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A skip back in time


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Support material and suggested post excursion activities for students attending the two day costumed experience at Sovereign Hill's historical schools.

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A skip back in time

  1. 1. A Skip Back in TimeA Skip Back in Time The Sovereign Hill SchoolsThe Sovereign Hill Schools The Red Hill National School St. Peter’s Denominational School The Ragged School St.Alipius Diggings School The following pages contain • An introduction to our programme • Where we fit in VELS • Background information on the Victorian education system of the 1850s • Information sheets on life in the 1850s • Fact sheets on gold, money and length • A timeline of important world events of the 1850s • Suggested Post excursion activities and worksheets for your students For more information please contact The Headmaster Sovereign Hill Schools Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, Vic. 3350 Phone 53371143 Fax 5331 5145 1
  2. 2. We do hope you enjoy your two days at one of our historical schools. THE SOVEREIGN HILL SCHOOLS AN ADVENTURE FROM THE PAST IN A SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE An adventure ... a two-day adventure ... that is how we like to look upon the programmes offered by our three 1850s goldfields’ schools, The Red Hill National School, St Peter’s Denominational School, the Ragged School and St.Alipius Diggings School. The Sovereign Hill Schools offer a unique learning experience, which is exciting, challenging, and rewarding for students and teachers alike. Students attend the schools for two days of costumed role-play, which highlights the vast differences between schooling on the Victorian Goldfields of the 1850s and education today. Students are taught from the Irish National System of Education, which was used in mid- 19th century Australian schools. They use slates, sandboards, dip pens, copybooks and facsimile editions of original textbooks. Sitting on wooden benches at long desks, the students must observe the manners and demeanour of young Victorian ladies and gentlemen. Visiting teachers are also costumed and given a role to play - much to the delight of the children. As well as time spent in the classroom, we take the children (in ordered lines) to visit various businesses and places of interest in the Sovereign Hill Township and diggings. Visits to the wheelwrights, the bakery, the blacksmith and the Chinese Temple all help to demonstrate the social conditions that existed on the 1850s goldfields. During their walk students also learn about goldfields’ life by meeting and interacting with costumed staff and volunteers who role-play 1850s characters. Sometimes in the classroom, their day may be interrupted by a doctor inspecting students for lice, by an angry next-door neighbour or a businessman on the lookout for a suitable employee. 2
  3. 3. The Sovereign Hill Schools’ experience, and the suggested post-excursion activities meet the following VELS Strands and Learning Standards. LEVEL 4 Civics and Citizenship As students work towards the achievement of Level 4 standards in Civics and Citizenship, they learn about the origins and establishment of the Australian nation at Federation. They examine the nature of the Australian federal system of governance that developed. They consider the effects of Australian federation on the democratic rights of different groups of people such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people, women and non-British migrants. Students learn about the three levels of government in Australia and investigate examples of the functions and services of these governments such as currency, defence, education, health, parks and libraries. They examine other features of Australian democracy; for example, the role of government in representing the people, the key tasks of a member of parliament or councillor, how parliament makes laws and the importance of voting. They learn about the values of democracy, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. They consider the experiences of diverse cultural groups, including ATSI communities, and their contributions to Australian identity. They consider the values important in a multicultural society such as respect and tolerance. Level 4 Communication As students work towards the achievement of Level 4 standards in Communication, they use their understanding of communication conventions to communicate effectively with peers and to respond appropriately when they are part of an audience; for example, by waiting for the communication of others to be completed before responding. They practise listening attentively to identify and communicate main points to others. They refl ect on the implicit messages received through body language and begin to understand that verbal and non-verbal messages do not always correspond. They practise sending consistent messages during their interactions. Level 3 History As students work towards the achievement of Level 3 standards in the Humanities, they apply the concepts of time, continuity and change through a study of the history and traditions of Australians. They examine stories, artefacts and other evidence from the past and present to learn about Australian society and its origins, such as the history of national symbols, including the flag, and key commemorations and celebrations such as Anzac Day and Labour Day. They examine the histories of the cultural groups represented in their classroom, community and nation. They learn to sequence some key events on a timeline and write simple explanations of events. Students investigate the human and physical characteristics of their local area and other parts of Victoria and consider features of their local community that have changed over time. They learn about settlement patterns, major land uses, communication networks, and the location and variety of national parks in Victoria. They begin to make some simple comparisons between local and other Victorian environments: natural features, climate, land use and types of human activities. Students develop awareness and understanding of the effects of people’s interactions with their environment and the ways in which these 3
