Year 3 pupils recently visited senior school librarian Mrs Ward to start exploring their curiosity curriculum question, 'Should history matter to me?'
Here, Mrs Ward explains what they got up to:
Wouldn’t it be amazing if the secret to longevity and good health was in eating sweet bagels and honeyed pancakes? When faced with the challenge of designing a menu, this is what some Year 3 pupils thought would be a great supplement for prolonging the life of schoolboys at Pocklington School in 1937. Other students put a lot of effort into creating a balanced menu, and even remembered their greens! In discussing the changes to our diet over past centuries, we read hilarious stories from the historical chronicles of Pocklington School and compared the former diet to the dining room options of today.
It was wonderful to know that some of the pupils were aware that our school was over five hundred years old, and we even heard some recollections of stories of their parents – old Pocklingtonians. Children were not keen on the idea of a ten-hour day and a six-day week, which was considered the norm in the school in the 16th century. They were also rather outraged that in Victorian England, society deemed the education of girls beyond certain ‘accomplishments’ such as languages or artistic talents to be ‘improper’. We talked about famous female writers, who had to adopt male pen names in order to be taken seriously, and some pupils were even able to remember brilliant female scientists of the past.
Trying on archived items of uniform, and debating historical changes whilst wearing old school blazers, rugby tops, and cricket outfits was very exciting. We all agreed that the children look rather dazzling in the dark blue, early 20th century rugby caps with silver trim and tassels but apparently, the jackets were ‘awfully itchy’.
The highlight of the lesson was a topic on past school discipline. The pupils agreed that fighting on the street (and fighting in general) is still not acceptable behaviour but getting punished for ‘talking to a girl in the town’ or buying fish & chips was undeniably unreasonable in the modern age.
It was a stimulating, relaxing, yet productive lesson. We had a good laugh when children were asked the question “Do you think we need discipline in school?” and they shouted in unison “No!!!” Long live anarchy?
- Natalia Ward, Librarian