An "open-air" classroom in Percy Street Special School in North Kelvinside in 1916, two years after it opened. The photograph was taken from the school courtyard after the inner wall of the classroom had been folded back to allow natural light and fresh air into the room. The school was the first in Glasgow to be built specifically for children with special needs, and its pupils suffered from various physical disabilities. The Glasgow School Board subsequently built a second, Kennyhill School near Alexandra Park.
The classroom is laid out in a much less formal way than in conventional Board Schools, where desks were arranged in strict rows. The walls are decorated with cheerful painted scenes. The children are having an arithmetic lesson, with an abacus placed in front of them (right) to allow the teacher to demonstrate addition and subtraction. Each child has his or her own abacus in the wooden boxes on their desks.
Percy Street was later renamed Hotspur Street, and the school was renamed Kelbourne.
Reference: D-ED 5/12/3
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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