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John Ray Infant School

John RayInfant School

History - Victorian Museum

History – Victorian Day at Braintree Museum

On Thursday 7th November, Year 2 enjoyed a fantastic day at Braintree Museum as part of our topic on the Victorians.

It was very exciting to come to school dressed as a Victorian.  We had: maids, school boys and girls, teachers, ladies, gentlemen, chimney sweeps and even Mary Poppins!

​​​​​After a short coach journey, we arrived at the museum. We found out that we would be doing three different activities throughout the day. Kingfishers would start with a visit to the museum itself and a chance to learn more about Victorian life.

We found out about how people lived in Victorian times and looked at some very interesting objects and artefacts.  We didn’t think the Penny Farthing looked very comfortable! 

Our second activity of the day was to visit the Victorian classroom and experience what school would have been like for Victorian children.  The teacher made us line up separately, as boys and girls and then she led us into the room in silence.  It was very different to our classroom at John Ray because there were wooden desks in rows and a black board at the front. 

The teacher was very strict with us and we had to call her ma’am.  She asked us some very difficult questions and shouted if we didn’t know the answer!  We wrote on slates, which was quite tricky.  She showed us how Victorian children had to learn by repeating facts again and again.  It wasn’t as interesting as our lessons at school.

We were lucky that she didn’t have a cane, but poor Casey had to wear the dunce’s cap.  We all decided that we would not like to swap our teacher and our school for a Victorian one!

After a yummy lunch, it was time for the final activity of the day.  We had the opportunity to handle some real Victorian artefacts and learn more about Victorian life. 

The museum lady told us to try to guess what the objects they were used for.  It was very tricky because some of them looked very strange.  The lady also told us lots about Victorian life, including how everyone had body lice and bed bugs!

Some of us even tried to fit into the size of a chimney, just like a chimney sweep would have had to do.  It was very narrow.  We wondered how they managed to clean chimneys like that.

What a wonderful day we had!