The children in Sambar and Taruca classes had a fabulous day at the Ripon Workhouse Museum last week. Despite a long journey, they made the most of their time at the museum learning about life as a pauper living in the Workhouse.
After a stern introduction from Matron, the children went to the Guardians’ Room for the Guardians’ role-play activity. The Guardians were the Board, made up of the 'good and the great', who oversaw the running of the Workhouse and were considered of a superior class to the pauper inmates. As part of the role-play, the children were split into Guardians and Paupers, with the Guardians having to apply the rules of the Workhouse to decide which of the Paupers could be given financial help; who they would take into the Workhouse and who they turned away with nothing! Their thoughtful answers to questions showed great empathy and understanding of what life was really like for the Paupers.
Afterwards, the classes were split into boys’ and girls’ groups where they had a lesson from the schoolteacher whilst the girls also learnt how to do rag-rugging. To 'earn their keep', the children had to do their chores: sweeping, polishing and shoe cleaning!
Our visit to the Workhouse never fails to inspire and ignite a passion for history! It was an incredible experience that enabled the children to fully appreciate the harsh reality of Workhouse life. If you would like to find out more about the Workhouse, please click HERE. More photos can be found in the Photo Gallery.