This week the Year 5 students spent two days at the Sovereign Hill Costume School as part of their Goldfields and Early Settlement studies. The students attended the Ragged School, which was one of the poorest schools on the gold fields in 1854.
Ragged Schools were charity schools providing a basic education for orphans and children of the poor and destitute on the goldfields. They provided a basic, non-denominational education with an emphasis on learning trades and skills, which could be used to find employment.
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.