Children and teachers dressed and acted like people from Victorian times — a fun way to learn the manners, discipline and way of teaching in Queen Victoria’s reign.
The 3 Rs (Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmatic) featured a lot and school was a lot darker.
“I liked sewing best, it was very interesting,” says Esme.
“The day was unusual, but very fun.”
Miss Brett (one of our students from the University of Derby) said she ‘didn’t like teaching the drills (exercises),’ and that ‘the infant class didn’t know it was supposed to be serious, not funny — they kept laughing at the teachers being strict!’
First we had a worship which started with the national anthem, followed by several very long Bible readings.
After that, children were asked to recite times tables and poems, and copy out the alphabet and the same poems in copperplate handwriting. Some of our older children recited William Wordsworth and Matthew Arnold poems.
In the afternoon, boys did drill practice, in the cold and the girls did embroidery, whilst there were a few pupil teachers who assisted the younger children. Everyone was called by their surname, and teachers were either ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’, and they were very strict.
Adam was ‘caned’ four times, and several people had the dunce’s hat placed on their head. Some of the infants found the teachers scary, because they did not know that they were acting.
Chelsea commented that “it was strange because the teachers were really strict, but it was quite funny too,” while Mrs Pedley (one of our teaching assistants) said: “I liked the silence, but I disliked people being cane” (they were not really — although there were some very realistic screams heard).
Overall, the Victorian school day was a great success, as all the children had a great time, but we look forward to our teachers returning to their usual selves.
If you would like to find out more about our small school (big family!) then please see our website at www.mapperleycont.derbyshire.sch.uk.