Yrs 4 & 5 Convict Sleep Over at Hyde Park Barracks

Tuesday 16 August 2016 - Wednesday 17 August 2016
All day

Years 4 and 5 will be convicts for one unforgettable night at the Hyde Park Barracks. They will be lodged in the convict dormitories where tens of thousands of convicts slept between 1819 and 1848. This is as close as anyone can get to experiencing the life of a convict.

The student convicts will be lined up for inspection and issued with a convict shirt before being assigned to a work gang. Convict overseers will lead them through the barracks by lamplight, show them their lodgings and share some of the dark stories of convict life.

Hard-working convicts will be rewarded with stories about thieves and tricksters and will be shown how to play some convict games.

All rise at dawn and dress for the morning muster before tucking into a typical convict breakfast.

Convicts are advised that obedience, cleanliness and order are expected at all times. Behave well and they’ll receive a ticket of leave.

Evening schedule

6pm – Under lock & key

Convicts are mustered, issued with a convict shirt and given an identity.

6.30pm–7.15pm – Regulation rations

Convicts sit down for supper, the menu inspired by typical convict fare.

7.15pm–8pm – Dark deeds & misdemeanours

Experience a lantern-lit tour of the barracks.

8pm–9pm – Pastimes

Play knuckles, ‘chuck-penny’, dominoes or marbles, or create a keepsake.

8.30pm–9pm – Cleanliness & order

Prepare for bed.

9pm–9.30pm – Thieves, tricksters & swindlers

Hear stories about past convict characters.

9.30pm – Sleep, and dream of a new life

Climb into hammocks in the dormitory and then it’s ‘lights out’.

Morning schedule

6am – Rise at dawn

Be woken by the sound of the morning bell.

6.30am – All in line

Dress and get ready for the morning muster.

7am – ‘You don’t starve but you’re always hungry’

Convicts have a typical breakfast.

7.30am – Freedom at last!

Receive a ‘Ticket of Leave’ to be released from Hyde Park Barracks.

Convict Sleepover Permission Note

Students from St Bernadette’s Primary School taking part in Rats: Convict Tales at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum in Term 4, 2013. Rats: Convict Tales is designed for Stage 2 HSIE or Stage 3 History (NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum). During this education program students learn firsthand about the daily rigours, routines and misdemeanours of the male convicts who lived and worked at the Hyde Park Barracks between 1819-1848. Each student dresses up and takes on the role of a convict and they get their hands dirty with real convict work, such as brick making, while under the watchful eye of their convict overseer. They also spend some time sleeping in a convict hammock and investigate beneath the building’s floorboards to learn about the unusual role rats played in revealing the building’s history to archaeologists. Students also spend time inside the museum where they learn about the reasons for convict transportation, examine artworks for historical clues and use different historical sources to develop their understanding of what life in Sydney was like during the convict period.