  4. 4. affect their lives. Students begin to visualise and describe location and direction using simple alphanumeric grids and compass points. They learn to use atlas maps and a globe to locate and name the states and territories of Australia. Level 3 Design As students work towards the achievement of Level 3 standards in Design, Creativity and Technology, they begin to provide input into the development of design briefs. They generate ideas from a variety of sources, and recognise that their designs have to meet a range of different requirements. They learn to make realistic plans for achieving their aims and recognise that they are constrained by the availability of resources. They clarify ideas when asked, and use words, labelled sketches and models to communicate the details of their designs. Students learn to describe ideas and concepts about design, materials/ ingredients and technological systems in simple terms. For example, how and why a drawing is annotated; how materials/ingredients are classified; the systems components that are combined to create movement, such as gears and pulleys; what characteristics and properties make materials/ingredients suitable for a particular design or proposed product and how these can be combined in innovative ways to create solutions. In transforming novel ideas into products or simple systems, they are encouraged to take risks. Students investigate what products and simple technological systems can do, how they meet people’s needs, how they are used and/or work, what they look like and why they look the way they do. They learn what evaluation criteria are and, with guidance, develop simple evaluation criteria and use these to make decisions about, and assess, design ideas. With assistance, they learn to plan basic steps in production. They develop skills in the use of a variety of simple production techniques, such as cutting, mixing, shaping, joining and assembling and a range of materials/ingredients to produce products, such as a healthy breakfast cereal and its packaging and simple systems; for example, a puppet with moving parts (levers) or a pulley arrangement to lift a weight. Production techniques could include cutting with a saw or knife, weighing with scales, measuring with a jug, fi ling with a fi le or rasp, sandpapering, whisking and hand sewing with a needle and thread. Materials could include paper and cardboard, food ingredients, fabrics, wood, plants and soil or other growing media. They learn to use tools and equipment safely and hygienically, and with some accuracy, to alter and combine materials/ingredients and put together components to make a simple system with moving parts. Students are encouraged to give and receive feedback about their own and others’ products and simple systems (for example, a toy with moving parts), considering whether design solutions work and if they are appropriate for their purpose. They learn to keep simple records and refl ect on the steps they took to design and make their own products and simple systems, including noting any problems encountered and changes made to accommodate these. / Level 3 English As students work towards the achievement of Level 3 standards in English, they speak, listen, read and write with some critical awareness, using a growing variety of text types and show some appreciation of the role of formal discourses in English. Students read an increasing range of texts including imaginative texts such 4
  5. 5. as chapter books, junior novels and poems, as well as informative texts, in print and electronic form. Texts typically have varied sentence patterns, written language structures and some specialised topic-related or literary vocabulary, and ideas and information extending beyond students’ immediate experience. Students use a range of strategies to interpret the main ideas and purpose of texts – for example, interpreting figurative language or linking information from headings – and explore characters’ qualities, motives and actions. Through discussion, students develop their understanding of why interpretations of a text may vary, and how the choice of subject matter is influenced by context, the author’s purpose, and the intended audience. They read more critically and learn about the use of some simple symbolic meanings and stereotypes in texts. Students develop confidence in writing a range of imaginative and informative texts, including simple narratives and descriptions, and texts that explain, inform and express a point of view. They draw on their knowledge of texts and language and learn to use a variety of sentences in appropriate grammatical order, using suitable vocabulary for the subject matter including nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and punctuating appropriately to support meaning including exclamation marks and quotation marks. They learn to spell most one- and two-syllable words with regular spelling patterns (for example, growing, found, might), frequently used words which have less regular spelling patterns (for example, because, there, friends), and some other words of more than one syllable (for example, yesterday, afternoon, money). They make plausible attempts at spelling new and more difficult words. They experiment with combining verbal and visual elements to enhance the texts they produce. Students develop strategies for writing to assist in planning and organising ideas prior to writing, and adapt their writing to suit their audience and purpose. They learn to use a range of resources, including information and communications technology, to revise written work and check spelling. Students recognise that speaking and listening provide opportunities to exchange information, to share and explore ideas, and to express opinions and listen to the opinions of others. They participate in discussions, conversations and presentations in small and large groups, learning to vary their speaking and listening to suit the context, purpose and audience. In spontaneous, planned and rehearsed situations they learn how to project their voice adequately for an audience and to use appropriate spoken language features such as sequence and past tense when recounting an event. When speaking, they recognise the need to rephrase statements to clarify meaning and information. Students develop skills in listening attentively during class and group discussions, and to factual spoken texts such as audio, fi lm and invited presentations. They practise identifying the topic, retelling information accurately, asking clarifying questions, volunteering information and justifying opinions. Health and Physical Education Level 3 As students work towards the achievement of Level 3 standards in Health and Physical Education, they practise and use complex manipulative and locomotor skills in a range of movement environments (indoor, outdoor and aquatic). They practise and develop competency in a range of complex motor skills such as leaping, dodging, the over-arm throw, dribbling and striking balls, cart 5
  6. 6. wheeling and handstanding. In aquatic environments they practise a range of movements such as: propelling the body on the front and back using freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and survival backstroke for 10 to 20 metres; and a land-based rescue. They discuss the performance criteria of motor skills and practise observing a partner’s performance. Through modified major games (for example, games with modified rules, equipment, playing field, length of game or numbers on a team such as modified netball), and athletics activities (for example, discus, shot put and modified versions of jumps), students begin to apply their skills in sport-specific settings. During gymnastics or dance sessions students learn, reproduce and choreograph more complex movement sequences. Students participate in a range of activities that promote healthrelated fitness components of cardio-respiratory fitness, flexibility and strength and explore the link between health-related fitness and lifestyle activities. Interpersonel Development Level 4 As students work towards the achievement of Level 4 standards in Interpersonal Development, they develop skills and behaviours for connecting with a variety of groups, including peer and community groups. Students participate in a range of classroom activities where they explore the similarities and differences in the values and beliefs of a range of individuals and groups. They begin to reflect on what this may mean for themselves when building and maintaining relationships with a diverse range of people. They explore and discuss behaviours which demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences in their interactions with others. 6
