This week, our pupils in Year 6 visited the Spike Heritage Centre in Guildford.
The girls learnt what a night at the Spike was like, as well as discussing the New Poor Laws and learning about the Poor Law Union Workhouse system. In a session on ‘Inmates Tasks of Work’, the girls developed an understanding of the type of person that would have found themselves in the Workhouse or associated Casuals Ward.
They learnt about the welfare system of the day and the opportunities (or lack of them) that the poor had in the Victorian/Edwardian era. In a session on ‘Crime and Punishment’, the girls learnt about punishments for children in Victorian times, especially in relation to the workhouse and reformatory schools.
They compared crimes and their punishments and determined if they were fair and why some appeared harsher than others. Consideration was given to transportation and the girls tried to decide whether, in the long run, this was a good or bad thing for the convicts.
The girls all had a great day out and left feeling very glad they were not poor Victorians!