Life in a Victorian Prison

This afternoon, we got a shock to come into the classroom with Miss Copperthwaite transformed into a Victorian prison guard! Although she was a little bit terrifying, we were very excited. Our first task was to pick Oakum. In Victorian prisons, this involved picking apart old rope so it could be used again. We quite enjoyed the task for the 5 minutes that we did it, though by the end we began to appreciate that this would have been a monotonous job that would have left your fingers raw...

Our second task mimicked the 'treadwheel'. We stepped back and forth onto and off a piece of paper again, and again, and again - following the pace set by the prison guard. After 5 minutes we were already bored from the repetitiveness of it all! We were horrified that the prisoners used to have to do this all day - and all it achieved was turning a wheel round and round! How demoralising!

We wrote some fantastic diary entries inspired by the experience, and were glad when Miss Copperthwaite returned.

Submitted by Lauren Copperthwaite on