Once the children had paid to get into school, they were able to see elements of what a Victorian classroom would have looked like. They noticed chalkboards, a picture of Queen Victoria, tables in rows and very plain walls. They then learnt how they would have answered the register and the main rules within the Victorian classroom. After this, we went and did a drill where we had to march around the playground. Of course, the children were then needing to wash their hands and they saw that the toilets were designated to ‘boys’ and ‘girls’. Before being allowed to enter the classroom again, their hands were checked for any dirt left on them. Using the ‘3 Rs’ that Victorian education was well-known for, we then did reading, writing and maths. This involved lots of chanting, chalkboard writing and making sure that the left-handers were using their right hands! During this time, Miss Smallshaw managed to get chalk on her skirt which meant she was put in the corner of the room with the dunce hat on, much to the children’s delight! Before lunchtime, we also played a playground game of ‘Pass the Slipper’.
In the afternoon, it was explained to the children how the boys and girls would have split to do different learning. Despite all the children having a go at each activity, they now know that the girls would have done cooking and the boys would have done woodwork. To show this, they all made a trifle, a wooden toy boat and had a chance to play with Victorian toys.