Scroll to content
St Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School home page

St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

Non Excidet


Accommodation and Perspective of Slaves


To gain a further insight into the lives of the slaves, we explored the harrowing conditions on board a slave ship. 

We were horrified to discover that a slave ship named, 'The Zong' was responsible for taking the lives of many slaves inhumanely. To strengthen the case of the horrendous conditions, we read the testimonies of two slaves; Ottabah Cugoano and Olaudah Equiano. 


"Did you know the slave ship Zong was owned by two Liverpool merchants who had both been mayors of Liverpool? It left the coast of Africa in September 1781. Far more enslaved Africans had been packed onto the ship than the hold was adapted for. Disease spread quickly, helped along by malnutrition. By November 1781, sixty Africans had died. Captain Luke Collingwood decided to throw another 131 Africans overboard to stop the disease." - Urwah, C16


It was heartbreaking to read the accounts of the two slaves. It is hard to imagine the harrowing conditions they suffered throughout their lives. - Anthony, C14

Beliefs of Society During the Slave Trade


It is hard to imagine a society in which the slave trade was deemed acceptable; however, as we discovered, many people in Great Britain believed that our Empire was right and just in doing what she did. We explored how the slave trade impacted both the rich and poorer members of society and how even the Bible was used as a way of approving slavery to the masses (as there are examples of slavery in the Bible). Did you know that many people believed that slaves were not actually human at all, but cattle to be moved and worked as deemed fit? 

Understanding the Perspective of William Roscoe through Poetry


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.  

Understanding Sources - The Abolition of Slavery

During this lesson, we analysed two sources; quotes from Graville Sharp (a British abolitionist) and  Mr. William Pitt, (Prime Minister in 1792). Both key figures during darker times, we recognised that they both spoke passionately about the inhumanity of the slave trade and how Britain ought to lead the way for change. 


'During this lesson, I felt inspired after hearing about the actions of 'The Society for the Abolition of Slavery'. It must have taken great courage to campaign for change and resilience not to give up.' - Eva, C14


'I was shocked to read that slavery was not abolished until many years after the slave trade. The many years of suffering must have been heart-breaking for the slaves involved'. - Oliver, C13


Mastery Write: Compare and Contrast the Viking era in Britain with the Slave Trade


This morning, Year 6 used their prior knowledge to guide and support their answer to the above task. The children broke down this quesion into an informative introduction to both eras and then explored the similarities and differences between the two. One might be forgiven for thinking that this was too tenuous a link but by giving this task, the children were able to think deeply and critically analyse their prior learning from year 5 and compare this with their current learning. It posed some interesting questions which were explored during our discussions such as; the ethical quesiton of the ownership, transport and treament of slaves. 

Significant Figure: William Roscoe 


The children analysed an excerpt from Roscoe's poem, 'The Wrong's of Africa' (1787). We highlighted and discussed Roscoe's perspective of slavery as revealed in the poem. Whilst the language was challenging, we were able to develop our vocabulary by using dictionaries and our prior knowledge to determine the definitions.

Childhood and Education During the Slave Trade


Today, Year 6 explored the childhood and education of slave children. We used secondary sources from Ottobah Cugoana and from Olaudah Equiano's autobiogrpahy, both slaves durng these treacherous times.