On Wednesday 15th November 2023, Year 6 visited the Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds and travelled back in time to enrich their learning about medicine and health in Victorian England.
Upon arrival, students were greeted by a Tudor Apothecary and led to a workshop to ‘Cure the King’. Year 6 learnt all about Henry VIII’s deteriorating health following an unfortunate jousting accident. They also discovered that a previous apothecary had been executed for their repulsion at the King’s leg wound!
After exploring how medicines were labelled and categorised, students were taught about how the stars can have an impact on people’s health. The interactive workshop included making medicines such as poultice and pomander, using various plants and herbs, and the students were delighted that they could take their Tudor medicines home with them.
The latter half of the day was spent exploring the museum starting with ‘Disease Street’ where our students investigated the poor living conditions of the Victorian Era. Subsequently, they discovered how conditions have significantly improved since then due to important inventions in food hygiene and sanitation. On the second floor, students immersed themselves in a gallery celebrating health heroes and medical innovations through the years, noting key historical figures that we should try to remember and include in our projects.
The day was a wonderful opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of the impact of war on advances in medicine, linked to our History project ‘The Benefits of War?’ which we have been studying in recent weeks.
Mrs K Grundy
Year 6 Teacher