These notes will help Secondary Teachers prepare for their visit to Saumarez Homestead.
These notes summarise the activities Saumarez Homestead Education Guides undertake during the school group visit.


Why visit Saumarez?

An example of Lifestyle Change

The role of Primary production over 100 years – C19 and end C20

Wool and Australia’s economy – Saumarez and Land Use

Then and Now? Adaptation with improved transport systems

Women’s independence

1) Workplace- for families as station hands

– employment and homes for large families

– community opportunities and services


2) Home and Lifestyle

– Illustrates the varied living standards of property owners and workers over 100 years

technology: vehicles, house amenities, communications, entertainment

– House represents the separate lives of men and women

education, careers, paternalist or sexist societies v equal opportunities



Visit to an old fashioned House and the Farm that supported it      ?


walk through the place asking the students why or if it is important?


Things to consider when making a booking for a school visit to Saumarez Homestead:


Booking arrangements: Time available for school tour?

House and /garden/ and farm tour?

House (downstairs only?) and farm?

Farm only? (all buildings & games)

Other alternatives?

The class may need to be divided into two or three groups when making the booking, and decide whether the AV should be seen before or after the tour?

Guide Notes: (For information of teachers accompanying students. Teachers will be asked what educational objectives they would like to be included in the visit to Saumarez Homestead and the program delivered can be adapted to satisfy these requests.)

Teachers may like to produce worksheets and information for their students. There is a comprehensive Secondary Schools guide to Saumarez Homestead and its people available on request. If possible a copy of these worksheets should be provided to Saumarez homestead prior to the visit so that guides are aware of the activities that students will be expected to undertake during the visit.


Lead the group from the Saumarez Centre to the Farm area

either 1) pausing at the brow of the hill (old site of FJ White’s Office)

or     2) lead the group to the far end of the Trust property near the Thomas House


  1. Question & Answer Session:

Landscape – Has it changed since Europeans arrived more than 170 years ago?

Who was living there? Did the landscape look the same?

What would the Aboriginal people eat? where would they live?


  1. Why did British people settle there?

What did they need to live so far from Sydney?

What did they bring? why? how?


  1. Look at the buildings and the photograph on the stand below the Thomas House.

Compare the picture with the existing buildings –

Compare the buildings now and in the past- the materials used; walls, roofs, etc


  1. Explain the changes since European settlement

Water, power (horses), machines (less manpower needed) etc

Buildings erected, then demolished (replaced, change of use, modernized)




HOUSE Downstairs and Upstairs


The house tour should be led with questions from the guide, and students answering the questions.

The question and answer system keeps the attention and interest of students.




The different sections of the garden and the individuals involved with particular areas should be mentioned. The use of certain areas can be asked or suggested, like the former tennis court site, Mary’s garden, vegetable garden, picking garden, glass house, bird cage and sundial. Certain special trees may be pointed out, such as the ginkgo, camellia, and camphor laurel; deciduous trees and evergreens, or various different pines, and are there any Australian species?

– or the students may like to have time to explore the garden themselves.



The class may look at the farm buildings from the brow of the hill before entering the Milking Shed. The use of the bails with their individual feed bins may be discussed and who did the milking; also use of the mystery objects [centrifuge] and slicing wheel [for pumpkins fed to cows while they are being milked by hand]

Lead the class down the hill through the yards to the farthest buildings [original homestead site]


Gather the class facing the photo on its stand near the Thomas House, and ask them if picture is the same as their view of the present day buildings  [The original slab building has been demolished]

If they want to discover exactly where it stood Archaeologists would need to investigate the site.


Enter the THOMAS HOUSE  [remnant of the original Homestead]


On the walk back to the Saumarez Centre any route may be taken, but if time permits other buildings that may be visited and their use suggested, include the store building, the stables and poultry yard, the site of the piggery, the boiling down vats and the slaughterhouse. The family horse stables and horse stalls can be seen; also the carriage area, the staff mail pigeonholes, horse trough, harness room and feed bins, again asking the class the different uses of these spaces.


Other buildings to be seen, according to available time, are the Wagon shed and Blacksmith’s forge; the draught horse stable building with its different sections and their uses; and the Jackson Centre, formerly used for stables and a workshop


Time should be left to walk back up the hill to the Saumarez Centre for the prearranged break. The guide should move briskly both down to the lower part of the Farm site, and back to the Saumarez Centre for the break, keeping the group together and under control.