Victorians (Old Curriculum)

Long live the Queen (Old Curriculum)

Study Victoria - her life, family, portraits and homes. Major inventions lead into the daily life of Victoria’s subjects. Workhouses and child labour are studied through fiction. Use census data, maps, buildings and the advent of railways to develop local history.

Each Topic is written for a particular Key Stage. If you use a Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

This Topic was written for the old National Curriculum of England.  We have left it on the website so that teachers unconstrained by the new National Curriculum can continue to access this material.  Teachers in England would have to adapt this Topic to the new curriculum or use some of the new Topics available on the website. 

Supporting documents for topic
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01: A procession of monarchs

How many British monarchs can you name? Create a complete list of the kings and queens of England and work out the family ties that ‘bind’ them. Investigate the reign of each monarch and create a face-mask to wear in the most ‘Royal’ parade of all time!

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01a: Victoria becomes Queen

With so many uncles around, it is surprising that Victoria ever became queen. Explore the life of the young princess and the circumstances that lead to her succession. Travel back to Westminster Abbey in 1838 to “witness” the splendour of the Coronation.

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02: Meet the Royals

Queen Victoria is often called ‘The Grandmother of Europe’. Trace the family tree to discover her royal pedigree and the appearance of her children and grandchildren in royal families all over Europe. Create an interactive family tree on the computer.

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03: The Queen in residence

Victoria and Albert lived in many magnificent royal houses. Take a virtual tour of their favourite country homes and discover how the royal family really lived. Create pamphlets and slideshows to promote the royal residences as “must-see” tourist destinations.

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04: Victoria’s diaries

Historical information comes to us in different forms. Explore the first person accounts of some of the most momentous occasions in the life of Victoria. Read her personal diaries and find out what she really thought of people she met and places she visited.

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04a: The long and short of it

Did you know that Victoria was the first person to appear on a postage stamp? Draw together some interesting and quirky facts about the life of HRH Queen Victoria. Record some of the events, dates and milestones of her reign in a ‘Victorian board game’.

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05: Images of the Queen

What do images of Queen Victoria tell us about her life and times? Children evaluate a range of images and the methods and materials used by their creators and produce a royal collection catalogue and audio guide.

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05a: Portraits up close

Focus on one painting of the royal family to explore what it tells us about Victoria’s life and the methods and materials used by the painter. Children recreate the original in sections and carry out life studies of luxurious fabrics.

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06: Painting portraits

Children create a Golden and Diamond Jubilee portrait of Queen Victoria using acrylic paints on cloth to capture the effects of oil on canvas used by painters of the period. The portrait is given an aged effect and period details.

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06a: Cameos and miniatures

The Queen’s miniaturist is ill and help is needed! Children explore the history, methods and techniques of miniatures and create a portrait of Queen Victoria.

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English Plan 1: Non-fiction - recount and biography

Identify features of recounts. Study an eye witness recount and write own recount of a staged ‘robbery’ they saw. Select success criteria and self-assess their work. Read a short biography. Research a Victorian figure, write their own plan and biography.

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07: The British Empire

Around the Empire in 80 days. Children explore the development of the British Empire and like Phileas Fogg, a Jules Verne hero, take an imaginary trip - identifying places and discovering why they became part of the Empire.

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07a: Empress of India

What was Victoria’s ‘jewel in the crown’? Children explore what life was like in India during the British Raj and discover why India became part of the Empire.

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08: The Crimean War

Glory and honour? Was this really the experience of soldiers in wars of the Victorian period? Focussing on the Crimean War, children imagine they are there at the Charge of the Light Brigade and respond to news reports and poems of the day.

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08a: Lady with the lamp

Who was The Nightingale? Children explore the life and works of Florence Nightingale through research and recreate key events in her life through role-play. What impact did she have on the profession of nursing?

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English Plan 2: Poetry - classic narrative poems

Research the background of 3 poems by well-known Victorian poets: Browning, Tennyson and Longfellow. Explore language, rhyme schemes and features used for imagery. Children write letter of complaint, learn poems and work collaboratively to write own narrative poem.

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09: A book of royal firsts

Queen Victoria was the first monarch to do lots of innovative things. Children explore her encounters with the innovations and inventions of the Victorian era. They create a book of Royal Firsts and a Top 10 quiz.

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09a: The Great Exhibition

‘The grandest spectacle in the world!’ What was The Great Exhibition and why was it created? Through research of a range of sources children create posters and an exhibition catalogue, carefully considering layout and presentation.

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10: Introducing the inventors

A royal invitation – the top 10 inventors of the Victorian age are invited to present their work to Queen Victoria. Children carry out research to explore the impact these inventions had on the lives of everyday Victorians.

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11: Brimming with bright ideas

Through careful consideration of sources, children create a class book: ‘Encyclopaedia of Victorian Inventors’. Children use computing tools to carry out research and present their results in a clear and effective way.

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12: All change

How did the lives of people change during the 64 years Victoria was on the throne? Children use a range of historical sources to write a description of the impact inventions and innovations had on Victoria’s subjects.

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12a: Timeline of a memorable monarch

Time to summarise the life of Queen Victoria. Children present what they have learned about her life, its key events and changes as a large scale-timeline incorporating pictures and captions.