Typical Visit

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Arrival and Departure Times

Most schools arrive around 10.00am and have a quick morning tea outdoors, ready to start the sessions by 10.25am. In winter, students collect kindling for the fire during this time. If two or three Stage 1 classes the program concludes at 1.00pm for lunch, with most schools staying to have lunch and a play in the grounds. The Stage 2 programs, and four class Stage 1 day, conclude at 2.00pm, with lunch between sessions. 

A typical visit includes three or four 45 to 55 minute sessions, depending on the stage and student numbers.   

COVID-19 related modifications (as at 19 July 2021)

We are currently closed for school excursions as per the current NSW Department of Education COVID-19 guidelines.

When we re-open: 

  • all visiting adults will be required to sign in digitally and acknowledge that they will comply with the NSW Department of Education’s COVID-19 requirements for visitors to school sites.
  • all visiting adults must also check in using the Service NSW QR code.

Typical Visit for Stage 1 – School Days of the Past

1880s re-created lesson – seated at long-toms, the students re-enact aspects of daily lessons to gain an understanding of schooling in the past. The session includes chanting tables, writing with slate pencils on slateboards, using an early reader, viewing original 1880s pupils’ work, and writing Copperplate with pen and ink. 

Young students in heritage costume seated at a long tom during a lesson in the 1877 room

Interactive activities – students engage with artefacts through activities such as finding objects and treasures, using rubber stamps and a jelly pad, examining contents of Globite school cases, studying photographs, playing with early puzzles and toys and, in winter, eating toast cooked over the fire.

A young boy in heritage costume placed his worksheet on the jelly pad to obtain a print of a map

Drill and maypole dancing – students learn simple maypole dancing, dressed in pinafores or sailor collars if they wish. They undertake military-style drill using wands or dumb-bells.

A class learns drill outside using wooden dumb bells

Playground chants and games – students play schoolyard games such as skipping, ‘fly’, quoits and bowling hoops. If four classes, they also learn some simple chants and play circle games.

Sample visit plans – download a sample visit plan for Stage 1 School Days of the Past: Stage 1 – two classes, Stage 1 – three classes, Stage 1 – four classes.

Social story – download the Stage 1 social story to share with your students. This is in an inclusive format for students of all abilities.

Children playing 'fly' with sticks

Typical Visit for Stage 2 – Continuity and Change

1880s re-created lessons – seated at original long-toms and forms, the students take part in aspects of 1880s daily lessons to gain an understanding of education in the past. Students will  chant tables, write with slate pencils on slateboards, read from an early reader and write Copperplate with pen and ink. They will examine original 1880s pupils’ work and an early school punishment book to consider changes and continuities in learning and discipline. 

1900s-1970s school resources investigation – students work as ‘history detectives’ through activities such as finding and interacting with objects and treasures, examining contents of Globite school cases and studying photographs. In role as students from the past, they print from a jelly pad, label a map using pen and ink, participate in Junior Red Cross actions, do craft such as twisted threads, weaving or knitting, and, in winter, toast a piece of bread over the fire. 

1900s drill and maypole dancing – students learn military-style drill using wands and can wear lacy or sailors’ collars when learning simple maypole dancing.

1960s lessons and games – students experience a short session in our recreated 1960s classroom where they observe the layout and use Cuisenaire Rods to complete number sentences. They play ‘fly’ or skipping with a long rope on the grass outside the room.

Sample visit plans – download a sample visit plan for Stage 2 Continuity and Change – two classes, Stage 2 Continuity and Change – three classes and Stage 2 Continuity and Change – four classes.

Typical Visit for Stage 2 – At School At War

1915 assembly – the day commences with a recreated 1915-1918 assembly where students will hear news from the front, and of local soldiers, recite a verse, sing God Save the King and patriotic songs, recite an oath and salute the flag.

The War Front – in the context of a 1915 school day, students will trace a map of Gallipoli using pen and ink, write a postcard to a soldier at the front and dress up to recreate an Empire Day tableau.

Writing a postcard and map

The Home Front – in role as 1915 school pupils, students spin fleece into yarn, copy a verse of support to a soldier, roll and fold bandages as Red Cross members,  use metal WW1 toy soldiers and blocks to create a 3D model of a military camp  and weigh vegetables for fundraising.

Junior Cadet Training in role as junior cadets, students will be practise prescribed physical exercises, marching drill and learn some letters and signals using semaphore flags.

Sample visit plans – download a sample visit plan for Stage 2 At School At War – two classes, Stage 2 At School At War – three classes.

More details about the At School At War program. Go to the supporting learning resource At School at War: NSW School Children and the Anzacs.

Adverse Weather 

In rain, extreme heat or poor air quality some outdoor sessions are run in a modified format indoors. Students may do drill indoors and may do craft or an activity with Cuisenaire rods in our recreated 1960s room. If raining, maypole dancing will be omitted. If four groups in wet weather, the program may run as a three session rotation due to space limitations.


For school groups there is a block of toilets, an undercover outdoor eating area and grassy grounds for playing. There are no tea and coffee making facilities. Take-away coffee can be purchased nearby in Cox’s Road or BYO thermos.

Medical Matters

Schools must bring their own first aid kit and emergency medications for their students. All museum staff are trained in e-Emergency, anaphylaxis and emergency asthma procedures. An Epi-Pen, first aid kit and Ventolin reliever is located on site.


White bread and golden syrup are used for toasting. Download images of the ingredient panels and packages.Schools should supply alternative bread for students with special dietary requirements. Students with coeliac disease will be able to toast their own gluten free bread first using clean equipment.


Information sheets, souvenir prices, photo galleries and other links are on our Resources page.