Welcome to Year 6
Class trip to Milestones Living History Museum
On Tuesday 12th September, year 6 visited Milestones Living History Museum to learn about the reasons for, and impact of, the Industrial Revolution, and explore what life was like for children in a Victorian school.
First of all, we given the opportunity to discover the museum for ourselves. In small supervised groups we explored authentic looking Victorian streets and were able to enter the replica shops and businesses which would have been commonplace in that period. Many of the items, the children could recognise as being early versions of what they see and use at home today; however, there were some that made me feel very old as I explained what they were used for because they were still around when I was a child. The children loved walking through a 'Victorian Pier' and trying out the machines which would have been familiar in arcades of the time. They enjoyed looking at their distorted reflections in the old-fashioned 'Hall of Mirrors'.
Our first workshop was the Victorian schoolroom with Miss Stott, or Ma'am, to the children. They thought she was stricter than me! They experienced writing on a slate with a piece of 'lead' and they used an abacus to work out calculations. Many of the children felt an abacus helped with subtraction because they were physically taking something away. They practiced writing a typical Victorian script and experienced having to stand when the teacher came into the room.
The second workshop centred on a real life Victorian family called the Taskers, and it showed how their business expanded because of the innovations involving steam engines. They learnt how limestone increases the heat of fire so that lead could be melted at a temperature of 2000 degrees. The children found it fascinating to learn that prior to these innovations it would take such a long time to produce just one item. Lucy, the lady who led the workshop, also informed us that the Taskers family looked after their workforce in a much better way than some factory owners of the time. They built houses for the families who worked for them and paid for their children to go to school.
The children were excellent ambassadors for the school and have written thank you letters to the staff who worked with us.