Remote Victorian Lesson

Remote Activity, £60 per class, KS2 & KS3

Experience a traditional lesson of reading, writing, arithmetic and drill with our Remote Victorian Lesson, delivered from the Board school in The 1900s Pit Village.

This Remote Victorian Lesson uses a camera and laptop to connect to the classroom at Beamish Museum. The copybooks used in the session will be sent to the school ahead of the online activity. The teacher in the classroom at the museum will lead the children through learning activities that Victorian children would have done the past. The 3 ‘R’s will be covered, as well as an object lesson and drill. There will be opportunity for the children to ask questions.

  • Target Age: Key stage 2 and 3
  • Cost: £60
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Group Size: Full Class (has been delivered to more than one class at the same time)
  • Season: All year round

Objectives of the activity:

  • To enable the children to get a first-hand experience of what it might have been like being a Victorian child at school.
  • To get the opportunity to make comparisons between learning today and learning in the past, what has changed and what has stayed the same.
  • To give children the opportunity to reflect on their own learning.

Outline of the activity:

The Board school teacher will welcome the children to the Victorian classroom and explain how the session will run. The children will need to enter into the spirit of the activity, the teacher in the Board school (as well as the teacher in the classroom) can act (as far as is possible) like a Victorian teacher but the session will only work effectively if the children are prepared to act like Victorian children!

The Board school teacher will then run through a typical Victorian lesson starting with registering the children, then chanting the times table and carrying out some arithmetic, handwriting, chanting a poem and reciting, doing an object lesson and finishing with drill. There will opportunity for the children to ask questions towards the end of the session.

The teacher in school can set out the furniture of the classroom to mimic the Victorian setting in the museum. Whilst the dip pens cannot be used the teacher can give out the equivalent in the classroom and the teacher in the Board School will illustrate and explain how they were used.

Ideas for pre and post session:

  • Pre: Prior to the experience students should be told a little about what is going to happen so that they can be prepared. It would be useful to have the children in the room when the connection is tested prior to the actual session so the Victorian teacher can be introduced.
  • Post: Possible follow-up activities could be:
    • Write a piece from the point of view of the Victorian child or teacher to reflect the lesson.
    • Explore how punishments were different in Victorian times and reflect on this.
    • Explore how teaching styles have changed, what do the children like and dislike about teaching in the past.

Guidelines for teachers:

Preparing for the Zoom activity: It is strongly recommended that supervising staff should test the connection between the museum and classroom before the session. Contact Simon Woolley, Head of Learning, email simonwoolley@beamish.org.uk to make arrangements for this. The Victorian teacher will ideally be able to see and hear the children, but it not essential to be able to see them.  Some classes have used the chat facility to communicate with the teacher in the Board school.

Practicalities:

  • Use of an effective microphone has been beneficial but not essential to the success of the Zoom activity, otherwise children can come up to the laptop to ask a question or make a suggestion as to what to do, or the chat facility can be used. The supervising adult can communicate on the children’s behalf.
  • The Victorian copybook will be sent to the school beforehand for the children to complete during the lesson. It is recommended to use ink pens for this. Resources will also be made available pre remote session so teachers can develop the learning pre and post activity. It is possible the aspects of the copybook may not be completed in the session but these can be revisited by the teacher after the activity.
  • The Victorian teacher will give time for the children to ask questions and there will be the opportunity to illustrate aspects of a lesson, such as punishments, towards the end of the session. The camera can be taken to wherever the interest of the children lies.
  • There may be localised school rules that the Board school teacher may not be aware of regarding online activities for the children, it is important that these are discussed beforehand so everybody is clear about how the session will be delivered.

If you have any queries about the Remote Victorian Lesson, please do not hesitate to contact us. Telephone Simon Woolley, Head of Learning, on 0191 370 4011 or email simonwoolley@beamish.org.uk.

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