Onoway High School students who
wrote departmental exams in late January or will
be writing them in June endure quite a different
experience than those who sat the exams 90 years
ago. The Archives at Onoway Museum has a
collection of exam papers dating back to the
1920s. In 1927, for example, grade VIII students
were required to write departmental exams; those
in grade XII wrote high school and university
entrance exams. These exams were written in June.
At that time, there were no high
school classes in Onoway. The few students who
wished to further their studies had to go to
larger centres such as Edmonton where they would
stay with a relative or find a place to board.
They paid tuition fees (it was $7.00/month in
1931). Some locals, e.g. Charlotte (Coates)
Potter, went to school in Stony Plain and Dorothy
(Lafleur) Frederick boarded at the Lac Ste. Anne
Dormitory near Sangudo as late as the mid-1940s.
If you were in the lower grades
and went to Beaupré School in Onoway in 1927, you
might have been in Mr. Bramley's grade 4 - 7 room.
In September there were 47 students in his room
but a senior room was added (in the annex to the
Onoway Community Hall) so by January, there were
only 40 students in grades 4 to 6. Mr. Bramley
resigned and Mrs. Ostrander took over in April and
finished the year.
Imagine writing departmental
exams – no calculator, no computer – strictly
pencil and paper. No electricity – just the light
coming through the windows. And spelling counted!
These exams are fascinating -
stop by the Archives and have a look!
English 1 1927 -
Composition: total of 100 points
Paragraph writing on
page 2 of English - Composition exam (1927)
Examination Arithmetic and Mensuration Grade
- last question on the exam (worth most
Examination 1927 Algebra 1 - first page
on the two-page exam
Examination 1927 Physics 1 - second page
of three pages
Physics 1 1927 - this
music question was on page 2 of 3 pages