On Wednesday 14th September 2022, Year 1 were transported back in time to 14th September 1893 where they spent the morning in a Victorian schoolroom.
The children were given different clothes to wear, the boys had a waistcoat and a smart collar and the girls wore a white pinafore. They looked well presented for their new teacher who was very serious and strict!
First item on the timetable was finding where everyone would be sitting. “Sir” lined the boys and girls up separately and then showed everyone to their place. The children had to stand up straight and be silent while everyone got into place. When they were allowed to sit down, it was time to open the desks. Inside was a slate board and a special pencil. The teacher demonstrated how Victorian children would learn to write numbers and Year 1 tried hard to copy them onto the slates. There was some squeaking from the pencils but everyone did a good job!
Afterwards, the Victorian teacher introduced the ink pens which were very different to the pencils we use to write with in school. They had to be dipped in
an ink well and they were quite drippy. Once the writing was finished, a piece of blotting paper was pressed onto the work to stop the ink from smudging. Everyone worked carefully and most people had blue fingers when we had finished! Throughout both activities, “Sir” reminded everyone to sit up straight and have their hands behind their backs when they weren’t writing, which was quite tricky to remember and not very comfortable.
Once the writing tasks were finished, the children completed a bit of reading. “Sir” went through the letter names and read words, it was very different to the phonics lessons at school! At the end of our morning, “Sir” introduced the children to Drill. This consisted of some arm exercises and a bit of marching to end.
Once the children returned to 2022, our Victorian teacher became less strict and explained what happened to children who did not listen or who were not well behaved. Poppy showed everyone what the Dunce’s cap looked like. I don’t think Poppy would have ever needed to wear it for real as she is an excellent listener and hard worker. Eden was very brave when asked to come to the front to be “caned”. He definitely wouldn’t have deserved a caning as he was a model pupil throughout the morning, remembering to put his hands behind his back, and call the teacher “Sir”.
We had a wonderful morning and it was an exciting ‘Sparkling Start’ to our topic of Home Sweet Home. We were very proud of all of the children and the museum staff even commented on the excellent manners they had. Special thanks go to Mrs Miles and Mrs Marshall who accompanied us. We are grateful to
them for coming along to help.
Mrs Maher and Mrs Knight