Victorians at St Johns – Victorian Summer

Workshop title

Victorians at St Johns – Victorian Summer

Key stage 1 and 2
Delivered at

St Johns House Museum, Warwick

Duration 10.15 am to 2.15 pm with a 45 minute lunchbreak
Main focus

 History, English

Workshop information
Workshop outline

An exciting opportunity to visit St John’s House Museum to experience the preparations for a unique event that happened in Warwick in 1897, when the Earl of Warwick held a Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Castle Park for school children to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 60 year reign. The Countess of Warwick was friends with Mr Sam Lockhart, a local elephant trainer and his elephants were to be the star attraction, along with Punch and Judy shows and fireworks. The challenge for the children will be to impress the Countess of Warwick sufficiently to get their school invited to this prestigious jubilee celebration at the Castle. This event is backed up by historical information on the event retrieved from the County Record Office and would serve as an excellent stimulus for a Local History Study (as required within the National Curriculum).

In 1897 St John’s Museum was a school led by the Misses Townshend. To prove their suitability and impress the Countess, Lady Warwick, the children will step back in time and experience a lesson as a pupil in Miss Townshend’s Victorian classroom, they will also prepare summer treats with Mrs Danvers the cook in the Victorian kitchen, and then learn how to march, curtsey, and bow as required in Victorian times, as well as making flags that reflect the changes in society during the Victorian era. Finally, they will be presented to the Countess of Warwick to see if they are worthy of attending this prestigious event. This practical day project includes local history, Victorian education, domestic life, and Victorian values, enabling the opportunity to compare life in the Victorian and Modern eras.

This project uses the Narrative Immersion, Magic Story Box approach and frames the children in role as pupils at Misses Townshend’s school commissioned to support the teachers and impress the Countess of Warwick in order to receive an invite to the garden party in Warwick Castle and see the amazing performing elephants.

Key skills covered
  • Chronological understanding
  • Historic enquiry
  • Understanding how life was different in the past
  • Group work
  • Role play and empathy with life as a Victorian child.
  • Weighing and measuring in the kitchen
Booking information

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