Taking children back in time to get taste of life in 1950s Britain

(l-r) Bill Bruce, Frankie Hore, Chloe Woollett, Abigail Horton and Phoebe Fae Evans. ''In the Classroom at St. John's Primary School, Rowlands Castle. ''Children are having a 1950s day at the school. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (14159-285)
(l-r) Bill Bruce, Frankie Hore, Chloe Woollett, Abigail Horton and Phoebe Fae Evans. ''In the Classroom at St. John's Primary School, Rowlands Castle. ''Children are having a 1950s day at the school. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (14159-285)

From broken bones to new beginnings

0
Have your say

Here at Rowlands Castle St John’s School we believe in a curriculum that is creative and engages the children.

This half-term my Year 1 class are being history detectives and finding out what it was like to live in the 1950s.

Our first task was to share with each other what we already knew about the 1950s and we all agreed we didn’t know very much.

The children knew it was after the war and that granny and grandads would have been alive and that photographs were black and white.

The children talked to each other and decided the questions that they wanted to find out about.

Important facts like did the children have stickers at school? Did they have money?

Did they have clocks and television? But most importantly, did they have balloons?

So, in pursuit of finding out more we first went on a long journey to the Search Museum.

It was an opportunity for a hands-on experience, and the children couldn’t wait nor contain their excitement to see what was behind the door in the 1950s room. They began to find a lot of answers to their questions and soon realised that things have changed a lot.

They wore different styles of clothes, bought their food from small shops not giant supermarkets with everything under one roof and even had different-looking money.

An exciting discovery was that they did have television.

But I don’t think the children have been at all impressed by watching the delights of Bill and Ben and Andy Pandy.

In order to engage the children next as history detectives, it was decided to step back in time and experience a 1950s school day.

No useful computers, toys, books and a role play area but tables all in rows, no talking allowed and girls not being allowed to play with boys at playtime. But they did get to drink milk.

Everyone has loved bopping around our classroom to Elvis and other 50s number 1 hits and we have been especially lucky to have a dance expert teaching us a 1950s dance routine.

Our journey as history detectives is not quite over as a street party is planned to celebrate the Coronation of the new Queen Elizabeth in 1953, inviting guests to share with us their actual memories of the day.

As a teacher, I believe in creating a curriculum which is child-initiated and gives opportunities for hands-on learning, but above all I hope it provides happy memories for each children’s individual learning journey.