Going to a Victorian School

As part of our trip to Armley Mill in Leeds, we spent an afternoon in a Victorian classroom.  We had to assume our new identities before lining up to enter, girls one side and boys the other in ascending order.  Our hands, faces and hair were checked to make sure that we were all clean as ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’.

Our lesson started with a prayer and then we all had to pay our penny for school, not everyone had one and Ernest Elliot (George) was late so a few of us were in trouble before we knew it.  Time was spent doing arithmetic, which involved using slate boards and slate pencils to write, completing our copy books, which was tricky with an ink pen, pot and blotting paper and our taking part in our first Object lesson.  We left the classroom to take part in ‘Drill’, a type of PE lesson which involved us all holding two weights whilst taking part in different physical activities.

During our lessons a few more children got into trouble.  Thomas Topham, Alice Armstrong and Bertie Booth were all caught writing with the ‘devil’s hand’, Edgar Ellis was caught sleeping so had to wear the backboard and stand at the front of the class, while Ralph Rigg had to stand at the board and wear the dunce cap for covering himself in ink!

As we left the classroom we bowed or curtsied to the picture of Queen Victoria.  Our afternoon was certainly very different to our normal time in school.

Fabulous participation and behaviour from all members of the class.  Well done!