Putting quill to paper

Dickens  10/02/12  (AN)''Children at Charles Dickens Junior School in Portsmouth learn how to write using a quill as part of their Victorian studies. (left to right), Connor Brooks (10), Kennedy Bull (10), Adetayo (corr) Adeniran (corr) (10).'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (120493-1)
Dickens 10/02/12 (AN)''Children at Charles Dickens Junior School in Portsmouth learn how to write using a quill as part of their Victorian studies. (left to right), Connor Brooks (10), Kennedy Bull (10), Adetayo (corr) Adeniran (corr) (10).'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120493-1)

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A SCHOOL that bears the name of one of the 19th century’s greatest authors stepped back into time to have a go mimicking the Victorians and their writing techniques.

Youngsters at Charles Dickens Juniors, in Buckland, donned their hoop skirts and top hats as they scribbled away with quill pen dipped in ink.

They wrote a ‘dear diary’ in the role of Oliver Twist – taking their inspiration from workshops run by the Groundlings Theatre, where Dickens’ mum’s waters broke before giving birth to him in the family home in Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth.

With the help of actors, the children were given a sense of schooling and life for young people in the Victorian period.

Headteacher Sandra Miller said: ‘It was a memorable experience for the children – it brought the Victorian period to life and they wrote fantastic diary entries. What really struck them was the fact that children their age went out to work.’

Charles Dickens Juniors is one of the schools signed up to The News’ literacy campaign, which was launched on Dickens’ 200th birthday.