  7. 7. Red Hill National School – A History The Red Hill National School began in a tent under the title of Warrenheip Gully School. Unfortunately, canvas was expensive on the diggings, and in September 1854 the schoolmaster reported that “some ruffians had attempted to carry off the school tent”, probably to use on their own claims. The tent was unsatisfactory as it was stifling in summer and when the wind blew the noise of the canvas made it difficult to hear. The canvas tent was soon replaced by a simple wooden building with a shingle roof, situated on Main Road right in the heart of mining activity. Many problems were faced by schoolmasters on the goldfields including cold, leaking buildings, measles epidemics, shortages of slates and irregular attendances as families moved, literally overnight, from one goldfield to another. However, education in the 1850s was seen as the key to personal improvement and advancement. Many local gentlemen acted as Patrons for the Red Hill National School as they realized that while a digger might find gold and become instantly wealthy, the real key to achieving a better life was a sound education. In the nineteenth century this meant a solid grounding in spelling, grammar and mental arithmetic as well as a basic understanding of history and geography. In September 1856 the Red Hill National School was hit by Ballarat’s unpredictable climate when a gale blew down the school. This time the local citizens decided to build a more solid schoolhouse. James Oddie, a leading citizen who had become very wealthy through mining, was chairman of the Local Patrons for the Red Hill National School and he described the school they planned to build “…the building is to be 18 feet by 30, all of colonial timber, with 2 windows in front and 2 at the back and roofed with shingles to cost £80 and to be up 7
  8. 8. in 5 days from the date the contract was signed…” Despite difficulties raising the £80 and complaints by newspaper editors that schools and the hospital were short of funds when “thousands of pounds were spent every week in casinos, grog shanties and hotel bars”, the new school was opened in late 1856. In this school children sat at long wooden benches with no backs in front of long wooden desks. They worked out their mathematical problems on slate boards and learnt copperplate writing using dip pens and ink. St Peter’s School - A Brief History Two boards of education, the National School Board and the Denominational Board, operated in Victoria in the 1850s. The National system provided a broad general education but owed no allegiance to any church. The Denominational schools on the Ballarat goldfields were strong and at least a dozen emerged in the 1850s, indicating the size and influence of church going communities in the young developing township. The official denomination was Church of England, this being the religion of the mother country (Britain) and therefore adopted as the official religion in the Australian colonies. St Peter’s Church of England School in Ballarat West was one of these early denominational schools. Its first school building was erected near Yuille’s swamp (later enlarged to create Lake Wendouree) in 1858. It served as a church as well as a school and commenced with an enrolment of 35 children. During the next few years, the growing congregation put pressures on the building in its dual capacity as church and school. In 1860, the Rev. John Potter approached the Denominational Board for a grant to assist in the building of the first official school house, stating that it would continue to be used as a place of worship. The grant was eventually made and combined with money raised by public subscription to erect a 8
  9. 9. suitable building at a cost of £200. We believe this building was erected near the corner of Mair and Pleasant Streets and the original plans for this building were used to construct the building at Sovereign Hill. Constructed of humble weatherboard, the architect was H.R. Caselli, who later designed the Ballarat Town Hall, the Ballarat City Fire Station and several other local churches. In June 1862, The Common Schools Act abolished the Denominational and National Boards. St Peter’s Church of England School became Pleasant Street Common School No. 695. In 1872, the State was made responsible for free, secular and compulsory education and in 1874 St Peter’s/Pleasant Street Common School became Pleasant Street State School No. 695. In 1877, a new school for 404 children was built on the same site next to the old school and extended along Pleasant Street from Mair Street to the lake. The old school house and Church Reserve were sold to the government. The money from the sale of these buildings was used to build a schoolroom close to the new St Peter’s Church, which had been built in 1865 in Sturt Street, by then the main thoroughfare of the city. This St Peter’s Church still stands in Sturt Street, Ballarat today. Ragged Schools – A Brief History EDUCATION IN BRITAIN IN THE 1850S AND 1860S Education in Britain, and therefore Australia, was neither free nor compulsory in the 1850s and 1860s and many forms of schooling existed. Parents chose schools for their children based on their class, social status and ability to pay the fees. No national curriculum existed. In some rural areas Dame Schools existed where very young children learnt crafts such as lace making and straw plaiting while the mistress in charge read to them. Thus the sale of the completed products paid their fees while they gained a meagre education. Many children only obtained a minimal education by attending fee-paying Sunday Schools while they worked on the other six days of the week. Upper class children were educated at home, through a governess while they were young and then through the teaching of a private, usually live-in, tutor until the boys, at least, were old enough for boarding school. RAGGED SCHOOLS IN BRITAIN There is some debate about the origins of ragged schooling, but the work of four men is often cited - John Pound (1766-1838), Sheriff Watson of Aberdeen, Thomas Cranfield and Thomas Guthrie (1780-1873). John Pound was a cobbler in Portsmouth who began to use his shop in 1818 as a base for educational activity for local poor children neglected by other institutions. His curriculum included the usual ‘three R’s’ plus religious instruction and nature study, and various practical tasks like cobbling, cooking, toy making and mending clothes. The big difference between Ragged Schools and Sunday Schools was that Ragged Schools were free. The movement spread throughout Britain culminating in the Ragged Schools Union founded in 1844 under the guidance of Lord Shaftesbury, and supported by Thomas 9
