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☰ Year 5 Victorian Experience

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Year 5 Victorian Experience

Posted on: 04 May 2016 by Weston Green School | Category: Key Stage 2, Year 5

Year 5 Victorian Experience

As part of their History study of the Victorians, Year 5 were transported to a bygone era last Tuesday when their classroom was transformed into a Victorian school room. Interactive technology gave way to a blackboard which had as its centre piece, a portrait of a stern looking Queen Victoria. The boys and girls arrived dressed in traditional Victorian school wear and were greeted by a very stern looking Mr Godwin in his Master’s gown and mortar board, alongside Miss Davenport dressed in a long black dress, cape and hat. Boys were asked to line up in front, with girls following behind, highlighting the fact that boys were considered more important in Victorian times and therefore merited special treatment. Following registration Mr Godwin emphasised the importance of good deportment before he conducted an inspection of hands and fingernails, reminding pupils of the Bible quotation, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.

With the emphasis on role play, one of the most important aspects of the day was the difference between modern school life and that of the Victorian child. Year 5 quickly realised that children were expected to be seen and not heard. No child could speak to the teacher without first putting their hand up. Teachers were addressed as “Sir” or “Miss” – not “Mrs”, as married women were not allowed to teach. Lessons were conducted in a formal manner with the main focus being on rote learning and strict discipline. The teaching of the three Rs, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic took up much of the day, with chanting of times tables, recitation of poetry and wrestling with sums involving £. S. D. Great effort was displayed by all pupils when trying to perfect the art of copperplate handwriting, first on slates using slate pencils, and then progressing to writing in their new copy books using pens made out of thin wooden sticks with steel nibs which had to be dipped in ink every few words or they would run dry!

When playtime was announced, pupils’ spirits lifted but they were greeted in the playground by Mr Morgan who put them through a strenuous programme of drill exercises. There was however, also time for some traditional Victorian ball games as well as hopscotch, marbles and skipping. The afternoon saw the return of Miss Smit who conducted an interesting object lesson on the subject of the apple, followed by a traditional English lesson delivered by Miss Earp.

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