In History this term, Class 4 have been exploring the Victorian era. So far, we have explored the chronology of the Victorian era, linking to previous eras we have explored throughout school including the Stone Age and ancient civilisations such as Greece and Rome.
Furthermore, we have investigated what life was like during the Victorian era for people (specifically children) and how it compares to life today. For example, we have explored different jobs that were common for children including: working in mines, in cotton mills and working as chimney sweeps.
Throughout the course of the unit, we have explored how we can learn more about the era through the use of primary and secondary sources of evidence. Therefore, to aid our learning in class, last Friday Class 4 went to visit Quarry Bank Mill, which is one of the best-preserved textile mills of the Industrial revolution and is now a museum of the cotton industry. During our visit, we had the opportunity to:
- Investigate how the cotton industry changed from being done in cottages and homes by hand, to being done in huge factories with more complex machines.
- Explore what life was like for apprentices who lived and worked there.
- Recognise the dangers involved working in a mill.
- Recognise common cures for ailments, including the use of leeches to purge the body of illness.
- Identify how water was used to power the mill.
As Historians, the children were able to:
- Use sources of evidence to deduce information about the past.
- Understand that no single source of evidence gives the full answer to questions a
- Describe the social, ethnic, cultural or religious diversity of past society.
- Describe the characteristic features of the past, including ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children.
- Identify periods of rapid change in history and contrast them with times of relatively little change.
- Use appropriate historical vocabulary to communicate.
The day was thoroughly enjoyable. The children's behaviour, as ever, was impeccable. We had so many comments (from staff, volunteers and members of the general public) about their wonderful attitudes, learning behaviours and polite manners. I was exceptionally proud of them all.
What did you enjoy about the class trip?
Zac – “I really like the machinery and the looms in particular because they are in Minecraft too. It was really noisy when they were turned on and they had to use a sign language called mee-maw to help them to understand each other when there was so much noise in the Mill.”
Erin – “I like to go to the mill to find out the struggles and the good things about being a Victorian child. I also like how the machines worked and seeing how it all would have been in the Victorian times.”
Belle – “I enjoyed the bit where we explored the apprentice house and saw where the apprentices slept and how they behaved. I enjoyed seeing the machines and how dangers they were.”
Isla – “I really enjoyed when we got to go into the apprentice house because we were able to see how life has changed. For example, the beds were really small and they had different types of medicines which sounded horrible.”
How did it help you develop as a historian?
Zac – “Now I know what it was like for workers in the mill and what they needed to go through to feed their family.”
Erin – “It helped me because I knew more about the Victorians.
Belle – “It has helped me to develop my understanding of the Victorians and has linked with our class text, ‘Street Child’.”
Isla – “I have learnt more about children’s lives in the Victorian times. Seeing the sources of evidence helped me to understand how the machines have changed.”