Mill Road Victorian History at St Philip's School

The team at Historyworks were delighted to be invited to St Philip's Church for a workshop on the Victorian History of the Mill Road area.  We warmed up to collaborating on a history theme and writing a song together, by learning about the railway history of the area and singing the songs about the University not wanting the train station close to the centre of the city, and the building of the Eagle Engine, and the Railway Workers of Mill Road based on the 1901 census.  These songs have actions too, and the children of Year 5 and Year 6 hugely enjoyed learning the history through song lyrics.  You can find the railway songs here:

http://www.creatingmycambridge.com/songs-creative/railway-history-of-cambridge/

The second part of the workshop focused on Victorian welfare, learning about the problems of sanitation and the need on Mill Road for an Infectious diseases hospital, followed on a bit too late, by a Bath House!   We then looked in detail at the largest welfare institution on Mill Road, the Workhouse.  We used the powerpoint illustrations that Historyworks has made for teachers to use with their classes which you can find here:

http://www.creatingmycambridge.com/history-stories/

Using a white-board we built up a picture of the vocabulary and facts we may want to include in a song about the Mill Road workhouse, including a chorus, 'Ditchburn Place, a Workhouse Case' as the Riff.  Michael Rosen had suggested that we start with the chorus and then built up the verses, so we were able to collectively using all the learning from the children, shape a verse about separation, about work tasks, about food.  It was an excellent co-creation and we ended with a song before the students returned to their classes to write their own poems about Victorian Mill Road.   For their Victorian school day following, Helen showed the students examples of how former pupils of St Philip's were squashed into the Ross Street Community centre, with over 700 pupils in one room, it was so overcrowded!    The powerpoint illustrations about the Victorian School were shared with the teachers to use for the following day.  We look forward to returning to St Philip's to see the work the children have completed!

Mill Road Victorian History at St Philip's School

 

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