Lesson ideas

21st November 2003 at 00:00
* KS1 history: compare the clothes and toys in the picture with those of today.

* KS2 history and literacy: suggest thought bubbles and spoken words for all the characters in the painting.

* KS2 art: pose like the people in this painting. How does it feel to be each of the characters?

* KS3 drama and English: invent what happened before this scene and create a tableau. What happens after?

* KS4 PSHEcitizenship: discuss the role and nature of service in contemporary society. How have attitudes changed?

This image can be used when studying the Victorians at KS2 and with other age groups. It could form the basis of a guided discussion through a series of open questions, picking out features, themes and issues raised in the picture. Questions might include:

* Who is being accused?

* Who is accusing her?

* Who has taken his side?

* Who looks as though he is being set up to do something?

* Do you think any of the children look guilty?

* What do you think the little boy and girl at the front are learning from watching this?

* Could the accusation be true?

* How has the artist used different colours to tell you more about the people in the painting?

For a useful link to literacy, read The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson (Corgi), which examines the relationships between a servant and the family she served through the eyes of a Victorian nursemaid and a modern child.

The Lottie Project could also be used in PSHE to examine issues of power and authority.

Clare Gittings is education officer at the National Portrait Gallery

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now