Just before the start ofhalf term pupilsarrived at school dressed as ‘Victorian’ children, ready to experience what school life might have been like for pupils 100 years ago. The children started the day with a tour of the original Senior School buildings by the school’s archivists Mr Whitney and Mrs Pritchard-Woods. Pupils learnt that the school originally opened in 1886 and that the first Headmaster was called Reverend Flecker and he
was just 26 years old when he took up the position.
Looking at old photographs, they also discovered what a day at
school might have been like for pupils in the late 1800s, for
example in Victorian times the prefects had sticks to keep the
pupils in line! The children then visited the Chapel where they
learnt that inside it has brick arches, which is quite unusual,
andthat the pews are arranged in the same way as most of the
Oxford and Cambridge Colleges. They also discovered that the
old oak tree outside the Chapel was planted when the School
was built – so it is now nearly 130 years old!
Later in the afternoon pupils joined the ‘Victorian’ Year 2 classes – working at tables in rows, practising Victorian
handwriting (on slates), learning arithmetic and reciting their times tables. They were visited by a School Inspector
(Mrs Shelley) who tested the pupils on their work and fortunately did not need to use the ‘Dunce’ hat! The pupils
then went outside to the playground for a ‘Victorian Physical Training’ lesson, completing formal exercises in
balance and co-ordination.
Mr James Cowling, Pre-Prep Deputy Head explained. “What a wonderful day we have had, the children’s costumes were so authentic and they really enjoyed spending the day as ‘Victorian’ school children -re-enacting history is a really powerful way to help children learn and really brings History to life.”