Lessons in Victorian education at Chapel Allerton Primary School

Primary pupils at Chapel Allerton school
Primary pupils at Chapel Allerton school

A lesson in Victorian education has been delivered to primary pupils as they stepped back in time to when their school was built.

A lesson in Victorian education has been delivered to primary pupils as they stepped back in time to when their school was built.

Learning lessons on the chalk board

Learning lessons on the chalk board

Chapel Allerton Primary School was established in 1876, shortly after a decree was passed that every child should attend education, and still has its original school hall.

To explore its history and heritage, staff and students have held a Victorian day with pupils invited to dress for the occasion.

Children were invited to line up and pay their pennies for entry on the day, before traditional lessons were delivered on slate boards.

The school, having asked its community for information on the school’s history, was also sent a book outlining headteachers’ recollections from the era, as well as the hymns that would have been sung in assembly.

“We ended up learning one, and singing it on the day,” said deputy headteacher Becca Pinder. “This would be the first time it had been heard in the hall for 150 years.”

All the children were invited to choose their own Victorian names for the day, and their were traditional activities including life-drawing of peacock feathers and making peg dolls.

“They spent the day in the way in which every Victorian child would have done,” said Mrs Pinder. “We did a lot of times table practice, and they all loved the dunce’s hat. We even inspected their hands to ensure they’d all washed!

“It was really successful. The children were so engaged - it was incredibly relevant to them. They were all thinking about the children, of a long time ago, but in the same place as them.”

Elements of the modern day curriculum were also incorporated into lessons, such as times tables, handwriting, and learning about the oceans and continents.

“The lesson content wasn’t too dissimilar,” adds Mrs Pinder. “It was maybe just delivered in a very different way.”