Cooking Up the Past

Key Information

Cost (GST free)
$65 per class (up to 30 students per class)
Up to 45 minutes presenter-led program including virtual presentation and time for questions
Session Offered
Monday to Friday
Maximum Students
One class (30) per session (when students are learning from home); Three classes (90) per session (when students learning from school)
Supervision ratios

At least one supervising teacher must be online with the students at all times.

Additional Visitor Costs

No charge.

About the program

During this virtual program students connect live with a museum educator and explore how food was grown, stored and cooked in the past, in the 1820s kitchen at historic Vaucluse House. During the early years of the New South Wales colony, this grand house was the home of the Wentworth family and their many servants.

Students are introduced to the Wentworth family and their ten children. They think about how the way we grow, store, prepare and eat our food today is similar or different to the way this was done in the past. They will see what’s growing the kitchen garden; investigate how technologies for preparing food have changed from the 19th century to today in the kitchen and dairy; and learn how to make butter, so they can make their own and find out how good it tastes on a piece of bread.  

Post-excursion in-class activity

Extend your virtual excursion with this in-class activity: Butter-making activity [PDF]

Curriculum links

Stage 1 History

The Past in the Present:

  • HT1-3 Describes the effects of changing technology on people’s lives over time
  • HT1-4 Demonstrates skills of historical inquiry and communication

Key inquiry questions:

  • What aspects of the how food was sourced and prepared in the past can you see today?
  • How have changes in technology shaped the way we source, store, preserve and cook food?


School bookings

To book a Virtual Excursion program for your school class, please contact:

SLM Bookings at +61 2 8239 2211
or email

    Home-school bookings

    Special sessions are reserved for home-schooled students in 2021:

    • Tuesday 2 March 2021 - 9:30am 
    • Wednesday 9 June 2021 - 10:30am
    • September 9 2021 - 1pm
    • Tuesday 30 November 2021 -11:30am

    Bookings are now open for these home-school sessions. Cost: $10 per student per session.