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Time out

Helen Newby is Year 3 teacher at Instow Primary School, Bideford, Devon It's definitely a good thing to have a real experience of what Victorian children might have gone through. It puts everything we've learned into context, especially being in a place where it really happened.

When we discuss the lives of Victorian children in class, our children do feel for them, and this experience has really captivated them. They've worked extremely hard on getting ready for the day and learning about the period, so this is a real reward - that they can get into character and play at actually being there. They're all absolutely with it, engrossed.

The day works well for the age group. If we'd just come on the visit, without doing work of inventing a character and applying for the job, we couldn't have got into role in the same way. A lot of thought has gone into setting up the day for maximum benefit to the children.

We've got some farmers' children here, and it's good for them to see what used to happen to their fleeces. It's unusual to have a factory in a rural area like this.

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