Uncovering new perspectives from Rouse Hill Estate


The SLM Learning team have been busy working on a new project in collaboration with curator Dr Scott Hill.

The Stage 1 curriculum focuses learning for Year 1 and 2 on the theme of Present and Past Family Life and for many years, thousands of school students have come to Rouse Hill Estate to investigate what life was like at the turn of the century for the Rouse family, on the farm and for students at the schoolhouse. 

New research has uncovered the story of the working class Sherwood family who lived in one of the small cottages on the farm. Curator Dr Scott Hill examined interviews with Annie Sherwood, daughter of Arthur Sherwood who worked for the Rouse family. This has allowed the learning team to reveal more working class perspectives on life at the turn of the century in Australia and specifically of young girls Annie and her sister Ena, in a new virtual excursion being launched in 2022. 

New interactive program

Last week the learning team filmed videos for use in the new interactive learning program. Scott set the cottage up to be accurate to the 1910s with a range of objects that the students can investigate, such as a working kerosene lamp, a wash stand and ewer, laundry items such as a washboard and clothes from the era. Students will examine these different objects with the curriculum program deliverer, such as a sad iron and trivet, and  slate board and slate pencil and discuss how life is different and similar today.

The program will also discuss the leisure time of Annie and Ena, based on their oral history. They discuss how toys have changed and then will make a dolly peg, similar to those made by children like Annie and Ena 200 years ago.

Learn more about our virtual excursions.

About the Author

Head and shoulders portrait of woman wearing orange scarf and red top.
Naomi Manning
Naomi is passionate about teaching history and has worked in different contexts to do this over the years. Currently she working for Sydney Living...

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