(being a most outstanding historical workshop in the comfort of one's school)

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Our Victorian school inventions workshop has, of course, been planned specifically to match the National Curriculum 'Victorian History' topic, and in particular the growth of technology in the form of the vast amount of Victorian inventions and innovations that appeared throughout the period, including the Great Exhibition of 1851.  It has also planned with great attention to the creative curriculum.


With this in mind we have planned the workshop to be a highly interactive experience that delves into this wide range of developments and their impact, not only on Victorian life, but also on our modern lives today via the following activities:


  • The pupils' independent historical enquiry of artefacts during our artefact handling task

  • Our interactive timeline (a physical, more extensive version of our interactive timeline here)

  • An examination of the Great Exhibition of 1851, looking at Prince Albert's involvement and the wider impact (see video here)

  • 'Steam power' activity, where pupils power an accurate working model of Robert Stephenson's 'Rocket' using an air pump, and learn

  • why the Rainhill trials served as a catalyst for the growth of the railways during QueenVictoria's reign

  • 'The impact of photography' activity, where pupils investigate a range of genuine Victorian cameras and take a picture of their friends       in costume with a real 1888 wooden bellows camera (sensitively converted to take a digital camera)

  • 'Victorian millionaire' end of day inventions quiz (in teams, pupils compete to answer questions based on their learning and using Victorian currency as a scoring method e.g. one shilling per question)


As such, all of the following objectives are covered throughout the whole workshop, with the information beside each objective in brackets relating to tasks where it is specifically covered.

National Curriculum: Victorian History




Chronological understanding (specifically in interactive timeline task)

1.  Pupils should be taught to:

a)  place events, people and changes into correct periods of time

b)  use dates and vocabulary relating to the passing of time, including ancient,

modern, BC, AD, century and decade.


Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past 


(covered in the workshop as a whole)


2.  Pupils should be taught:

a)  about characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past

b) about the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the societies

studied, in Britain and the wider world

c)  to identify and describe reasons for, and results of, historical events, situations, and changes in the periods studied

d) to describe and make links between the main events, situations and changes

within and across the different periods and societies studied


Historical enquiry


(specifically covered in our artefact handling task)


4. Pupils should be taught:

a) how to find out about the events, people and changes studied from an

appropriate range of sources of information, including ICT-based sources

[for example, documents, printed sources, CD-ROMS, databases, pictures

and photographs, music, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to museums,

galleries and sites]

b) to ask and answer questions, and to select and record information relevant

to the focus of the enquiry.


Organisation and communication


(specifically covered in our end of day quiz)


5 Pupils should be taught to:

a) recall, select and organise historical information

b) use dates and historical vocabulary to describe the periods studied

c) communicate their knowledge and understanding of history in a variety

of ways [for example, drawing, writing, by using ICT]


Breadth of study


Victorian Britain or Britain since 1930


11 Teachers can choose between a study of Victorian Britain or Britain since 1930.

Victorian Britain

a) A study of the impact of significant individuals, events and changes in work

and transport on the lives of men, women and children from different

sections of society