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Y6 spent the day as Victorian children!

posted 9 Nov 2016, 10:15 by Tetherdown Primary

On the 7th of November, Year 6 travelled back in time to the year 1885 and had their classrooms transformed and so were their teachers.  They experienced the life of a Victorian schoolchild; they ate a Victorian lunch, they played with Victorian toys, were taught Victorian lessons and were given Victorian punishments from Victorian teachers.

The students thoroughly enjoyed the day though some did find it hard, and so did the teachers! Mrs Hedley, teacher in Phoenix class, said this about being a Victorian school teacher, “I found it really hard to stay in character, even though I did have some fun as well. Though I was a bit of a hypocrite at times and didn’t enjoy being sexist or racist at all!”

The students were asked to pray for forgiveness, given the dunce hat or caned (don’t worry they just pretended to scream in pain!) and the dunce hat was nearly always on someone’s head.  The lessons included:  poetry, maths, writing, reading, drills, etiquette and either graph or sewing depending if you were a boy or a girl. Some classes were enjoyed more than others, some did not enjoy writing on account of the fact of being left-handed or finding it hard to write with an ink pen; some to not enjoy poetry because they found it too strict and didn’t like how strict it was. Others enjoyed sewing because it was quiet and fun and also enjoyed reading as it didn’t require much strictness as other lessons did.

The classrooms were completely turned upside-down with blackboards, desks and ink pens. They were hardly recognisable from what they had been on Friday, and so were the pupils! Clad in bonnets, frocks, frills, caps and trousers, it was like stepping into an old silent Charlie Chaplin film. Some even dressed up as the opposite gender! And the day wouldn’t be complete without a dunce cap that was worn by at least half the class in total! Everyone enjoyed looking at other people’s outfits as well as their own although some did prefer not to dress up. And there was a fun time had by all!

During break they first played with a wicker ball one of the children had brought in which was used in a game of catch and four-square as well as marbles, teddies and dolls. During lunch though they played with skipping ropes and football in contrast, and during last break they reverted back to more modern toys such as the Velcro toss and catch and other playground equipment. So their Victorian day wasn’t all work!

But what work it was! As they came into their now transformed classroom they did poetry recitation to the beat of a cane followed by writing, following a lesson in humbleness, and the girls even had etiquette lessons in how to do a proper curtsey.  After they came in from break they said the school rules followed by reciting their time tables and doing mental arithmetic and then read ‘the history of the Fairchild’ before having a basic Victorian lunch. The children learned Geography - about continents followed by memorising the key reigning dates and names in history and finally sewing or diagram drawing.

Then it was time to turn their classroom back to normal and then it was the end of the day after having done an evaluation about the day. Victorian day was a memorable experience and was a great learning opportunity for them all, but I think they much prefer school life now!