Stepping back in time 150 years, Year 4 visited Morwellham Quay on Tuesday 11th February as part of their Victorian Project. Whilst at Morwellham, the children were able to travel into old copper mines, wear clothing of the era, experience Victorian school and compare how the rich and poor lived.
On a small, minecart train, Year 4 were driven into the depths of a local copper mine and learnt about how men and boys were expected to collect ore in the 1850s before the invention of dynamite. Back in the village, dressing up became a focus for many. After learning about the clothing of the era, and being able to identify the rich garments from the poor, the children got themselves dressed in clothes of the era.
After lunch, they were given time to play in a traditional Victorian playground, with hop scotch, hoops, skipping and skittles. However, their fun was short lived when the bell rang. Lining up in height order and having their hands inspected for cleanliness, was the beginning of their school experience. Inside the building, they followed the lessons of arithmetic, reading and writing. During this time, a few select pupils, had the 'chance' to wear dunce caps and receive the cane.
Finally, they toured the harbour and schooner boat before visiting the harbour master's home. His house was presented as that of a well off family, with kitchen, bedrooms, living room, study, and even an alchemy lab. Providing a stark contrast was the miner's cottage, with two rooms and countless beds on the floor.
After such an engaging experience, the children have returned to school confident in this era of British history. They'll be using this knowledge to write convincing diaries, create scripts for a Vile Victorians show to be filmed in the TV studio, debate key inventions of the era and design Morse Code machines for National Science Week.