Rippon Lea Education Programs

This program at Rippon Lea Estate examines the past through family history, children's life, schooling and domestic work. It includes toys, games, sports, period clothes and exploration activities.

Rippon Lea House and Gardens is one of the largest surviving nineteenth century grand suburban estates in Australia and was included on Australia’s premiere heritage listing, the National Heritage list in 2006. 

The house was completed in 1868. It was built for Frederick Sargood. Sargood made his money selling soft-goods on the goldfields. The house is named after his mother’s maiden-name, Rippon. Lea is an English word for meadow. The property was a large, self-sufficient farm, about twice the size it is now. The mansion was originally 15 rooms; it currently has 33 rooms. Sargood moved in with his first wife, Marian, and their 9 surviving children. There were 7 maids, a butler, 7 gardeners, a coachman and a groom. 

NTV Education offers a lower-primary level program, as well as a VCE Geography resource pack available for purchase. 

Then and Now: Upstairs Downstairs

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Education team offers a full day program with professional facilitators who run a variety of activities suitable for students from Foundation to Level 6 in groups of between 30 and 60 students. Students will engage in four activities: a tour of the mansion focusing on “then and now” comparisons; a teacher-led mystery trail of the gardens; servant’s work in the laundry; and teacher-led 19th century games on the lawn. The program focuses on the central inquiry question: 

What differences and similarities can be observed between the past and today at Rippon Lea Estate? 

This program is perfect for Foundation to Level 2 teachers wanting students to compare the past with the present with various thematic touchpoints such as the life of children, games, technologies, fashions, and entertainment. This is an ideal program for “Then and Now” studies and covers curriculum requirements in History, Critical and Creative Thinking, and Personal and Social Capabilities. 

Curriculum Links - Foundation to Level 2
Subject Year level  Strand Sub-strand Content descriptions At Rippon Lea students will… 
History Foundation – Level 2 Historical Concepts and Skills Historical Sources as Evidence Identify the content features of primary sources when describing the significance of people, places or events (VCHHC054) Be introduced to many primary artefacts that align strongly with local history of both the upper class and domestic servants.  
Identify perspectives about changes to daily life from people in the past or present (VCHHC055) Explore Rippon Lea and pinpoint similarities and differences between it and their own homes and experience the life of people of different walks of life from the past through servants’ activities and historic children’s games. 
Historical Knowledge Personal Histories How the present, past and future are signified by terms indicating and describing time (VCHHK060) Be introduced to the concept of time, and how the past and the present are linked.  
Community Histories  The effect of changing technology on people’s lives and their perspectives on the significance of that change (VCHHK065) Explore the differences in historic household technologies through visual examples presented in Rippon Lea, and experience the work of servants in the past, and how household chores have changed over time. 
Personal and Social Capability Social Awareness and Management Collaboration Name and practise basic skills required to work collaboratively with peers (VCPSCSO006) Work together collaboratively to complete servants tasks and participate in several old fashioned games.  
Critical and Creative Thinking Reasoning Compare and contrast information and ideas in own and others reasoning (VCCCTR005) Discuss the similarities and differences between life in the 1800s and today for different types of people.  

Further Program Details

AvailableMonday - Friday during school terms
Duration:4-hour program from 10am - 2pm
30 to 60 students (1:10 Teacher/carer to student ratio)
Resources:Social script for parents and teachers of students on the autism spectrum.

Teachers will receive a detailed resource pack that includes suggested pre- and post-visit activities upon booking.
Cost:$15.00 per student. Teachers, carers free
Safety:Click here to access the Rippon Lea Education Task Risk Assessment document.
Bookings:Use our Online Booking Form, or email or phone: 9656 9889.

Rippon Lea VCE Geography resource kit

Rippon Lea Estate became the 33rd site in Australia to be included on the prestigious National Heritage List in 2006. The site remains a significant tourist venue, attracting over 80,000 visitors annually, presenting an outstanding option for VCE Geography students to undertake on site fieldwork as part of Unit 2: Tourism. Students will complete a range of physical and social geographic investigations, practising key fieldwork skills, and then applying and processing the data they collect.  


The fieldwork program provides teachers with a comprehensive guide for students and educators on the site and curriculum outcomes for Unit 2. It includes information and fieldwork tasks focussed on change, distance, distribution, movement place, process, region, scale, spatial association and sustainability. Students will also have the opportunity to meet the property manager to discuss the challenges of managing Rippon Lea Estate.  

Further Program Details

Available:On request
Resources:Teachers will receive a detailed resource kit that includes activities and further reading.
Cost:$45 for the resource kit
Bookings:Use our Online Booking Form, or email or phone: 9656 9889.

Plan your visit

Rippon Lea Education Programs


192 Hotham St, Elsternwick VIC 3185

9656 9800
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Our students loved the role play tasks; learning to dance in the ballroom and pretending to be servants by washing clothes and serving drinks. They were full of ideas and thoughts about these experiences in the days following the excursion.

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