1880 Gallery Lesson

Key questions:

How was school in 1880 different to school today?

What was life like for children in 1880?

Why was life different in 1880?

 Curriculum Map KS1 Gallery  Curriculum Map KS2 Gallery

Session overview:

Pupils and their accompanying adults will be transported back in time to 1880 in this role-play session that takes place in our 1853 Gallery (stepped) classroom. From the moment the Victorian teacher arrives, pupils and adults assume their roles and must obey the strict discipline standards of school life.

The register will be called and hands inspected before lessons commence. The 3Rs, reading, writing and arithmetic, will be taught and punishments for incorrect behaviour such as slouching, writing with the left hand and failing to answer a question correctly will be administered.

Each session finishes with the teacher returning to his or her friendly modern self and pupils will get a chance to ask questions and discuss the session.

Additional information:

Costume will be provided for pupils (pinafores for girls, collars and waistcoats for boys), but you are welcome to come in your own costume.

To get the most out of this session we advise you to discuss what might happen in the lesson with your class before the visit. Please remind them that it is only role play and that, although our teachers are strict, none of them are nasty. To get the most out of the session they should take it seriously.

Please bring a register for each class to give to the Victorian teacher. This allows us to call a proper register at the start of the lesson. It can also be used to discretely communicate any additional information you may feel that the Victorian teacher needs e.g. pupils with learning difficulties.

Unfortunately, the Gallery classroom is not accessible for wheelchair users and may prove difficult for those with restricted mobility to access. Please contact us to discuss options and alternatives if necessary. There is step free access for the 1840 Monitorial lesson.

Session links:

To enhance what pupils have learned during the Gallery lesson, consider adding one of these sessions to your visit.

People and Places – find out more about the types of people involved with the school in the 1880s and what their lives were like by taking part in this hands-on investigative session that includes a visit to the Headmaster’s house.

1840 Monitorial lesson – find out more about how schooling changed over time by comparing this experience to an 1840 Monitorial lesson. Your pupils will find out how one schoolmaster taught 300 boys and might be surprised by the rewards and punishments used.

Toys, Play and Design – “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” Find out what toys Victorian children played with, what they were made from and how they worked as well as what the toys tell us about the everyday life of children from different classes.