Adults will be accommodated with the students in the Hammock Room and will be responsible for overnight supervision of the students from 9.30pm to 6am.
No dates have been set for the Convict Sleepover at this stage, and availability will be dependent on the donations received. Once funding becomes available, schools that have registered will be notified and offered a session on a Tuesday or Wednesday night during school term, dates to be negotiated. .
Eligible schools are invited to register an expression of interest.
The Sydney Living Museums Foundation is working towards accessing corporate funding to reintroduce this ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for students and we are inviting eligible schools to register their interest to take part in the Convict Sleepover.
The Convict Sleepover is an immersive experience where children can live the life of a convict exactly where they were 200 years ago. In this program students learn about the convicts that came through the Barracks, eat convict fare, participate in convict games and then sleep in the hammocks where convicts slept.
This program was initiated as part of the Unlocking Heritage two year pilot project launched in 2015 to assist NSW primary students from disadvantaged and regional and rural schools to access quality educational experiences at some of the state’s significant heritage sites. Over 3,000 students from 100 NSW regional and rural primary schools participated in the Convict Sleepover; and for many of these children it was their first opportunity to visit Sydney and experience the cultural and social diversity that would not have been available to them without the funding provided by the Unlocking Heritage project.
6pm – Under lock & key
Convicts are mustered, issued with a convict shirt and given an identity.
6.30pm–7.15pm – Regulation rations
Convicts sit down for supper, the menu inspired by typical convict fare.
7.15pm–8pm – Dark deeds & misdemeanours
Experience a lantern-lit tour of the barracks.
8pm–9pm – Pastimes
Play knuckles, ‘chuck-penny’, dominoes or marbles, or create a keepsake.
8.30pm–9pm – Cleanliness & order
Prepare for bed.
9pm–9.30pm – Thieves, tricksters & swindlers
Hear stories about past convict characters.
9.30pm – Sleep, and dream of a new life
Climb into hammocks in the dormitory and then it’s ‘lights out’.
6am – Rise at dawn
Be woken by the sound of the morning bell.
6.30am – All in line
Dress and get ready for the morning muster.
7am – ‘You don’t starve but you’re always hungry’
Convicts have a typical breakfast.
7.30pm – Freedom at last!
Receive a ‘Ticket of Leave' to be released from Hyde Park Barracks.
DEC schools in regional and rural NSW with an FOEI score of 100 or more are eligible to apply. This program is open only to schools from regional and rural NSW, covering Hunter and Central Coast, Illawarra and South East, New England, North Coast, Riverina and Western NSW.
The program is suitable for students in Stages 2 and 3.