Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed their day of experiencing life as a Victorian child at the Black Country Museum this week. It was an eye-opening visit to see how a child’s life was so different from our own and the struggles they would have faced. We visited lots of different homes and quickly came to the realisation that we couldn’t see any bathrooms inside; the children and their families had to wash and use the toilet at the bottom of their garden!
On our tours, we also visited a Victorian school. After being told to stand in two separate lines (one line of boys and one line of girls) we were led inside by our very strict Victorian teacher. During the lesson, our hands were inspected for cleanliness; the teacher was horrified when he reached Mrs Powell and she even received the cruel punishment of the cane! Our teacher also taught us how to use ‘hooks and hangers’ to produce perfect Victorian handwriting. It was extremely difficult as we were writing on slate with a piece of chalk!
During the day, we also visited lots of Victorian shops such as the chemist where we learnt about Victorian medicine, the butchers and the greengrocers. However, the favourite shop amongst every group was of course the sweet shop! We learnt about the ingredients that were used to make the different flavours and colours in Victorian sweets (beetle blood was one of them!) After, we were even allowed to buy samples of Victorian sweets but don’t worry, the same ingredients are not used today!
Overall, it was such a fantastic day and the children learnt new facts to support their learning of Victorian era.