Ashgrove PS and St Michael’s PS – Shared Education in action – a report by St Michael’s PS

The frosty start didn't deter any of the P7 pupils from Ashgrove PS and St Michael's PS who buzzed with excitement on the way to Hillsborough Castle.

Aeeting of minds

Apply Within: Victorian Servants Wanted – a report by St Michael’s PS

The frosty start didn't deter any of the P7 pupils who buzzed with excitement as we made our way to the imposing front doors of the Castle.

Ready to greet us were two members of Historic Royal Palaces staff, who told us we were about to meet someone very special.

As the large doors swung open to reveal a grand hallway, we were beckoned in by a tall lady in Victorian dress. Introduced to us as the Housekeeper, we were quickly informed of our position as new servants in the busy household. We examined our surroundings for evidence of wealth in this big "Irish House."

From dressing up to role play, the 45min house tour revealed lots of information about Hillsborough Castle during the Victorian era. From royal portraits to stately chairs, we marvelled at the luxurious items in this stately home.

However, as newly appointed servants we were given lessons in posture, daily grooming (all nails must be clean) and the "rule of discretion" which means that we were never to reveal what went on within the Castle walls!

Everyone got involved in this truly immersive experience...

From the Footman to the Butler, the Lady's Maid and the Scullery Maid, we tried on bonnets and aprons to appreciate the differences in style and clothing today.

Back in the activity room, we consolidated our learning with pre-prepared worksheets and activity sheets before a short walk in the garden.

Everyone enjoyed their trip back in time.

Florence from St Michael's PS loved the dressing up and couldn't wait to tell everyone at home what she had seen today!

Ethan from Ashgrove PS loved "taking part" in all of the interactive activities as well as getting to meet the costumed character.

Cara enjoyed looking "at the beautiful furnishings" while Kate really loved learning about life in Victorian times.


Vice Principal of Ashgrove PS, Mrs Karen Flaherty enthusiastically spoke about the merits of the programme hitting "valuable curriculum links" on the study of Victorians.

"I also thought the costumed character was highly beneficial in teaching the children about history in a fun and interactive way," she concluded.