  10. 10. Barnado, Mary Carpenter and writers like Charles Dickens. Supporters of Ragged Schools believed education was the solution to a number of social evils such as laziness, unemployment and stealing which slum children seemed to develop. It is estimated that around 300,000 children went through the London Ragged Schools alone between the early 1840s and 1881. Many of these poor children were lured off the streets by the offer of hot food and safe housing. Ragged schools gradually disappeared after the 1870 Education Act made education more accessible. John Pound, the Portsmouth cobbler and founder of Ragged Schools in England. RAGGED SCHOOLS IN AUSTRALIA Here the Ragged School system followed the British model. By 1854 there were Ragged Schools in Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne. Ragged school children in Australia came from a variety of backgrounds. Some were the children of paupers or the criminal classes. Others were orphans or children of the long-term unemployed. Also prostitutes’ children, children of poorly paid dock workers and of the chronically ill were all in need and could be found in the less savoury suburbs of Melbourne and other major towns and ports. All were excluded from attending the normal schools because of their inability to pay the fees and their lack of suitable clothing - their “raggedness”. In Melbourne the Ragged School teaching program stated The children are all taught to read and write. The girls are taught to sew and are taught to make and mend garments for themselves. Habits of order, cleanliness and industry are cultivated, while the primary object of the schools, viz, the instruction of the children in the word of God, is always kept in view. After the Education Act of 1872 introducing free, compulsory, secular education there was less need for children to attend these specialized schools and they began to close. 10
  11. 11. As early as 1848 the Reverend Thomas Hastie opened a boarding school for children of the surrounding district in Buninyong. When Thomas Hiscock discovered gold near Buninyong in August 1851 this immediately transformed the small inland settlement. It was not long before even greater riches were discovered seven miles to the north at Golden Point and soon newspapers reported “thousands” of diggers at work. After an initial decline the population grew rapidly and by August 1852 there were 2000 people, by October 3500 and by November 4200. Ballarat was a scene of excitement and chaos as new discoveries of gold lured even more people to the diggings. Life on the goldfields was dangerous. Mining accidents were common and, as the population grew, the overcrowding created unsanitary conditions where diseases spread rapidly. This, combined with the extremely basic medical knowledge of the 1850s, meant that the death rate soared. Pneumonia, dysentery, scarlet fever, cholera and typhoid claimed many lives and left a growing population of orphans to fend for themselves on the diggings. For these children life on the diggings was precarious, dangerous and harsh. St.Alipius A History Our story is a story of people, rather than buildings and dates, although it is important that we acknowledge these. It is the story of a people who have been brought together in faith and love. St. Alipius Parish School has its beginnings in the Ballarat “Gold Rush” that started in August 1851. As thousands of people made their way to the diggings and a town quickly took shape, Father Patrick Dunne celebrated the first Mass for the Catholic miners in October 1851. In late 1852 a second priest Father Matthew Downing arrived and named his Parish after St. Alipius and the Bishop of the time, James Alipius Goold. In February 1853 Father Downing moved to the present St. Alipius site and erected a church made of slabs with a canvas roof. A school was also built and classes began on April 1st . 11
  12. 12. By 1865 there were 177 on the roll. In 1881 the Sisters of Mercy arrived to take charge of St. Alipius girl’s school and in 1883 a new school was built on the present St. Alipius site. Members of the Christian Brothers arrived in 1888 to assume responsibility of the boy’s school in what is now the old parish hall in Hopetoun Street. 1909 saw additions to the St. Alipius girl’s School building and in 1911 a new boys’ school was build in Victoria Street. Boys were educated there until 1976 when classes went co-educational and moved to the present St. Alipius School site. In 1959 new additions altered the look and the size of the school significantly. Roll call had mounted to 500 pupils. 1977 saw the first lay principal appointed to the school with both boys and girls in the one school for the first time in nearly 100 years. The old boys’ School is now our Parish Hall. Of Behaviour at School 1. Behave to your teachers with humility and to your schoolfellows with respect. 2. Do not run into the school, but advance decently to the door. 3. When you enter, take off your hat, make your bow or curtsy, and walk straight to your seat. 4. Never talk in the school; for it interrupts yourself and others. 12
  13. 13. 5. If you have anything to say to the master, wait till he is at leisure and then speak with modesty and plainness. 6. Observe nothing at school but your book and never neglect that. 7. Never quarrel in school; for it shows idleness and a bad temper. 8. When the master speaks to you, rise up to hear him and look him in the face when he speaks with modesty and attention. 9. Begin not to answer before he has done speaking; then bow respectfully and answer him with humility. 10. When the school hours are over, go out as you came in, quietly, softly and decently. 11. When you are out of school, go home without noise or delay; do not run or loiter, but do this as all things else, with discretion. 12. Do not speak at home or abroad of what has been done at school, but make yourself perfect in your task. (Vyse’s Young Gentlemen and Ladies Guide, 1846) This list, outlining how students were expected to behave at school, was published in 1846. Have your students discuss the list then as a class create a list of expected behaviour in your school today. Perhaps you could display the list as a poster in your classroom. USEFUL DATES 1835 Port Phillip founded 1836 Queen Victoria inherits the British throne 1840 Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert 1840 First camera developed 1840 Penny postal service introduced in Britain 1846 Beginning of Irish potato famine 13
  14. 14. 1846 Ether first used as an anaesthetic 1848 Gold discovered in California 1850s Industrial Revolution at its peak 1851 Gold discovered in New South Wales 1851 Victoria becomes a separate colony 1851 Gold discovered in Victoria at Ballaarat and other areas 1851 Great Exhibition in London, initiated by Prince Albert 1851 Singer invents a sewing machine 1853 Vaccination against smallpox made compulsory 1854 First railway built in Australia from Melbourne to Port Melbourne 1854 Cobb & Co coaches began taking passengers to the Australian goldfields 1854 Crimean War breaks out between Britain (and France) and Russia 1854 Eureka Rebellion 3rd December 1858 First oil well drilled in U.S.A. 1860 Burke and Wills perish trying to cross Australia from North to South 1861 American Civil War breaks out 1861 Ballarat to Geelong railway opens linking Ballaarat and Melbourne by rail 1861 Prince Albert dies of Typhoid 14
