Dunannie Pupils step back in time at Petworth House

Children in Year 2 at Bedales Pre-Prep Dunannie, enjoyed an extraordinary visit to Petworth House the week before last as they stepped back in time to the Victorian era. Wearing clothing typical of the Victorian period, the children re-created what it must have been like to be Lord and Lady Egremont and the staff who served them at that time.

The day began in 1870 with the children taking part in a feast to celebrate the birthday of Lord Egremont’s son. The children played the role of the Lord and Lady, housekeeper, the butler, the laundry maid, the cook, the kitchen maid and the footman. The role play activities helped them to explore history in an enjoyable way. The tour of the house, from the servants’ rooms in the attic to the ice house in the yard gave them a real insight into the life of a Victorian servant.

Commenting on the visit Dunannie Head Jo Webbern said, “This is an excellent example of bringing history to life so that learning is more meaningful. I don’t think the children will forget having to bow and curtsey to passing visitors. They also experienced the cold of the kitchen and the typical working conditions of a servant’s life. They came away inspired by their experience with lots of stories about what they had discovered.”


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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