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Spring term

Victorian Builders

The children have started their new Mantle by exploring items from the past.  They sorted the old from the new and then explored the old items.  
They had great fun playing games from the past!

The team then dressed up as Victorian children.

Once the team began to understand the term ‘past’ and the Victorian times it was time to start our story.


The team observed Queen Victoria in London 1858. She was worried about all of her people dying at a very young age. There was a sickness spreading across London and something had to be done about it.


As she read the newspaper she was shocked by what she saw!



The Silent Highwayman" (1858).

Death rows on the Thames, claiming the lives of victims who have not paid to have the river cleaned up.



The Great Stink


The Great Stink was an event in London during July and August 1858 in which the hot weather made the smell of untreated human waste unbearable.  The problem had been mounting for some years, with an inadequate sewer system that emptied directly into the Thames. It took three outbreaks of cholera and the Great Stink before anyone blamed the ongoing problems with the river.

Can you see the colour of the river Thames?

 The water level of the River Thames had dropped. This meant the sewage and waste that were being dumped in the river were no longer being quickly washed away.  During hot weather the smell was overpowering.  The bad air was thought to transmit contagious diseases.  People were advised to wear a face covering and make sure their nose and mouth was covered.  



Michael Faraday was a scientist who believed that the River Thames was the problem of the cholera pandemic.  The whole of the river was an opaque pale brown fluid.  He tore up some white cards into pieces and then dropped them into the water.  Before they had sunk the pieces were hidden from sight.  This showed the level of pollution in the water.




The team tested the water from four of London's streets.  The worst arears were Broad street and St Giles Street.

More and more families were moving into these areas and living in crammed conditions.  This resulted in more people getting cholera!  Red crosses have been put on the doors of the households that have cholera.




Faraday then visited Broad street to see why so many people were getting cholera.  He discovered a water pump, that families were using for water, had been contaminated with raw sewage. 




Who's water is contaminated?

Some of the team did an experiment to see how easily germs are spread if you don't keep your hands clean.  They put glitter on their hands to represent the germs and then touched different objects.  The glitter was then visible on the objects.  Once they had cleaned the objects and washed their hands they touched the objects again, but this time there were no germs!  

How germs are spread?