Vile Victorians at Southwell Workhouse

The children had a fantastic time from start to finish as they were immersed in a role play experience. Dressing up as Victorian paupers, they experienced what life would have been like at the workhouse in 1851 under the watchful eye of the Master and school teacher. All the children had a fantastic time learning about the life in the workhouse and discovered how it provided three things: food, warm clothes and a bed. Their opinion of the workhouse changed throughout the visit and although the Master and school teacher were strict, they all agreed the workhouse was a better place than the streets. In the afternoon the children worked with members from the National Trust, researching the lives of the children from the 1851 census. This included finding out about their family, what they ate and whether they were punished or not. Miss Worrall (Year 5 Class Teacher) explained ‘this was a really valuable, engaging and educational experience. It was brilliant to see my class so involved and enthusiastic about the Victorians. We returned to school on Monday and created recounts of ‘A day as a Victorian child at Southwell Workhouse.’ The children were really enthused about their writing and after experiencing it first hand, they created powerful and descriptive recounts.’