Girls travelled back in time to 1851 to experience a day in a typical Victorian schoolroom.
The girls, aged ten and eleven, spent the day in Victorian dress and discovered what it was like to be a Victorian school child.
A certain Miss Welsh ruled the class with a rod of iron, or, as the school said, “should we say bamboo”. The girls were expected to sit through lessons in silence and only speak when spoken to. They covered subjects such as the British Empire, maths with imperial measures and how to write perfect copperplate handwriting. They read lessons from a Victorian reading book and they learnt how to sew for their sampler. Lunch consisted of pasties, sandwiches, fruit and biscuits and at break they were able to roll hoops, skip together and play a game of marbles.
This hands-on historical experience in Prep 6 at Farlington School fits into the girls’ history curriculum which is currently focusing on the Victorian era. They are learning about Victorian domestic life, the contrasting lifestyles of the rich and poor, the growth of urbanisation and the achievements of the era.
This will be explored further when Prep 6 goes on their residential trip to the Isle of Wight at the end of the summer term and visits Osborne House.
In the wider world beyond the classroom, in 1851 Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace, most of San Francisco was destroyed by fire, evaporated milk was invented, the artist JMW Turner died, and the game Happy Families was brought out.
Scenes from the session are pictured, including a Victorian-style black and white picture.