Y8 study the slave trade at Wilberforce House

Year 8’s history visit to Wilberforce House has helped them learn a lot more about the transatlantic British slave trade and the abolition. They have been introduced to the topic in class and give seven objects to focus upon. Their first challenge in the museum was to research the historical context to each object. It is great to be able to work on site, with museum galleries almost to ourselves and an onsite classroom. Girls came and went from galleries to classroom and back to galleries, making notes, taking photos and then planning their ‘History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 7 Objects’. We will be continuing this work back in class.

After a break for lunch, which included a chance for some dressing up as Georgians – you can never stop Abi grabbing a costume! – the girls took part in the Great Debate about Abolition. Using the museum’s galleries they collected evidence to support different stances on the topic, from slave traders to enslaved Africans, and from politicians to women in Lancashire. The evidence they gathered for their arguments was impressive. Of course we all support the abolition of slavery in principle, but the anti-abolitionists were strong in their day and we now all understand much better why they had such power. A useful lesson in how moral right can lose out to economic arguments and vested interests. As usual, the girls were much complemented for their hard work and well-mannered approach to the day.

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