  15. 15. The Great Irish Potato Famine –1846 Bridget O’Donnel and her children Illustrated London News, December 22, 1849 Potatoes were introduced to Ireland from the Americas during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and grew so well in the Irish climate they quickly became the principal food of the Irish poor. By the 1840s, the potato was the most extensively cultivated crop in Ireland. It accounted for one third of the tilled land and three million Irish ate almost nothing else. An adult rural labourer ate as much as 14 pounds (lbs.) of potatoes a day. However, Potato Blight (Phytophtora Infestans) a deadly and invisible fungal disease that turned potatoes to black slime, hit the Irish potato crop in August 1846 virtually whipping it out overnight. By October there was panic in Ireland. As crops failed, families began to starve and then, unable to pay their rent, they were evicted from their homes. By the winter of 1846-7, a form of public welfare was in operation in Ireland. Relief was made subject to arduous and humiliating conditions in prison-like institutions known as workhouses. Families were broken up as men, women, girls and boys were housed separately and subjected to authoritarian discipline. Epidemic diseases were rife. By 1850 one million Irish - many of them children - had died of hunger. Eventually it became clear to the landowners that it was cheaper to provide emigration for the poor, than to keep them in workhouses. Between 1846 and 1850 one and a half million Irish emigrated to either North America or Australia. Not all survived. The overcrowding and disease on board sailing vessels meant that up to a third of the passengers died on the journey to the New World. This was the largest single population movement of the nineteenth century. 15
  16. 16. Suggested Post Excursion Activities 16
  17. 17. Leaving Britain - leaving home During the 1850s thousands of gold seekers and their families left Britain from ports such as Liverpool and Plymouth. They boarded sailing ships for the hazardous voyage they knew would last three or four months. Here is how a young Englishman described part of his voyage in 1855: Tis now ten o’clock and the wind is a frightful gale. …Mountains of water the waves assume, surrounding us on each side - North, South, East and West, …The wind increases and whistles through the rigging to a tune that none can remember but those who hear it….1 On another voyage in 1864 a young woman, Mary Anne Bedford, wrote in her journal: … last night we had an awful thunderstorm, which I shall ever remember. There was a report that the vessel was on fire and I shall never forget the sight – mothers clinging to their children – some running about almost frantic. We thought we should go down any minute…The screaming and the noise was fearful until the captain came down to tell us all was right.2 STUDENT ACTIVITY Imagine you are on an immigrant ship bound for Melbourne in 1855. Write a journal entry after you have been at sea for one month. Clearly explain who you are, where you are and include your observations, your fears and your hopes for the future. 1 Charlwood, D. The Long Farewell, Burgewood Books, Melbourne. 1981 p4 2 ibid p4 17
  18. 18. The Ships The most popular ships on the Australia route in between 1845 and 1875 were the clippers. These ships carried a huge spread of sails and were able to catch even the slightest breeze. In 1852 the clipper Marco Polo sailed from England to Melbourne in 68 days setting a new record. For every fast ship there were ten or twelve slower ones and many journeys to the goldfields took over 100 days. Clippers had wooden hulls and relied entirely on the wind. In the area off the West African coast known as The Doldrums they could become becalmed and barely move for days or even weeks as passengers suffered in stifling heat. As well as the clippers, new composite ships were being designed with metal hulls and auxiliary steam engines to assist the sails in calm weather. These ships could steer through The Doldrums past the unfortunate becalmed clippers. Probably the most famous of these combination steam and sail ships was the iron hulled Great Britain. Built in 1843 the Great Britain carried 20,000 people on 34 voyages to Australia between 1852 and 1877. Her average passage to Australia was 62 days and on most journeys passengers saw no land until they reached Cape Otway. A Clipper STUDENT ACTIVITY Design a poster advertising passage to the Australian goldfields aboard the Marco Polo. 18
  19. 19. A Safe Passage Phoebe Emmeline Macpherson sailed from Liverpool in 1853, with her family, bound for the rich goldfields of Ballaarat, Australia. She was eleven years old. Sailing with her were her parents, four sisters and two brothers. Phoebe and her older sister Eliza Jane were very excited as their vessel, The Royal George, sailed past the crowded docks of the Mersey River and headed for the open sea. Unfortunately, their excitement soon turned to seasickness, as they experienced the unfamiliar pitching and rolling of the wooden vessel. It was some days before they were able to eat small amounts of salt pork, ship’s biscuits and a little fresh water. The captain had decided to take the Great Circle Route to Melbourne, as this provided the fastest passage. It followed the arc of a circle and took the ship a long way south into very high latitudes where the winds blew strongly. It also sometimes took vessels perilously close to dazzling but dangerous icebergs. Captain Finlay used his chronometer to measure their longitude, but the latitude was calculated using a sextant, which relied on being able to sight the sun or the stars. Fortunately, Captain Finlay was a skilled mariner who had safely bought three other ships loaded with hopeful immigrants to the Antipodes. Sailing in the “Roaring 40s” they encountered enormous seas. The spars howled like deep organ pipes. The boiling sea was covered with foam, spray filled the air and visibility was poor. Phoebe, Eliza and the other 324 passengers were confined below decks, with the hatches battened down. It was terribly crowded; the air was stale and filled with the perpetual crying of young children. Everyone was frightened. After seven days the storm finally stopped, and once again the families could take some fresh air on deck. But the long three months of the journey so far, had taken their toll. Four young children and two babies had died and one seaman had been washed overboard by a gigantic wave. All had to be buried at sea – a sad and lonely experience. Now that the weather had improved, some of the sailors had time to teach the young boys a few of their hobbies. Rope fancy work was popular and so was intricate scrimshaw carving. One “old salt” by the name of Dawson had painted a beautiful design on the lid of his sea chest. Inside this sea chest he had a small supply of fascinating items – pocket knives, watch chains, buckles, needles and thimbles which he was hoping to sell for a good profit in Melbourne Town. Two weeks later a cry of joy and relief was heard from the watch as the light beaming from the lighthouse on Cape Otway was sighted in the distance. The weather was fair and the remaining journey to Melbourne was busy with packing and mounting excitement at what lay ahead. They had survived the sea passage. Now the journey to the goldfields would really begin – perhaps a fortune would be made. 19
