Some of the first Evening Classes
offered at the Trecynon School

Notes on the courses advertised

Until the 1902 Education Act, the training of elementary teachers was largely carried out under the pupil-teacher system, first established in 1846. Pupils who had been selected as pupil-teachers received three years concurrent education and training. They were prepared for The King’s/Queen’s Scholarship, an examination normally taken at 18 years. In 1897, Victoria was on the throne, consequently this examination was for the Queen’s Scholarship. Successful Queen’s scholars had the opportunity of attending teacher training colleges for 2 or 3 years, such as The Normal College in Bangor founded in 1861.

The teacher training system was amended in 1907 whereby a pupil-teacher had the option of becoming a student teacher at a public elementary school instead of attending a teacher training college.

London Matriculation Examinations would enable a student to become eligible for university entry. In September 1897, the Central Welsh Board was just one year old, and still developing its own examinations, so external students hoping to gain entry to university were likely to be preparing for the London exams, which were well-established, having been introduced in 1838.

It is not known why theoretical and practical chemistry was offered as an evening class, other than to satisfy the desire for general education, or perhaps for those considering further training to become dispensing pharmaceutical chemists.

The advert below appeared in Tarian y Gweithiwr, (The Worker's Shield), one of several influential newspapers published in Aberdare at that time. This paper was in print from 1875 to 1934. It was a Liberal-Labour weekly, appealing chiefly to the miners and tin workers of south Wales, providing a mixture of local and national news.

O level 1960 column 1