Concordia Winter 2023


For all the change and modernisation that the school went through, culminating in the move to Sandy Lodge under Spencer Leeson, it is clear that reporting remained fixed in the past. The reports of H.J. Kupfer (1932-1935), donated by Victor and Thomas Brandao Teixeira, date from the earliest days of the new school. Statements such as “A disappointing term’s work” were considered to be an ample explanation for a ranking of 19th/25 in Science, while two years later his science had progressed to “he has but a poor knowledge of this subject, but has improved”. The development of reporting was most probably not at the top of priorities for the leadership of the school during the first half of the twentieth century; Spencer Leeson was focused on the move to Sandy Lodge while Norman Birley navigated the school through the challenges of the Second World War. This is not to say that academic reform was not important – there was much change to the curriculum and the access of

The use of examinations to provide summative assessment was reflected in the nascent reporting system at the end of the nineteenth century. The school Archive has some examples of reports dating back to the 1890s which show that ranking was the key measure and that there was little attempt to provide diagnostic or formative comment. Generations of schoolboys will recognise some of the pithy comments in R.H. Paramore’s (1890-1895) reports, kindly acquired and donated to the school by parent of OMT Gordon Brown. Comments such as “He does fairly well but is too fond of talking in class” will have resonance for most of us, I suspect. Even when Probation Days had lost their importance for deciding who would become Prompters and Monitors, the significance of ranking continued to dominate reporting, with teachers judging general proficiency to place each boy in rank within the class.

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