CHIMNEY sweeps and chamber maids have been spotted in Coaley as the village's primary school celebrated its 150th birthday with Victorian costumes, lessons and one very strict head teacher.

Coaley Primary School was built in 1864 and to celebrate the significant landmark the pupils had a term-long topic on local history, with the children researching Coaley and the school's past.

It was capped off with a Victorian day, which involved teachers and students dressing as their 150-year-old counterparts.

The pupils took part in Victorian-style lessons which meant boys and girls were separated, with the boys learning copyrighting and technical drawings while the girls learnt sewing.

They were under the tutelage of a very firm head teacher who never spoke and the pupils had to take part in lessons in silence.

They also had to bring in their lunches packed in something “Victorian” such as a wicker basket, tea towel or paper bag.

Present day head teacher Helen Anderson said it was a fantastic day.

“The children have loved it. They said afterwards it was fantastic but they wouldn’t want to do it everyday,” she said.

“They didn’t realise how much children had to do in those days and I think they found it hard to work in silence.

“The parents were very impressed with how much the children wanted to get involved in it and how they immersed themselves in the day.”