Timetable

The school day began with prayers at six o’clock in the morning, continued until eleven, started again at one, and continued until five. The inadequacy of lighting in the building – boys were supposed to bring their own candles – resulted in a seasonal reduction of the day to a seven o’clock start and a four o’clock finish in winter. A five and a half-day week, for 40 to 44 weeks of the year, meant that during the year boys spent at least 2,000 hours in school – more than double the time spent nowadays at school in England. Some relief from the otherwise monotonous routine might be afforded by occasional interruptions during the week. On Mondays, the first business was an examination on the previous Sunday’s sermon. Thursday afternoons were the weekly half-holiday or remedie, whilst Fridays were mainly devoted to revision of the week’s work, repetitions and examinations. On Saturdays, boys learnt their catechisms, or perhaps practised arithmetic. Much less eagerly awaited would be the enlivenment on Friday when proper punishment was meted out to offenders.

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