As part of the Sovereign Hill school’s program, the students attended either the Ragged Asylum for children of the poor or the St Alypius school for children of Irish descent. Both students and teachers were dressed in period costume and became part of the ‘living history’ display at Sovereign Hill for two full days. As such they had to maintain the role play of children from the 1850s, including tipping their hats or curtsying to adults and ending every sentence with ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’.
At the Ragged School, the urchins wrote on slates and learned trades such as needlework and black smithing. They were visited by the doctor to be inspected for scurvy and lice and had to learn the alphabet backwards!
At St Alypius they wrote in copperplate handwriting and learnt their 17 times tables. Backs were straight and manners were very important! At play times the children used toys from the era ; horseshoes and skipping ropes and the cup and ball.
Issac Fowler was awarded the dux medallion for diligence at St Alypius and Dusty Stapleton was awarded the medal for improved behavior at the Ragged School. Jackson Boyden, Charlotte Gartland, Jordan Loader and Matilda Hetherington were all given ‘offers of employment’ for their hard work and aptitude.
We received excellent feedback from the staff at Sovereign Hill who commended our students for their fantastic attitude and behavior on the program J
Many thanks to Mr De Manser for his organisation and to Miss Campbell, Mr Jones and Mrs De Manser for giving up their time to accompany the camp.