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In the late 19th century, along with the west wind blowing eastward and China's door being opened to the world, the calls for reforms for a powerful state became stronger. In 1904, Zhang Zhi-Dong said that normal schools should have precedence over secondary schools to create, so in March 1905, according to regulations,the Yichang Prefect Qi Yao-Shan initiated the Primary Normal School of Yichang Prefecture at the examination shelf of Xueyuanjie Street.
Jiaojunchang, also known as Jiaochangba, and called Dajiaochang in Qing Dynasty, a place located in the north-east of ancient Yichang city, from today's Deshengjie Street to near our school, was recorded that it was the military drill field in the Qing Dynasty where troops and horses were trained. This is the photo of Yichang military drill field taken by Ernest Henry Wilson, a western horticulturist and botanist, in about 1900 -1910 when he was in Yichang, which is the earliest school-related historical photograph.
In 1909, the Primary Normal School of Yichang Prefecture was closed. In spring of 1910 (Xuantong second year Qing Dynasty) Yichang Prefecture Government Secondary School came into being, which was the source of Hubei Yichang No.1 Senior High School and also the commencement of Yichang's general secondary education. From then on, the school experienced being disassembled and rearranged, with 15 times renamed and 7 times relocated.
After the Xinhai Revolution in 1911, the school resumed classes at Mo-Chi Academy and soon was renamed as Yiling Secondary School in the Ninth District of Hubei Province. Mo-Chi Academy was located in the place of Xinjie Street of today, crossing Nanzhengjie Street, Tongshuxiang Lane and leading to Xueyuanjie Street. The Academy was built in the Kangxi period of the Qing dynasty, upon the relic where both Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty and Su Shi of the Song Dynasty washed their writing-brushes and inkstones. In the eighth year of Daoguang Qing Dynasty, the Prefect Cheng Jiao-Ting advocated seven gentries to contribute to expand the scale: adding three lecture halls, a temple behind central hall, a “Shan Chang Study” and “Yi Ye Study” on the right, 72 rooms in all.
Mo-Chi Academy, elegant and graceful, was a place endowed with spirits and virtues of forerunners and accumulated with rich cultural deposits, leaving Yichang No.1 High School inexhaustible mental nourishment.
In July, 1924, the school was presented with the official seal of “Hubei Provincial No.12 Secondary School”. In the early years of the Republic of China, the school was on a very small scale, the purpose of educating students being “Simplicity, diligence, neatness and vivaciousness”. Ordinarily it had 8~13 teachers , most of whom were local educational elites, such as Zhang Bing-Yuan, Zhang Ben-Huai, Peng Nan-Ping and so on ,and 150 students or so. In the autumn of 1926, the Provincial No. 12 School was suspended with the war and fighting in Yichang.
In the spring of 1927, the Provincial No. 3 Normal School and No.12 Secondary School were combined into a “Hubei Provincial No.4 Secondary School”. The school site Part I for boys section was at Wenchang Palace, Dongzhengjie Street, and Part II for girls section was at Mo-Chi Academy, with a senior normal division attached. In 1934, general senior high classes were set up at No.4 Secondary School and it became a second-to-none school in western Hubei with complete six-year “three + three” system, where students could have school according to normal academic year.
In 1927, the school was adversely affected in turns by various forces like the Northern Expeditionary Army, Sichuan Army and Worker-Peasant organizations. During that period the school was once forced to close down. In April 1928, No.4 Secondary School, hosted by Zheng Wan-Xuan then, resumed classes and enrollment of newcomers. The number of students grew from 145, taught in seven classes, at the time of May 1928 resumption of classes to more than 400 regular at school in twelve classes in spring of 1930. By August 1937, there had been 18 groups of junior school graduates, three groups of senior normal graduates, and one group of general senior high graduates, nearly one thousand in all. During this period, teachers changed frequently and the science teacher Chen Jin-Zhang was once commended by the Ministry of Education.
During the period of Provincial No.4, the school established specific and feasible teaching goals for students in the fields of physique, personality, mentality, society and so on, began rigorous educational administration and developed consummate training and teaching regulations. These measures were very advanced then, and even till now, our education and teaching can still have some reference from it. In addition, the school campus was rigorously planned, teaching facilities were complete, books and samples were rich, recreational and sports facilities were kept updating and sport activities were vivid and dramatic.
In the special and complex situation of the period of the Republic of China, the Cub Scouts had some effect and played its due role at that time because of its timely adaptation. On March 16, 1929, Principal Wan Xi-Zhang of Hubei Provincial No.4 Secondary School applied to organize the Party Cub Scout under on-site guidance. In September 1933, the school applied for the start-up costs and recurrent costs for adding Cub Scouts. In August 1934, Fan Shu-Fen was installed as principal. From June to September, 1935, all students went to “Right Banner” Wuchang for military training.
Hubei Provincial Yichang Secondary School was the name to replace that of Provincial No.4 when in the Hubei movement of renaming schools according to locations. The school at that time was relied on by parents and students with its serious school spirit and solid management team. In February 1938, Japanese planes bombed Yichang the second time and two bombs exploded not far from the school, which stirred a lot among teachers, students and parents. In the same month, for meeting the dual needs of war and national reconstruction, the Hubei provincial government decided to implement the wartime education, strategically shifting schools to western and northern Hubei Province.
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