GCSE SHP Crime and Punishment: How and why did Victorian prisons change in the first half of Victoria’s reign

Webquest leading to a brief filmed presentation

Introduction: The Chief Examiner’s report for OCR June 2008 examination made the following point: “A number of reports have identified 19C  prison reform as an area of difficulty, because :
a. there was no clear pattern
b. it was seemingly contradictory”.
For this reason, this Smart Task has been designed to focus on the changing nature of prisons.  Strict attention must be paid to chronology to make it work.  A webquest and creation of a short movie have been suggested as ways of making the task more motivating.  It is assumed that students will be familiar with digital film editing through simple programs such as Movie maker, though many will be confident using more sophisticated programs which extend their ICT skills.  If the students don’t have the skills, don’t waste precious history teaching time developing them.  Instead go for PowerPoint presentations.

Background: The Victorians built 90 prisons between 1842, the date of the first movie they are to make, and 1877 the date of the second. The students need to bring out the change from the separate system to the silent system and should point out how people’s views towards prison changed at

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