This week Year 6 continued to study their IT/History project of creating a History ‘app’, in conjunction with the Museum’s Digital Programme Manager, Mr Paul Clifford. Mr Atkinson has been kindly supporting the children with IT aspects of the programme. Here the learning journey, at the museum, began by examining a series of unusual artefacts- all relating in some way or another, to our development study of ‘Crime and Punishment Through Time.’
The children were intrigued by ancient Roman armour, shields and helmets, most of which had been discovered in the City of London, dating back to 1000BC. The Roman army wasn’t just there to fight but soldiers also acted as a police force. It isn’t every day that you are fortunate enough to handle primary historical artefacts from a time so long gone!
Besides the Medieval ‘hoodie’ (used for crime) and the Victorian policeman’s truncheon, there were handcuffs, manacles, leg irons and unusual keys. Coins, items of clothing and an intriguingly plain item called ‘finger stocks’ were all investigated. These ‘finger stocks’ were used to discipline unruly children in Victorian schools. They were not really used so much of a punishment but a means of correcting fidgeting fingers! The ‘finger stocks’ prevented nose picking or wriggling and if these measures didn’t succeed then a seemingly worse punishment was proffered!
As you walk through the galleries, it is a little like experiencing time travel. The museum tells the story of London before London – prehistoric times and onwards into the Roman city where you peer at Roman leather shoes and sandals that bear a remarkable resemblance to modern footwear! The museum doesn’t focus, in particular, on ‘Crime and Punishment’ but by studying this theme, through historical periods, we are able to more fully understand how our legal system has been shaped and moulded.
The Medieval Gallery leads to Tudor cloisters, shadowy and mysterious; full of political intrigue and then onwards into the expanding world city. We crept into Victorian alley ways, peered into shop windows and even Newgate Prison.
The war years gave way to fifties and ‘Swinging Sixties’ with a final ‘corridor’ displaying London fashion and iconic items.
The coach journey was arduous as the London traffic gridlocked the city centre but the learning was valuable and offered a glimpse into the past. Mr Clifford will be returning to Gateway to conclude this special partnership with the Museum of London. A huge thank you to all the staff, Mr Adam Atkinson, Mrs Sally Gauntlett, Miss Louise Galley, Mrs Maria Reid-Jones, Mrs Linda Price and our lovely parent helpers, Mrs Ashley Owens and Mrs Lisa Clark, who all made the excursion possible!