We have been studying Victorian schooling as part of our history topic. Ma’am and Miss sternly gave us tasks to do, including: picking oakum, writingng on slate (right-handed), saying and writing our tables by rote, writing in the copperplate style with dip pens, singing all the verses of The National Anthem as well as learning a Victorian hymn called Abide With Me.
In those days, the girls would do sewing and the boys would do the technical drawing. We decided that didn’t reflect our British Values, so everyone did cross stitch and the drawing tasks. We also looked at some Victorian photographs using the stereoscopic viewer. For exercise we did some drills – they were hard work.
We had a good day but sadly lots of us put ourselves in the dunce’s corner because we felt our work wasn’t good enough – luckily, Ma’am did not beat us with a belt or a cane or even hang us from a basket from the ceiling. Both of these were common punishments for children then!