trintronotes - Hertfordshire Grid for Learning

EPIDEMIC TRING 1899 Teaching & Learning Resources
History Learning Resources on the Grid
for Key Stages 2 and 3
This project provides teachers with new learning resources related to National
Curriculum content for pupils at Key Stages 2 and 3 on the Victorians in
Hertfordshire. It consists of three parts:
Stevenage 1890-1900 Key Stage 3
Tring Epidemic 1899 Key Stage 2
Hoddesdon High Street 1890-1900 Key Stage 2
While the range and focus of the material in each section (and the Teachers’
Notes and Learning Activities) have been designed with specific Key Stages
in mind, each contains resources suitable for both Key Stage 2 and 3
Each part consists of a database of digitised sources including Ordnance
Survey maps, 1891 census returns, newspaper articles, photographs, official
documents, directories, advertisements, and other local records and
transcripts. There are also Teachers’ Notes and Teaching and Learning
Students are offered the opportunity to develop their ICT, history and literacy
skills whilst investigating the ways their local area changed during the late
Victorian era and some of the reasons for those changes.
The project has been developed by staff at Hertfordshire Archives and Local
Studies (HALS) in partnership with teachers at the following Hertfordshire
Marriotts, Stevenage
Dundale JMI School, Tring
Sheredes School, Hoddesdon
Roselands School Hoddesdon
and funded by the Department of Education and Employment (DfEE). Various
museums and individuals have also contributed material and advice to the
project: Stevenage Museum, Miss M. Asbhy, Mr R. Warner-Smith, St
Nicholas’ School, Stevenage, Jill Fowler, Mike Bass and Keith Impey,
Bishopswood School, Tring, Lowewood Museum and Mr D. Dent.
EPIDEMIC TRING 1899 Teaching & Learning Resources
Key Stage 2 – Victorian Britain
National Curriculum Study Unit 3a:
 A study of the impact of significant individuals, events and changes in work
and transport on the lives of men, women and children from different
sections of society
National Curriculum Study Unit 5:
 Local History Study – investigating how the locality was affected by a
significant local event
Pupils should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability
through the use of ICT to support their learning in history.
Investigation: How were the lives of the men, women
and children who lived in Tring affected by an
outbreak of disease in 1899? How did people’s living
conditions change as a result?
Epidemic Tring 1899 consists of a structured interactive programme which
takes students through the process of responding to and managing an
outbreak of typhoid in August 1899. A series of timed ‘telegraph’ messages
arrive online like email over a school day representing the 5 months duration
of the epidemic. There is also a database of over 150 sources from a variety
of documents. Each source has a unique commentary and these can be
printed out. There are also guides to using the database, to searching and
filtering the Excel spreadsheets of the 1891 Census and Teaching and
Learning Resources and Ideas. After a time there will also be examples online
of teachers’ and pupils’ work based on this part of the project. If you would like
to contribute to this section please contact Hertfordshire Archives and Local
Studies (HALS).
Epidemic Tring 1899 will require some careful pre-planning and organisation.
The Overview and Planning Grids will help you with this. There is much more
in the programme than you will want to use, so it is important to familiarise
yourself with what is on offer and choose the best structure and content for
your class. As well as the Programming Grid, there is an additional Planning
Grid with the Activities section left blank included to help you. There is also a
EPIDEMIC TRING 1899 Teaching & Learning Resources
blank 1899-1900 calendar which students can use to plot the events and
progress of the epidemic.
This investigation focuses on a typhoid epidemic which occurred in Tring
between August and November 1899. Over 100 people fell ill and 9 people
died including several children. 53 houses were affected, mostly in Akeman
St. and the yards which adjoined Akeman St – Surrey Place, Harrow Yard,
Albion Place. Although some houses in Tring were connected to the mains of
the Chiltern Hills Water Co. the people who were affected mostly depended
for their drinking water on 18 wells, 15 of which were found to be polluted.
Typhoid incubation is 10-14 days, the epidemic lasted for 15 weeks and there
were 105 cases. The local isolation hospital at Aldbury (which had 9 beds)
was unable to cope and people had to be cared for in their own houses by
specially-hired nurses. The causes of the polluted wells were found to be
badly paved yards, defective slop channels and drains from hand-flushed
toilets and particularly heavy rain in June-August. On 22 July there was over
an inch of rain. The first case was on 19 August and the final one on 25
The programme consists of 33 pre-programmed email ‘telegraph’ messages
which come in via the Herts Grid (NGfL) over one or more school days. The
first few set the scene, give information about the weather and related
drainage and sanitation problems and introduce the main players: Dr William
Gruggen the Medical Officer for Health, Nurse Girardet, the Parish Nurse,
members of the Tring Urban District Council in 1899 and the residents of
Akeman Street. The messages look like Victorian telegraphs and come in
over the day, each one providing more information about the epidemic and an
update on numbers of sick, numbers of deaths and what is being done to
manage the epidemic.
