Oakley Vale Primary School

Part of the Brooke Weston Trust

Educating the next generation of inspirational adults

Year 3 learn how to make shoes

Year 3 learn how to make shoes

As part of their topic ‘Step into my Shoes’, students in Year 3 invited Northampton Shoe Museum in to class to teach them the history of making shoes and to have a go themselves.

Northampton is renowned for their shoe making industry, which began during the English Civil War in the 17th century, and they have their own shoe museum to tell the story.

The students learnt how shoes were made by hand before the use of machinery, and saw a step-by-step guide to a customer ordering a pair of shoes from measuring the feet and choosing the leather, to sewing and polishing the shoe ready for delivery.

They were then able to have at pretending to make a pair of shoes themselves, using real tools and moving round four different stations – lasting, trimming, finishing and packing and closing.

Catherine Briscoe from the Northampton Shoe Museum said, ‘I think that it is so important for the students to learn about their local history and industry and it’s exciting to have a go at making shoes, you wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to use the tools and it expands their experience.’

Year 3 teacher Mrs Becky Annetts said, ‘This is a hand on experience that I wouldn’t be able to teach the students n class from a book. To be able to feel the leather and use some of the tools makes it real to them and helps them understand the topic a lot better.

‘Towards the end of the term we will be inviting parents and carers in to work with the children to design and make their own pair of slippers, so this has been great practice for that.’

Year 3 student Marnie Wood said, ‘It is fun pretending to make the shoes. I’ve never made shoes before and I liked learning how to make them.'

A selection of photos from the afternoon can be found here.