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Dunkirk Primary School

Dunkirk Primary School

Banyan's Independent Research Topics

Banyan's afternoon challenge for week 1 was to research a theme/subject/topic area that was of personal interest. Themes included: Saving our planet; Indonesia for Dummies; Norway; Sri Lanka and Africa.

Watch this space - there will be more projects added over the next few weeks.

Miss B / Mr B

Whether in the format of a poster or a report, there are many ways to present research. Always think of the audience (who will be reading your work) -

* Will they engage emotionally with it?

* Will the reader learn something new?

 * Will the reader go away thinking 'I must find out more'?

If so, you have done your job as a writer!

Have a read of this wonderful analysis and comparison of Downton Abbey.

Well done A - I have learnt so much about the lives of two members of society around 100 years ago!

Miss B


Recently, I have been watching and enjoying a show called 'Downton Abbey'- a period drama set around the time of the First World War. It is about an aristocratic family, the Crawleys, and the staff who work for them, embracing the changing world around them. I would highly recommend this show because it gives you two sides of the story (upstairs, the aristocrats and downstairs, the servants).

Anyway, I have decided to do my project on a day in the life of Mr. Carson and a day in the life of Lord Grantham. I will analyse and compare their very different days.

People whose day will be analysed

  • Person upstairs- Lord Grantham- Earl of Grantham
  • Person downstairs- Mr. Carson- Head Butler

    Lord Grantham's morning:

  • Birds tweeting wakes him, 07:00
  • Talks to his wife, Cora, for a bit
  • Dressing gong sounds and heads to dressing room
  • Dressed by valet, Mr. Bates.
  • Goes downstairs to morning room
  • Receives morning post from Carson
  • Enjoys a hearty breakfast with Tom and Edith
  • Retires to small library to do his correspondence and organise affairs
  • Takes a walk round the grounds

Carson's morning:

  • Woken by alarm clock, 05:00
  • Changes into butler's livery
  • Quick breakfast in servant's hall
  • Sounds the dressing gong
  • Send up valets and ladies’ maids to dress the family
  • Checks footmen are on hand
  • Checks breakfast is ready for the family
  • Takes up newspaper and post into the morning room
  • Once breakfast has finished, clears breakfast room
  • Assigns chores to footmen (e.g. polishing the silver)
  • Discuss and allocate chores for ALL staff with Mrs. Hughes- the housekeeper
  • Discuss luncheon and dinner requirements with Mrs. Pattmore- the cook

Lord Grantham's midday 

  • Reads the paper
  • Goes out main entrance 
  • Greets new agent of the estate 
  • Gives him a tour of the grounds
  • Sees him off
  • Visits the dowager countess- his mother- for a light luncheon with Edith
  • Goes home to prepare for the dinner party

Carson's midday

  • Supervise staff
  • Liaise with Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Pattmore
  • Selects wine for each course of luncheon and dinner
  • Sits down for the servant's short lunch
  • Lays the table
  • Tells footmen to bring the food up to the family
  • Goes up to serve them
  • Keeps going up and down to get more food and wine
  • Clears the table when family has finished
  • Supervises staff again

Lord Grantham's evening

  • Takes a bath to appear fresh
  • Dressed by valet in appropriate clothing for the dinner party
  • Goes down to welcome guests
  • Enters the drawing room
  • Chats with guests and family
  • Goes through when Carson announces dinner
  • Chats some more
  • When dinner finishes, retires to drawing room
  • Waves guests off
  • Goes up to be undressed by valet
  • Gets into his and Cora's bed at 11:00

Carson's evening

  • Hurries all staff along 
  • Checks everything is up to standards
  • Tells footmen to carry cutlery up
  • Sets the table in the dining room
  • Measures the chair's distance from the table
  • Positions all cutlery
  • Arranges the seating cards in guest order
  • Sounds the dressing gong
  • Makes sure the valets and ladies’ maids are dressing the family
  • Organises the last few things
  • Goes up to tell the family and guests that dinner is served
  • Serves the dinner
  • When the family and guests are in the drawing room, pours wine for them
  • Gives guests coats
  • Sends up valets and ladies’ maids
  • Gets everything set up for the morning
  • Patrols the house for a bit
  • Retires to bed at past midnight



A life in service is hard work, you do not just work from 9:00am until 5:00pm, you are at the beck and call of the family constantly with not much time to yourself. Lots of the service staff are handing in their notices in order to work in shops/ small businesses as they offer better hours and more freedom. 

Grantham's life, although easier, is not without responsibility as Downton Abbey is a large estate and the running costs are very expensive. Throughout the show, more and more of Lord Grantham's friends must sell their stately homes and buy something much smaller because of the change in the economy after the war. Plus, people's lifestyles have changed drastically, what with women enjoying greater independence and financial freedom and an increase in the wages of the working class.

I hope you have enjoyed my analysis!


Norway by SC (part 1 above; part 2 below)

Africa by L
'If there is a tomorrow...' by C
My mum's home country by SC (part 1 above)
My mum's home country by SC (part 2 above)

Foods in Africa by S

Indonesia for Dummies by Ar

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of more than 17,000 islands, including Sumatra, Java, Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi, Papua. Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago nation and the 14th largest country by land area, at 1,904,569 square kilometres. With over 267 million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country - as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, is home to more than half of the country's population.



Although Bahasa Indonesia is the official language in Indonesia, there are over 300 different native languages spoken in Indonesia. This means that Indonesia consists of many islands that separated from one another. One island and the other have different races or tribes. Each tribe has a unique language. As Indonesia has so many tribes, this leads to Indonesia also having various languages. On several areas in Indonesia, they use local language to speak in daily conversations. The most used and the most popular local languages include Javanese, Sundanese, Minang, Batak, and many more.



Indonesian food mainly consists of steamed rice and one or two main dishes made of fish, meat, chicken or vegetables, sometimes including soup, all of which are served together. A common side dish to spice things up (quite literally) is sambal, which is a mix of chilli, salt, and other spices. Popular dishes include Chicken Satay, Nasi Goreng, Tempe, and countless more.

FUN FACT: Although most of the time Indonesian people eat with spoons and forks, sometimes they eat with their hands too, like the people in Sri-Lanka (See what I did there?)


One of the celebrations in Indonesia is the Bau Nyale Fishing Festival, as weird as it may seem, every year during the months of February or March, hundreds of people rush to Lombok to catch the Bau Nyale festival. It derives its name from Bau meaning 'to catch' and nyale, a type of sea-worm. The legend of this festival in Indonesia involves a mythical Princess Mandalika, who drowned in the waters of Lombok while trying to escape an arranged marriage, reincarnating in the form of a nyale (worm-like fish) to return every year. These fascinating fish appear in Indonesia only in these months and they are caught by the locals with much enthusiasm. It is believed that eating the worms (typically roasted with banana leaves) will make men energetic and women as beautiful as the princess.