Victorian Studies with Haylands School 26 November 2015
As part of their Victorian studies two classes from Year 3 at Hayland’s Primary School came on two separate day visits (24 and 26 November) to Ryde Cemetery. John the Sexton, dressed in his Victorian finery of top hat and smart cape, was available to lend a hand. Several RSHG volunteers, most dressed in period costume, helped run the various activities. The weather was fairly kind so the children did all manage to do their outdoor session without getting too cold. Many of the children and their teachers and helpers were also dressed as Victorians.
The children moved around in four groups which were named after actual Ryde residents from Victorian times. The outdoor activity was a guided walk around the Old Parish and Old sections of the cemetery, with a peep inside the first chapel in West Street and inside the old Bothy or Cemetery store house. It was explained to the children how the cemetery developed as the town of Ryde grew between 1840 and 1900.The children kept checking their location on their maps as they found graves and heard about the lives of various Victorians. Other activities included making mini Christmas trees which were then planted in the Winter Forest and making stained glass windows which were hung in front of some of the chapel windows.
There was a Victorian Exhibition to view which included a display of artefacts from ‘Below Stairs.’ It was very amusing to hear some of the ideas the children had as they puzzled over the use of some of the objects. It was suggested that the carpet beater was a giant fly swat, a tennis racket or a pizza tray which slides in and out of the oven. The hot water bottle was thought to be a teapot, a sugar container or a flower vase.
They were two very busy days but we all had lots of fun in the midst of lots of learning. The children were a credit to their school and families.