Best Days of Your Life? Lessons
Today’s school curriculum is a wide ranging. Maths and English are taught alongside Mandarin and Computing. However, in the earliest days of education, lessons focussed exclusively on the Catechism and basic literacy.
After the Reformation as Scotland became famous for classical learning, Latin and Greek were taught and pupils were encouraged to take part in plays and outdoor performances. Music education too has a long history in the County with James VI endowing a music school in Musselburgh in 1609.
Female education, although meagre, existed as far back as the 16th century with ‘maiden bairns’ in Haddington being taught reading and sewing.
In the 18th century, lessons shifted to focus on English, arithmetic and Geography and in Dunbar the Mathematical school taught Navigation and Book Keeping
As attendance for all became compulsory, the curriculum expanded and developed. Strong emphasis was put on the three R’s and subjects such as needlework, history and PE were also introduced to produce a curriculum more recognisable to the present time.
Extract from Haddington Burgh Minutes. The Council order the door to be taken of the Bowling Green to allow an open air performance by the school, July 1682