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C of E Primary School

Year 5's School Visit

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This week's news update is all about our school visit!  

The day started with great excitement. Once we were all in and registered, we check lunches and then headed off to board the coach. After seatbelts were checked, we were on our way! Everybody was full joy, and you even broke out into some spontaneous singing while we were on the way there.  Mrs Chesters would have been very impressed with your a cappella version of My Light House. 

Finally, the wait was over as we pulled up outside a huge, brick building with iron railings and large wooden windows. We had arrived at Macclesfield Silk Museum.  A lady dressed in Victorian clothes came out to greet us, and she ushered us into the mill.  It was time for our Victorian adventure to begin in earnest.

The morning was divided into two sessions.  For one of them, we went around the mill itself.  What an experience this was.  First, you had to clock in and get your time card stamped.  Then, it was onto the factory floor.  We learnt about the origins of silk, and we watched as the machines were turned on.  We couldn't believe that children as young as six would have been spending all day working on some of them.  The noise that just one machine made was phenomenal! We could only imagine what it would have been like if the entire floor had machines in operation. What a noisy place that would have been 150 years ago!  Then it was time for us to do some work.  You all had a go at the spinning wheel and learnt that children would have been doing this work on top of their job in the factory.  Life was certainly hard for the Victorian working class.  Once we'd clocked out, it was time to return to the main museum. 

Our other morning session was in the main museum. During this session, we learnt about daily life. We learnt that many things we do today are similar to the things done in the Victorian time. For example, they washed clothes, had baths and played with toys.  However, we learnt that how they are done is very different.  We learnt that in Victorian times, the process of cleaning clothes would take a whole day and that ironing them would talk the whole next day.  We learnt that having a bath in the Victorian times was not as luxurious of fun as it is today. Many working class people had a bath once a week, and everyone in the house shared the same bath water (there were a lot of disapproving faces when this historical nugget was revealed).  We also learnt about different toys. We learnt that rich and poor children had different toys, and we enjoyed playing with them.

The morning whizzed by and soon it was time for lunch. After munching our way through the lovely food we had, we went outside and played the classic game 'Granny's Footsteps' before heading back inside to begin our final activity of the day.

For our afternoon session, we learnt how to create a rag rug.  These were rugs made from hessian and left over rags. It's a very simple process; pull the rags through the hessian until there are no patches of hessian left.  We learnt that working class people would have made this together as a family because it was a social activity that everyone could do together. It was also a great way for them to decorate their houses. You were all very proud of your rugs and so you should be! 

Finally, 2 o'clock arrived, and it was time to get back on the coach and head home. 

It was a pleasure taking you out on our school visit yesterday.  You behaved beautifully. Thank you, Year 5!  It has been so lovely hearing how much you all enjoyed it too.

Thank you for a lovely day, 

Miss P

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