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estimation of the apprentices. If so large a deduction be made from the be opened at time devoted by them to the business of the school as is proposed in this Midsummer, Report, it is to be hoped, therefore, that their attendance at the times The business specified will be made under all circumstances imperative. There is the of the Yard more reason that an Admiralty order to this effect be issued, as the attend-allowed to ance is at present in some of the schools very irregular, and as there is a interfere growing disposition among the subordinate officers to allow the business with that of of the yards to interfere with it.
New school buildings are required at Portsmouth and at Plymouth; these should include, each, one large and two small lecture rooms, and a master's residence.
A list of the apprentices should be made out every half-year, recording the time each has been under instruction, his age, his progress, his school character, and his character as a workman.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
To the Right Honorable the Lords of the
Report on the Central Mathematical School in Her Majesty's Doc yard at Portsmouth; by the REV. H. MOSELEY, M.A., F.RS. H.M. Inspector of Schools.
18 September 1849.
In compliance with your instructions, I have examined the Central Mathematical School in Her Majesty's Dock-yard Portsmouth. The establishment of this school was provided for by an Admiralty circular of the 27th of June 1846.
It is intended for the education, in mathematical science, of twenty-four of the apprentices in Her Majesty's dock-yards, of whom eight are to be selected annually from the Dock-yard Schools at the close of the fourth year of their servitude, according to their abilities and proficiency, as tested by a public examination to be held in each school. I visited the different dock-yards, for the purpose of holding such examinations, in February and March 1848; and at the following Midsummer the eight apprentices whom I selected as the best qualified were assembled at Portsmouth, and the Institution was commenced. I have during the present year, 1849, a second time visited these schools, and selected nine other apprentices for admission (being one more than the prescribed number), to fill up a vacancy occasioned by death. And next year a similar examination will be held, and the number of students will then be completed.
In each subsequent year, eight of the students, having completed their course of instruction, will leave the Institution, and the eight new students selected at the annual examination will fill the vacancies thus created. The term of the servitude of the students, as apprentices, being completed at the end of three years, they will be entered as "leading men" in the different dock-yards; and a regular course of promotion being opened, under the new regulations, to all persons employed in Her Majesty's dock-yards, according to qualifications for such promotion, as shown at examinations appointed to be held from time to time for that purpose, it is expected that these youths will eventually rise to offices of high trust and responsibility.
The building appropriated to the Institution is that formerly occupied by the Naval Architectural College, and erected for
It is situated within the walls of the Dock-yard, and affords ample accommodation for the residence of the whole number of students, and for their instruction.
Each student has a separate room; there are convenient class
rooms; and a master's house occupies each extremity of the building.
The Principal is the Rev. Joseph Woolley, M.A., lately Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. Besides the general control of the Institution, and the instruction of the students in religious knowledge, he is specially charged with their mathematical instruction.
They are taught chemistry by Mr. Hays; and a wellarranged laboratory has been erected adjacent to the schools, in which facilities are afforded them for chemical manipulation and individual study.
The apparatus appears to be excellent and complete, and a convenient chemical lecture-room adjoins the laboratory.
I trust that at another examination the students will give evidence of attainments in this important department of their instruction, commensurate with the opportunities afforded to them.†
They are instructed by Mr. Herbert to make the drawings used in the building of ships, and to trace on the mould-loft floor the shapes to be given to their several timbers, so that they may assume forms in accordance with those drawings. They rise at 6 o'clock, and go to bed at 10 o'clock. Their hours of study are, before breakfast, from 6 to 7; after breakfast, from 8 to 11; and after dinner, from 2 to 4 or (on alternate days) to 5 o'clock. The hours of prayer are quarter before 8 in the morning, and 9 in the evening. On Sundays the students attend the Dock-yard chapel, both at morning and evening services; unless, at the time of his appointment, the friends of any student shall make such a representation to the Principal as shall seem to him to justify a relaxation of this rule. They are instructed by the Principal in religious knowledge, on Sunday at 9A.M.. and at 9 P.M. Each student is allowed (out of school hours) the use of a separate room (called a cabin) which serves him also as a sleeping apartment; these cabins all open into one long gallery, into which there is a communication from the Principal's house.
Rules for the conduct of the students have been drawn up by the Principal, and printed. In his absence, two of them, called Prefects, are charged to see that these rules are observed.
