Learn about past lives at Como

Como House is an important Melbourne icon and a wonderful introduction to the past lives of a Melbourne family in the 1890s.

We offer a full day program with professional facilitators who run a variety of activities from Foundation to Yr 6 for groups of between 30 and 60 students.

This is an ideal program for Then and Now activities and covers curriculum requirements in History and Geography for those year levels.

Como House is a beautiful nineteenth century mansion and garden with a remarkable family history.

The program explores the story of the wealthy pastoralist Armytage family who lived at Como from the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries.

Our costumed servants will introduce students to the complex social world of a family the 19th Century.

Student activities include:

  • introduction to past Melbourne
  • 19th Century dance
  • tour of the mansion and an explanation of the family who lived here
  • servants work in the laundry
  • tour of the kitchen
  • special servant games include ‘The Waiters Race’ and ‘Which Bell is that?’
  • a mystery scavenger hunt activity
  • games and sports from the past

Make a Booking or get more information by clicking the link below.


Como Primary Programs

Australian Curriculum Links: This program is ideal for primary teachers wanting students to compare the past with the present in various themes and for "Then & Now" programs.

Year Levels:P to Yr 6 (highly recommended for Yrs1 - 4)
Duration:4-hour program from 10am - 2pm
Numbers:30 to 55 students (1:10 teacher/carer to student ratio)
Location:Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra. Bus parking available off Williams Rd
Como Teacher Kit & Activities
Cost:$15.00 per student. Teachers, carers free
Bookings:Online Booking Form or email: bookings@nattrust.com.au. or phone: (03) 9656 9889

Call to action section

Make a Booking or Get more Information

Go to our Online form and make an enquiry

Booking / Enquiry form

"On Friday we went to Como House. We did four things. The first one was going into the house. We went into the ballroom and did a dance that they did in the olden days. The dance was fun. The people who built Como House had ten kids and every kid had their own bedroom. Como House was so big too. One of the things we did was playing olden days games like 'Oranges and Lemons'. I had so much fun."

Hugo, Year 2

Victorian Curriculum Links

The Education program at Como House covers nearly all the History Content expected for Foundation to Level 2.

HISTORY Foundation – Level 2
Course Content DescriptionsElaborations
A.      Historical Concepts and Skills
History Sources as Evidence·         discussing with parents and grandparents about life in the past
Identify perspectives about changes to daily life from people in the past or present (VCHHC055)·         exploring stories from and about the past, for example letters, diaries, radio or television programs
·         inviting parents, grandparents and elders into the classroom to communicate about their childhoods and comparing their favourite toys with those of children today
Ripponlea and Como: Learn about life in the past. Hear stories about how people lived. Read about the history of the houses. Play early sports and games.
Continuity and Change
·         suggesting ideas about what objects from the past may have been used for
Identify examples of continuity and change in family life and in the local area by comparing past and present. (VCHHC056)·         distinguishing between what is old and what is new, using such clues as the condition of the object
·         identifying features of a site, such as dates, decorations and plaques on buildings, that reveal its past
Ripponlea and Como: Learn about how children lived in the past compared to now. Examine historical artefacts. How are old houses different from modern homes?
Historical Significance
Identify the significance of a person and/or place in the local community. (VCHHC057)·         describing a significant person or place from their community’s past, for example, a short report on a building of significance describing when, where, why, who built it, and why it is valued, or a biography on a significant individual
Ripponlea and Como: Write a short report about the people who built the houses. What were they like?
B.      Historical Knowledge
Personal Histories·         Range of family structures. What kind of family were the Sargoods? How are they different from your family? What difference did the size of the family make to how they lived? What if they weren’t rich?
Differences and similarities in family structures and the role of family groups today, and how these have changed or remained the same over time (VCHHK059)·         using images and stories to identify similarities and differences between students' families and those at Ripponlea and Como.
·         examining and commenting on the roles of family members over time, for example, listening to stories about the roles of mothers, fathers, caregivers and children in the past, and comparing these with family roles today, such as work outside the home, washing, cooking, cleaning, gardening, child care. What jobs did people do in the past?
·         Create a time line for this history of the house using terms such as ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘next’ and ‘then’
·         exploring and comparing aspects of family life in the past and present such as family traditions, leisure time, technology’ schooling.
How the present, past and future are signified by terms indicating and describing time (VCHHK060)·         examining and commenting on photographs and stories about the lives of the people to find out how daily lives have changed
Ripponlea and Como: Use images to compare modern life to that of the past. How was work organised? What did they do in their spare time? How did they communicate?
Differences and similarities between students' daily lives and perspectives of life during their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods, including family traditions, leisure time and communications (VCHHK061)
Community Histories
The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past (VCHHK063)·       using books, newspapers, oral histories, audio visual material, digital sources, letters, photographs to investigate the history of a chosen person, building, site or landmark in the local community and relating a story these sources reveal about the past
·         discussing why a particular site has heritage significance/cultural value for present generations, for example, it provides a record of a significant historical event, has aesthetic value, reflects the community’s identity
The significance today of an historical site of cultural or spiritual importance (VCHHK064)
·       examining changes in technology over several generations by comparing past and present objects and photographs, and discussing how these changes have shaped people’s lives, for example, changes to land, air and sea transport, the move from wood-fired stoves to gas/electrical appliances, the introduction of television, transistors, FM radio and digital technologies
·       identifying where the technology used in their grandparents’ childhoods was made compared with the technology they use today
The effect of changing technology on people’s lives and their perspectives on the significance of that change (VCHHK065)·       creating models of toys used by children who lived when electricity was not available
Ripponlea and Como: What technology did they use? How did they heat the house? What equipment was available? How did it work? Investigate toys of the past. How did clockwork mechanisms work?
By the end of Level 2, students explain aspects of daily life to identify how some have changed over recent time while others have remained the same. They describe personal and family life, a person, site or event of significance in the local community.
Students sequence events in order, using a range of terms relating to time. They use sources (physical, visual, oral) including the perspectives of others (parents, grandparents) to describe changes to daily life and the significance of people, places or events. They compare objects from the past and present. Students create a narrative about the past using terms and a range of sources.
GEOGRAPHY Foundation – Level 2
A.      Geographical Concepts and SkillsElaboration
Data and Information·         making a map to show how a bird would see a place (birds-eye view), using pictures or models of objects
Represent data and the location of places and their features by constructing tables, plans and labelled maps (VCGGC061)Ripponlea and Como: Make a map of the property using your own codes for different places and uses.
GEOGRAPHY Foundation – Level 2
A.      Geographical Concepts and SkillsElaboration
Data and Information·         making a map to show how a bird would see a place (birds-eye view), using pictures or models of objects
Represent data and the location of places and their features by constructing tables, plans and labelled maps (VCGGC061)Ripponlea and Como: Make a map of the property using your own codes for different places and uses.

Related content