Victorian workshops

Victorian Workshops

A relatively recent period of history, but how much do we know about the life of a child in Victorian Britain? Let’s experience it together at the Weald and Downland!

Workshops have been tweaked slightly to take account of the current circumstances, but are still a great opportunity to get a feel for life in Victorian times. Please ask for further details and we’ll be happy to discuss what might be most suitable for your visit.

Expand the sections below to find out more about our Victorian workshops.

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Overview

Duration

45 minutes

Maximum Number

15 children per group

Suggested Key Stages

KS1–KS2

Workshops

A Victorian Country Walk KS1–KS2

Duration: 45 minutes
Maximum numbers: 15 children

A Victorian Country Walk is designed as a fun experience for pupils studying the Victorian period to appreciate what children in this period would see and do on their journey to school.

The whole session takes place outside and the walk guides students to different areas of the Museum site. The exact route depends on the season and what is happening around the Museum, so each Country Walk session will be slightly different.

The group will undertake a varied walk looking at wildlife, vegetation, buildings, implements and demonstrations where appropriate. We may stop to look at the sheep and the shepherds hut, trees and hedgerows and their uses, the muck heap, gardens, wagons, the stables, a hay barn, geese, the lake and its wildlife, watch and listen to some birds, visit the blacksmith working in his forge and look at the sawpit.

The children will also have the opportunity to take part in in a few hands-on elements within the 45-minute session. This could be whistling using a piece of grass, picking berries and leaves from trees and hedgerows, using potatoes as hand warmers, playing with an iron hoop or collecting kindling.

How to Book

Please call our schools team on 01243 811459 or email schoolbookings@wealddown.co.uk

Risk Assessment

A Victorian Country Walk workshop (472Kb, PDF)

Victorian Chores and Cooking KS1–lower KS2

Duration: 1 hour
Maximum numbers: 15 children

Aims

• Begin to appreciate the cramped living conditions for many (large) families in Victorian times.

• Recognise key similarities and differences between Victorian and modern living, for example associated with cooking.

• Understand that children would be expected to help with chores once they were able.

Practical activities in and around our furnished Victorian cottage will allow children to experience the lives of the family who lived here – the children should expect to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in when it comes to the chores! A Victorian child might even be kept off school if there was lots to do at home. Outdoor tasks will be supported by a picture trail, and question cards used upstairs in the family’s bedrooms to get the children thinking about what they can see.

Please note that tasks will typically be explained outside (or in an alternative space if the weather is bad) so that teachers and assistants can enter the building as a bubble.

Visiting another of our historic houses provides an opportunity to think about where our food comes from and to witness Victorian cooking in action – the sights, sounds, smells and tastes!

Additional Information 

The children may wish to attend in Victorian costume!

As the workshop includes food (recipe below), please alert us (in advance and again on the day) if you’ve a child with an allergy to any of the ingredients. Thank you. Please also note proximity to a fire with the possibility of smoky conditions.

DROP SCONES (for 30 children)
8 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 eggs
Enough milk to make the batter a ‘dropping’ consistency

Make up batter, beat well, drop spoonful onto hot, greased griddle.
Turn when bubbles appear on the surface.
Serve with sugar sprinkled on top (or plain). Sometimes served with butter/jam.

How to Book

Please call our schools team on 01243 811459 or email schoolbookings@wealddown.co.uk

Risk Assessment

Victorian Chores and Cooking

Victorian School and Childhood KS1–KS2

Duration: 1 hour
Maximum numbers: 15 children
Location: School from West Wittering

Aims:

• Understand some of the similarities and differences between Victorian school experiences and those of the present day.

• Begin to appreciate the privilege of going to school in the UK now, compared with sometimes missing school in the Victorian era in order to work.

• Know some of the jobs a child in rural Victorian Britain might have been paid to do.

Time spent in our Victorian school (with short examples of different lessons given by a teacher in role) and activities outside relating to possible forms of employment will give the children a taste of what it was like to be a child in Victorian Britain.

Additional information: Children may wish to attend in Victorian style clothing as this adds to the experience!

Please alert the workshop leader if it would not be suitable to pick a certain child, for example to answer a question.

PLEASE NOTE: The lesson may include elements of Victorian Christian practice, for example prayers or hymns. We include these for historical purposes, but please let us know if you have any queries about this element or would prefer that it is not included.

How to Book

Please call our schools team on 01243 811459 or email schoolbookings@wealddown.co.uk

Risk Assessment

Victorian School and Childhood workshop (472Kb, PDF)

Victorian Rural Change KS2

Duration: 60 minutes
Maximum numbers: Suitable for a class
Location: In-classroom/school

This workshop is ideally delivered in school via a presentation (PowerPoint), during which children will be invited to discuss and put forward ideas. They will have the opportunity to see/handle a limited number of Victorian artefacts and listen to a song.

Workshop aims:

  • Understand some of the key changes during the Victorian period (and since), including the shift from countryside to town, changes in living and working conditions (and punishments) and the impact of developments/inventions on everyday life.
  • Focussing on the rural poor, begin to appreciate the privilege of going to school in the UK now, compared with many children missing school in the Victorian era. Consider what would have been involved in undertaking some of the typical jobs.
  • Know some of the historical sources from which we can gather evidence relating to this period.

Presentation can take place in a school hall or classroom with projection facilities; provision of a table for the artefacts is useful.

How to Book

Please call our schools team on 01243 811459 or email schoolbookings@wealddown.co.uk

Risk Assessment

Victorian Rural Change workshop (66Kb, PDF)

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