  20. 20. STUDENT ACTIVITY PAGE READ A Safe Passage and answer these questions. 1. Why did the Captain wish to make a fast journey? 2. Why was it so hot below decks in the storm? 3. What two instruments did Captain Finlay use to plot his course? 4. What “fascinating items” did sailor Dawson have in his sea chest and why had he chosen them? 5. Why was everyone so relieved to see the Cape Otway light? RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. Approximately how long did it take to sail from Liverpool to Melbourne? 2. What is a chronometer? What is it used for? What is a gimballed chronometer? 3. At what latitude would sailing ships expect to see icebergs? 4. What is the meaning of the word Antipodes? 5. What is a mariner? Use a dictionary to find what language the word comes from. Can you find some other allied words? 6. What are the “Roaring 40s”? Where are they? 7. Below is a picture of a piece of scrimshaw. What is scrimshaw? EXTENSION ACTIVITY Using the outline map of the world plot the course taken by The Royal George in 1853 from Liverpool to Melbourne. Add text boxes to record highlights of the journey. You might like to also add illustrations of what you consider were significant events. Don’t forget to add a compass rose showing north and south. N S 20
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  22. 22. Golden Literature Gold Rushes1 Never shall I forget that scene, it well repaid a journey even of sixteen thousand miles. The trees had been all cut down; it looked like a sandy plain, or one vast unbroken succession of countless gravel pits. Ellen Clacy, A Lady’s Visit to the Gold-Diggings of Australia, 1853 Night at the diggings is the characteristic time; murder here – murder there – revolvers cracking – blunderbusses bombing – rifles going off – balls whistling – one man groaning with a broken leg – another shouting because he couldn’t find his way to his hole, and a third equally vociferous because he has tumbled into one – this man swearing – another praying – a party of bacchanals∗ chanting various ditties to different time and tune, or rather minus both. Ellen Clacy, A Lady’s Visit to the Gold-Diggings of Australia, 1853 The “Southern Cross” was hoisted up the flagstaff – a very splendid pole, eighty feet in length, and straight as an arrow. The maiden appearance of our standard, in the midst of armed men, sturdy, self-overworking gold-diggers of all languages and colours, was a fascinating object to behold. There is no flag in all Europe half so beautiful as the “Southern Cross” of the Ballaarat miners, first hoisted on the old spot, Bakery Hill. The flag is silk, blue-ground, with a large silver cross, similar to the one in our southern firmament; no device or arms, but all exceedingly chaste and natural. Raffaello Carboni, The Eureka Stockade, 1855 What men! and what costumes! Huge burly fellows with broad, battered straw or cabbage-tree hats, huge beards, loose blue shirts, and trowsers yellow with clay and earth, many of them showing that they had already been digging in Sydney, where there is so much gold, but according to fame, not so abundant or so pure as in this colony; almost every man had a gun, or pistols in his belt, and a huge dog, half hound half mastiff, led by a chain. Each had his bundle, containing his sacking to sleep upon, his blanket and such slight change of linen as these diggers carry. They had, besides, their spades and picks tied together; and thus they marched up the country, bearing with them all they want, and lying out under the trees. William Howitt, Land, Labour and Gold, 1855 1 Infopedia – The Macquarie Dictionary of Australian Quotations © The Macquarie Library Pty. Ltd. Gold Rushes – Page 2  drunks – from the Roman god Bacchus – god of wine and festivity 22
  23. 23. Men on foot, with pack, and gun, and huge following dogs; men on horseback, galloping as for life; men and women and children with loaded carts, rolling, plunging, tearing along, amid loud shouts and curses; high drays, hugely piled with goods, rolling and swaying along, drawn by long double teams of bullocks, and attended by huge fellows in jackboots, huge hats, and smoking faces, and whips that cracked and thundered like volleys of unceasing musketry, and an eternal din of oaths, shouts and curses. William Howitt, Tallangetta, The Squatter’s Home, 1857 Men and women….tearing, steering, winding, and streaming on and on, and without end, up that lately flowering valley, now flowering no longer; for that strange multitude burst through the sea of golden flowers, tread it down mercilessly, recklessly, drag their carts, gallop their horses, tramp in their ever coming hundreds and thousands over it. There they halt; and loud comes the thunder and the crash of fallen trees; out burst fires here, there, near, far, all along the creek side, and the wood side; kettles are boiling, frying fans hissing, dogs barking, horses and bullocks turned loose to graze, and as far as the eye can see rise smokes and gleam fires. William Howitt, Tallangetta, The Squatter’s Home, 1857 Wherever he turned his wandering eyes Great wealth did he behold, And peace and plenty hand in hand, By the magic power of gold; Quoth he, “As I am young and strong, To the diggings I will go, For I like the sound of the windlass And the cry “Look out below!” Charles R. Thatcher, “Look Out Below!” Thatcher’s Colonial Minstrel, 1857. The old diggers were a venturesome lot – whence came our hardy, gritty, self-reliant bushmen. That irresistible magnet, gold, attracting alike the kid-gloved and the horny- handed, had drawn the strong and adventurous from all parts of the civilized world, a mixture of many nations that is slowly blending into a race peculiarly Australian. Edwards S. Sorenson, Life in the Australian Backblocks, 1911 The night too quickly passes And we are growing old, So let us fill our glasses And toast the Days of Gold; When finds of wondrous treasure Set all the South ablaze, And you and I were faithful mates All through the roaring days! Henry Lawson, The Roaring Days. In the Days When the World Was Wide, 1896. 23
  24. 24. The Chinese In 1853, the Chinese population of Ballarat was 2.000 with the number increasing by 1857 to 7,542 (almost all young men). By 1858, one quarter of Ballarat’s adult male population was Chinese. After 1858 the Chinese population gradually declined as the men moved on to other goldfields or returned to China. Most came from a small area of Southern China near Canton called Sze Yap, or the Four Provinces. They travelled to Ballarat – a place they called The New Gold Mountain – to find gold to send home to help their families. Many were extremely poor and had borrowed money to pay for the trip. The first gold they found had to be sent home to repay their debts. When the Victorian government realised so many Chinese were coming to Victoria and having success mining, it decided to impose a £10 tax on all Chinese landing in Victoria. It had already cost the Chinese £10 for their fare; so most Chinese avoided the tax by landing at Robe in South Australia and walking to the goldfields. This journey of over 250 miles took almost a month and many Chinese arrived on the goldfields sick and exhausted. In Ballarat the Chinese were unpopular and were forced to live in separate villages. There were three villages in Ballarat, Golden Point, Eureka and Clayton Street, which later became a Lazarette in the 1860s. The Main Street of these villages was often called Canton Street and this was where the shops, businesses, eating-houses and gambling dens were found. The village at Golden Point also had a Temple dedicated to the god Quan Gong. This temple was painted red, as the Chinese believed red frightened away evil spirits and was therefore, a lucky colour. On special occasions such as New Year or festivals, a Chinese dragon was paraded around the village. The dragon had the head of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a rabbit, ears of a cow, neck of a snake, belly of a frog, scales of a carp, claws of a hawk, and the paws of a tiger. Mirrors were stitched to its back to help frighten off evil spirits who, Chinese believe, are afraid of their own reflections. 24
