victorian school bell

Victorian Schoolroom Visits

The History of Education Centre gives all pupils in primary school an opportunity to experience a lesson in authentic Victorian style.

They also learn about life in the early Victorian era home through the various artefacts (many of which can be handled or used) in our museum room. It thus provides an experience that addresses outcomes identified in the Curriculum for Excellence.

Our new activity sheet  can be downloaded and printed, along with a handwriting template.

The School Visit

The visit begins when they change into their period school uniform and file into the classroom.

The lesson will be led by our volunteer role-play teacher and will cover mathematics (reciting tables and mental arithmetic), writing on a slate and writing with a traditional nib pen and ink. They will learn how Victorian children behaved and hear about the punishments meted out to those who broke the rules. If time allows, they will also be given a traditional Victorian ‘object lesson’. After the class they will visit the Victorian home life exhibit, and will be able to handle and use many of the objects, learning how a family in a tenement coped with domestic tasks before electricity.

A visit to the History of Education Centre provides a unique opportunity to compare their own style of schooling with that experienced by pupils in the past.

The History of Education Centre is run by a charity – The History of Education Centre (Lothian) SCIO – and receives no funding, so a small charge is made to cover costs. The cost is £5 per child (accompanying adults are free).

In the event that the school needs to cancel a booking, please give us as much notice as possible. Groups who cancel giving us less than 24 hours notice or who do not give us any notification at all will be charged £20, except in the case of severe weather or a genuine emergency.

Curriculum for Excellence Strand SOC-x-04a

People, past events and societies

P1: imaginative play will allow pupils to see how the lives of Victorian era school children were different from their own.
P2 to P4: pupils will be encouraged to compare aspects of their daily lives in the past with their own experience in the Victorian era schoolroom.
P5 to P7: pupils will be given the opportunity to compare and contrast Victorian era society with their own and contribute to a discussion of the similarities and differences.


How to book a visit

If your school would like to visit the History of Education Centre, please email our administrator at:

Our sessions usually run from 10.00am to 12.00pm but if you need a different time slot please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.


Pupil Numbers, Accessibility and Safety

We have a minimum booking of 10 pupils and a maximum of 30 (this is so that everyone has the opportunity to participate, particularly in the museum room), but we can always fit in a couple more if need be. Please note we are sorry but we do not have wheelchair access to the Schoolroom.

Please click here if you wish to know more about accessibility and additional support for learning