Going back in time!

To support our Elements Topic ‘Industrial Revolution’, we have been on a range of amazing museum visits including Armley Mills, the Thackray Museum and the National Coal Mining Museum.

We have also discussed, learned and written about:

  • The factors that contributed towards the Industrial Revolution in the U.K. such as the move away from hand production methods towards the use of machines.
  • Child labour during the Industrial Revolution and how children often worked long hours in dangerous conditions.
  • Mills, factories, workforce and legislation.
  • Technological innovations.
  • Canals and other forms of transport.
  • And much more!

At the National Coal Mining Museum, the Brownlee class had a personal underground tour of a coalmine with “Big Bird” who is an ex-miner. Students and staff were taken 140 metres underground in a cage to explore the gruesome conditions that children, women and men worked in. A real eye opener for some of our young people!

Whilst visiting the Thackray Medical Museum, which was previously a Leeds Union Workhouse – a harsh home for the poor and homeless – students and staff experienced walking through a street depicting “Old Leeds” which showed in graphic detail the conditions which people lived and worked in days gone by.

We also visited Armley Mills, the largest woollen mill during the period of the Industrial Revolution. Students learned about the working conditions of children employed in the mills. Children as young as 5 years old worked the machines barefoot for up to 16 hours per day.

In addition to support the topic, Springwell Leeds were loaned a range of artefacts from the era by Artemis including bobbins, shuttles, flat irons and original notebooks written by actual workers after the industrial revolution. The students were intrigued by the fact that these were written so long ago. However, they most enjoyed making model steam engines!

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