Mowden Hall School

Leading Co-Educational Independent Prep School For Children aged 3-13 Years

Year 4 Trip to Beamish Museum

Year 4 Trip to Beamish Museum

On Thursday 23rd February, Year 4 went on a trip to Beamish Open Air Museum. The trip was linked to our current history topic of the Victorians.

When we arrived, we headed straight to the School in the 1901 Pit Village. We were met outside by our teacher, who looked very stern and was holding a cane in her hands. The children were told to address her as ma’am, before being separated into two lines - one of girls and the other of boys.

We were led into the classroom and the children had to wait to be instructed to sit down. During the lesson, the children practised the 12 times tables, before being shown how to use a ‘dip pen’ and inkwell. They were also taught about the different money that was used at the time, including pounds, shillings and pennies. They had the chance to use the ‘dip pens’ when completing some arithmetic and handwriting. The final task was observational drawing of a lighthouse, while the teacher told us the story of Grace Darling. 

After the lesson, the children were able to discuss the differences between Victorian and twenty-first century schools, and ask questions about what school life would be like in the Victorian period. They were very interested in the cane and other punishments that might be given!

After we had eaten lunch, we explored the Pit Village some more, visiting the various cottages, where they were told about the different roles that men, women and children would have had at the time. We also returned to the school and the children spent some time playing in the school yard. 

Next, we took the tram to the 1901 town. We visited various houses and shops, including the dentist (where they were told about what it would be like to visit the dentist over a hundred years ago), the Bank and the Co-Operative. At the latter of these, the children were surprised to see some familiar brands, such as Cadbury’s and Rowntrees, that are still around today. We even found ourselves caught up in a Suffragette demonstration, and some of our girls joined in with the chants of ‘Votes for Women!’

The highlight of any trip to Beamish is a visit to the sweet shop and we joined the queue to make our purchases. The children were very excited to choose from all of the sweets on offer and, of course, to try some of what they had bought. 

Our final stop of the day was the new 1950s town that is still being put together. We had a look in the typical house and the children played with some of the toys in the bedroom. 

All in all, it was a fabulous day. We were very lucky with the weather, and the children were a credit to the school, showing great enthusiasm, excellent manners and real insight into what it must have been like to live during the Victorian period. 

Mr. Townley