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St Francis de SalesCatholic Junior School

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Understanding

Legacy of the Shang Dynasty

 

This morning, Year 6 answered a series of questions in the books in order to explore the legacy of the Shang Dynasty. We used our understanding of the time to evaluate which legacy we believed to be the most important in our modern day world and why it is important to learn about what is left behind by different periods of history. 

Major Figure in Shang Times- Fu Hao 

 

This afternoon, Year 6 developed their understanding of Fu Hao- the first female general of the Shang times. This Queen, mother, general and high priestess was truly a remarkable figure. She had certainly made her mark on Shang times and indeed history itself! 

Education and Political Beliefs in Shang Times 

 

Today, Year 6 explored the education of various groups in the Shang's social hierarchy. We developed our knowledge of how different groups of people received different levels/types of education depending on their social status. Additionally, we also explored the political implications that prevented people from moving up the social ladder at the time. 

Shang Dynasty- Exploring Artefacts 

 

This lesson, Year 6 explored various artefact replicas from the time of the Shang Dynasty. We used our understanding of this period to infer what the objects may have been used for, if we have anything similar today and what this object can tell us about the Shang people. Due to the mastery nature of this topic, we were also able to examine any similarities/differences between the artefacts of the Shang and the artefacts of other periods studied. 

Religion and Beliefs of Society during the Slave Trade 

 

In order to further develop our understanding of how politics impacted the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Britain, we explored how each sector of our nation changed and grew as a result of this period in history. 

The Liverpool Slave Trade- Perspectives of Slaves

 

This afternoon, we explored and analysed the various testimonies from Ottabah Cugoano and Olaudah Equiano, documenting the horrific conditions they endured on the slave ships and thereafter in order to broaden our understanding of this tragic time. In addition to this, we also read the case study of The Zong, a slave ship owned by two Liverpool merchants, both of whom were previously mayor of Liverpool. This shocking case study revealed how 131 African slaves lost their lives when thrown overboard by the merciless crew and captain due to overcrowding on the ship. We were aghast to discover that the captain and crew of the ship were never prosecuted for this senseless act. 

Analysing Sources

 

As part of our lesson in exploring the Liverpool slave traders, we were able to apply our understanding of the topic so far in order to analyse the source below. This source was taken from a book in the archives of Central Library in the city centre and it shows the shocking numbers of slave being transported to the key ports in Britain (Liverpool, London and Bristol). 

The source below is a quote made by Mr.William Pitt- prime minister of Great Britain, 1792. We believe that this is a very powerful message and it is also similar in sentiment to the words of William Roscoe's poem, The Wrongs of Africa. It is clear to see that Mr.Pitt desired the abolition of slavery and he acknowledges the major part that Britain played in this movement. 

Liverpool Slave Trade- The Abolition of the Slave Trade

 

Today, we independently researched the abolition of the slave trade in Great Britain and developed our understanding of how this impacted the wider world. Additionally, we also analysed a quote from Mr. William Pitt, Prime Minister in 1792, as he spoke passionately about the abolition and how Britain ought to lead the way in this as we were "plunged so deeply into guilt" by our actions regarding the slave trade. We then explored various underground rail road codes (and had a go at drawing them ourselves) that were used in America in order to help slaves escape to freedom. 

The Liverpool Slave Trade- William Roscoe 

 

Today, we explored the life of the Liverpool-born solicitor, poet, botanist and activist: William Roscoe. Roscoe was a keen supporter of the abolition of the slave trade and during his time as an MP, he published many pamphlets, poems and he even petitioned in parliament for the dissolution of the trade. In order to truly appreciate the passion of his words and thoughts on this matter, we analysed an excerpt from his 1787 poem; The Wrongs of Africa and we used our acquired knowledge of the slave trade to understand the powerful messages behind his words. Within this poem, Roscoe calls upon the 'wrath of God' to lay severe penalties upon those involved in the trade and he also berates the slave trade merchants and MPs for their arrogance in claiming that Britain was a just and fair nation- powerful words indeed! 

 

Through our research, we also discovered that Roscoe Primary School in Liverpool was named after this famous abolitionist.  

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