ; and remembering something of the
staircase scrimmages and tussles between the ascending and descending pupils of
years ago, we can very sincerely congratulate the masters of Glasgow Academy
upon this arrangement, by which both time and order are saved.
The course of instruction given is very complete and includes every branch of knowledge needed for the thorough equipment of the boys for their future spheres of life. The school is divided into two departments, the Preparatory and the Upper, and is so arranged that by a carefully graduated course of study the boys pass from one stage to another with comfort to themselves and every chance of making steady progress in their work. In the Upper School the course was divided during the last few years into three distinct and independent sections, viz., the Classical, Scientific, and Mercantile ; and according to a boys bent in life so is he placed in one or the other of these, and under the careful supervision and teaching of duly qualified masters thoroughly prepared for any of the examinations in the United Kingdom, or for at once entering a counting-house or place of business.
To the Directors of the Academy, as well as to its excellent and highly esteemed Rector, Dr. Morrison, it must be a source of great encouragement to know that their earnest and self-denying efforts on behalf of the boys have not been in vain, but that at Woolwich, Sandhurst, Coopers Hill, the University, and in different spheres in the mercantile world the excellence and high-class character of their work have borne abundant fruit, crowning their former pupils with honour and reflecting great credit upon the Institution which they so ably and energetically conduct.
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