"...the school was attended by several generations and has borne witness to many changes"

About The Schoolhouse

Programmes for Students

Today the sounds of children echo through the classroom again. Dressed in clothing similar to what children in the late 1800's would have worn, a new class of 21st century students visits each day during the school year. Over 4000 children a year experience what a day in a Victorian classroom would have been like.

The Britannia Schoolhouse programme is like no other educational programme offered in the Peel area. Through role-play students are able to take on the life of a school child from long ago. They experience what it felt like to write on slates, keep their correct posture, sit in the hard wooden desks, be punished and play with stilts, skipping ropes or graces.

The Schoolroom The Schoolmaster or Schoolmistress presents educational programmes designed to complement the current Ontario school curriculum in Social Studies, History and Geography and Drama for students in Grades three, six, seven and eight. Programmes can also be offered to students in other grades, or youth groups, in consultation with the teacher.

Schoolhouse Programme Summaries

The schoolhouse programmes are currently under review. New outlines will be posted to the website when they are complete.

Grade 3 Heritage and Identity Studies - School Days Reenactment
School is a large part of children's daily experiences. This programme allows students to experience a school day of long ago and compare it to their own experiences. A day spent at the Schoolhouse offers them a chance to bring their Grade 3 Heritage and Identity studies to life to life through role-play. They are put through their paces as students of long ago as they experience the rural education of the time first hand. The students are encouraged to reflect upon different aspects of life in a rural community and the changes that have taken place over the past 150 years. The programme also provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular activities with the Drama and Language Arts curriculum.

Grade 3 Plants and Soils program
This program takes advantage of the Britannia Schoolhouse and farm setting and makes use of the ever expanding flower and vegetable gardens. Through hands on experiences in the gardens and experiments with soils and plants, the grade 3 science curriculum will be brought to life. Plants and Soils programming is being offered in the spring when students will help prepare the garden beds and plant the vegetables and in the fall so that students can enjoy harvesting and tasting the ripe vegetables during their visit. In the early 1900's agricultural studies was an important part of the curriculum. Children planted and tended their own garden plots on the school grounds. One hundred years later children visiting the Schoolhouse will have a similar experience.

Grade 6 - Communities Past and Present
With direct links to the Grade 6 Social Science curriculum students will begin their day at the Schoolhouse in role for context. Through experiencing past methods of teaching, student expectations and societal expectations within the community at large students can begin to compare communities in Canada to the present day. An opportunity for individual inquiry examining artifacts in the Schoolroom will offer students hands on experience with interesting objects, books and other primary source material that will also reveal a glimpse of life in the past.

Grade 7 and 8 Drama
This programme takes the traditional day of role playing at the schoolhouse - a wonderful living context for the Ontario history and geography curriculum - and links it to the Drama curriculum. Through a series of pre- and post-visit activities students may research a character, practice writing in role, create a simple costume for their character and develop their role playing skills. The visit to the schoolhouse brings a student's day from long ago to life through a day of drama and role playing in a vibrant historical setting. Experience shows that this hands-on, interactive approach to learning best engages intermediate students and encourages them to embrace drama as a tool for learning and expression.

Grade 8 Journey into the Past: An Historical Inquiry Process
The Britannia Schoolhouse, built in 1852 is an architectural treasure that brings to life the early days of rural Ontario. Within the fully restored schoolhouse, students will examine historical artifacts pertaining to the early settlement of Peel by British subjects, the early days of public education in Ontario and the development of a changing society. The day will commence with a dramatic re-enactment of schoolhouse activities led by the Schoolmistress or Schoolmaster, after which students will be guided through an investigation of selected artifacts including maps and government documents.

From this initial inspection of artifacts your students will be supported as they engage in historical inquiry to formulate their own questions thus encouraging further investigation and evidence gathering from a wide array of resources on the Schoolhouse premises.

Support materials for documentation will be provided as your class, working in collaborative groups will begin to organize their findings in order to begin the process of analysis and interpretation.

For further information please contact The Old Britannia Schoolhouse at 905-890-1010 ext.2911

Programmes for the Community

Volunteers from the Friends of the Schoolhouse offer presentations about the schoolhouse and its history to interested community groups.