Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

School Report time machine

Victorian classroom
School Reporters from Dryden School discovered the difficult Victorian classroom

Imagine having the chance to go back in time and see what it would have been like to attend school in Victorian times.

For a group of School Reporters from Dryden School in Gateshead the hard desks, slate boards and disciplined ways of the Victorian classrooms have become a reality.

As part of their School Report project looking at education in the past, they had a history lesson they'll never forget.

First they spent the day at Beamish - known as 'The Living Museum of the North'.

They sat in a reconstruction of an old classroom and learnt about the fearsome punishments Victorian teachers meted out to their charges.

Live webcast

The Gateshead City Learning Centre helped them turn their experiences into video excerpts they would then use for their live webcast at 11am on School Report News Day.

Dionne, 14, said "I was really nervous about my role", but soon relaxed. "I really enjoyed it," she added.

For the webcast, they tracked down Margaret Mimms, a member of the Whickham Web Wanderers, a Heritage Lottery funded project designed to help local Gateshead schools explore the past in creative ways.

Margaret agreed to come along to be interviewed live for the webcast. She regaled the pupils with her stories of what it was like going to school in times gone by.

Chantelle, 14, said she "loved it", explaining that she "really enjoyed the whole thing, especially the visit to Beamish to film the report".

Teacher Emma Pickering said they were "giddy with excitement" about seeing history brought to life at Beamish.

'Day was brilliant'

And Ms Pickering explained why the day was special for Dryden School: "We're a Special School where the children have special needs.

"Today, they had a fantastic opportunity to participate on the same level as the mainstream schools, and they performed just as well as everybody else. Jamie who was one of the presenters on the webcast summed it up perfectly earlier - he told me the whole day was brilliant."

And as Caroline, 14, said at the end of the day "I would love to do it again". Hundreds of others will be thinking the same.


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