Sovereign Hill Schools provide Primary school students and their teachers with an immersion experience of life in an 1850s goldfields school. Dressed in 19th century costume, and using classrooms and equipment typical of the era, visiting students experience two memorable days in one of our four themed schools in Sovereign Hill’s Outdoor Museum as they role-play the lives of goldfields students and come to understand social conditions during the great Victorian Gold Rush.
Each year, over 6,000 older primary students from Victoria and interstate enjoy a two-day programme based on the Irish National System of Education which was widely used in 19th century Australia. That curriculum ensured that children were proficient at reading, writing and arithmetic and had a good general knowledge of geography, science and handcrafts. Students are inducted into the manners and etiquette of mid-19th century life, and become part of the interpretive landscape of the Outdoor Museum during their experience.
The classes are run by Sovereign Hill Schools educators, all experienced classroom teachers. Research undertaken in 2011 in conjunction with Ballarat’s Federation University School of Education has shown the effectiveness of the school’s pedagogy in providing structure which makes the learning accessible to students of all abilities and learning styles, and the deep impact of role-play in creating empathy for the lives of 19th century children. See our website for more information on the research and the schools program and its function within our museums.
The Sovereign Hill Museums Association
39 Magpie St
Ballarat, Victoria 3350
03 5337 1143
Hours of Operation
Member for 2 years 7 weeks