Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School


school building

Scholarship Results, 1915

In 1915, it was not the case that to enter the County Schools a pupil had to gain a scholarship. Indeed in this year only 8 boys and 8 girls were awarded a scholarship; the parents of the others had to fund the school place even though their child had to attempt the entrance examination as well. Amongst those who entered the school in 1915 but did not gain a scholarship were P.E. Phillips, (later Deputy headmaster at the school), Gwilym Ffrangon Williams (later Sir Gwilym), D. Herbert Davies, (later Headmaster at Cwmdare), and Richard Bell Jones, (later headmaster Caerphilly Grammar Technical School for Boys).

Much later in the 1950s, 60s and 70s the phrase passing the scholarship was still in use, even though no financial scholarship was awarded as all places were by then free. The phrase persisted and was synonymous with passing the 11-plus examination for entry into a selective secondary school.

Presented below are the names of the scholarship winners. The previous school of each pupil is named, and readers should be aware that the Higher Standard School was the initial name of the school, opened in October 1907, later known as The Gadlys Secondary Modern School, and finally as Aberdare Girls’ Lower School.

Pupils went to the Higher Standard, still legally classed as an elementary school, after attending one of the other elementary schools in the Cynon Valley. They attended the Gadlys School for one or two years in order to study for the more advanced standards known as VI and VII. Most elementary schools taught the Standards I to V, from which it was still possible to do well in the entrance examination, but many parents wished their sons and daughters to experience the higher standards offered at the Gadlys School.

The wording of the announcement might give the impression that there was just one County School to which the scholarship pupils would go. However this was not the case, as in 1913 the Girls’ County School opened, and the boys and girls entered separate secondary schools thereafter.

  SCHOLARSHIPS.—The following have been awarded entrance scholarships to the County School by the Aberdare Education Committee: — Girls: M. Lilian Jones, Higher Standard Girls; Rachel Hughes, Higher Std. Girls; Cecilia Aileen Davies, Higher Standard Girls; Maggie Davies, Abernant; Irene Williams, Park Girls; Catherine A. Morgan, Park Girls; Blodwen Fox, Higher Standard Girls: and Kathleen Jones, Blaengwawr.
Boys: Samuel Glanffrwd Williams, Higher Standard Boys’ School; Arthur D. Thomas, Higher Standard Boys School; John Morgan, Town Council School; Wm. John Davies, Higher Standard Boys’ School; John Garfield Davies, Cwmdare; Thomas H. Jones, Cwmbach School; Luther James, Cwmdare School; and David S. Prosser, Capcoch School.