Year 5 have been combining their literacy work based around the Street Child class reading book with an introduction to basic economics. Street Child tells the story of how harsh life was for the children of the poor growing up in Victorian London. Having looked at clothes and material goods, we have now started to consider how the shopping experience differed to what we are use to today. This is a theme that is linked in with the decline of independent local shops and the rise of the giant supermarkets.
The pupils have been looking at the budget for an average household in 1844. We have introduced Year 5 to the concepts of income and expenditure. Although these are both still key economic concepts in 2013, the importance of expenditure not exceeding income in 1844 has been emphasised. We have looked at the rise of credit, and how this wasn’t an option for Victorian families. We have considered that although this sounds harsh, maybe this wasn’t such a bad thing.
Our economic work has also considered why Victorian families thought that it was important to put away an amount of money each week for funerals. We have introduced the concept of the stigma that a pauper’s funeral might have created. Finally we have looked at how sickness payments that apply today might not have been the case for a family in 1844.
We have also looked at the emergence of supermarkets and the need to preserve food. This came about through the need to be able to offer fresh and healthy food during the Victorian period. You can find out more by listening to the audioboo below.