  25. 25. STUDENT ACTIVITY 1. On the outline map of Victoria: • Mark Robe, Ballarat, Ararat, Bendigo, Beechworth and Melbourne • Label Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, and Bass Strait • Add a compass rose to show north and south • Add a dotted line to show what you think would be the best route for the Chinese to walk from Robe to Ballarat. • Give your map a title. 2. Sketch a Chinese miner walking to the goldfields in 1855 and carrying his belongings in two baskets slung from a pole across his shoulders. 3. A scribe is someone who writes letters. Chinese scribes worked with brushes and special ink. Find some examples of Chinese words. Copy these and write their English meaning. This web site is a useful resource – it also contains a section where you can see how your name would be written in Chinese. 25
  26. 26. 4. Research the importance of the following to the Chinese? The colour red Tortoise Lion Dragon Pomelo Tree Abacus Herbalist Gold Fact Sheet Gold is a very rare substance making up only five ten-millionths of the Earth's outer layer. (Imagine 10 million Smarties in one place and only 5 of them were made of gold!) Its rarity and its physical properties have made it one of the most prized of Earth's natural resources. Properties • Gold is the only yellow metal. • Gold melts at 1063° C. • Gold is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. • Gold is highly malleable. Gold can be rolled so thinly light will shine through. • Gold is a ductile metal, which means it is capable of being drawn into a thread. • Gold is unaffected by air, heat or moisture – it does not rust. • Gold is heavy — It is nineteen times heavier than water, and almost twice as heavy as lead. • The chemical symbol for gold is Au. • Gold purity is indicated by the measurement “carats”. o 24 carats = 100% gold o 18 carats = 75% gold, o 9 carats = 38% gold Purposes/uses • Banks and governments keep gold reserves to back up their currency. • Gold is used in jewellery and teeth. • Gold is used decoratively. • Gold is used in some medicine. • Gold is used to reflect radiated heat e.g. on the Lunar Lander • Gold is used as a conductor to transfer heat or electricity, • Gold is used in computer circuitry. 26
  27. 27. Avoirdupois weight Avoirdupois weight was used for measuring bread, meat, groceries and goods in general but NOT for silver or gold. Troy weight is used for silver and gold. Avoirdupois weight. 16 ounces (ozs.) = 1 pound (lb.) 14 pounds (lbs.) = 1 stone (sto.) 112 pounds (lbs.) = 1 hundred weight (cwt) 20 hundred weight (cwt) = 1 ton (T.) Victorian students needed to know their 16 times tables. Do you? Here is a Victorian Arithmetic exercise to try. 1. There are 16 ozs. in 1 lb. How many ozs. are in 6 lbs. of flour?______________________________ How many ozs. are in 8 lbs of raspberry drops? __________________ 2. How many ozs. are in 11 lbs. 5 ozs of sugar.? __________________ 3. Add 4 lbs. 14 ozs. and 7 lbs. 12 ozs. ______________________________ 4. A baker made 200 ozs. of biscuits. How many 1 lb. bags would that make? ______________________________ How many ozs. would be left over? ______________________________ 5. A grocer bought 7 lbs. of oats. He sold 3 lbs. 10 ozs. 27
  28. 28. How much was left? ____________________________________ 6. How many ozs. are in 3 lbs. 10 ozs.? ________________________ 7. A boy ate 8 ozs. of humbugs every week. How many weeks would it take him to eat 5 lbs.? ________________________ Gold is weighed in troy ounces, which are slightly heavier than the conventional ounce. (1troy ounce = 1.097 avoirdupois ounce) Length Fact Sheet 12 inches = 1 foot 3 feet = 1 yard 1760 yards = 1 mile 36 inches = 1 yard 440 yards = quarter mile 880 yards = half mile 100 links = 1 chain 10 chains = 1 furlong 8 furlongs = 1 mile 4 inches = 1 hand 22 yards = 1 chain 5.5 yards = 1 rod, pole or perch 4 poles = 1 chain 40 poles = 1 furlong • The units in common use during the Gold Rushes were inches, feet, yards and miles. The foot was the length of a man’s foot, an inch the length of three barley corns placed end to end and a yard the distance from the tip of the king’s nose to the end of his thumb. • In 1844 the British government created a standard length for inches, feet and yards. The government ordered a piece of bronze marked off in official inches, feet and yards to be set into the cement at Greenwich. This bronze plaque can still be seen at Greenwich in England. • The word mile comes from "mille", Latin for thousand, since a mile was originally a thousand Roman double paces, from left foot to left foot, about 5 feet, which would make 5000 feet. The mile was 5280 feet or 1760 yards • A chain is the length of a cricket pitch. It has been used since 1620. It was so- called because it was measured with a real chain, with real links, made of metal. • Medieval ploughing was done with oxen, up to 4 pairs at a time. The ploughman handled the plough. His boy controlled the oxen using a stick, which had to be long enough to reach all the oxen. This was the rod, pole or perch. It was an obvious implement to measure the fields, such as 4 poles to the chain. The perch was used in the reign of Henry II (1154-1189), the pole since the 16th century, and the rod since 1450. In the 16th century the lawful rod was decreed to be the 28
  29. 29. combined length of the left feet of 16 men as they left church on a Sunday morning. • A furlong is a "furrow long" or the length of a mediaeval field. It is used today for the lengths of some horse races. • Hands are used to measure horses. You measure from the ground to the withers of the horse (its shoulder) since it won't keep its head still. 3 hands = 1 foot (which sounds slightly odd). • These measurements are all land units. Sailors have their own units. Imperial measures Fact Sheet Before the decimalisation of almost everything, Great Britain and her colonies including Australia, worked in a variety of weights and measures. The currency was also very different from today. The following tables are intended to try to explain some of the weights and measures used during the 1850s. Imperial Metric Measurements of Length 12 inches = 1 foot 2.54 cm 3 feet = 1 yard 30.5 cm 36 inches = 1 yard 30.5 cm 5½ yards or 16½ feet = 1 rod, perch or pole 5.0292 metres 22 yards or 100 links = 1 chain 20.12 metres 10 chains or 220 yards = 1 furlong 0.2 km 1760 yards 80 chains 8 furlongs = 1 mile = 1 mile = 1 mile 1.6 km 3 miles = 1 league 4.8 km Measurements of weight 16 oz [ounces] = 1 lb. [pound] approx 500 g 14 lbs. = 1 stone 2 stones = 1 quarter 4 quarters = 1 cwt [hundredweight] 20 cwt. = 1 ton Liquid Measure 4 gills = 1 pint 1.8 ml 2 pints = 1 quart 0.9 litre 4 quarts = 1 gallon 3.8 litres 29