They are not to be absent from the school later than one half-hour after sunset, except by special permission from the Principal.
* One of these houses is at present occupied by an officer not connected with the schools.
It appears very desirable that two or three additional hours should be devoted to this subject every week. These cannot probably be spared in the day time, but may very well be taken in the evening. At present the students appear to know little or nothing of chemistry.
They are required to conform to all such other regulatios as are established by the Admiral-Superintendent for the guid ance of persons residing in the Dock-yards.
Subject to these regulations, a good deal of liberty appears to be allowed to them. It is considered to be justified by their age and previous character, and not to be found in practice inconsistent with the good order and discipline of the Instit tion. No servant of any kind is appointed to wait upon them. or to do errands for them. They are required to keep ther cabins in order themselves, and take turns, under the direction of the Porter, in serving at meals and waiting at table.
A library is provided for their use, and a study, which is open until 10 p.m.
During three days of the week their studies are under the exclusive direction of the Principal. These days are devoted chiefly to mathematical instruction. During three other days alternating with these, they receive instruction from Mr. Herbert in practical ship-building; but on one of these days they attend Mr. Hay's Lectures in Chemistry from 11 to 12 in one week, and from 9 to 12 in the next, devoting the longer period to chemical manipulation.
The following were the subjects tendered to me for examination, being those in which they had been instructed during the preceding year:
Euclid, Books I., IV., VI., XI., first 21 propositions.
Trigonometry, Plane, all.
Descriptive Geometry: constructions connected with straight lines and planes, circles, and applications to laying off ships (M.S.).
Conic Sections, geometrically, by Hustler.
Co-ordinate Geometry (O'Brien's), all but Chapter XIII. Elementary Mechanics (Snowball's), all, with motion on a curve, geometrically done.
Elementary Hydrostatics (by Webster), to the end of the Chapter on Heat and Temperature, exclusive of Steam and its applications.
I had the advantage of being present at an Oral Examination of the students on the day preceding my own examination, which was conducted by the Principal, assisted by the Rev. T. S. Main, M.A., Professor of the Royal Naval College, and myself, in the presence of the Admiral-Superintendent, the Master Shipwright, and other officers of the Dock-yard.
I have appended to this Report copies of the questions which I proposed to the students in writing on the following day. Their answers to these questions, I have carefully read over. The subjects in which the questions were put, were not tendered
to me as subjects in which they were fully instructed, but as those to which their attention had been directed, and in which they had made different degrees of progress. With that progress I have every reason to feel satisfied. Some of them possess considerable mathematical ability, none are altogether without it; and from the papers before me, I am disposed to think that each has availed himself, according to the measure of his ability, of the opportunities of instruction afforded to him. Those opportunities are of no common order. The Institution has, in its Principal, a most efficient teacher, and an accomplished mathematician. The methods of instruction adopted by him are, moreover, those sanctioned by the most recent use of the University of Cambridge. I have enclosed to you, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, a list of the students, arranged in the order of merit. Those who have acquitted themselves the best are Barnes, Barnaby, and Abethell.
Great pains appear to have been taken to give to their mathematical knowledge a strictly demonstrative form; and their answers are for the most characterized by that completeness of demonstration which affords the most certain evidence of good teaching. Some of them appear, morcover, to be capable of applying their knowledge independently.
Their attainments are not, however, I think, characterized generally by this power of independent research. They have done well rather in their book-work than in the problems which I set them.
It is in the second year of their course that they will begin to be instructed in the application of their mathematical knowledge to its practical results; and it is accordingly in those parts of the course of the first year which connect themselves with this application (mechanics, for instance, and hydrostatics) that I have found the greatest deficiency.
To be successful, it is necessary that the course of this Institution should inculcate thoroughly the principles of mathematical reasoning; but it is equally necessary that it should teach their application. It is too much to require of the student that he should himself make this application; the task is too difficult for him. To convince us of which, we have only to try it ourselves. We have no right to require of him to overcome difficulties to which we find ourselves scarcely equal.
His mind may be stored when he leaves the Institution with all the abstract knowledge necessary to the solution of the great problems which are during the rest of his life to occupy his attention; to these he may then add all the resources of practical knowledge, and yet the application of the one to the other may never be made;-theory and practice existing in his mind, in irreconcileable disunion, like oil and water. After a