St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance
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Special Event - Year 6 at Blists Hill Victorian Town

4 November 2011

Year 6 pupils enhanced their studies of the Victorian era with a visit to Blists Hill Victorian Town at Ironbridge on Friday.

Blists Hill is a fully working recreation of a Victorian town and for the seven hours or so that they were there the children were taken back to the 1800's in every way possible.

On arrival everyone changed into Victorian costume and went into the Victorian schoolroom for a series of lessons. Among these were arithmetic involving pounds, shilling and pence, an object lesson about the kettle and traditional drill in the playground. There was also reciting of times tables, hand inspections, writing on slates and prayers and hymns. Some pupils were rewarded for good attendance or effort but others learned about what would happen if Victorian children misbehaved or were late.

Following the schoolroom, lunch was bought from the Victorian Fish shop and everyone agreed the fish and chips and old fashioned pop was amazing.

A visit was then made to the New Inn, the town Pub, where everyone took part in a good old sing song around the piano with songs including "I've never Seen a Straight Banana, My Old Man and Wheezy-Anna" among many of others. Everyone was in great voice.

The experience continued with a visit to the depths of a Victorian mine where the pupils discovered first hand the condition and jobs that children, younger than them, did for eight hours a day in Victorian times. They came face to face with the dangers Victorian children put up with on a daily basis through a sound and light show.

After emerging from the depths of the mine, the remainder of the day allowed everyone to explore the rest of the town including a range of Victorian shops, doctors, post office, ironmongers and funfair. As the only currency at Blists Hill is £Sd the children had to manage their money carefully after visiting the bank.

The whole experience was a fantastic learning experience. In one day at Blists Hill the children learned more about Victorian life than could be ever be achieved from books and websites for any length of time. Everyone entered into the spirit superbly and a brilliant day was made even better when a member of staff at the town said that the manners and behaviour of the St John Bosco pupils was the best they had ever seen from any visiting school group in all the time the museum had been open.