Friday, 24 February 2012

Friday morning

I am quite evidently not used to being on my feet all day - OK, slight exaggeration there, from 10:00 to 2:00 is perhaps rather more truthful.  Oooh, the aches as I got up this morning. 

It was worth it though.  I wish I could post photos to show you how beautifully 'Victorian' (in a rather generically 'olden days' sort of way) we all looked, but I can't, obviously.  They all looked delightful in their costumes.  An enterprising mum had bought up a job lot of small brown paper carrier bags which she sold for cost price so just about all the children brought their Victorian oacked lunch in brown bags rather than the usual garish, very 21st century plastic lunch boxes, which greatly added to the authenticity of the day.  Shame about the plastic water bottles, but we can't have everything!

After a very pleasant coach trip which was punctuated by shrieks of 'that's an olden days house', 'look at that chimney, it's olden days' and, just once, 'that's a thatched roof' so it's an olden days cottage' (yes, is was), the coach was able to stop bang outside the museum so we all piled off the former, into the latter and got organised.

My class had the role play lesson first and a rather awed silence descended on them as they walked through the time corridor into the past and met 'Sir', a very stern, cane holding school teacher from the past.  He sat them down outside the school room, talked to then gently (I could see Nervous Little Girl's lips starting to quiver) and then went into role.  You could see the characters my children had at that moment.  The ones who thought it was all a great thrill, those who were nervous but determined, those who really didn't like it one little bit and a couple who would have ducked and run, had they been given the opportunity.

I thought he was really rather good.  Not authentically strict, of course, that would have been inappropriate, but strict enough to give them a taster, which is what it's all about.  They had to stand when they spoke to him and finish off their answer with 'sir', which they loved. 
He soon had them chanting the number bonds for ten:
One and  . . . 'Nine, sir'
Two and . . . 'Eight, sir'
Three and . . . 'Seven, sir'  etc, and I was glad we had focused so much on this in the first term.
They did handwriting, chanted a poem, did desk drill, counted in 5s and 10s, sang a song, said a prayer, had a drawing lesson . . . the hour went extremely quickly!
We had one tearful little girl, not because she was scared but because she couldn't do the old fashioned letters for handwriting, but she was soon pacified and happy again.  Nervous Little Girl answered several questions beautifully, never forgot to say 'sir' and had a whale of a time!

I was so proud - halfway through the lesson he came up to me and asked 'Are they always as absolutely delightful as they are at the moment?'   They are, of course, they're a lovely class.

And my Bright Little Mathematician will never forget.  B L M called out (oh dear) a correct answer to a very hard question without saying ‘sir’ afterwards (ooops) and the teacher stalked up to him looking stern.

He looked down at B L M and said something like. ‘You just called out in my lesson and I should give you the cane (dramatic pause). Stand up!’ B L M stood up looking as worried as he is capable of looking, which isn’t all that much as he’s a very confident and casual laddie. The rest of the class looked worried and the mums tried to hide their giggles. The teacher went on. ‘However, you are obviously a very clever young man so I will shake your hand instead.’ and then did so. B L M's face was a picture of delight!!!

They loved him.  At lunchtime he got in his car to drive away and they all lined up in the playground, waving and calling 'Goodbye, sir, thank you, sir'

We were so lucky with the weather too.  Glorious sunshine and very mild so we didn't bother to take coats, which saved a lot of hassle, one way and another.

And today they're going to have to write about it.  That's life!

Edited to add a photo of the outside of part of the museum

. . . and of the school room where they had the role play lesson.

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