At the end of last term, Ust. Ayesha and Ust. Omaimah took the Lower and Upper Elementary pupils back in time to live a school day as it may have been in the life of a child in the Victorian age.
As part of our work in connecting pupils with local institutions and helping them build an understanding of local history and culture, we often take our pupils on visits to explore places of interest. Located at a short walk from the school is Reading Museum which hosts a wonderful collection of items linked with Reading, its history as a settlment, its people and the changing physical and socio-cultural environement. It also hosts a Victorian Schoolroom, designed to help pupils understand what the experience of school was like for children in the Victorian Era.
Lower and Upper Elementary children had been learning about Victorian times and what life was like for young children through the 1800s in England, when schoolrooms across the country - designed for 'factory style' learning - had been put in place. Year 7 pupils had also been introduced to the Industrial Revolution, which was a topic they were taught more about during their Victorian school day.
As part of their day, pupils wrote on slateboards and used ink pot pens, all the while dressed up as Victorian schoolchildren. They had various lessons in Maths and English and also learnt about flags of the nations, the Saints of England along with an overview of the Industrial Revolution, building upon what some of them had been studying at school.
For the full Victorian schoolroom experience, we couldn’t leave out the cane and the dunce hat! Two children were chosen - one to wear the dunce hat and the other to be 'caned'. Children had learnt about this previously and now got to experience what this may have felt like. They all agreed that school today - and their school experience - was certainly much better than being caned at least!
Following the schoolroom experience, children then spent some time exploring collection trails in the Museum's exciting Story of Reading gallery - an excellent resource which has also been used by older pupils for a wonderful local history project (more on that to come in a later blog).