Education for All

This programme is designed for KS5, College and University students and can be tailored to your needs. It lasts approximately 2 hours and can be delivered as either a morning or afternoon session.

The session begins with a short introductory talk outlining the history of education for the poor and the role of Joseph Lancaster, whose methods were followed at the British Schools in Hitchin from 1810.

This is followed by a visit to the Monitorial Schoolroom, a taste of Victorian lessons in the Gallery Classroom and the opportunity to browse the exhibitions and visit the 1880s style Headmaster’s House.

Teachers and guides will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. If there is a particular aspect of the history of education that you wish to focus on please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate it.

The Monitorial Schoolroom

Designed as a means of teaching a lot of pupils (up to 300) with minimal resources, pupils sit at long narrow desks and are instructed by one Master or Mistress with the assistance of a number of pupil monitors. Experience it for yourself during the 1840s style Monitorial demonstration.

The Gallery Classroom

Once education for the poor became an accepted practice there was a move towards smaller class sizes and better trained teachers. The Gallery Classroom was built in 1853/54 to accommodate this and you will find out how much things changed during your Victorian (circa 1880) lesson.