Desert Class become Victorians for the day!

The children in Desert class went back in time to the Victorian period. They met a very strict and mean Mrs Vail during their classroom session in the morning. The school bell was rung and the children lined up outside, a line of girls and a separate line of boys. As they entered the classroom the girls curtseyed and the boys doffed their caps.

The day started with the hand inspection. After this, the monitors handed out sand trays and slate boards. Lessons included Writing, Arithmetic, reciting poetry, drill (Victorian form of PE), object lesson, singing and a geography lesson. The lessons were dull and repetitive.

The children experienced some of the Victorian punishments. A child was caught using his left hand and so it was tied behind his back using twine. The finger stocks were used for children who couldn’t keep their hands still on the desks. Many children were shouted at and some had to wear the Dunce’s hat for being stupid. Some children misbehaved and were caned!

After break time, the children took part in other lessons that the Victorian children would have experienced: cooking, domestic chores, needlework and craft. The children made soup (Victorian-style) with lots of vegetables and boiled in water. The domestic chores involved grating soap and mixing with sand and water to create a cleaning agent. The children then used scrubbing brushes to clean the floors. In  the craft session, they made thaumatropes – a simple Victorian toy.

In the afternoon, Lady Caroline Salt brought in a huge number of Victorian artefacts to share with us. It was really interesting trying  to work out what these were and what they were used for. We were able to handle many of the artefacts. Thank  you to Lady Caroline for bringing the artefacts into school and for sharing her wealth of knowledge. We all learnt so much!

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