Girls and boys learned together in primary schools, but were separated in secondary schools.
Boys learned technology: woodwork, maths and technical drawing, to help with work in factories, workshops or the army when they grew up. Girls sent away to be trained as governesses were not much better off, as you can learn from reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. For parties, lots of little Victorian girls wore red cloaks - perhaps because Little Red Riding Hood was a favourite nursery story. Children at boarding school were given horrid-tasting medicines such as brimstone and treacle. If a child felt ill, the teacher might buy a cheap potion such as James Morrison's Universal Pill - said to cure every ailment! In class, children learned lots of lessons by heart - such as poems and their times tables.
One rather unusual punishment was being sent to sit in the 'coal-hole' - where coal for the school fire was stored! This was a group of workers in the countryside, doing jobs like weeding, sowing seeds, and harvesting crops.
Temperance organization which tried to stop people, especially children, from drinking alcohol.
A school run in her home by an elderly woman, known as a dame, where children were taught basic reading and writing.


A group of men who travelled around Britain to investigate the working conditions of children in both factories and mines. Boys' schools, started in the Middle Ages as an alternative to Church schools and giving free education to some boys.
The era of rapid and great change in industry and manufacturing with the growth of factories, beginning in the late 1700s. These were pieces of slate (like a flat stone), sometimes set inside a wooden frame, used for writing - with a special slate pencil. Disease causing fever and, in those who did not die from it, leaving 'pockmarks' on the skin. Place where people without means of support (usually the very poor, young and elderly) were sent to live; they got a food and a bed in return for work. I want to thank Chuck Humphrey for his help with this Communique item, both regarding the ideas and the links to images! Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes. A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Find out what IASSISTers are doing in the field and explore other avenues of presentation, communication and discussion via social networking and related online social spaces.
They wiped the slate clean, by spitting on it and rubbing with their coat sleeve or their finger!


The first good girls' schools were started in Victorian times, such as the North London Collegiate School (1850). They knew about measures we no longer use such as poles, perches, rods, chains and furlongs. He had bread and butter, with watery milk, for breakfast; for dinner, a lumpy pudding the boys called 'stickjaw' with burnt meat and hard potatoes. In Victorian times, coal heated homes and provided steam power for machines, trains and ships.
A teacher could also punish a child by making them stand in the corner wearing a 'dunce's cap'. Some were unsure they liked this idea claiming that the life cycle was a confusing or imperfect metaphor. This meant writing out the same sentence (such as 'Schooldays are the happiest days of my life' 100 times or more. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.



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