Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
School life
  Always talking Welsh !  

The way in which education was organised in Wales by the School societies and the School Boards was much the same as that found in England.
The Welsh language was commonly seen to be backward and it was often said that the Welsh people would be held back in the modern world if they did not give it up.

Some schools did their best to stop the children using the Welsh language altogether, using punishments like the Welsh Not. Most schools carried out all their lessons in English and only taught the children Welsh songs.
At Darowen school a new Headmaster started in 1870. The school diary records a complaint he made then:

  School diary entry

This entry reads:
"The late Master always talked Welsh with the children which makes it very hard to get an English word out of their mouths".

Many of the children in Darowen school in Victorian times would have come from families where nobody could speak English. At least the previous master could communicate with them. School managers in some parts of Powys deliberately employed teachers who only spoke English.

More about the Welsh language in local schools...


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