Year 4 Visit to Industrial Museum

On Wednesday 31 January all of Year 4 visited the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, to learn more about Victorian children and the Industrial Revolution.

In the morning we swapped our coats for waistcoats or petticoats and shawls, and marched to the school room. Ma’am was very strict and shouted at us a lot. She didn’t teach us anything but instead got us to recite poetry and write out our times tables on slate boards – it sure was different in those days. Some of us were naughty so we had to stand against the blackboard with our noses on a cross that was slightly too high. Some of us got the answers wrong so we had to wear the Dunce’s hat. Some of us were cheeky so we had to sit at the side. We had received real Victorian pennies to pay for our class but Woody lost his – Ma’am scolded him and they went out of the class. We heard a swish of Ma’am’s cane and a smack, and Woody squealing (and giggling for some reason!). Three swishes and three squeals later and Woody came in again suitably chastised (and grinning from ear to ear). Next it was time for exercise so we went into the exercise yard and used wooden weights to improve our fitness. Some of us took it very seriously and the girls beat the boys. Finally, it was time to do some writing so we practised handwriting with real ink and real quills. Most of us decided that modern teachers were better than Victorian teachers, although some children seemed to prefer the exciting chance to get caned!

After lunch we split into groups and visited the museum. We found industrial machines and exhibits that interested us and did detailed sketches of what we could see. We were fascinated and horrified to learn about the problems that bothered people who lived during this time. We sat in a cinema to watch a film about the olden days which Mrs Landau and Mr Newbury remembered all too well. There was also a play and craft area which amused us for a while.

At home time many children didn’t want to leave, but it was just as well we did because when we got back to class there were a lot of exhausted (but happy) faces. A huge thank you to our volunteer Mr Skolnick who was a very capable and inspiring group leader.

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