English KS2: Oliver Twist - Episode 4
Mr Bumble has come to London on parochial business. In a local paper he discovers an advertisement asking for any information regarding the whereabouts of one Oliver Twist - and Bumble hurries to the address given...Mr Brownlow's house.
Bumble tells Mr Brownlow about Oliver's running away from Mr Sowerberry...and Mr Brownlow declares he never wants to hear of Oliver again.
Meanwhile Fagin and Sikes meet to plan a burglary. It is agreed that the robbery is possible if a small child can be brought along to go through a window and Fagin offers Oliver's services for the job.
Oliver is dragged through the night to a house in Chertsey. Sikes places Oliver through the window...but the inhabitants are roused and shots are fired. Oliver is pulled back through the window, his arm bleeding.
Back at the workhouse Mrs Corney is summoned to hear the dying words of one of the aged paupers. Old Sally was the nurse on the night that Oliver's mother gave birth in the workhouse and died. She reveals the existence of certain artifacts that she stole from Oliver's mother that night - items that confirm the connection between Oliver and the dead woman. Old Sally dies before she can reveal the exact nature of the items.
Meanwhile, in Chertsey, Oliver lies lifeless - abandoned by Sikes and left for dead.
Ideas for use in the classroom
Understanding, interpreting and responding to texts:
How and why does Mr Bumble come to visit Mr Brownlow? (He reads about the reward for information about Oliver, described in a newspaper ad by Mr Brownlow).
Why does Fagin need a boy in order to burgle the house in Chertsey? (Because he will need to squeeze through a small window in order to get in).
Why is Fagin keen for Oliver, rather than anyone else in his gang, to be part of the burglary? (Because he wants Oliver to be drawn in to a life of crime with the gang).
Why does Nancy say “God forgive me” when told to fetch Oliver? (Because she sees that he is being forced into a life of crime, as she had been herself when she was young).
Why does Oliver collapse in the garden of the house in Chertsey? (He has realised, in horror, that he is being taken to rob the house).
Why does Toby stop Bill from shooting Oliver? (The noise of the pistol shot will alert the householders).
How does Oliver come to be injured during the burglary? (He is shot by inhabitants of the house, apparently awoken by the noise of the break-in).
Why does Sikes carry Oliver away from the house before abandoning him? (Open to speculation – perhaps he means to save him, perhaps he is concerned about Oliver giving information to the householders).
How are Mrs Corney and Mr Bumble connected? (Mrs Corney runs the workhouse, overseen by Mr Bumble. There is also the suggestion that they are having an affair).
Why does Old Sally tell the story about the gold to Mrs Corney? (Open to speculation – likely, she wishes to unburden herself of the guilt she felt about stealing the gold).
Design the newspaper page containing the advertisement for information placed by Mr Brownlow.
Write an entry from the diary of Mr Brownlow, expressing your dismay about what you have learned about Oliver from Mr Bumble.
Write a newspaper report describing the attempted break-in at the house in Chertsey.