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Available atThe Core Library Solihull
TitlePapers of Roland Henry Collins, Mathematics teacher and Headmaster of Harold Malley School, Solihull, Warwickshire
DescriptionPapers, photographs, notes and reminiscences relating to the Harold Malley School, Blossomfield Road, Solihull, Warwickshire 1960-1973, mostly collected and compiled between 1998-2002 with the intention of creating a history of the school.

The archive also includes papers 1962-1990 relating to the Harold Malley Mountain Centre (later known as Maengwynedd Field Centre, Ysgol Natur Maengwynedd and Maengwynedd Outdoor Education Centre) situated in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Denbighshire, North Wales. There are also publications and papers of the Midlands Mathematical Experiment 1963-1984 (mostly 1963-1973) and copies of the Mathematical Pie newsletter 1970-1992. Also included are notes, correspondence and newspaper articles 1986-2001 relating to the breadth of the curriculum and the modernisation of teaching.

Roland Collins was a founder member in 1952 of the Association for Teaching Aids in Mathematics (ATAM) (later Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM)) and was active in the association for many years. However, this archive does not include any papers relating to the association, except for brief correspondence with Dr M. H. Price who was writing a history of the association.

The archive is a valuable source for the history of Harold Malley School, Solihull in particular but also for the general history of teaching and of curriculum development, especially of Mathematics.
Admin/Biographical historyRoland Henry Collins was born in Southampton on 18 March 1915. He attended University College, Southampton 1934-1937, graduating with a BSc in Mathematics. He joined Vickers Aviation in Weybridge for a short time in 1938, working in the Stress Office under Barnes Wallis and carrying out stress work on the Wellington Bomber. He decided to enter the teaching profession towards the end of 1938.

Teaching career
He entered the teaching profession in 1938 and, after a temporary teaching post in a state grammar school, joined the RAF Education Service prior to the outbreak of war. During the Second World War he taught air crews during their initial training, covering such subjects as meteorology, navigation, theory of flight and map reading. This experience contributed to his subsequent teaching philosophy of the need for practical demonstrations of mathematical theory in order to develop understanding.

After the war, Roland Collins joined the Gateway School, Leicester as a Mathematics Master. In the 1950s he then moved to the Technical High School, Doncaster as Deputy Head Master and Senior Mathematics Master. In December 1960 he was appointed headmaster at the new Harold Malley School in Solihull.

Following the closure of Harold Malley School in July 1973, Roland Collins was transferred to the Education Office as Officer for Special Projects, spending much of his time looking after and developing the Maengwynedd Field Centre. He remained in this role until he retired in 1980.

Retirement and personal life
Following his retirement, Roland Collins moved from Shirley, Solihull to Hatton, Warwickshire, moving from there to Southampton, Hampshire after the death of his second wife in 1992.

He married his first wife, Betty J. Merefield, in 1939 and they had one son. Roland and Betty Collins divorced in the 1940s and he married his second wife Grace Audrey Eilott in 1948. Following the death of Grace Collins in March 1992, Roland Collins moved to Southampton and remarried his first wife in 1993. Roland Collins died in Southampton in June 2002, aged 87.

[Sources used in the preparation of the description: Companies House website ( viewed 20 August 2010; Fowler, Geoff, 'Forty Years of Savoury Pie', Mathematics in School, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Mar. 1990); Tall, Graham and Cahill, Michael, 'The Schools Council and Mathematical Education', Mathematics in School, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Mar. 1979).]
Physical DescriptionThe collection includes some audio recordings of school concerts (COLLRH/3/3/13/5). These include audio cassette tapes and copies made from these tapes and transferred to compact discs. Equipment for listening to both formats is available on request from staff.
Access StatusPart closed (content)
Access ConditionsMost items have no restrictions on access and are available on request during library opening hours. Some records may contain sensitive personal data, and therefore may be subject to the provisions of legislation of the Data Protection Act (1998), Freedom of Information Act (2000) or Environmental Information Regulations (2004). Application for access to records marked as "closed (content)" may be made in writing to the Heritage & Local Studies Librarian.
Finding AidsA PDF list of this collection is attached.
Related MaterialMidlands Mathematical Experiment: correspondence and papers, 1962-66. Finding No: MS218 (held at Cadbury Research Library, Birmingham University)
Document/photo attached (click image to open)


Creator_NameCollins | Roland Henry | 1915 - 2002
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