  30. 30. Dry Measure 4 gills = 1 pint 1.8 ml 2 pints = 1 quart 0.9 litre 4 quarts = 1 gallon 3.8 litres 2 gallons = 1 peck 9.1 litres 4 pecks = 1 bushel 36.4 litres Currency Fact Sheet In these days of decimalisation of currency, it is difficult to understand the currency used in Britain and Australia during the nineteenth century. Australia changed to decimal currency in 1966, Great Britain in 1971. The following chart may help to explain it. Money was divided into pounds (£) shillings (s. or /-) and pennies (d.). Thus, 4 pounds, eight shillings and fourpence would be written as £4/8/4d. or £4-8-4d. There were: 20 shillings in £1 - a shilling was often called ‘bob’, so ‘ten bob’ was 10/- 12 pennies in 1 shilling 1/- 240 pennies in £1 £1 Pennies were broken down into other coins: a farthing (a fourth- thing) was ¼ of a penny a halfpenny (hay-p'ny) was ½ of a penny three farthings was ¾ of a penny Other coins of a value less than 1/- were a threepenny bit (3d) made of silver 4 x 3d. = 1/- sixpence (silver) - often called a ‘tanner’ 2 x 6d = 1/- Coins of more than 1/- but less than £1 in value were a two shilling piece (called a florin) 10 x 2/- = £1 a half-crown ( 2/6d) 8 x 2/6d = £1 a crown (5/-) 4 x 5/- = £1 A £1 coin was called a Sovereign and was made of gold. Usually a pound was a paper note sometimes called a ‘quid’. £1/1/- was called a guinea. 30
  31. 31. Arithmetic Pounds, shillings and pence. (£. s. d.) 12 pennies equal 1 shilling 12d = 1/- 20 shillings equal 1 pound 20/- = £1 Victorian children had to know their 12 times tables to add and subtract money. Write out and revise your 12 times tables before you begin these exercises. 1. How much would 5 x 2d lollies cost? ________________________ 2. How much change would you receive from 1/- if you bought 5 x 2d lollies? _____ 3. How many pennies are there in 1/6? ______________________________ 4a. How many shillings can you make from 30 pennies? __________________ 4b. How many pennies are left? ________________________ 5. Add 6d + 9d + 5d + 11d = ______________________________ 6. Kevin had 2/- to spend. He gave 8d to his friend. How much did he have left? _______________________________________________ 7. Sarah saw beautiful hair ribbons in the Criterion Store. They were 4d each. She bought one yellow one, two blue ones, two purple ones, two red ones and three green ones. What did they all cost? _____________________________________________ 8. Mother spent 11d for milk, 1/4 for bread, 6d for sugar and 1/6 for tea. How much did all her shopping cost? _____________________________________________ 31
  32. 32. 9. Lollipops cost 2d each. How many could you buy for 1/6? ____________ 10. Draw them. Make each one a different colour and make them all look DELICIOUS. Following is a selection of activities designed to cater for the different learning styles students exhibit. Your students could select one of the following as a post visit project. STUDENT ACTIVITIES • In a small group, create and act out a short play that tells the story of a family who arrives in Melbourne in 1854 and travels to Ballaarat in search of gold. Your family might be successful and find gold, they may meet with a terrible accident or tragedy, they may decide gold mining is too fickle and open a business, they may get caught up with the events surrounding the Eureka uprising, or they might befriend one of the Chinese villagers. You will need to decide how your play will end and in which year. Remember your play is a story that has to have a beginning, a middle and an end • If you prefer to work alone create a monologue. It is Ballarat 1872 and you are forty years old. You are speaking to a young immigrant who has just arrived in Ballarat from England and telling them of the changes you have seen since you arrived in August 1851, only two weeks after the first gold was discovered. • Create a fictional character who has just spent one year in Ballarat during the 1850s. Are you male or female, rich or poor, Australian born or an immigrant, how old are you, what year is it, what is you story, etc? As this character, write a journal of your time on the goldfields that contains at least six entries. You might decide to be a Koorie from the Watha Wurrung clan watching the gold diggings. 32
  33. 33. After your experience at the Sovereign Hill School you should be able to write this using a dip pen. • Create a PowerPoint presentation for grade 4 telling them all about your visit to Sovereign Hill and what they can look forward to. Don’t forget to create the soundtrack to go with it. Choose appropriate music and sounds effects. • Using the cut out dolls supplied, design and make two outfits for each doll - a good set of clothes suitable for wearing to church and a set of work clothes. Paste the dolls outlines onto firm cardboard and design a stand so you can display them. • Design and complete an artwork that expresses the feeling of life in the 1850s. It could be a collage, a mural, a 3D model or a cartoon strip. • Read Bridie’s Fire by Kirsty Murray. This novel tells the story of an eleven-year- old girl orphaned by the Irish Potato Famine of 1846. After a series of misfortunes Bridie eventually ends up in Melbourne and finally makes her way to the goldfields.  Write the next chapter of this novel. What happens to Bridie? • Organize a Colonial Day or afternoon at your school. Prepare the timetable. Select a story to be read. (Perhaps a Greek or Roman legend) Arrange for everyone to come in costume. (Don’t be too fussy - Op Shops are ideal sources) Plan how you will organize lunch and play time, what food is suitable? What games can you play? (Don’t limit yourself to the games you played at Sovereign Hill – there are plenty of others.) • If this is too much, organize and help run an afternoon of Colonial Games. • Make a list of all the businesses in your town, or the local shopping centre or mall. Make another list of all the businesses at Sovereign Hill. (Use the map on the Sovereign Hill web site to help you) Which businesses are the same, which are different? Perhaps you could present your results as a chart or poster. • Design a board game similar to snakes and ladders called The Rush. It must include the challenge of getting to the goldfields, some disasters, some minor bad luck, some good luck and the winner being the first person who strikes it rich. Create suitable playing pieces for each player. • Build a model of a section of the Diggings or a mining structure or building from the 1850s. • Horses were extremely important during the nineteenth century. Research the ways horses were used. How are horses used at Sovereign Hill? What breeds of horses are used? What businesses at Sovereign Hill are directly related to the use of horses? How many different types of horse drawn vehicles did you see at Sovereign Hill? What are the equivalent modern vehicles? 33
  34. 34. Present your findings in an interesting way. (Poster, Chart, Class talk, PowerPoint.) To refresh your memory study the interactive map of Sovereign Hill on the Sovereign Hill web site ( 34
  35. 35. 35 Dress a Goldfields’ Lady
  36. 36. 36 Dress a Goldfields’ Man
  37. 37. USEFUL PICTURES National School 1850s family Disembarking Cottage interior A family digging for gold. Goldfields’ store 37
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