St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance

Special Event - Year 6 Victorian Day

3 December 2010

Year 6 pupils from St John Bosco Primary School travelled back in time on Friday to experience a day as Victorians. The day was organized by visiting historical company 'Living Past Times' and has complimented the work studied in class this term.

The children all arrived at school in authentic costume and the day began in a Victorian classroom. Following hand inspections and bible readings the children began work on Victorian arithmetic adding pounds shilling and pence on their slates, doing drill and using authentic inkpens and blotting paper to complete their copybooks. Many of the class managed to blot theirs and ended up with dirty fingers and a telling off from the Victorian schoolmistress.

They learned about Victorian school punishments but fortunately didn't experience any.

The afternoon session saw the children transferred to a stately home to take part in an activity called 'upstairs downstairs' which saw them take part in a circuit of 12 activities that would have been experienced by children living in the Victorian era. Six of these were applicable to working children and included polishing shoes, ironing, serving meals and carrying coal; whilst the other 6 were the ways rich children would spend their time and included authentic Victorian toys such as zoetropes, musical instruments and dressing up.

The day gave a fantastic insight into life in Victorian times and was superbly played in role by the children and historian Fran from Living Past Times. The class are all enthusiastic to find out more about the era as the topic continues after Christmas.

Getting the cane!
Inky fingers after blotting my copybook.

At work in the Victorian classroom.
The class in Victorian costume.

Learning Victorian arithmetic.
Carrying the coal.