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Teamwork / Respect / Aim High

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Gatcombe Park Primary School

Teamwork - Respect - Aim High

Week beginning Monday 11th May

What was life like for poor children during Victorian times?

Lovely Ospreys, you will just be appalled while your research into this question is happening.  You will be so glad that you were not born in that time, into a poor family.  You will, I hope, further appreciate the life that you have.


Your task for this week:

  1. Read the two information leaflets below.  While you are doing this, I am sure your eyebrows will raise a few times, your eyes will widen in shock, there will be a few gasps of disbelief leaving your mouths and cries of, "No way?" will be heard.
  2. Do some of your own research, if you can, into the question above.
  3. Discuss your research with your family members.  Watch their eyebrows raise a few times, their eyes widen in shock, hear the gasps of disbelief leaving their mouths and the cries of, "No way?" which will, inevitably, follow.  (See what I did there?)
  4. Take on the role of either a very rich, compassionate person (eg Lord Shaftesbury/Lady Shaftesbury), or a victim of these times (for example, a child like yourself who has fallen on hard times and can't believe the way you now have to live) and write a letter to someone important who you think needs to know how awful this life is for poor Victorian children.  You could write to Queen Victoria or the Prime minister of the time (I will let you find out who that was).  They may have the power to change lives.  You may think of someone else you could write to - your choice.


  • Your letter must be so full of details of the horrific lifestyles of these poor children, that the reader's eyebrows will raise a few times, their eyes will widen in shock, gasps of disbelief will leave their mouths and cries of, "No way?" will be heard.  (See what I did there?!!)
  • Include lots of persuasive devices to force their hand... 'Can you imagine hauling heavy trucks full of coal for more than 12 hours in a dark, wet, cramped coal mine?'

I am so looking forward to reading them. Take a photo of your eyebrows raising, eyes widening in shock, gasps of disbelief leaving your mouth and your cries of, "No way?" as you research, and send them to the class email. Go on, you know you want to!