What Was it Like to go to School in Victorian Times?

As technology continues to advance and change our lives, schools are also changing how they do things. The internet has changed many aspects of our lives since it has been around, and schools are no exception.

Nowadays, websites for schools that are built by professionals like FSE Design are an essential resource for parents, teachers and students, and home learning is possible with the help of the internet.

However, in Victorian times school life was very different – what was it like to go to school in the UK during the Victorian era? This was a time when school became part of life for all children, as a law that was passed in 1870 declared that all children between the ages of five and ten years old must attend school on a weekday, with the age being raised to eleven in 1893.

Although this law was put in place, there were still many children who were not allowed to attend, as their parents would prefer them to go out to work to earn money, so therefore the ones who attended school were still very fortunate compared to many.

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Unlike modern schools, in Victorian times a school would resemble more of a prison than a fun place to learn. For example, to stop children from being distracted, windows were placed high up so that children were not able to see outside, and boys and girls would be taught separately even when attending the same school, even having separate entrances!

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Teachers in Victorian schools were very strict, and discipline was taken seriously – physical punishments were commonplace and handed out regularly, with teachers using the cane most commonly to punish a child that had broken school rules – of which there were many. Talking in the classroom for example, was one of the things that would often happen nowadays but was certainly not allowed then -= unless being asked a question by a teacher.

The main lessons that were taught at Victorian schools were maths and English – but religious education was also very important to the Victorians and the Bible and other religious lessons were taught, as well as assemblies that involved singing hymns and saying prayers.

Although Victorian schools were very strict by today’s standards, the children were still given time to play, and marbles and hoops were commonly used toys during playtime.

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