On Sunday, streets all over the world were filled with people and decorations celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Now, I don’t know an awful lot about the monarchy but I do remember sitting alongside my friends, holding paper plates and eating chocolate cake in primary school - almost 10 years ago, celebrating the Diamond Jubilee - or was it a royal wedding?
This jubilee got me thinking - I found out that Queen Elizabeth is 96 years old and is currently the longest reigning queen in the world. 96 years is a very long time - almost a century - so for this blog I want to take a step back in time to the 1940s to see how well kids nowadays would fare in the times of a teenage queen E.
Answer the questions below to test your knowledge of the queen and see how well you’d cope in 20th century England.
Kids and teenagers constantly have to adapt and change - we’re at a pivotal time in our lives which shapes how we think, feel and behave. During the pandemic many of us had to adjust to a new way of doing things, and it was undoubtedly scary living in the midst of global panic. Whilst I don’t think it's comparable to living through warfare, we can appreciate the parallels that appear when we experience a global crisis.
2. By Queen Elizabeth’s time it was quite illegal for children under the age of 9 to work in England. So during the 1940s children were mainly at school or helping the war effort, while most men fought as soldiers and women worked in factories.
Which of the following was a common way in which children helped the war effort?
i - Knitting socks for troops
ii - Volunteering in factories
iii - Drafting themselves in the army
iv - Collecting materials to be recycled
v - Acting as fire-watchers
Volunteering is paramount and essential to many of the services we use on a daily basis. Without the help of people donating their time and energy to causes, it would be near impossible for charities and many organizations to function. Even things like after school clubs or community centers are run by volunteers - so you can see just how versatile and important their work is. Now, as a teenager it is very important to find work experience opportunities as they give you an insight into a possible career you might want and they are valuable assets to add to your CV.
Equally as important are volunteering opportunities. You build vital skills from them such as time management, teamwork and communication abilities and it can often be an exercise of compassion which is great for character development.
Plus - You can volunteer for just about anything. Mad about dogs? Volunteer at a pet shelter. Crazy about books? Try your luck at a library. I am personally highly interested in science and art so I volunteer at a local museum.
It’s important to note that you may not be accepted to every opportunity you apply for but don’t let that deter you - keep going and eventually you’ll find something that is perfect for you.
3. True or false? Originally, the A,B,C grading system was based off of the grading for meat quality in factories.
A lot of the time school can feel like prison, or something horrendous - something we have to endure. Now, it's important to remember that we are in a privileged position to be able to access education with ease, however there are still many flaws within the classroom. Grading feels competitive, students are pit against each other, forced to fight to the academic death. Ok - I know that’s slightly dramatized but this over competitive system can be really unhealthy. It causes us to compare ourselves to others, it inhibits collaboration and the sharing of ideas - which is detrimental as it's this sharing of ideas that has led to progress in the first place. Perhaps, it would be better if we worked together more, shared resources and learned from each other. So next time your friend is waffling on about that niche thing they seem to know everything about, actually listen - you might gain something from it.
4. Which of the following was not considered an appropriate method of punishment at school during Queen Elizabeth’s childhood:
After watching Horrible Histories, I think we’re all aware of the horrors of Victorian sanctions - I’m sure we can all agree they’ve got nothing on detention. Being forced to spend hours staring at a clock or a blank wall is the epitome of torture.
If you got 1 correct: Nice effort but I’m afraid you wouldn’t last a day
2 correct: Not half bad - you might end up losing a finger or two.
3 correct: You’re doing pretty well for yourself.
4 correct: Good riddance! You’ll outlast the best of us.
Tiffany Igharoro is a student in Y11 preparing to take her GCSE's. One of her favourite pastimes is writing as it helps her organise her thoughts creatively and dynamically. She has won awards and prizes for poetry, academic and scientific writing and short stories. Recently, she won a nationwide historical essay competition that opened her eyes to the importance of how things are told, and the impact ordinary people have on the world. She is studying art GCSE and believes there is something incredible about finding links between drama, art and maths.
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