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Dame Bradbury's Year 5 Trip to Ely Museum

Published on 05/01/24

Year 5 pupils from Dame Bradbury's visited Ely Museum and delved into the intriguing world of crime and punishment.

The primary focus of the trip was the historical context of the Littleport Riots, a pivotal event stemming from protests over the cost of bread in the aftermath of the French Revolution and a challenging harvest, leading to severe famine in the village.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the trip was the immersive re-enactment of the Littleport Riots trial. Led by the museum staff and a dedicated team of volunteers, the trial featured the expert management of 'Judge Justice Abbot.' Our pupils actively participated, assuming the roles of the individuals involved in the riots. This hands-on approach not only deepened their understanding of historical events but also allowed them to empathise with the challenges faced by those living in the past.

In the afternoon, the children participated in an immersive carousel of activities designed to engage the students and deepen their understanding of life in the early 19th century. One notable activity involved visiting the site of an old gaol cell, prompting students to contemplate the harsh conditions that prisoners endured. This hands-on experience enabled them to connect theoretical knowledge with the stark reality of confinement in bygone eras.

Another engaging exercise required the application of critical thinking skills as students matched crimes to their corresponding punishments in the Georgian Era. This interactive approach fostered a deeper appreciation for the evolving nature of justice systems and the severity of consequences for various transgressions.

The exploration extended to the analysis of primary sources from the time of the Littleport Riots, including newspaper articles and magistrate court records. This historical investigation provided valuable insights into the social and economic conditions that fuelled the protests and subsequent legal proceedings.

The trip to Ely Museum proved to be an exceptional learning experience for the Year 5 pupils. It provided a tangible link between theoretical lessons in the classroom and the lived experiences of individuals in different historical periods. The students left with a heightened sense of justice and a more nuanced understanding of the complexities surrounding crime and punishment through the ages.

In conclusion, the Dame Bradbury's trip to Ely Museum was a resounding success, offering a rich tapestry of activities that engaged and educated the pupils. The immersive learning experience will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on their understanding of history, justice, and the human experience.