Because the programme of messages runs the same way every day from
0900 until 1430 once you start the programme by clicking on Telegraph
Office, you can choose how to structure it. Possible ways are:
1. A class ‘event’ over one school day from 0900-1500 with pre- and postprogramme activities on other days
2. One half day to lunchtime followed by another half day afternoon on any
following day or week.
3. One hour the first day (0900-1000), additional hours on other days (10001100, 1100-1215, etc).
4. One morning to break on one day, followed by break to lunch the next day,
followed by after lunch to close on a third day.
5. Any other variation which suits your class and school timetable.
Important note: On the days you are using the programme, start it off by
clicking on Telegraph Office by 0900 each day. This means that when you are
ready to resume the programme with your class, it is up to where your class
left off the previous day or week. A detailed list of the messages and the times
they will appear is included in this section. If you are not using the programme
EPIDEMIC TRING 1899 Teaching & Learning Resources
but have it running, then minimise it on the screen and it will keep running. If
you close it or exit it will stop and will reset itself. The best idea is to run
through the programme yourself over a school day before you use it so that
you feel confident with the way it works.
As well as the messages there is a database of over a hundred and fifty
sources including Ordnance Survey maps, the 1891 Census of Akeman
Street, records from the Urban District Council including water analysis
reports, death certificates, correspondence regarding sanitation, drainage,
installation and numbers of water closets and the closure of the wells and
provision of mains water by the Chiltern Hills Water Company. There are also
photographs of Tring and Akeman Street in the 1890s and newspaper articles
from the local papers regarding the typhoid outbreak. Become familiar with
the content and structure of the database yourself before you use it with a
class. You may wish to specifically select certain sources and direct your
pupils to these or you may wish to design your own database search
activities. The level of guidance required to use the database will obviously
depend on your students, their range of abilities and ICT competence. The
database has been designed to support a much broader subject and time
range than the Victorians and therefore the search categories tend to be
general rather than specific.
The children become members of the Urban District Council and have to
make decisions and take actions to manage the epidemic and to prevent it
1. It is important that they are not told about the disease beforehand or too
much about the project! Email bulletins will appear on the screen when the
programme is started which announce that a number of residents of
Akeman St have been reported as ill and giving symptoms.
2. Research is done to discover what the disease is, possible causes and
how to treat it. The children are members of the Urban District Council and
it is their responsibility to deal with what could be a potential disaster.
3. Over a day or a number of days, bulletins arrive via email updating the
class on number of cases, mortality, location, etc. They have to ask
questions, answer questions and determine actions to be taken.
Resources include a database of appropriate Tring archive material
transcribed wherever necessary which they can use to support their
decision making, their activities and actions.
 Developing a sense of chronology
 Investigating how things changed in Tring over time particularly in
reference to health and living conditions
 Asking and answering questions from a variety of information sources on
the intranet & hard copies including ordnance survey maps, 1891 census
extracts, photographs, official papers and letters, newspaper articles,
directories and local board of health & urban district council papers.
EPIDEMIC TRING 1899 Teaching & Learning Resources
Developing vocabulary – words associated with local history studies,
Victorian housing and sanitation, public health and disease.
Using computers, including word processing, spreadsheets and database
 Identifying the disease from a number of common Victorian diseases from
 Constructing the Official Notice warning people that well water is polluted
and that they must not use it
 Posters to be placed around the town warning people about the disease
and how to prevent getting it
 Letters to owners of properties requesting them to take action about the
wells and water on their properties
 Notices and articles for local newspapers on how to avoid becoming ill and
what to do if a member of your family is ill
 Graphing the progress of the epidemic – number of cases, fresh cases,
location of cases, etc
 Create a timeline of the epidemic
 Calculating the statistics of the epidemic
 Using a Town Plan to plot the spread and extent of the epidemic
 Cross-referencing the 1891 census of Akeman St with the Town Plan –
who lives where? What occupations do they have, how many people live
in each house?
 Problem solving – what actions to take, in what order, priorities, resources
 Looking for the causes – who or what was to blame?
 Follow up action to prevent such an epidemic happening again – sanitation
,water provision, health standards, toilets, slum clearance, etc.
 Writing a Report to the Urban District Council about the epidemic and
making recommendations for actions to take.
 Walk in Akeman St to study physical environment, buildings and how it
has changed in the last 100 years with reference to 19 th century town plan
and photographs. A digital camera could be used to record sites as a
comparison with the late 19th century.
 Role play/drama – council meeting, concerned local residents protesting
and demanding action, conflict between neighbours, etc.
There are several Activity Sheets that you can use with your students or
better still, use as the basis for designing your own investigation and tasks. If
you have been studying another local area in Britain then the material on
Tring may provide some interesting comparisons. You can also mix the
sources (for example, the Census Returns or Medical Officers of Health
Annual Statistics) on Stevenage, Tring and Hoddesdon to provide a wider
context for comparison. You can use the material online or print out parts that
you wish to focus on. Look at the Teaching and Learning Resources for
Stevenage and Hoddesdon for other ideas.