Suitably dressed in Victorian outfits, Year 5 were taken back in time on our visit to Armley Mills Industrial Museum on Thursday 12th October.
On arrival, we were suddenly immersed into the past as soon as we entered the authentic Victorian classroom. Our historical skills of observation were immediately drawn towards the unusual desks and chairs but it wasn’t until the teacher spoke then we realised how different this morning was going to be. Reciting times tables, repeating proverbs and writing with dipping pens and ink all seemed out of the ordinary but it was possibly the threat of ‘those’ punishments that kept us out of mischief.
When the time came to be released from our ‘role’ and we could look with 21st century eyes at those cruel forms of punishments, we came to understand why the children were really so well behaved!
The afternoon brought a journey into mill life and a glimpse into the dangerous conditions in which children worked. Armley was an original working mill and we were lucky to see many of the original machines. The noise from one machine alone allowed us to only imagine what a roomful must have sounded like. Fun activities replicating the jobs of the children demonstrated how difficult life must have been.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day for both students and staff, and provided a valuable opportunity to extend our classroom learning, with time to analyse and explain problems in the past and giving a critical perspective for understanding and solving current and future problems. We also reflected on how thankful we are to be living in the 21st century!
Miss S Morris and Mr A Bray, Year 5 teachers