This Tuesday, Year 6 children at Bourne Westfield were transported back over 100 years to 1885 to experience a morning of Victorian schooling. They came, cloth caps and bonnets in hand, to be met at the door by their strict Victorian school teachers. After paying a penny (1d) for their daily education, their hands were inspected before being allowed in to stand behind their chairs. Once seated, they proceeded with lesson writing in chalk and on slate. They were taught handwriting - with no left-handers permitted of course - and dictation. Despite the rain, this was followed by the morning exercise drill. Rote chanting of times tables followed with some poor souls receiving the cane for making mistakes. One or two children were even spotted standing in the corner wearing the 'dunce' cap. Calculations involving old money and imperial measures proved particularly tricky. The morning was rounded off with Bible readings.
Year 6 teacher, Karen Smith, commented, “One poor chimney sweep - Harry - stated that school was nearly as tough as spending all day cleaning chimneys but not as bad as the workhouse. I think all pupils will be relieved to be back in the 21st Century tomorrow with metric measures, pounds sterling and no cane!”